Posted on 26 September 2018
As a result of the pilot project, network losses decreased to 2%. In principle, we were satisfied and continued to work with ADD GRUP planning to gradually replace the other meters reaching legacy. Certainly, things were not absolutely ideal and in one the lot of meters, 300 pieces, broke down in a relatively short time, due to a defective part. To the honesty of the ADD GRUP company, there was never a question of replacing and repairing the meter at the manufacturer's expense, including in the post-guarantee period. This attitude gives the consumer a sense of confidence in the supplier.
But life does not stand still, and the European Union has adopted a directive on the introduction of remote accounting for all consumers by 2020. The Estonian government has established a more stringent deadline - 2017. Since Imatra Elekter's networks were part of the Fortum group at the time, an international competition was conducted to further introduce the remote metering system, ADD GRUP became the winner, leaving behind very strong competitors. One of the main arguments in evaluating the results of the tender was previous positive experience with ADD GRUP. At the tender, a new 7th version of the meters was proposed. Due to strong competition, the prices of mobile operators fell, and in the new version we refused to Medium Voltage networks as communication channel in favor of GSM network. At the moment, all clients of Imatra Elekter, about 25000, are provided with smart meters. The system provides billing data collection about 99.5%.
I will not describe the advantages of remote metering known to all, but I will focus on the bonus that the network company received after installing smart meters - namely, the ability to record events and network parameters. To be honest, we used to have a poor idea of what actually happens in the net. Too many factors, such as parameters and defects of the network itself, as well as equipment and modes of consumption of customers, were unknown to us. Periodically, complaints were received about the burned electronics from alleged overvoltage in the network. Smart meters configured accordingly monitored the network and identify problem areas. Based on the analysis of the data obtained it is now possible to conclude whether the claim is justified and if there is a need to repair or renovate the network. Measurement of the maximum power of the consumer allows you to estimate the real load in the network and to direct investments exactly to where they are currently needed. When using smart meters, it turned out to improve not only the accounting, but also the quality of the network service itself.
By the way, the pilot project from 2007 is still working.
Vladimir Beldjajev (Imatra Elekter AS)
Head of network services in Viimsi region Estonia