ADD GRUP set out to demonstrate the benefits of powerline communication (PLC) technology for electricity metering in the Indian market.
According to a company release, India is the world's third largest producer and fourth largest consumer of electricity, but he country is mostly served with electromechanical meters or digital meters with optical port being the only communication interface. It adds that smart metering projects are scattered across the country and are mostly based on P2P GPRS, generating high monthly operational costs or proprietary RF solutions.
This gives rise to vendor dependence for the DISCOs. ADD says that, as a result "India’s smart metering vending potential seems like a vast platform for realization and exceedingly influential electricity market is confidently introducing technologies to satisfy the industrial needs of the major utility companies. Most of them have special requirements that have to be met and criteria that have to be matched."
The company adds that due to a number of failed pilots, there exists a lot of skepticism around PLC technology for the smart grid.
Despite this, ADD Grup is seeking to overcome this skeptism in the market, by offering a plc solution that "demonstrates the transparency of protocol and interoperability which allow not to become dependent of any vendor, as well anti-tempering and fraud detection features of the solution and load management functionality."
JUSCO and ADD pilot PLC in India
JUSCO (Jamshedpur Utilities and Service Company LTD), an infrastructure urban service provider in the country eagerly accepted a proposal from ADD Grup for a pilot
matching JUSCO’s plans to implement metering solutions with a wider functionality.
Both JUSCO and ADD pointed out the main goals of the PLC installation among which were: controlling and monitoring of load drawn by consumers, online disconnection and
reconnection, reduced time of meter reading, no human intervention in manual meter reading, failure/tamper identification of the metering device, reduced cost of the bills due to all electricity savings. Also among the objectives of the meeting both sides could note: creating an infrastructure for automated meter reading and control for low end consumers; end to end transparency in meter reading; optimal use of existing power system infrastructure.
A few hundreds of ADDAX meters based on PRIME PLC smart meter technology were deployed. ADD said: "... given [that the] pilot project displays that the PRIME PLC technology deliver[s] close to 100% data collection rates at JUSCO, the [technology] can be successfully introduced in other regions of India providing the DISCO’s the possibility open, reliable and vendor independent AMI system."
The companies agreed that in order to get a broader understanding of system capabilities and more statistics related to system performance in different environments they have agreed to continue testing of PLC PRIME meters on a larger scale on other transformer substations.
The release concluded, "the experience with ADDAX PRIME PLC shall serve as a good basis for comparative analysis with other technologies."
For more about ADD Grup and its collaboration with JUSCO, click on the link below for the full press release:
Image credit: ADD Grup