Siemens helps Brazil reduce non-technical losses in power grid

As head of a consortium that includes Itron and Telemont, Siemens is supplying the Brazilian power utility company Eletrobras with smart grid solutions to reduce non-technical losses.

 To this end, Eletrobras has initiated the Energia + project in six states in northern and northeastern Brazil.

According to the Brazilian electricity regulatory agency ANEEL, these states suffer the highest non-technical losses in the South American country, at a rate of 10 to 22 percent. With a view to reducing these figures using sophisticated smart grid solutions, the consortium’s scope of supply includes smart meters, a meter data management (MDM) system based on Siemens’ EnergyIP smart grid platform, maintenance services, the development of a communication and metering infrastructure (AMI), and the implementation of a smart metering system and metering management center.

Eletrobras initiated the project to lastingly reduce non-technical losses in its power supply grid and improve the operational performance of six local power supply utilities in the region. The goal of the project is to increase revenue by reducing total losses in the grid and to improve service to consumers. “With our smart metering solutions, we’re helping Eletrobras and the Brazilian electricity regulatory agency to significantly and lastingly reduce economic damage due to non-technical losses. This includes our two smart grid research and development centers in Brazil, one of which – among other things – specializes in the tracing of this type of loss,” said Ralf Christian, CEO of Siemens’ Energy Management Division.

For the Energia + project, Siemens is supplying a portion of the total 120,000 smart meters, metering equipment, and its meter data management (MDM) system based on the EnergyIP smart grid application program for the medium- and low-voltage range. To help reduce non-technical losses, essential power consumption data is forwarded to EnergyIP and further processed by the system with the aid of special rules, algorithms, and alarm limit values. The MDM system makes this edited data available to other systems and the accounting departments of the affected power supply utilities, which can then use this data to obtain information for tracking irregularities in their customers’ power consumption.

Investments by the utilities in this technology pay for itself – with fast payback – due to revenue recovery by the distribution system operator and because of reduction of its operational costs. Utilities can recover overdue bills from delivered but uncharged energy. Operational expenditure (Opex) reduction comes from the reduction of onfield readings, manual disconnection and reconnection, local inspection, consequent field teams, and also from optimized billing process and possible integration of corporate and operative processes.

Innovative smart grid solutions are part of the Siemens Division Energy Management’s product portfolio. As a product supplier, system integrator, and solution and service provider, the Division offers power supply companies and industry cost-efficient, reliable, and intelligent solutions for the transmission and distribution of electrical power. The portfolio ranges from products and systems for low-voltage and distribution networks and smart grid and energy automation solutions to high voltage transmission systems. With a presence in more than 100 countries, the Siemens Division earned approximately €11.9 billion in sales and €570 million in profit and employed just fewer than 53,000 employees worldwide last fiscal year, which ended on September 30, 2015.