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Electricity Distribution Conference South East Asia- 2014

20-23 May, KL, Malaysia

CENTRALIZED AUTOMATED METER READING (AMR) SYSTEM


Ignatius Rendroyoko Affiliation: PT PLN (Persero) - Indonesia ABSTRACT The Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system is a measurement system of energy meters data reading that is installed at the customer's point or electricity system network which is controlled remotely throughi telecommunications facilities for the purposes of energy transactions, service, operation, control, planning and reporting. PLN has been using the AMR system since year 2000 for data measurement of electronic energy meters installed on electricity potential customers. Nowadays, there are several different AMR systems installed and operated in each PLN Utility distribution units. This condition has led to generate many problems in unification of measurement data from meter readings and also the management of the AMR system. On the other hand, PLN has developed, owned and operated a customer information system (CIS) that requires input data from an uniform AMR system. Considering those problems PLN trying to develop a centralized AMR system that will be able to unite all the AMR system in PLN. Therefore, all data from the electronic meter reading customer will be incorporated to facilitate the operation, control and management in a more effective and efficient. This paper describes the concept and design o f PLNs AMR centralized system that is being developed in PLN especially on a specific pilot project in PLN Distribution East Java. Index TermsAutomated Meter Distribution networks, TCP/IP Reading, GPRS, Achmad Taufik Haji ignatius.rendroyoko@pln.co.id taufik.haji@pln.co.id different characteristics of systems and software, different spesification, and using different communication technology, as well as using of various reference standards. Therefore, it has created difficulties in the integration and communication between AMR systems. With the growing of amr system by increasing number of customers that are connected into the AMR system and and in conjunction with the implementation of PLNs revenue assurance program, then arises the need to develop a system of centralized AMR. With reference to the above considerations, it is required to develop a centralized AMR system which has the specifications and the ability to unify all existing AMR systems. This paper describes the efforts of PLN, to develop a centralized AMR system that can help the company to monitor the entire remote meter reading within the framework of the implementation of the renevue assurance program. The centralized AMR system selection process by comparing several existing AMR system, described in detail. In particular, also described the stages of implementation of this centralized AMR system on a pilot project in PLN Distribution East Java that would be the role model of the implementation of the roll-out program of AMR system centered in the whole PLN in Indonesia. 2.0 THE EXISTING AMR SYSTEM At this time, there are 6 (six) different AMR system are installed and operated in in several regions of electrification system throughout Indonesia. Among the 6 (six) AMR system, there are three (3) main AMR system that is the most widely used in Indonesia, namely AISYSTEM, WILIS and AMETYS AMR systems. Figure 1 illustrates the location of the points of installation and operation of 3 (three) main AMR system in PLN, Indonesia. Each of the AMR system application has been operated by remote meter reading and the results are collected in a customer information system (CIS) database. The eksisting AMR system are typically based on centralized point-to-point modem or based on dedicated connection using circuit swithced data (CSD) technology which have limited scalability and weak in security. The CSD system, was a system used on early GSM networks to provide data access to mobile devices by allowing them to place a data call.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

he primary role of Automated Meter Reading (AMR) systems is to provide real time energy consumption data to the utility company, allowing data measurement information to be gathered remotely from utilitys meter without the need for personnel to physically visit each site. PLN start using AMR system technology for remote electricity measurement system since mid-year 2000 in order to improve meter reading accuracy and reduce the possibility of tempering and illegal use of electricity. For this purposes, several PLN Unit has installed and operates the AMR system, which connects the meter reading on the customer meter side to the meter reading server. In fact, the AMR system which are installed in these areas, has

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Electricity Distribution Conference South East Asia- 2014

