Against all odds: PRE Czech Republic continues installation of ADDAX PRIME based smart metering solution

Posted on 07 December 2017

The Czech Republic has always been and remains one of the most advanced countries of the European Union. Every year Prague hosts a variety of events dedicated to changes and the latest trends in information, technology and innovation fields. Many of them are accepted with enthusiasm, others met quite skeptically. Over the last years, the concept of smart meter introduction was perceived ambiguously. On the one hand, the thought of smart meter device deployment for businesses and consumers is exciting because it means that it will facilitate the accounting system and reduce bills for electricity consumption. Nevertheless, the installation of smart meters is for the Czech Republic is quite a pricy novelty.

On the basis of these assumptions the cost benefit analysis was made, which, in its turn, showed how the electricity market can develop with the installation of devices of the new generation. The results were similar to the original forecasts. In the following decade or more the installation of smart devices is not likely to become a positive trend. Also, the statement shows that the result is more negative the longer the modelling period is because annual operating expenditures are assumed greater than annual benefits. The gap between costs and benefits is extremely high. However, there are various factors built into the cost benefit analysis that may overstate the true gap. These include: the inclusion of rewiring costs that may potentially be considered a general distribution activity rather than a specific component of smart metering activities, relatively high meter costs and IT maintenance costs and low assumed consumption benefits.

In connection with the analysis, we can safely say that the massive introduction of meters should be carried out gradually, allowing how utilities and consumers to experience consistent benefits associated with installing new equipment. That is what ADD Grup and Transtech CZ have set their minds on.

ADD Grup has partnered with Transtech CZ ADD Grup on a regular basis since the introduction from the Slovak branch in 2009. At that time, there were a lot of ideas in the Czech Republic concerning the implementation of EU Directive to implement 80% of smart maters until 2020. During the cooperation, the enterprises managed to understand each other so well that the pilot projects delivered in the Czech Republic in the framework of the familiarization with the smart metering system were successful and marked the beginning of the cooperation, which is relevant even today. The functionality and complexity of the entire ADDAX system was very interesting; what is how and mainly why Transtech CZ has become an exclusive supplier of this unique product.

In 2016 yet again, together with our partners Transtech CZ ADD Grup has delivered a PRIME pilot project for PRE (Prague Electric Network) with the deployment of Single-phase meters NP71E.1-19-1 (165 items), three-phase meter with transformer connection NP73E.2-17-1 (330 items), router DCM8A.3-1-1(4 items).

The project is considered to be a turning factor in the partnership of both companies meaning to point out the advantages of the system and allowing the consumers and Utilities to understand and accept the favorable conditions associated with its installation.

The pilot project items are detecting every possible intervention under the meter cover and prevent from electricity theft. This is one of the best advantages of the meter. As well as that the load control feature allows the customer to understand the importance of “turning on the saving mode” to reduce the cost of the consumed electricity. You can also benefit from disconnecting relays, reserve power supply and multirate registration.

The pilot project demonstrates there is a practical and very precise application of smart technology that brings out the most reasonable key features of solutions that ADD Grup is willing to provide. The most definitely useful of them being interoperability which is a well-performed ability of the meter to interact with other supplier’s inventions.

This is the first full commissioning of PRIME PLC technology in the Czech Republic including data collection for 1 minute profiles and 10 minute profiles at the PRE customer.

The ADD Grup project for PRE has been deployed with the following indicators:

  • in the first phase (2 parts) concentrators + 1450 meters PLC F-FSK, a readout of 94% / 48h,
  • in the second phase concentrators + 490 meters PLC PRIME, readout 100% / 24h including minute data, MV communication via BPL
  • in third phase (running project) concentrators + 960 meters PLC PRIME/G3

The obtained data on the project lets us believe it doesn’t stop here. Despite all the hardships related to the whole installation process which takes forever to accept, ADD Grup and Transtech CZ are expecting further steps from each other in order to create a positive atmosphere around the smart metering deployment process. With the implementation of ADDAX system, the quality factor of delivered services in the energy sector will be raised to maximum which will have a favorable impact on the country’s infrastructure. This means a bigger amount of smart meters will be produced by ADD Grup, a larger number of smart meters will be deployed by Transtech CZ and many happier consumers will be taking advantage of the reduced bills from smart metering solutions throughout the country. Even though the overall Czech Republic cost benefit analysis provided an active negative result, the costs of ADDAX smart metering solution compared to its benefits and performance justifies its step by step installation by PRE and hopefully can create a country wide demand for the smart meters.