Under Frequency Meter
24 December 2012
Under Frequency Meter
Powercom introduces under-frequency electricity meters for distribution networks. A new demand response/load management smart meter used for peak shaving and peak leveling.

Ramat Hakovesh, Israel - 21st May 2012 – Powercom announced in African Utility Week (Johannesburg, South Africa) the new under-Frequency meter used for Distribution Electricity Grid.

PowerCom has launched its new smart meter with demand response functionality for Smart Grid load management.  This meter is capable of disconnecting loads in less than 70 milliseconds when certain predefined frequency values are breached. The meter allows removal of specific loads from each individual customer over the distribution grid, without the need to cause regional blackout.

Whenever utilities are incapable of supplying the full load demand of their customers, the first consequence is a big drop in frequency.  The function of the under-frequency units is to protect the grid and disconnect the lines within 70 milliseconds of the frequency drop. 

Until now, utilities installed under-frequency devices within the sub-stations; however these devices are expensive (thousands of Dollars).  Legacy sub-station under-frequency devices disconnected high voltage lines, disconnecting all consumers at same time. This general disconnection caused a massive energy pulse created by the immediate disconnection of a sizeable load in zero time.  It caused instability in the grid and significant fluctuations in the demand side as a result. 

The new PCR423UF meter allows implementation of the same technique over the Low/Medium Voltage network, disconnecting individual consumers /loads (direct or CT connection).   Thanks to the in-built under-frequency functionality of the PowerCom smart meters, utilities have the power to elect which customers will be disconnected and at which frequency level.  All disconnection levels are remotely configured from within the PowerCom AMI system software, and each customer can be predefined by a different frequency value.  This breakthrough allows differentiated and graduated load shedding for a better balanced load management.  With the ability to randomly configure the disconnection under-frequency threshold for each customer, black-outs will not affect the same consumers as is common practice until now. The reconnection of each customer is also (pre)defined by the meters.  When the peak load crisis is over customers will also be gradually reconnected to the grid.

The PCR423UF meter contains digital outputs which are capable of shedding a partial load at the customer premises, for example disconnection of only the air-conditioners or hot water boilers in the initial phase, with only complete disconnection at critical levels. 

An additional feature is selective disconnection of customers which are over-consuming, while other customers will not be limited or disconnected including at risk customers (elderly, sick) and essential service providers. 

The under frequency smart meter was developed under the KARAT program,

The solution adds a negligible additional cost to the smart meter whilst enabling the utility to perform gradual and selective load shedding on the customer level without the need to disconnect all consumers within the substation area.  The under frequency meter is an additional capability of Powercom’s AMI solution which enables load management, peak shaving, and peak leveling on the distribution network. 

PowerCom is positioned to be a world leader in smart grid load management implementation, and has announced this solution this week during the Africa Utility Week Exhibition taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

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