Greater Tzaneen Municipality in Limpopo Province has become the first local authority in South Africa to adopt the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system offered by ACTOM Protection & Control (P&C), one of the country’s leading metering systems suppliers.
After the successful completion of a three-month pilot project, which ran from May to July this year, the municipality has followed up with an order for a large-scale project involving 250 pre-paid meters, plus the accompanying control and monitoring systems.
“This is the first time that we are providing a complete metering solution to a South African municipality, as the most we have provided to municipalities prior to this were pre-paid meters and customer interface units. The Tzaneen contract consists of the complete solution available from Hexing Electrical of China, our smart metering systems principals,” said Azwitamisi Mavhungu, P&C’s Electricity Metering Engineer.
The complete solution comprises customer interface units (CIU’s), pre-paid meters, data concentrators, a master server and the AMI software. The pilot system run earlier will be integrated into the larger-scale system, bringing the total number of prepaid meters installed to 319 and the total number of data concentrators to eight.
Mavhungu said the system will greatly enhance and simplify the municipality’s ability to monitor and control the electricity usage of consumers. “Whereas with the standard prepayment meter where there is no system of communication, with the complete solution the municipality will be able from the master station to do monthly profiling of consumption per area and per consumer and can remotely switch on and off supply to consumers individually. It can also detect whenever any illegal connections are made, enabling it to immediately take whatever remedial action is necessary,” he explained.
The existing power line is used as the communication channel between the CIU at the consumer’s premises, the meter situated in the metering box and the data concentrator in the mini-sub, while a General Packet Radio System (GPRS) provides the communication between the concentrator and the master server.
ACTOM (Pty) Ltd is the largest manufacturer and distributor of electrical equipment in South Africa, employing about 6 000 people and with an annual order intake in excess of R5bn. It is a black empowered company with 33 operating units, 27 production facilities and 28 distribution centres throughout South Africa.
ACTOM partners Alstom France for environmental equipment and in serving the maintenance, upgrade and retrofit market for larger boilers, as well as for railway transport activities.
ACTOM holds exclusive distribution, technology and representation rights for Alstom Grid (formerly the Transmission business of Areva T&D) in Southern Africa and maintains management, technical and commercial links to Alstom Grid business units in Europe.
Following the acquisition by Schneider Electric of the global Distribution business of Areva T&D, the distribution, technology and representation agreements that existed between ACTOM and Areva will remain in place until such time as a new agreement has been concluded.
ACTOM formerly traded under the name Alstom South Africa and re-branded to ACTOM in September 2009.
For further information contact Brian van Rensburg, ACTOM Protection & Control
PO Box 13024, Knights 1413
Tel (011) 820-5319 Fax (011) 820-5323
Press release compiled by Julian Kraft, J Kraft Public Relations
PO Box 2826 Wilropark 1731
Tel (011) 472-6686 Fax 086-613-9657
Date: November 30, 2011
Caption: Early this year, prior to the running of the pilot project and subsequent award of the contract to P&C to provide a complete metering solution to Greater Tzaneen Municipality, senior personnel from Hexing Electrical Co Ltd visited South Africa to assist P&C in presenting to the municipality all the advantages Hexing’s AMI system has to offer. Pictured here on that occasion are Mikee Zhang (second from left), Hexing’s Regional Manager for South Africa, and colleague Jianming Fang, a System Engineer from Hexing, and P&C Electricity Metering Engineer Azwitamisi Mavhungu, with Flip Schutte (left), Technical Assistant, Projects, Greater Tzaneen Municipality.