Newsroom Blog How did Sibelga aligned its meter boards for the roll-out?
How did Sibelga aligned its meter boards for the roll-out?

How did Sibelga aligned its meter boards for the roll-out?

Discover how Sibelga, the Belgian power utility anticipated the evolution of counting environment thanks to a tailor made meter board suitable to various fixing solutions already existing.

Anticipate the roll out of smart meters

Following the European directive which encourage to head towards smart meters, power utilities face the roll-out organization of their installations. Let’s take the example of the power utility Sibelga, which developed a solution to implement this change and prepare the arrival of smart meters the best way. Not being in favor of massive and quick roll-out, the utility based at the heart of its pondering the easiness and effectiveness of intervention and cost regulations. Many options were presented to Sibelga, but it chose the solution which would guarantee an adaptation to its existing installations taking into account its specificities and future ambitions.

It faces different findings. On one hand, this approach is the opportunity to renovate its aging installations and standardise them. A global solution is necessary. On the other hand there is a diversity in existing installations regarding meters types, connection systems… The harmonization is not an easy task. 

 

Plugelec, the solution of a universal meter board

Taking into account these technical aspects, as well as financial and temporal ones, Sibelga had finally chosen to develop a universal meter board designed to receive all electrical meter, either single phase or three phases. This solution is designed for the meter board and not the meter itself. It enables to install a board compatible with old equipment, waiting for the installations of new meters.  With universal board meters, suitable for old as new meters generations, a part of the renovation can start before changing for smart meters. This kind of approach take time and this way, Sibelga can lead a roll out with steps guaranteeing the best distribution of human, financial and time resources.  

This meter board offers many advantages:

- No power outage

- Easy to install

- No risk of errors

- Easy to use

 

Electrical installations ready to receive smart meters

Thanks to the solution chosen by Sibelga, the several installations are now ready to receive the new meters.  If some of the installations have already received them, the other ones works perfectly well while waiting for some modernization. This situation gives more comfort to the company to organize the roll-out guaranteeing a qualitative service to the account holder.

The drawing below explains the steps succession necessary to smart meter installation on the universal board meter:

changement de compteur dans le cas du roll out

When the meter needs to be changed, the fitter interrupts the connection by the means of a pluggable module in order to remove the mechanical meter without no risk of errors and with no need of power outage. Once the new meter is installed, the module is removed to allow cables and meter connection.  

This easiness of intervention facilitates meters change for smart meters transition or thereafter for meters maintenance. This is even more important knowing that smart meters imply more regular changes than mechanical ones.

To resume, the whole system aims to reduce intervention time and costs.  

 

A co-development with Michaud

This solution has been the result of a three-year collaboration between Sibelga and Michaud, which was able to bring its know-how to the Belgian utility.  This project was illustrated by many two-way meetings between Belgium and France to develop a solution suitable for Belgian network and in compliance with the expectations of various stakeholders, the utility, fitters, users…