Electricity reforms in China benefit meter manufacturer
The Chinese government has recently announced plans to reform the electricity industry, however, which include the introduction of price competition and the break-up of the State Power monopoly. At present State Power owns 46% of the country’s generation assets, and 90% of the total electricity supply assets. The plan is to separate most of the generation assets from the corporation, and to establish several national independent power producers. The government also intends to set up a new State Power Regulatory Commission, which will oversee the competitive electricity market.
And the policy “One household, one meter” has been implemented following reconstruction of China’s urban and rural power network, leading to a large increase in the number of residential meters in the country. This benefits organisations such as the Nanjing Sanneng Instrument Company, which was established in 1995 as a joint venture company between NK Instruments of Singapore and two Chinese companies, Patent Technology Development Company and Nanjing Jincheng Company. It specialises in the design, develop- ment, manufacture and sale of digital meters for both residential and industrial use.
The company reports that meter reading using AMR technologies is important in China in the electricity, water and gas industries, to avoid the obvious problems created by manual reads. While various communication methods are used (the Nanjing Sanneng Instrument Company itself has installed AMR systems using fibre-optic networks, telephone line networks and radio networks) most attention is being directed towards PLC installations. The widespread coverage of power lines across the country makes this option an attractive one.
However, there are technical obstacles to introducing PLC AMR, including disturbance on the power lines and the fact that the characteristics of the power lines vary from one place to another. Sanneng solved some of these problems by introducing a carrier method with higher immunity to improve the electromagnetic com-patibility of communication equipment, and by simulating maximum parameters of different disturbance and attenuation, and testing each product in the simulated environment. This has been effective, and the real-time reading success rates of the 1 million PLC AMR meters installed in China by Sanneng have reached 99.8% with an accuracy rate of 100%.