Sealing of Optical Ports

Electrical energy meters are usually equipped with an optical interface. It's called optical port, infrared port, IR port or FLAG port. (The port according to ANSI standard C12.18 is mainly used in North America and not covered here.)
Early developments for the optical port have been made by Ferrantis and Landis And Gyr. The older engineers are still talking about FLAG probes for reading the meter by optical interface.
The FLAG development was leading to the IEC1107. In the year 2002 the IEC1107 was renamed to IEC62056-21.
The optical port is for local communication with energy meters. With suitable software and an optical communication head you can access to the meter for reading and writing certain parameters. Nevertheless there are several security measures involved.

In some countries an additional requirement was coming up to seal the optical port. With an AMI system there is no real advantage, because the communication with optical port can be seen in the log-files. For meter installations without AMI there is a certain degree of additional protection. Actually you as utility engineer will only see the manipulation when you are visiting the meter at customer site.

Our K20 and K23 meter series have an optional possibility to seal the port. It works like shown in the animation below (best view on desktop PC)


We have a variety of different sealing methods. If security is one of your main concerns you should consider to use numbered seals or seals with an RFID tag.
When you are doing regular on-site tests for energy meters you can include the sealing of the optical port in your testing workflow. Our onsite tester RS350 has the possibility to define various schemes for sealing.

Thank you for reading.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in December 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

4 Replies to “Sealing of Optical Ports”
  1. I want to make a optical reader for energy Meters and I want to learn how to make wt pcb is used and how can I prepara a good communication Port which can connect any smart meters without any problem

    1. Hello there!
      It's fantastic to hear about your interest in developing an optical reader for energy meters. Your project certainly has the marks of an ambitious undertaking. As you're probably aware, energy meters come with a variety of communication protocols, different ways to access them, and security features such as encryption and passwords. The idea of a universal communication tool is quite ambitious due to the diverse specifications and standards set by different organizations, manufacturers and utility companies.
      However, don't be discouraged! There are resources available that can serve as a valuable starting point for your project. One such resource is Gurux, which provides an open-source software suite for communicating with smart meters. Their platform supports DLMS protocols and offers a community of users who share your interest in smart meter communication.

  2. Thank you about all informaitions that gived to us.
    can you tell us about ZERA machine and it's tests and any information that you know about it and it's tests about energy meters ??

    thank you .

    1. Thanks for your comment. I was working in ZERA for 25 years, so it's hard to answer your question in short. The main difference between ZERA and CLOU equipment is that we take mainly care about all kinds of routine tests while ZERA is pretty much dedicated on testing additionally meter communication functions and do special research on this. This is a small niche market inside of energy meter testing, so we leave this kind of tests to them.

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