Miota Power Grid
A LoRaWAN® Based Online Electricity Payment Solution
The goal is straightforward. Solving inefficiencies in Indonesia's outdated electrical grid infrastructure by implementing an end-to-end IoT ecosystem while equipping consumers and power providers with an integrated monitoring and payment system, providing complete transparency and accessibility.
The company implemented the Miota Power Grid - a platform from the Miota Grid ecosystem - a LoRa-based online electricity payment solution in partnership with Muba Electric Power (MEP), a Regional Owned Enterprise located in Musi Banyuasin Regency, South Sumatra.
Miota pioneered the implementation of IoT in Indonesia, a part of the world that is not necessarily associated with technology but has many potentials. With their innovative approach, they became the first company to provide an end-to-end solution through their smart ecosystem.
With the vision to create a world-class IoT ecosystem by delivering smart valuable solutions, Miota is steadily changing the technological landscape around them.The company’s mission to accelerate societies’ transformation to smart living is one around which almost every developer in the IoT sphere can circle. After all, isn’t exactly that the whole point? To better the quality of life using technology, discovering and implementing innovations, and moving forward. Together!
The main problems for MEP that they needed Miota’s services and the implementation of a smart grid solution were bad debt & collection, electricity loss, and management control over employees and customers who may commit fraud.
Bad debt & collection has been number one problem since the very beginning (2004), and this issue has never been solved. Since MEP used a postpaid payment collection method and did not have a system to secure payments from consumers, more than 50% did not pay in time. In some extreme cases, consumers did not pay their bills for years. Furthermore, whenever the company tried to collect payments, consumers, in various ways, including violence, would come up with excuses to not pay while still unwilling to have their electricity cut off. As a result, MEP struggled, and their success rate was only around 50%.
Electricity loss occurs in various forms, and the most common one would be illegal connections where unregistered customers would consume electricity. In addition, many consumers would make direct electrical connections through the kWh meter. This causes MEP to lose electricity without generating income.
Also, geographically, the tough topographical of rural areas, spreading houses, and poor infrastructure made it worse for MEP to keep up maintenance and collection activities.
On the other hand, doing everything manually creates opportunities for employees to commit fraud due to a lack of a coherent management information system. Opportunities for fraud include employees billing the consumers, consumers paying, but the money does not get delivered to the company.
A solution was desperately needed!
RAK Product Used
Starting with one region of the Sumatra Island, Indonesia, currently, Miota is on its way to integrating 50.000 households and offices electric meters communicating directly to the power provider. This initial project is being held in a remote area, in a plantation and mining-focused region, where it is apparent that the LoRaWAN technology would be the best option to facilitate the integration ecosystem.
The ecosystem provides benefits for the two sides, i.e., the power provider and the consumers. For providers: secured cash flow, automatic payment collection, increase in revenue, and ability to track electricity consumption. While for consumers: accurate billing information, easy to pay system, and the possibility to track electricity usage.
The RAK products would be helpful as a connectivity bridge in the electricity sector precisely and in the gas and water distribution and automotive and transportation industries. (Maybe a feature project, who knows?)
For their project, Miota chose to use RAK7240 WisGate Edge Prime. Since their solution needed a reliable and flexible outdoor gateway network, this is a sensible decision. With its 8/16 channels, LTE module, and PoE, not to mention the IP65 industrial-grade enclosure and all the software perks, the device proved itself perfect for the intended purpose.
It is hard to do it all for your clients. But end-to-end solutions are becoming more and more popular and demanded. They are convenient, and the process is done by the same group of professionals who know what they are doing, which gives a sense of ease and reassurance.
Data management, analytics, and visualization system is a must to every solution. Miota’s platform for this solution gives the client the ability to manage, support, and drive real-time data insights. The generated data from the devices brings data analytics value into the picture. They use Machine Learning to classify the data and to ensure the right information is sent out back to the device for decision making.
The solution in its complete form is the building of the Miota Power Grid, an online electricity payment management system by:
Changing the system from postpaid to prepaid forces consumers to purchase electricity before consuming it. Thus, once the entire system is built, there will be no more bad debt. Since the system is equipped with a mobile app connected to the bank, consumers won't have to go through the trouble of making payments at a counter.
Smart meters are connected using LoRa to the Gateway, and the data center allows 2-way communication from the smart meters to the data center and vice versa. Thus, in addition to knowing the electricity consumption (both by the consumers and the power providers), the system can send notifications to consumers when their electricity is about to run out (after a certain threshold), and power providers can turn off the electricity flow to those consumers if they do not top-up. Therefore, there will be no more consumers who do not pay for their electricity.
Transformer monitoring is carried out to monitor the power and quality of electricity entering and leaving the transformer and knowing the balance of electricity distribution. In addition, Miota can also detect the condition of the transformer itself to reduce maintenance costs. By comparing the output of electricity from the transformers with the input of electricity consumed by customers, they can spot any potential of unregistered illegal connections or electricity theft.
An operational dashboard in central operation allows providers to carry out real-time monitoring of technical processes, business/finance, and consumer behavior in purchasing prepaid credit and electricity consumption. This entails a decision support system enabling providers to manage their electricity distribution better.
Customer mobile app is connected to mobile payments allowing consumers to purchase electricity wherever they are and get daily information related to their electricity consumption. Thus, they can manage their electricity consumption with their respective budget. A call center system prepared by Miota can receive customers' complaints 24/7. This system is also connected to the data center totrace the data of every customer who contacts the call center. The whole system uses LoRa-based connectivity, reducing connectivity costs.
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