Meter quality from procurement to disposal


By CW Yu

CLP operates a vertically integrated electricity generation, transmission and distribution business in Hong Kong, and provides a highly reliable supply of electricity and excellent customer services to over 2.2 million customers in its supply areas. Based on its utilisation experience in the past decades and studies of global best practices, CLP has identified and adopted a high quality metering solution with the following features:

  • Mature model
  • Accurate and reliable performance
  • High quality manufacturer
  • Strict acceptance inspection standard
  • Secure requirements of accommodation for metering equipment
  • Adequate maintenance.

Successful business begins with strategic procurement. CLP is committed to investing in and installing safe, accurate and reliable long life cycle meters.

Prior to the tendering exercise for bulk supply, meter models must pass the pre-qualification process in terms of accuracy, reliability, life span and other specifications to suit the local hot and humid climate. To this end, CLP sources mature meter models from potential manufacturers for evaluation. With satisfactory type test results, a small quantity of say 200 to 1,000 meters will be installed for trial use. Subject to accurate and reliable performance for a four-season trial period, the meter model will be qualified as an approved model.

CLP also makes reference to national laboratory assessments on the meter models for adjustments to the trial period.

A strict acceptance inspection standard invites high quality meters. Prior to delivery, manufacturers accredited with a quality assurance system test every meter and provide test results to CLP. Based on the specification requirements and contract samples, the acceptance inspection will be carried out. If the rejection rate is over 1 percent, the whole shipment will be returned to the manufacturer for re-work. In case there is an observation or discrepancy in the comparison of test results from the two parties, CLP will update the manufacturer for improvement.

At the start of the installation and commissioning stage, any installation error must be eliminated. Based on the interface requirements for metering equipment, CLP ensures that the meter position can facilitate meter reading and maintenance. Following the initial checking by the field team promptly after the commissioning, all current transformer operated meter installations will be audited by another field team. For other installations, 5 percent will be selected for a field audit.

A quality meter should demand minimal maintenance, and hence triggers little to no disturbance to customers. CLP Power conducts inspections mainly for:

  • Customer enquiries
  • Abnormalities reported by the meter reader
  • Alarm or discrepancy identified by the automatic meter reading system and/or meter data management system
  • Meter performance monitoring plan for electromechanical meter samples with service lives of 15, 20 and 25 years
  • Inspection triggered from failure statistics.

Excellent customer services depend on reliable meters. After reaching their certified life span, meters will be removed from the field for disposal.

While utilities are looking for and even investing in advanced technology to add value to their metering solution, its cost effectiveness is still one of the key concerns. CLP strives to deliver a world class service that is of good value to its customers through the adoption of a reliable and cost effective metering solution.