Power Losses In Power Sector
There are two components of losses in the electricity supply chain – technical and non-technical losses . Technical losses are mainly caused by internal power system itself i.e. dissipation from power system components of transmission and distribution lines, transformers and measurement systems. Factors external to the power system caused non-technical losses with electricity theft being top on the list. Others include non-payment by customers and errors in accounting and record- keeping.
Non-technical Loss By Electricity Theft & It’s Impact
Electricity theft is the criminal act of stealing electricity through illegal methods without paying for the consumed electricity tariff which results in revenue loss for the utility provider . This phenomenon is widespread worldwide and can run up to billions of dollars.
Electricity theft can also result in loss of life, property and cause fire . In cases of emergency requiring power cut-off for rescue work, the power lines might stay energized even though it has been shut off and this endangers the emergency personnel. Power lines can also become overloaded, resulting in damages toelectrical equipment and possibly cause a fire.
How Is Electricity Stolen ?
There are two main categories of electricity thieving method  as illustrated in Figure 1.0.
Power Theft Detection With Hioki CM3286-01
Hioki CM3286-01 is capable of detecting both electricity meter manipulation and direct line tapping theft method.
1. Electric meter manipulation detection
The difference in energy consumption between the expected Watts per turn versus actual Watts per turn is used to determine for any manipulation done to the meter.
2. Direct Line Tapping Detection
This method detects any current leakage from the power line (before the meter) by measuring current at the power supply. Even a low current leakage of 60mA can still be picked up by the CM3286-01. The vanishing point of leak current detected can be used to identify the location of the theft.
Data Reporting For Electricity Theft
The CM3286-01 with built-in Bluetooth function enables easy data transfer and reduce data manipulation possibility. The free GENNECT Cross software (available for iOS and Android) comes with ready to measure and report function for both illegal line tapping and meter manipulation.
There are two possible ways of illegally tapping electricity as shown in Figure 5.0. The GENNECT Cross comes with three steps measurement steps to cater for both types of cases (current leakage is not detectable for illegal tapping of both Live andNeutral wires and thus requires Step 2 and Step 3 confirmation). Figure 5. 0 showsthe location and wire types to clamp for each step measurement.
Step 1: Measure leakage current (Live & Neutral wires) on branch circuit (before the point of illegal load)
Step 2: Measure load current (Live wire only) at the Power supply side
Step 3: Measure load current (Live wire only) at the Load side (nearest to kWh meter)
The reporting for all measurement steps comes with time date, GPS location coordinates, photo insert of the meter’s measurement and measurement readings in a summary table to deter data rigging ( Figure 6.0 ).
Figure 7.0 shows a sample report of Electrical Energy Measurement for meter tampering detection. Calculation of energy in kWh is done automatically by software as the duration of data recording is recorded too. The Comparison Value percentage (the measured value vs the theoretical value per turn) exceeding 100% denotes meter tampering.
Geotagging of measurement location is another key-feature of CM3286-01 (Figure 8.0).
Hioki’s CM3286-01 is compact-sized, lightweight and equipped with multiple functions for easy detection of electricity theft anytime and anywhere. The built-in Bluetooth function together with CONNECT Cross software for report generation ensures a speedy yet credible reporting and sharing within minutes of measurement.