Cyan Holdings, the integrated system and software design company focused on utility metering and lighting control, has announced that its Brazilian partner, Nobre, has successfully deployed a smart metering pilot with a second Tier 1 utility in the region.
In order to provide a thorough evaluation of the Nobre/Cyan technology in the field, the utility selected three different locations, each with different deployment challenges for smart metering technology.
The first location was one where multiple electricity meters are installed on a pole. The meters are securely contained inside a metal cabinet (at a height of 4 metres) which has a viewing lens and clear window to allow visual reading of the meters. These cabinets can reach temperatures of up to 90°C and also suffer from tampering whereby the viewing lens is painted over to prevent meter reading and this issue is completely resolved with the Cyan solution where the meter readings are transmitted over the CyLec two way wireless communication network back to the utility’s billing systems.
The second location was in a gated community. The average distance between the houses is 160 metres and as a result, the meter reader currently spends substantial time walking between houses to get the readings. The location also demonstrated that the consumer’s power supply could be remotely connected and disconnected without having to send utility staff on site. The current cost of sending staff for manual disconnection and reconnection duties is a significant cost burden for utilities in Brazil. For this particular deployment, excellent wireless network performance was achieved despite the Cyan Data Concentrator Unit (“DCU”) being located up to 300 metres from the furthest meter.
The third location was three separate apartment block towers. In this particular case, the enhanced Nobre/CyLec solution was used where the meters were installed in multi-meter secure metal cabinets in the basement of the apartment towers. Nobre were able to establish an effective two way wireless communication network from inside the metal cabinets to pole mounted Cyan DCUs, which were located up to 90 metres from the base of each building.
The smart meters were deployed by the utility’s own staff with assistance from a small team from Nobre as well as one Cyan engineer, who acted as an advisor.
John Cronin, executive chairman, Cyan Technology commented: “Nobre have developed innovative, cost effective smart metering solutions based on the CyLec solution. The success of these new pilots, in addition to the one they deployed earlier in the year, show that Nobre were an excellent choice of partner for Cyan in Brazil. We will continue to support Nobre on a day to day basis and look forward to entering the commercial orders phase of our partnership.”
João Nelson C de la Torre, executive director, Nobre, commented: “This second pilot is a significant validation by a Tier 1 utility customer of the technology that Nobre and Cyan have developed together. Immediately following the deployment of this second pilot, we have been contacted by many new potential customers in Brazil and believe that these new solutions are a break-through point for the deployment of smart metering in Brazil as they are both cost effective and robust. We look forward to placing our first commercial order with Cyan before the end of the year and establishing ourselves as one of the largest smart metering solution providers in Brazil during 2015.”
According to GlobalData’s latest report*, smart meter market revenues in Brazil will increase tenfold, from $36m in 2013 to $432m by 2020. The main market drivers for this projected growth are the need to upgrade grid reliability and power outages, and to improve the integration of renewable energy generation into the system, reducing per-capita power consumption. In addition, with power theft as high as 20% in some Brazilian regions, local authorities are currently pursuing investments in smart meters, as the technology provides a simpler way for companies to track and prevent such activity.
* “Smart Grid Market in North and South America – Key Issues, Regulations, Current Market Outlook and Key Equipment Market Size to 2020” GlobalData, January 2014.