Turkey’s largest electricity distribution company, DEDAS, has partnered with Hytera, a Chinese manufacturer of radio transceivers, to modernise its metering system with an automated meter reading infrastructure.
The $1 million pilot project includes the deployment of 1,350 smart meters, an automated data acquisition and processing system and a cloud-based billing system. The project was started in 2020 and will run through 2021.
The automated data acquisition system comprises some 2,000 PNC550 PoC radios, over 1300 optic cameras, and a customised meter reader app.
The optic camera reads data from smart meters automatically and sends it to the meter reader app via Bluetooth which then leverages an LTE network to send the data to a cloud-based billing system for processing. The cloud-based system returns processed information immediately for a customer to be billed. Using an onsite printer, a DEDAS employee is able to provide a consumer with their bill at the same moment.
The utility is deploying the system to reduce the duration of its billing cycle which took long, resulting in high non-revenue expenses. The system is also expected to reduce the human error associated with the manual process which included employees reading meters and manually writing down captured data for processing.
The communications network deployed as part of the project provides DEDAS with a resilient platform for the connectivity of smart meter and smart grid devices.
Stanley Song, director of Hytera Middle East & North Africa Region, said: “We are happy with the results we have received on this project so far. This system ultimately changed the way field staff work. It not only alleviates their workload with an automatic data collection system and also enhances their safety to a large degree through remote instruction and supervising.”
In addition to the communication network, DEDAS is leveraging Hytera’s deep manage mobile device management system and meter reader app to enhance communication with field workers and reporting.
The mobile device management system PNC550 uses a video sharing function to ensure the safety of inspectors. For instance, when the inspector does maintenance work, they will feedback on the equipment status and report to the engineer in real-time.
The system uses dual sim cards and changes to a network that has better connectivity in the event of low signals in the mountainous regions.
The meter reader app does not need DEDAS employees to visit consumer homes but to just drive by neighbourhoods.