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Grinpal launches energy metering project in India
28 May 2008, Power Electronics / Power Management

Saab Grintek's integrated energy supply subsidiary, Grinpal Energy Management, has started with the installation of the first Smart Meters AMR (Automotive Meter Reading) in New Delhi, India.

The first project began in Tata, where the company is targeting 500 000 installations by 2010. Magidi said the reason it took almost two years to begin with meter installations is that they had to familiarise the Indian distributors with the PLC AMR/prepaid system.

"Negotiations started in 2005, and the agreement was signed in November 2006 with the final contract agreed upon in December 2007. "The Indian government needed clarity on the prepaid system because India uses the post paid meter system; Grinpal had to introduce the system from the beginning and also prove that the system will enable India to manage their energy wisely," says Magidi.

Grinpal will supply India with the intellectual skills necessary for the project, while Indian company EMCO takes care of the installations. "We will be working closely with EMCO to ensure that everything goes according to plan. It was also important for us to partner with a local company and ensure that the services provided are of high quality because our plan is to grow our market size in the Indian republic with this new energy saving and revenue protection mechanism," says Magidi.

The new system will display the amount of energy being used in every household across the country. Defaulters can be disconnected and reconnected remotely. The system is smart enough to detect tempering in realtime and sends an alarm to the revenue protection team. The utility can also decide to change a customer from post paid to prepaid in a matter of seconds without any physical change to the meter.

The system comes with two options of managing load: it can switch off geysers by either individuals, groups or all and the second option is to limit consumers' load per individual, group or every consumer.

In order to protect consumers from missing their payment due date, the system sends text to either the user's cellphone or the in-house display which has a built-in buzzer that switches on to notify the user when there is a message from the utility. The display is also used to warn consumers if there is going to be load shedding or a planned outage.

Grinpal plans to have every household in India and the entire Middle East on this system. The company is also working on increasing its installed base throughout homes in South Africa where the need for this system becomes ever more necessary.

"We are looking at having a long term relationship with India and other parts of the world because we believe that this system will help curb the energy crisis that is currently being faced by a lot of countries," concluded Magidi.

For more information contact Nomsa Sithole, Saab Grintek, +27 (0)12 672 8000,

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