Västerbergslagens Elnät’s new meters and system solution will ensure efficient data collection, which will provide the basis for optimised network operations, improved customer service and decision support for investments.

When Västerbergslagens (VB) Elnät originally started looking for a new metering system, it was to ensure compliance with future requirements for electricity meters. 

However, the extensive work and resources involved in implementing a complete smart grid system including 27,000 remotely read electricity meters and advanced analytics is also a strategic investment in securing the utility’s delivery quality and overall business today and in the years to come.

New meters. New possibilities
In addition to delivering hourly values, the new meters are able to measure the electricity production and voltage quality in the grid. This includes the ability to register interruptions in the electricity supply. 

At the end of the day, though, the true value of the new solution is the knowledge that the utility can extract from the data from the meters. CEO of VB Elnät AB Bo Sörberg explains: 
”To measure is to know, but meter data must be filtered and presented in the right way in order to get as much as possible out of the system.”

”In addition to meter data collection, the system will also be used to optimise network operations, increase accessibility and to provide decision support for grid investments.”

– Bo Sörberg, CEO of VB Elnät

The value of data

For VB Elnät, providing the highest possible level of customer service has always been a clear goal. The new smart metering solution will further support their ambition to excel in that area. 

”Among other things, we’ll use meter data to help our operations personnel make the right decisions in the event of interruptions and to speed up troubleshooting. And by collecting power quality parameters, we’ll be able to handle the initial analysis of disturbances reported by customers a lot faster, directly from the office,” says Bo Sörberg.

Having analytics and substation monitoring in the same system as meter reading not only enables better utilisation of the infrastructure but also opens up to more analysis options that provide detailed insight and grid transparency. 

As a result, Bo Sörberg expects a number of new possibilities for improvement and optimisation:
”In addition to meter data collection, the system will also be used to optimise network operations, increase accessibility and to provide decision support for grid investments.”

”By, for example, installing the new electricity meters in the substations, we will be able to get the necessary knowledge about capacity, load and more,”

says Bo Sörberg.

Wanted: turnkey solution and smart metering partner

In their search for a complete smart grid solution, VB Elnät specifically emphasised their need for a reliable partner who would be in for the long haul.

”Kamstrup had the best solution and best fulfilled our expectations based on the requirements we made,” says Bo Sörberg.

Today, as the project has entered its second half, both the quality of the product as well as the cooperation and project management has met all expectations. ”Our cooperation with Kamstrup has been great and they have taken full responsibility for ensuring that the project meets our demands and expectations.”

A forum for exchanging ideas 
Throughout the project, Kamstrup has facilitated several workshops with VB Elnät for key participants from both companies. 

In addition to making sure the project proceeds according to plan and that all requests, questions etc. are dealt with in a timely manner, the workshops also present an opportunity for inspiration and co-creation. 

Ultimately, this ensures that the end-result is exactly what the utility both wants and needs. Bo Sörberg explains: “Thoughts and ideas are exchanged through the workshops. It is a place where our expectations and wishes are important input to ensure that the system is developed in the way that benefits us the most.”

Preparing for future challenges

The last of the new meters are expected to be installed by the end of 2018. Looking further into the future and the challenges it will bring, Bo Sörberg predicts that VB Elnät will only benefit more from the data-based transparency provided by their new smart metering solution:

“In the future, decentralised small-scale production and charging of e.g. electric cars will become part of everyday life. To meet those needs, we will require support to properly dimension the network and make investments where they are most useful. By, for example, installing the new electricity meters in the substations, we will be able to get the necessary knowledge about capacity, load and more.”

Moreover, the software in the meters can be upgraded remotely making them easily adaptable to future requirements, which was an important feature to VB Elnät according to Bo Sörberg. 

About the project

A complete OMNIA delivery including electricity meters

  • Number of metering points: 27,000
  • Project delivery: Project management, planning, IT installation, system integration and support, installation of meters and network components, implementation and quality control of radio network
  • Installation is carried out together with Vattenfall Services Nordic AB
  • Project period: august 2016 - december 2018
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