ADDAX advanced prepayment solution - a new approach to interaction between distribution system operators and electricity consumers

Posted on 25 September 2017

Utilities around the world are presumed to stimulate consumers to pay up front for energy due to the increasing amount of liabilities deriving from unpaid energy bills and thus there is a high need for prepayment solution which would facilitate interaction between utility and consumer. The existing prepayment solutions available from the market being a relatively new invention at times may seem imperfect.  There are number of challenges that prepayment solutions are dealing with on a regular basis, such as:  bounds to interoperability due to the ongoing exertion of proprietary metering solutions; the deficiency of set industry processes for managing customer replacements and prepayment top-ups for smart meters, the fulfillment of agreed parameters  for directives to and from the smart meters and for encrypting credit top-ups, possibility to find  obedient equipment and a set production model for performing  the advanced payment in an ambitious market scheme.

As ADD Grup has always had its own vision on prepayment smart meter solution therefore the first half of this year was dedicated to the development of a completely unrivaled device. We have analyzed the existing models, the problems that have occurred and are excited to present to you our own vision over an advanced and universal prepayment solution capable to simply and effectively respond to the prepayment equipment requirement the energy sector demands. The most important feature of the adapted solution is the flexibility of the tariff mechanisms and interoperability which allows our smart meters to stand out from the rest. There is a very attractive option to access Time of Use pricing and implement prepayment for STS and other acceptable formats.

The new advanced prepayment meters by ADDAX have a set of benefits, including: strong protection from theft and unauthorized access, energy measuring and displaying in kWh and optionally in cash, functionality to disconnect consumers’ load when their credit amount is on the limit or exceeds programmable balance. They also combine features of classic smart meters such as: built-in clock, event log, load profile to make sure the load is managed correctly and in accordance with needs and requirements of the consumer, differential current detection, optical port with encryption and active or passive payment plans. There is technological port that allows replication of original data and configuration in case the meter fails to work properly and there is a need to transfer the data to another meter.

The system created by ADD Grup has an emergency credit option, available when the balance is reached zero. All of the notifications about the payment are directly sent to the Center and are shown on the meter display. Power limiting function support seems to be the key point of the development. When the remaining balance is too low the customers is usually being informed about this matter and are advised to purchase more credit. If this instruction is not being followed the switch is being automatically disconnected.

The invention is adapted to English and Arabic languages. Smart meters have secure and proved communication channels and most recently we have made sure “friendly hours”, “holidays” and “weekend” tariffs are included in our elaboration.

And if that’s not enough we would like to present another big advantage of the advanced prepayment solution – contactless NFC technology. This technology is a smart card support system with token transmission which is very handy for the customers. The meter supports multiple card types depending on supported functions; has secured data storage using AES128 algorithm and digital signature and detects all the manipulations displaying messages of LDC.

ADD Grup tries to maintain its level in order to satisfy its customers with convenient solutions that will facilitate the use of new developments in the field of electricity improving interaction between distribution system operators and electricity consumers.