Sao Paulo, Brazil — (METERING.COM) — September 21, 2007 – AES Eletropaulo is to launch a three-year smart grid pilot project with 35,000 smart meters in January 2008, the Brazilian utility revealed at Metering, Billing/CRM Latin America.
In a presentation the utility’s metering manager Paulo Roberto dos Santos and assistant Marcus Martinelli, outlined the project, which was initiated in May 2006 with the aim principally of controlling non-technical losses.
More than $7 billion has been spent on its development over the past year.
The project, believed to be the first smart grid project in Latin America, has several elements, including the provision of smart meters to customers, with features including remote reading, remote disconnect and reconnect, and multi-tariff setting, substation and distribution network automation, and monitoring of transformers.
As part of the project AES Eletropaulo’s approximately 5.5 million customers have been segmented into a number of groupings reflecting their risk based on issues such as payment, fraud and disconnection histories – high and medium voltage customers (12,140 customers), two and three phase low voltage customers (338,000 customers), and two groups of LV customers (1.37 and 3.68 million customers), each of which will receive different functionality.
The almost 111,000 transformer stations, 145 substations and 1,800 feeders will also be incorporated into the smart grid. At the system level, all systems, including outage, demand management, billing and GIS will be integrated with the meter data management system.
“The vision of the electricity distribution system of the future incorporates elements of sensing and monitoring, IT and telecommunications,” said Dos Santos and Martinelli in the presentation.
In addition the system will be able to incorporate future opportunities such as broadband connection, thereby providing social inclusion through provision of for example the Internet, to people who otherwise do not have access.
Project participants include Edinfor and Echelon, Enel, Corinex, Siemens, Samurai, Ericsson, CPqD, Concert and Current Communications among others.
A smart meter pilot project at COELBA
Jorge Manuel Dias, an engineer at Bahia utility COELBA reviewed a smart meter pilot project.In phase 1 in September 2006 956 meters were installed in Salvador and in phase 2 in January 2007 a further 3,964 meters were installed in the Ilha de Tinharé complex.
The main objectives of the project were to detect and manage fraud, as well as automated meter reading and more accurate billing, and among the results annualized losses were reduced by a third and overdue payments reduced by almost half, providing a payback of return on investment of three years.
The project will now be gradually expanded with the acquisition of additional meters.
Metering Latin America continues today with a workshop and sesssions on loss reduction and revenue protection, and a closing panel discussion on strategies for revenue enhancement and resource management.