Smart prepayment metering for 50kW solar mini-grid

2020-12-28 11:48

Who, What & Where


Smart prepayment metering for 50kW solar mini-grid 

Myanmar, Asia


The Company

Shenzhen Calinmeter Co., Ltd. is based in China and we are committed to providing reliable, cost-wise, and user-friendly smart metering & revenue collection solutions to mini-grid / off-grid developers. Calin's meters are compliant with STS IEC62055, the only prepayment international standard for electricity meters. This means Calin smart prepaid meter can work independently without any connectivity and disconnect power when the credit exhausts. 


The Challenge

The project owner wants to monitor the power consumption as well as to regulate villagers' usage patterns but the geographical landscape varies much with hills and trees that obstruct the line-of-sight communication between the data gateway (DCU) and the meters.  As the village is in rural areas far from the main road, it is not cost-effective to hire vendors to distribute the recharge vouchers. At the same time, the project owner needs to collect enough cash flow to sustain development.



Metering Solution

Due to the complexity of the local landscape, the choice was to use long-range and good penetrating communication. We chose LoRa communication between meters and DCU and 4G between DCU and the back-end server. We use Rf-repeaters at gauged anchor points to relay and boost the signal. The meters are mounted upon the top of the pole to get good exposure to the communication coverage. This setup works perfectly and has got up to 99% successful meter readouts.   Our vending system is integrated with local mobile money service providers, which enables the villagers to purchase recharge tokens 24x7 with their mobile phones or from the vendors with smartphones.



Project Outcome

Calinmeter smart metering setup is now managing over 285 households and producing villagers' usage data on an hourly basis. The project owner has a continuous data profile to analyze the consumption end and thus use TOU( Time of Use) based tariff to regulate villagers' usage.  Mobile money service ensures uninterrupted vending and revenue collection.