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  • Dale Rouessart

Is your business "SMART" enough?

The benefits of Archon Smart Metering

One of the most important challenges facing Municipalities in South Africa is to read meters and produce accurate bills with the least amount of administration and costs, to enable customers to pay their accounts on time. It is not always possible for meter readers to get access to a customer’s premises, thus resulting in a ‘no read’ or ‘an estimated read’. Do you have a safety net in place?

With the spiraling cost of electricity and utilities in general, it has become an essential tool to help monitor and reduce your utility spend. As well an “insurance” for when things go wrong. How can you operate in today’s society without an Archon Smart Meter?

An important benefit is that accurate meter reading and billing will restore customer confidence in the utility company and result in improved payment performance. Meter failures can be detected immediately, and the necessary maintenance and repair teams activated. Customer service will improve due to prompt reaction to failures in the distribution network. Capital and maintenance budgets can now be based on operational information from the Smart Meter systems rather than ad hoc measurements in the network.

Smart Metering is only really smart if it is carefully integrated into the distribution system to improve business processes, utility operations and particularly, customer services. Having a smart meter without the connectivity to an online system voids it being smart. Many municipalities have installed smart-meters but have not connected the smart-meter to any SCADA portal/platform.

Archon operates a SCADA system designed to collect field information for electrical and water meters, transfer it to a central computer facility, and display the information to the operator graphically or textually through electronic communication. This allows

the operator to monitor or control an entire system from a central location in real time.

Archon Smart Meters perform four vital functions:

  • Data acquisition – Getting the data to your fingertips

  • Networked data communication – Real time information to the operator

  • Data presentation – Making sense of the numbers in an easy to look at graph

  • Data control – Being able to interpret the data and put measures in place to save

These functions are performed by four kinds of system components to operate in a cohesive fashion. Firstly, we install an electronic device (Smart-Meter) that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of half an hour and communicates that information to our small computerized remote telemetry units (RTUs) deployed in the field at specific sites and locations. These RTU's then report to a SCADA master server unit and forwarded to our server at Archon which provide a human interface to the system and automatically regulate the managed system in response to sensor inputs.

There are many benefits to smart meters, and these are some of the important points.

  • Peace of mind to know your billing is correct and you are paying for what you are in fact using.

  • You receive a summary report every month which saves you time.

  • It can pick up penalty costs if any.

  • It helps to see if you are on the correct tariff by running a simulated report.

  • It will help you establish which tariff is the most cost effective.

  • It is a tool to monitor consumption.

  • It helps as evidence if there is a query of any nature.

  • It establishes if there is wasted energy like your power factor.

  • It further supports any legal problems at any stage if needed.

  • Meters are installed to make sure you are being billed correctly.

  • More accurate bills.

  • No more estimate billing, the therefore no more tedious reconciliations once an actual reading has been taken.

  • An end to the huge administration infrastructure.

  • Better understanding of your overall usage.

  • By making your energy usage more easily understood, you can make smarter decisions to save energy and money for both the customer and the municipality.

  • The future is smart, and smart meters are part of the effort to create a smart grid, which is part of providing low-carbon, efficient and reliable energy to South Africa's businesses and households.

  • Innovative energy tariffs by using the data collected on when and how businesses and households are using energy.

  • Suppliers can create more competitive time-of-use tariffs with cheaper prices for off-peak use.

  • Our meters are NERSA approved and therefore accurately calibrated.

Archon Smart Meters are able to monitor the following options and tariff structures:

  • kWh export, kvarh and kVA.

  • CT or Direct connected.

  • 300 Days of Load profiling.

  • Read without power (using replaceable battery)

  • Terminal cover removal detection switch.

  • Main cover removal detection or CT ratio programming switch.

  • Terminal cover with cut-out.

Quantities of Tariff Structures

  • 08 x Time-of-use (TOU) registers.

  • 04 x Maximum demand registers.

  • 48 x Switching times.

  • 12 x Seasons.

  • 24 x Change of season dates.

  • 32 x Exclusion dates.

  • 13 x End of billing dates.

  • 01 x Independent day of week control.

  • 01 x Daylight saving.

  • 01 x Deferred tariff.

At Archon, we are not only able to manage a network of electrical or water meters but are able to assist our customers with energy and cost saving solutions. There are many ways to deliver these corrections and this would depend on the situation.

In most cases the meter becomes an unbelievable tool to improve your electrical costs due to the electrical insight obtained from the meter reporting.

The real benefit is saving you time, administration costs and above all, “PEACE OF MIND”

Please give us a call or visit our website for more information and leave a message and we will send a consultant at your convenience to come and assess your metering needs.

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