Essen, Germany-based smart meter giant Elster has endorsed new standards for residential meters published by the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (ANEEL). The protocols mark a milestone in the modernization of Brazil's power grid distribution system.
Utilities, meter manufacturers and metrology institutes have up to 18 months to start replacing legacy meters at customer request, including offering a time-of-use tariff or so-called White Tariff. This White Tariff meter will be installed at no cost to customers upon demand.
"While not a mandate, ANEEL has taken an important and very positive step forward regarding the deployment of smart meters in Brazil," said Elster Integrated Solutions' (News - Alert) Vice President for Latin America Geraldo Guimaraes.
"Elster fully supports Brazil's transition to the smart grid, as it looks to improve the reliability and quality of energy supply and reduce operational costs and non-technical losses. With Elster's portfolio based on globally-accepted protocols and open standards, we are well-positioned to meet the anticipated demand for interoperable systems that enable Latin America's largest utilities to bring the benefits of AMI [advanced metering infrastructure] to consumers," Guimaraes added.
Elster's technical solutions already that meet the ANEEL requirements and have been successfully deployed with several leading electricity utilities including Light S.A., AES Eletropaulo, Neoenergia and Coelce.
Elster's Garnet solution enables utilities to deploy up to 12 single-phase electric smart meters in one unit, which is typically installed on the top of an electric transformer pole to prevent unauthorized access to the equipment. The Garnet solution has a secure, all-weather stainless-steel casing; and the embedded metering technology has comprehensive self-diagnostic functions, which can identify tampering, fraud or irregular operation and can immediately alert the utility. Equipped with radio frequency (RF) mesh communications and networking features, the solution facilitates remote measurements, as well as remote connection and disconnection.
Elster's Dracon solution is based on the Garnet concept and provides the same security features, but is designed for individual meter units —enabling the collection of energy consumption data in locations such as densely populated urban areas, complex building layouts and underground areas. It includes a wireless RF collector, which enables the capture of meter readings at a range of up to 50 meters. Data can also be collected from up to 10 units simultaneously—adding safety, reliability and agility to metering and data collection.
The company's Garnet and Dracon solutions are developed and manufactured in Brazil and have been deployed in some of the most challenging access areas to ensure the safe, efficient and affordable supply of electricity. Elster has had a manufacturing base in Brazil for more than 45 years, and has expanded its local presence by establishing an office in Sao Paulo to manage delivery of end-to-end solutions to utilities across the Latin American region.
In May, Elster announced that Brazil’s second largest utility, Light S.A., would install its Garnet and Dracon solutions to expand its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system to an additional 80,000 metering endpoints in the city of Rio de Janeiro—for a total of 100,000 meters by year-end 2012. .
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Edited by Brooke Neuman