Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA) announced the completion of the construction of the smart meters system and the communication network for electricity meters in the State of Qatar. The project is a qualitative leap in the process of comprehensive digital transformation, in line with the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030 in development.
The project's strategic plan aims to install 600,000 smart meters powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, in cooperation with Vodafone, in terms of securing the network necessary for the system's operation and in coordination with Siemens to provide the project with an infrastructure that includes the latest technologies, devices and advanced software used to connect and integrate intelligent control systems with the basic system for billing, monitoring and instant reading from a distance to receive the data from the meter system throughout the State of Qatar.
The corporation has achieved several important and advanced steps in the process of completing this integrated project, as the rate of installing smart meters have reached 42 percent so far, and the completion rate will reach 49 percent by the end of this year 2021. According to the project plan, which is based on scientific and statistical foundations, 420,000 smart electricity meters will be installed by the end of the second quarter of 2022, and the project will be finally completed by the end of 2023.
This level of achievement in the project had a positive impact on the processes of obtaining monthly billing readings at a high rate, reaching 97 percent, in addition to the possibility of obtaining immediate readings for the final liquidation of the meter in any property in an estimated period of approximately 10 minutes. In addition to providing the ability to cut off and reconnect the electricity service remotely automatically, approximately five minutes after paying the dues of the subscriber.
The project will constitute a major step in the level of reliability between the corporation and subscribers, as the smart meters project will allow the ability to read consumption rates with extreme accuracy, and the prepayment feature will also be available, and this will give subscribers ease and smoothness in the payment processes and it should be noted that there is no difference in the tariff between the prepaid account and the postpaid account, as the tariff is the same in both cases.
Subscribers can track the status of their balance and the amount due according to the monthly consumption via the mobile application to avoid any interruption in the service. The smart meters will enable the corporation to reconnect the service for the subscriber within a short period in case of a cut-off. The meters will operate through an independent internet network dedicated for this purpose linked to the central system under the supervision of KAHRAMAA. Subscribers will not incur any costs for replacing their traditional meters and installing smart meters.
The adoption of the fully automated system will contribute to saving energy consumption, through the huge database and information that will be available to KAHRAMAA, which will enable it to accurately identify consumption patterns in the country, and use this valuable information in planning and management more effectively than before, which in turn will reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment, and the smart meters then represent an important step towards achieving the goals of sustainability and comprehensive development. In addition, reducing operational costs related to meter reading will lead to savings and reducing the carbon footprint of the State of Qatar, by shortening the mobility operations associated with the traditional meter reading.
It is worth mentioning that the smart grid equipped with these new meters is characterized by its ability to use clean energy resources and benefit from them effectively, as alternative energy sources are sources with changing production patterns from one period to another and the smart grid helps in integrating and exploiting them successfully via its high operational capabilities.
The project also allows benefiting from modern technologies to rationalize consumption by enabling subscribers to monitor their consumption, to support the objectives of the National Program for Conservation and Energy Efficiency (Tarsheed). The modern system will also help identify violations and address them as quickly as possible to ensure the safety of networks.
Cover image credit: KAHRAMAA
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