20-23 May, KL, Malaysia

Considering those weaknesses and limitations of the exixting AMR system as described above, and refer to PLNs revenue assurance program that is being implemented, especially in improving security measurement of AMR system, hence arises the steps to perform rearrangement AMR system with centralized AMR system development initiatives. In order to perform the initiative, then it should be define the best in performance of AMR system to be developed to be the centralized system AMR. In order to ensure that the AMR system is always functioning properly and optimally, then the system needs to be developed into AMR AMR centralized system include the following: 1. AMR system must have the capability to adjust to the advancement of technology development; 2. AMR system must be able to be adjusted to follow the changes in business processes in PLN. 3. Install and operate a reliable communication medium for AMR system; 4. Replacing the AMR CSD system into GPRS 5. Developed a centralized GPRS based AMR system Taking into account several considerations: number of user units, number of types of meters that can be read, the number of electronic meters installed, completeness of features, communication technology, web-based applications, integration with the CIS system and technical support, then finally AISystem is appointed as the AMR system to be developed to be a centralized AMR system. The development stages of the centraklized AMR system is carried out through the implementation of a pilot project in PLN in East Java. Detail explanation of the implementation of the pilot project centralized AMR system as shown in the following section. 3.0 DESIGN OF CENTRALIZED AMR SYSTEM Centralized AMR system is a system that is controlled by AMR centralized master control to be able to read all the measurements of electronic meters throughout the installation and customer PLN. This system is designed to be able to do the reading and measurement data retrieval of all electronic meters installed in the installation of a centralized electricity grid. The design of centralized AMR system development is based on and refers to the PLN standard number D5.002: 2008 about "Remote Controlled Energy Meter Readings Systems". The simplified block diagram of the centralized AMR System is shown in Figure 3. The architecture of centralized AMR system consist of three substansial parts : digital kWh meter, communication infrastructure, and database server and data processing, with description as follows :

Fig. 1: Several kind of AMR systems in PLN, Indonesia

Some of the weaknesses and limitations in existing AMR system are listed as follows: 1. The application of the AMR system operates independently and is not integrated with other applications such as DMR, RTM, dan TSS 2. The measurement data retrieval process is done sequentially 3. AMR applications used in each region PLN units has a different type and its AMR readings format is not uniform 4. The communication technology used is old technologybased communication, circuit switched data (csd) with with a low speed data transmission 5. Each type AMR systems has its own communication protocol that AMR Data Consolidation can not be implemented 6. Existing AMR system can not be integrated directly with the PLNs CIS Billing system application 7. The architecture of existing AMR system is using radial configuration with server in each branch to collect meter readings, before it is sent to the main server Figure 2 shows the architecture of the existing AMR system. AMR system with radial configuration as shown in figure 2, Server and Database AMR scattered in every branch and Distribution Offices.

Fig. 2: Configuration of Existing AMR System

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Electricity Distribution Conference South East Asia- 2014

20-23 May, KL, Malaysia

1. Digital kWh Meter The kWh digital meters (energy meters) used in the centralized AMR system 3 phase meters are standardized according to the requirements of PLN Standard D3.006.1: 2010 on 3 phase static energy meter. The energy meter come from several different types and brands, but all have specifications that meet PLN standards. Energy meters equipped with a serial communication port and also port for an external or internal modem. Modem specification refers to the PLN Standard D5.002: 2008 Remote Controlled Energy Meter Reading System. 2. Communication media The sole media of telecommunication incorporated in the centralized AMR is internet equipped with the standard protocol TCP/IP. All AMRs in the system connect to each other and to the database server through internet cloud and therefore the system can be considered a Wide Area Network (WAN) topology. Figure 1 show that all meters in the centralized AMR system have different intermediate communication media before connect to the main TCP/IP network cloud. While some meters connect to internet through GPRS/EDGE/3G, others connect to internet through wifi, wimax or even direct connection from a single meter to the TCP/IP network cloud. Therefore, compatibility to TCP/IP is mandatory for all the meters utilized in the centralized AMR system. 3. Database Server and Data Processing The database server is centralized using the infrastructure owned by PT Indonesia Comnet Plus, which is one of PLNs subsidiary. All the data flows from AMRs in the field are either in the form of log/historical data or transactional data. Due to the sizable amount of data flowing from all AMRs, the data is passed through 3 (three) server gateways. This mechanism aims to avoid severe data queue which could potentially slow down the aggregate data flow. Moreover, a mechanism called load balancing mechanism is also applied to ensure optimal utilization of each server gateways. Finally, all the data passed through the 3 (three) server gateway will be collected in a single database server with MySQL as the database platform. Considering the large scale of data flowing continuously in the centralized AMR system, the system needs efficient and smart method of data processing. Therefore the AMM portal, which functions as the aggregator, is equipped with SAS intelligence platform. The SAS intelligence platform includes 3 (three) main functionalities, such as data management, Business Intelligence (BI) and data analytics. With the utilization of SAS intelligence platform, PLN unit will have a wide access to many forms of data required for

