Design and Evaluation of an Electricity Theft Monitoring System on a Three Phase Meter.
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Umeme Limited, the biggest power utility company in Uganda, estimates that electricity theft costs the company millions of dollars in annual revenues. The aim of this research was to design and evaluate a power theft monitoring system on a Three Phase power meter using Umeme as a case study. The theft monitoring system benchmarked on best practices and developed using the System Development Life Cycle framework has been built to detect meter tampering at the customer side of the meter and be able to communicate to the power distribution company using GPS/GPRS network. The development process was informed by a situational analysis of the processes involved in meter tampering putting all requirements into consideration. Consequently, the pertinent functional, technical, operational and transitional requirements of the system were established delineating the roles of each system component and the detailed work flow of activities for the role. The requirement specifications provided input to the system design specification which defined the system’s functionality features, interfaces, data management and the deployment environment. The system utilized the customer data base and the Arduino electronic prototyping environment and has been able to remotely detect meter tampering from the customer side of the meter. Once detection has been done, an email notification was sent to a specific company personnel using a GPS/GPRS network. After notifying the operator that a discrepancy has occurred, the consumer data was recorded. The data included the meter number, the time the problem started and the approximate location of the customer estimated using customer data created at the point of account creation when the customer was being enrolled. When all the data has been taken, the operator is notified and the team of personnel is sent out to disconnect the customer and then penalized through following the law. The customer can then be connected back to the main supply under the authorization of the distribution company.