SparkMeter offers comprehensive low-cost metering solutions for everything from rural micro-grids to existing urban central grid utilities. For remote monitoring and managing the meters, the system includes basic wireless internet connection at the sites.
Sparkmeter is a company based in USA (Washington D.C.) and Nairobi (Kenya). It also develops its activity in Tanzania, Haiti , India, and other locations around the world.
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
The solution is directly implemented by SparkMeter personnel. The team travels globally meeting with utilities and end users, installing and maintaining microgrids.
The solution uses a base station and meters, each one uses different manufacturing methods depending on the specific model.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Direct sales to utility companies (central grid utility or a microgrid developer)
Distributions to Date Status
SparkMeter is supporting connections in 22 countries. Of those, over a dozen countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are using their smart metering systems for microgrids.
- Demand-Side Management and Tariffs
- Smart Load Limiting
- Unlimited, Fully Customizable Tariffs
- Revenue Protection and Loss Monitoring
- Real Time Monitoring and Control
- Detailed technical & financial data
- Versatile Payments and Billing
- Choose prepay or postpay – in one click
- Versatile sales process
- Full Traceability and Accountability
- Two Way Communications
- Robust, local wireless network
- Remote management
Provided by the manufacturer
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
- Reduce non-technical loss
- Increase availability and reliability
- Improve cost recovery and eliminate metering and billing costs
Vetted Performance Status
A utility can expect payback of <2 years consumers who use just 2 USD of electricity per month. A payback of <1 year is achievable when serving customers purchasing just 4 USD per month.
Complementary Technical Systems
Data collected over SparkMeter's built-in wireless mesh network is uploaded over a low-bandwidth internet connection to SparkMeter’s cloud. Utilities can use ThunderCloud software application, to monitor system operations and set controls for load limiting, demand response, and pricing that synchronize with the meters on the ground. In addition to functionality in the cloud, the utility can login locally to a base station on the ground for full access to ThunderCloud software on-site with no internet connection.
Academic Research and References
Buevich, M., Schnitzer, D., Escalada, T., Jacquiau-Chamski, T. and Rowe, A., 2014, Fine-Grained Remote Monitoring, Control and Pre-Paid Electrical Service in Rural Microgrids, 13th international symposium on Information processing in sensor networks, IEEE Press, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 1-12.
Buevich, M., Zhang, X., Schnitzer, D., Escalada, T., Jacquiau-Chamski, A., Thacker, J. and Rowe A., 2015, Short Paper: Microgrid Losses: When the Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts, Proceedings of the 2nd ACM International Conference on Embedded Systems for Energy-Efficient Built Environments, New York, NY, USA, 95-98.
Musoni, M., Kayondo B., Muramira, H. and Ruzindana, I., 2017 Assessment of Radio Frequency Spectrum and regulation in Sub-Saharan Africa, University of Rwanda, Department of ICT, Kigali, Rwanda
Bhattarai, D. and Basnet, B., 2016, Opportunities for Real-time Monitoring, Control and Payment Technologies for Microgrids: A Case Study of Operational Systems in Nepal, Practical Action, pp. 3
Compliance with regulations
Allows tariff customization to comply with local regulations