operational and transactional activities. For instance, the existence of SAS AMR shown in figure 1 enables PLN users with various needs and skill levels to create and produce their own reports and analyses of AMR data. The various reports could be differently designed to serve either PLN users form operational level or management level. For example, operational users might need system reports on any abnormality in load measurement. On the other hand, management level might be interesting in the trend of electricity usage of particular commercial or industrial customers.

Fig. 3: Diagram of Centralized AMR System

As mentioned before, the data flowing in the centralized AMR system can be divided into 2 (two) types, such as log/historical data and transactional data. The log/historical data contain specific technical information, such as load imbalance, voltage imbalance, abnormal phasor reading, battery status, etc. On the other hand, the transactional data mainly contains electricity usage information. In order to manage the 2 (two) different type of data, the SAS intelligence platform incorporates OLAP to process the log/historical data and OLTP to process the transactional data. The Centralized AMR system functionional requirements: has the following

1. Integrated application 2. Remote metering: The cloudserver automatically receives the meter reading sent to the server from the meter using GPRS, place the reading in the AMR database. Data retrieval measurement results simultaneously. 3. Capability to conduct checking of functional hardware that includes the Database Server, Front End Processor (FEP) Server and Web Server, UPS, networks 4. Communication system technology using technologybased TCP / IP (tranmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) which allows fast access time 5. Ability to perform checking of succesfull rate of data meter reading

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Electricity Distribution Conference South East Asia- 2014

20-23 May, KL, Malaysia

6. Authentification of the specific user ID and ID meter 7. Perform a database backup to storage media provided 8. Proper security system that can secure data in the process of sending meter measurements and data processing. Considering the centralized AMR system design and with attention to the functions requirements as described above, then the development of centralized AMR system is commenced in a pilot project in PLN Distribution Esat Java. 4.0 IMPLEMENTATION OF CENTRALIZED AMR SYSTEM PILOT PROJECT As stated in the preceding section, implementation of this centralized AMR system, implemented in a pilot project, in PLN Distribution East Java. Before, PLN Distribution East Java, has operated AMR system using CSD communication technology to connect with 14.000 energy meters at customers side that are already connected in the AMR system. The development of this centralized AMR system, performed with 6 stages as shown in Figure 4. The first stage is upgrading infrastructure that is implemented by upgrading infrastructure and server communication and upgrading AMR server control centre, with hardware modem replacement, communication backbone and network, and installation of server gateway. With the implementation of this first phase, the infrastructure AMR system has been able to manage the meter reading to 300,000 (three hundred thousand) electronic energy meter on the customer side. This is, however, still depends on the sophistication of the centralized AMR system application to be able to manage applications AMR system with excellent performance.

