the first company in Latin America to build a private 4G LTE (Long
Term Evolution) network for the energy distribution segment in
Brazil. The system will be fully operational by the end of this
month, when the last of the six towers in the Atibaia region, in São
Paulo, will start operating. The pioneering initiative is part of the
Future Energy (Energia
in Portuguese) project, which is implementing a new model of
intelligent energy grid, based on automation and innovation.
company decided for its own 4G to ensure greater reliability of data
transmission to the Operations Center. "As the equipment makes
very fast decisions in the field and the information must arrive with
agility, we need to have a secure communication technology, with high
reliability and low latency", explains Heron Fontana,
Neoenergia's Smart Grids superintendent.
executive reinforces that the first evaluations indicate that the
technology is promising for all the energy distributors of the group.
in partnership with Nokia, all the infrastructure to operate 4G,
formed by the core, network management unit, and six base radio
stations (eNodeB). It is worth mentioning that Neoenergia has
authorization from the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) to
use the 3.5 Gigahertz (GHz) frequency.
smartphones, 4G does not work as the main network for Neoenergia's
activities, but as a backhaul, infrastructure to group the data and
send them to the distributor's offices in Atibaia or Campinas. In
practice, the information recorded by the equipment, such as
reclosers and smart meters, is transmitted by two other networks -
Wi-Sun and Prime PLC - to concentrators, which have the SIM Card of
the network, such as the chip used in mobile devices. This equipment
then communicates with the company's datacenter via the LTE network.
use of the 4G network will initially benefit the 75 thousand
Neoenergia consumers, through the Elektro distributor, in the cities
of Atibaia, Bom Jesus dos Perdões and Nazaré Paulista. "It is
an innovative initiative in the sector, which guarantees performance
in critical actions and brings more quality service to the customer.
It may have several applications, such as communication between field
teams," says Fontana.
Started in November 2018, the Future Energy project should conclude, by the end of 2020, the installation of 75 thousand smart meters in the region of Atibaia. This equipment has several advantages, among them, the possibility of daily monitoring of energy consumption, allowing attitudes changing to save energy. In addition, the new meters make it easier to detect theft and fraud, reducing energy losses by up to 80%.
The initiative also included the installation of modern recloser equipment, which works with the AIR (Intelligent Network Automation) System to automatically recompose after power outages, often caused by problems such as tree falls and traffic accidents. This innovation is expected to result in a 40% reduction in the DEC (Equivalent Interruption Duration per Consumer Unit), an indicator established by the National Energy Agency (Aneel) to measure the quality of service, establishing, in hours, the perception of the time that a customer runs out of power in a period.
The smart grids installation project is a worldwide trend in the energy market, focused on security and efficiency of distribution. Neoenergia evaluates the expansion of the project to other cities in the states of São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Bahia, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Norte.
Neoenergia maintains on Fernando de Noronha island, in Pernambuco, a project also of smart grids covering 900 customers. The meters have been replaced by intelligent models and the company has a private WiMAX network, with wireless access, for data transmission, in addition to solar generation and energy storage facilities, developed from Aneel's R&D and Energy Efficiency programs, contributing to sustainability and conscious consumption.