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By | February 21, 2024

Unleashing the Power of LF Energy’s Super Advanced Meter: A Comprehensive Overview of Major Use Cases

In the rapidly evolving landscape of energy management, LF Energy has introduced the Super Advanced Meter (SAM), an open source specification and reference software project designed to serve as a smart meter data gateway. Smart meters play a crucial role as the central device installed in almost every energy consumer’s space, acting as the edge node connecting the transforming grid and delivering innovative products and services to customers. In this post, we explore the major use case groupings that SAM addresses, highlighting its diverse functionalities and applications.

Basic Metrology

At the core of SAM’s capabilities lies Basic Metrology, encompassing functions such as recording time series data and facilitating simple billing. SAM is tasked with measuring, collecting, and recording high-resolution voltage and current data over time. The local computing and analysis of this data provide insights to both customers and back-end systems, supporting utilities and researchers in making informed decisions.

Data Access

SAM ensures data accessibility and portability through functions like pulling measurement data, customer limit awareness, and various data access options. Customers can access their historical data on-demand, while utilities can request and retrieve measurement data stored by SAM for backend analysis. Opt-in data access allows customers to share their data with third parties selectively.


Disaggregation is a key aspect of SAM’s capabilities, enabling customers to track energy usage across major appliances without compromising their privacy. Functions such as DER detection, behind-the-meter load awareness, and multi-utility metering empower SAM to share relevant information with distribution system operators (DSOs) or energy retailers, subject to consumer consent.

DER Management

SAM plays a crucial role in managing Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) effectively. It facilitates two-way communications between DERs and utilities, optimizing their usage based on co-optimized premise-level and system-level needs. This includes managing Electric Vehicles (EVs) as grid assets, coordinating EV charging, and facilitating neighborhood energy transactions.

Outage Management

SAM contributes to outage management through functions like surgical load shedding and leveraging DERs for stability. By strategically dropping or reducing service to specific loads, SAM helps prevent widespread outages. Additionally, it can facilitate islanding individual customers during outages, ensuring service continuity.

Predictive Forecasting

SAM employs predictive forecasting to provide short-term forecasts of customer netload and local PV production. This includes classifying anomalies and predicting potential issues, such as equipment failures or outages. The forecasting capabilities of SAM extend to recommending hosting capacity thresholds and safety limits.

DER Validation

DER validation involves SAM verifying the performance and compliance of DERs with specific instructions. SAM monitors and reports ongoing performance, detecting contract violations and ensuring adherence to contractual constraints.

Customer Engagement

SAM engages customers by displaying real-time energy usage, providing programmable alarms, and supporting dynamic incentives. It sends notifications to customers, encouraging demand response actions and allowing customers to opt-in to automated responses based on SAM notifications.

Correct Records

SAM ensures the accuracy of utility models for distribution systems by updating records and providing reliable data.

Grid Awareness

SAM enhances grid awareness by recording local power quality, identifying security breaches, detecting unbalanced phase loads, and estimating hosting capacity. It provides real-time information on local grid conditions, events, and anomalies, supporting utilities in maintaining a robust and efficient grid.

Remote Management

SAM offers remote management functionalities, allowing utilities to remotely connect or disconnect services and monitor the health of neighboring SAM devices. The capability to remotely control disconnect switches enhances the overall efficiency and responsiveness of the energy distribution system.

SAM is emerging as a versatile and powerful tool in the realm of smart metering and energy management. Its diverse functionalities across various use case groupings demonstrate its capacity to revolutionize how energy is measured, managed, and optimized. For SAM to continue to evolve and gain widespread adoption though, more input and collaboration is needed. The SAM community invites stakeholders including utilities, equipment manufacturers, and energy consumers to join the community and contribute their insights to the project’s further development. 

In particular, SAM is looking for organizations and contributors who are willing to kick-start architectural and hardware designs, based on the outlined use-cases.

Those interested in contributing should join the general, use case, or architecture mailing lists to start engaging with the community, and visit the project GitHub repository to learn more about the work done to date.