In general, the process of migration of existing AMR applications to the centralized AMR system is the process of replacing the old application with installation and setting up of new AMR applications. Included in the migration process is installation and setting of database, centralized AMR system, and trial and testing the centralized AMR system. Schedule and stages of the implementation process are detailed in Figure 5. On the other part, also conducted customer data migration which consist of upgrading in AMR database structure, migration and conversion of existing customer master data, transactional data migration and its historical data. The following stage is the integration of the AMR system and user acceptance test & training. In the system integration phase, the CIS billing system (AP2T) is also integrated with centralized AMR system. This will allow, all meter reading will be directly sent to the billing system.
No
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

DESCRIPTION
Upgrading and hardware Instalation of Centralized AMR System Control Center
Migration of Control Center Communication Application from CSD to TCP/IP

Des 2013

Feb 2014

Mar 2014

Apr 2014

Des 2014

Migration of Communication of Electronic Meters From CSD to GPRS Enabling the gateway (ICON +) Data Migration of Master AMR existing to Data base of Centralized Standard AMR System
Gradual Migration of AMR Remote Electronic Meter Reading GPRS to Control Center of Centralized AMR Standard System

User acceptance test (UAT) of The Application of Centralized AMR Standard System Training Application and operation of the AMR standard mechanism for Centralized Operator Control Center Server and Client Center Area Full Operation of AMR Remote Meter Readings From Control Center of Centralized AMR Standar System

Fig, 5: Implementation Roadmap of Application of Centralized AMR System in PLN Distribution East Java

After the entire implementation process goes well and meets all the requirements of the user acceptance test, the system is centralized AMR fully ready for operation. The Go-Live stage is scheduled to be commenced on December 2014 with fully fuctional operation of meter reading from centralized AMR system control center.

4.0 PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PROGRES AND RESULTS In the pilot project, the development of centralized AMR system has been completed and also infrastructure upgrading process. The implementation result of the pilot project of centered AMR system, there are 2891 meters already connected through the GPRS network. This time, the process is still ongoing at the stage of migration of customer meters.
Fig, 4: Development Stage of Centralized AMR System in Pilot Project PLN Distribution East Java

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Electricity Distribution Conference South East Asia- 2014

20-23 May, KL, Malaysia

5.0 CONCLUSIONS The centralized AMR system that build and developed by PLN is a large-scale AMR system that require good and proper system architecture, communication media and database and data processing. transition from the existing AMR system, in terms of technology, business processes, and ways of thinking, should be done gradually and in the right time, so that the migration process will be conducted smoothly and not disturbing the daily operations. From the temporary implementation result, the main problems of the centralized AMR system lies on the communication media and meter readines. This problem can be resolved by form or make a special contract to the responsible parties fully on communication media readiness, readiness meters and other equipment associated with meter reading. By the concept, the operation of the centralized AMR system will operate properly with higher performance 6.0 REFERENCES 1. PLN Head Office, Pilot Project Pengembangan Sistem AMR Terpusat, Pilot Project Term of Reference (TOR), Distribution System & Customer Service Division, PT PLN (Persero), Jakarta 2012. 2. Alauddin Al-Omary, Wael El-Medany, and Sufyan AlIrhayim, Secure Low Cost AMR System Based on GPRS Technology, International Journal of Computer Theory and Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 1, February 2012 3. J. Tsoi, Device management of largescale amr systems, MSc thesis, Dep. of Industrial Information and Control Systems, Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden 2006

Fig, 6: Migration of AMR Meter in centralized AMR System

Figure 6 shows that still only 20% of the meters are migrated into GPRS. Still constrained by the procurement process of meter replacement, however, trials have been conducted in the area that has the complete installation. In Figure 7 is shown the success rate of centralized AMR system meter reading that still has not been demonstrated satisfactorily level with numbers only reach 65%. The From temporary analysis and evaluation of communication media performance, the problem is caused by the coordination team to ensure private communication lines for the GPRS connection is still not completely resolved.

Fig, 7: Meter Reading Succesfull Rate

With attention to the result above, it is realized that in project implementation needs to be carried out with more effort and focus, especially in the provision of communications media GPRS with a private connection so it can result in higher success rate. Furthermore, efforts to ensure that each meter is ready to connect and do readings, should be done with a more intensive way. It is expected with these efforts, the performance meter reading, data transmission and data processing will be centralized in the AMR system can be done well.

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