2019-02-03 Smeter software potentially dangerous consequences explained

1) In a prior update [2) – http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/2019-02-01-smeter-software-failures/], I sent an article warning about the potential problems with smeter software, which included possible “disastrous consequences”.

https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/smart-meters/reliability-of-embedded-software/

or   https://tinyurl.com/defectivesmeters

I asked some Engineers if they could explain what some of these might be and here are a couple of comments which confirm/reiterate the warnings given by experts for years.  Smeters are not safe and should not be allowed on our homes.

“Aside from measuring current, voltage, and phase angle for purposes of calculating power and sending the calculated results to the utility’s billing computer, the computers in sm’s interact directly with the real world in at least two ways I’m aware of – opening and closing the (badly designed) disconnect switch on command and monitoring cavity temperature. If the software acts up, both these functions can be disrupted.   With the disconnect switch, it’s conceivable the contacts could open or close inadvertently (creating a hazard for attending fire fighters) and/or start chattering (opening and closing several times in a row), causing more arcing than would occur with a single open/close,  thereby increasing cavity temperature and increasing the likelihood of melted plastics, batteries exploding, and fire.   With unreliable temperature monitoring it’s conceivable dangerously high temperatures could go undetected  . . . again increasing the chances of fire or explosion.   There are probably other examples, but those two are the first that come to mind.”

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“An obvious serious fault is one that we have identified previously: (1) that the remote disconnect is used to disconnect the power to a house that is on fire, but a software malfunction means it either doesn’t disconnect, or it reconnects after disconnecting. Either way it puts the firemen at risk. (2) Then there’s the problem of hardware failure causing a house to catch fire, with possibly fatal consequence. 

I am very suspicious of the metering hardware/software, since this is a real-time measuring problem that involves sampling the waveforms and making computations to get the instantaneous power that is them integrated over time. Accurate measurement depends on knowing the frequencies present in the waveforms in order to use an adequately high sampling rate (minimum twice the highest frequency present). (3) Noise resulting an inadequate rfi/emi filter can lead to serious misreading of the power that is recorded. 

It is also possible that inadequate communication, or malicious interference could (4) bring the whole smart grid in an area to a breakdown, with all kinds of odd effects (e.g. disconnecting everybody — tough if someone is on an electrically powered dialysis machine with no power back-up.”

2) Despite the warnings from cyber-experts about the potential for Huawei to hack/invade our infrastructure, a BC community is eager for this Chinese company to provide internet service. Why is this being allowed by the government?  Certainly licenses must be granted to corporations.  Why aren’t communities connecting via fiber optic cable which is far more secure, faster, and it does endanger health the way wireless radiation does.

The U.S. Is Warning the World Off Huawei. This Tiny Town Is Unfazed 

“China’s biggest technology company announced Friday a pilot project to bring high-speed internet to a Canadian hamlet — Lac La Hache, or “Lake of the Axe,” so named for the unfortunate 19th-century fur trapper who lost his hatchet while chopping a hole in the ice… 

While tiny in scale, the project underscores how the Chinese giant continues to address a gaping need in remote areas around the world even as it battles an international furor about the security of its equipment. It’s winning over customers with cheap, functional kit and paid-for trials in places largely ignored by larger incumbents… 

Huawei’s pilot in Lac La Hache is based on a technology dubbed “Massive MIMO” (short for multiple-input multiple-output), which clumps together antennas to boost efficiency. It’s seen in the industry as a precursor to the next-generation, super-fast 5G wireless networks at the heart of broadening global concerns about the Chinese giant.” 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-01/u-s-is-warning-the-world-off-huawei-this-tiny-town-is-unfazed

3) There are quite a few communities (mostly in California) and 4 states now refusing the implementation of smeters. Now Montana is considering limiting the program, primarily on the basis of privacy.

Montana Bill Would Prohibit Smart Meter Data Sharing, Undermine Federal Program

“HELENA, Mont. (Jan. 28, 2019) – A bill introduced in the Montana House would restrict the sharing of “smart meter” data and set the stage to allow utility customers to opt out of the technology altogether. Passage of this bill would protect privacy, and it would take a step toward blocking a federal program in effect.

Rep. Daniel Zolnikov (R-Billings) introduced House Bill 267 (HB267) on Jan. 22. The legislation would prohibit utility companies from disclosing smart meter data and require them to ensure all such data be “sufficiently secured” so that it cannot be intercepted. The proposed law would also require utilities to give customers written notice before installing smart meters on their property.

Additionally, HB267 would require the public service commission to determine whether an opt-out program for advanced metering devices should be established…

The privacy issues aren’t merely theoretical. According to information obtained by the California ACLU, utility companies in the state have disclosed information gathered by smart meters on thousands of customers. San Diego Gas and Electric alone disclosed data on more than 4,000 customers. The vast majority of disclosures were in response to subpoenas by government agencies “often in drug enforcement cases or efforts to find specific individuals,” according to SFGate.”

https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/01/montana-bill-would-prohibit-smart-meter-data-sharing-undermine-federal-program/  

 

Sharon Noble, Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.    ~ Robert Heinlein

www.stopsmartmetersbc.com