With less than one tenth of the meters left to replace, Radius is entering the final phase of Northern Europe’s largest smart metering roll-out. However, the scale of the project is not the only thing that makes it stand out. Thanks to extremely thorough preparation, it is running entirely according to plan – in relation to both time schedule, budget and safety level.
This is in large part due to the careful planning, which was part of the tender and included dedicated time for testing the many integrations across different IT systems, says Steen Hansen, Senior Manager at Radius. And this view is shared by Kamstrup, according to Henrik Mørck Mogensen, Senior Vice President:
“To be successful with a project of this magnitude is a complex and demanding task, and we are very happy with the results so far. Close cooperation and meticulous planning have been key, for us and for Radius.”
Successful turnkey approach
In 2014, when Radius put the project to tender, the company chose to define it as a turnkey delivery including installation, knowing that the enormous logistics task would be critical to the success of the roll-out.
And this approach has paid off: all the important project milestones have been met – or even exceeded, as the original goal to replace 1,500 meters a day is surpassed on good days to reach around 2,500 meters.
The scale of the project and its success so far has attracted great interest from DSOs all over the world wanting to hear about Radius’ approach. “Instead of listing specifications for our metering and communication solution, we focused on the big picture: the meter data we need to be able to meet the requirements from the world around us. And Kamstrup is actually performing better than what we specified in our contract,” says Steen Hansen.
New opportunities with big data
A very tangible advantage – and a source of significant savings – with the new meters is that they include a circuit breaker, allowing Radius to disconnect and reconnect customers remotely instead of manually on-site. But with hourly values from the first 900,000 meters already coming in, the company has also started working on utilising all the data they receive.
“The large quantities of data give us a better understanding of the load in our low-voltage grid and enable us to better identify theft, handle faults and guide our customers in case of outages so we can troubleshoot faster,” says Steen Hansen.
At the same time, more data means a great potential for grid optimisation at a time when more electric cars on the roads and solar panels on the rooftops place new demands on DSOs. It also leads to new opportunities for consumer-oriented initiatives that can contribute to evening out the consumption, which could mean big advantages for Radius in relation to future investments in the grid.
“We may be able to avoid having to increase the grid capacity or at least postpone some investments. This changes the playing field entirely,” says Steen Hansen. And Henrik Mørck Mogensen agrees:
“We see a huge potential in the use of meter data, for the individual DSO and for society as a whole. Instead of just expanding and reinforcing the grid, we can start by utilising the existing capacity better if we know more about what is going on in the cables.”