Cyan, the Cambridge UK wireless technology company targeting smart metering and lighting control markets, is seeing commercial progress in India and Brazil.
A consortium led by Aquameas Instrument has been chosen by Essel Utilities for the first deployment of Cyan's retrofit CyLec Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) solution in India.
Essel is part of a $2.5 billion revenue group and operates multiple private utility franchises, serving one million customers across India. Aquameas designs, manufactures and supplies electricity meters as well as water meters and other metering equipment.
After the first meeting between Essel, Aquameas and Cyan, in February, the project has moved quickly to a decision by Essel to place an initial order for a 5,000 unit CyLec AMI retrofit solution.
As part of the contract, Aquameas will manufacture and supply 5,000 retrofit modules, each containing Cyan's CyLec 865MHz RF device.
The corresponding Cyan order from Aquameas also includes the additional hardware and software required for a full AMI deployment at Essel: Cyan Data Concentrator Units, custom antennas, head end server software licences and onsite software implementation services.
The Indian power sector is heavily focused on reducing transmission and distribution losses which will support the distribution company's requirement to improve their financial health.
Smart grid technologies have been identified as a solution that could address these losses effectively. With 200 million meters currently, it is estimated that India will install 130 million smart meters by 2021.
John Cronin, executive chairman of Cyan, said: "The retrofit solution was launched only six months ago and Essel immediately recognised that they could quickly and cost effectively upgrade their existing static meters to full AMI, providing the ability to remotely read meters and eliminate power theft, through remote disconnect."
Cyan is also reporting progress in Brazil through a partnership with Nobre de la Torre to distribute Cyan smart metering solutions in Brazil.
A smart metering project using CyLec® was deployed by Nobre in March to provide functionality to existing static electricity meters in Brazil. The retrofit module is a small, self-contained unit that connects to an installed meter via an existing communications interface on the meter.
Cyan says its product provides a cost effective solution to enable utilities to upgrade from 'dumb' meters to 'smart' using Cyan's AMI communication platform. The retrofit device deployed in the pilot supports Brazil meters with the PIMA protocol, which is a communication protocol supported by several different meter manufacturer brands operating in the Brazil market.
Cyan says that the first pilot has been successful and Nobre has been able to confirm that Cyan technology can be successful in Brazil under local telecommunication law restrictions.
A second pilot using the retrofit unit has been requested to demonstrate that the consumer's power supply can be remotely connected and disconnected without having to send utility staff on site, in the event of non-payment and to also prevent fraud. The current cost of sending staff for manual disconnect/reconnect duties is a significant cost burden for utilities in Brazil.
Nobre also says that it has contracted with a Brazilian Contract Equipment Manufacturer, who will build volume orders of the new retrofit product on Nobre's behalf. Nobre expects first orders in the fourth quarter of 2014 and anticipate volume shipments in 2015.
A further pilot with a second Tier 1 Brazilian utility is planned and an update will be provided when this has been deployed by Nobre.
According to GlobalData's latest report, smart meter market revenues in Brazil will increase tenfold, from $36m in 2013 to $432m by 2020.