ABB develops new, advanced metering solutions with the use of GSM and Internet

2000-05-30 - Targets growth opportunities in corporatisation of SEBs.

Mumbai, May 30, 2000 - ABB today announced the introduction of electronic ALPHA energy meters based on GSM technology to provide electric utilities with multi-function features for better electricity measurement and monitoring in India. Equipped with GSM technology-based communication interface, utilities can read the meters at remote locations using the GSM network or through the local telephone network. This metering database can be accessed via the Internet for bill read /pay.

These meters will facilitate accurate and efficient billing of energy consumption and meet the growing need for new technology energy meters from private and state owned electric utilities.

ABB also announced the enhancement of energy meter manufacturing capacity to 150,000 units per annum from the current capacity of 60,000 units per annum at its Andheri facility in Mumbai.

Speaking to the media on the occasion, Mr. K.K. Kaura, Managing Director, ABB Limited, said, “With the corporatisation of SEBs, the need to enhance efficiency and viability will be greater than before and energy metering will be the foremost areas to get attention. In a typical utility the total cost incurred on the complete process of metering, billing and collection is quite high and is in magnitude of 10 to 12 %. We in ABB are focussing not only on functionality of energy meters suitable to Indian conditions but will also develop complete process improvement solutions, which will include billing process, remote metering and internet communication.”

On a specific query Mr. Kaura stated that “we are also evaluating the possibility of becoming a total service provider for metering and billing applications in addition to our normal role of a system supplier

With an installed reference of over 2 million ALPHA energy meters, ABB is a world leader in electricity meters. Keeping in line with ABB’s mission to be local, worldwide, the patented Alpha technology was introduced in India in 1997 and since then it has supplied these energy meters to major utilities such as BSES, KSEB and MSEB. One of the major challenges in front of us was to develop special tamper detect features for the Indian market. Some of these features include-recording instances of tampering with date and time of occurrence of events and also intelligently bill consumers in certain key tamper situations.
These meters are able to detect online, any source of harmonics in the system and thereby help the utility to identify and isolate the source of disturbance and improve the power quality.

Commenting on the benefits of these meters, Mr. B.F. D’Silva, General Manager – Instrumentation and Control Products, ABB Limited, said, “These meters can be upgraded for future applications like Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) Systems, thus providing the utilities with the much needed investment protection in today’s competitive business environment. ABB ALPHA energy meters can help increase revenue realisation of utilities through accurate reading up to 0.2 class as against the present norm of 2 to 0.5 class.”

The state of Maharashtra is currently implementing a new tariff system using the Time of Day (TOD) technology. Through the use of TOD technology, power consumption can be measured both for peak and off peak usage enabling multi-tariff billing. Such systems will enable the utilities to do better load management - currently the need of the day for state owned and private utilities. Once such systems become the industry standards, ABB foresees tremendous opportunities in this area.

The ABB Group serves customers in power transmission and distribution; automation; oil, gas, and petrochemicals; building technologies; and in financial services. With novel IT applications for the industry, tailored software solutions, growing eBusiness and a fast expanding knowledge and service base, ABB is building links to the new economy. The ABB Group employs about 165,000 people in more than 100 countries. (End)

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