Monitoring the large electricity demand in Argentina

CAMMESA, the public company responsible for the administration of the wholesale electric market in Argentina, set up the SMED System for accurately measuring the requirements of the larger electricity consumers.

To attain this, CAMMESA assigned Softron the measurement of more than 600 points in five provinces, using an innovative solution based on the Flamenco Green Box product.

The problem

In a scenario of growing energy demand close to its maximum generation capacity, Cammesa decided to improve the way it manages demand. For accurately measuring the demand of the largest consumers in Argentina, Cammesa developed the SMED System.

The challenge

The SMED System covers the largest consumers and, in order to get a complete “picture” of the demand at a given point in time, their accumulated demand must be captured at 15-minute intervals, and transmitted in synchronized mode, within the next 3 minutes. Partial measuring (yes some points and not others) or delay in receiving consumer data, makes decisions difficult.

The solution

Cammesa assigned Softron over 600 measurement points in the provinces of Córdoba, Tucumán, Santiago del Estero, Chaco and Formosa. Each measurement point has a meter that generates pulses in proportion to consumption. The gauges connect to data acquisition devices that collect and transmit the accumulated pulses generated every 15 minutes. The information of consumption from the measurement points is received and is processed at our Acquisition Center, designed to operate 24×7 with a reliability over 99.99%.

The core of the data acquisition equipment is our Flamenco Green Box. In most of the points, to transmit data cellular networks are used, whereas in areas of poor cellular coverage, satellite stations are used.

We had to install several acquisition equipment on unfavorable environments. Additionally, climate variability had to be take into account. Therefore, the electronics is protected from external agents in a standard enclosure designed for quick and easy assembly that contains, among other elements, power supply, LEDs, a backup battery that provides more than 48 hours autonomy and sensors. Alarms allow our operators to know immediately when a power failure, supply restoration or box opening occurs.

To ensure interoperability, it was implemented an effective repair service in the field, working proactively and quickly solving problems.

For several months, Softron’s team of professionals worked hard in order to provide a solution responding to the challenges.

The deployment in the field of acquisition equipment took several months, during which numerous situations had to be solved, requiring from installing external antennas (a few more than 50 meters high) to improve the level of GPRS signal (some greater lengths to 50 meters), to solving vibration problems.

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