E-seal tags for energy meters
E-seal tags for energy meters

Nov 18, 2022

Electrical energy is the most commonly used form of energy India in domestic, commercial and industrial segments. The cost of producing electrical energy is steadily increasing year on year and in the financial year 2020, the average cost was Rs. 6.15 per KWH. Energy theft, widely spread across regions, causes heavy losses to electricity boards.

Power theft – India loses more power than any country in the world!

*According to a study by the Northeast Group, the Indian power sector loses around USD 16.2 billion due to theft every year – more than any other country in the world. The state of Maharashtra alone including Mumbai loses USD2.8 billion every year. According to estimates from the World Bank, power theft reduces India’s GDP by 1.5 % and a recent survey found that 40% of electricity consumption is unpaid and approximately one-fourth of the electricity produced is lost in transmission or is stolen.

Theft happens in various ways. Power is tapped directly from the lines at the pole often in connivance with the local worker from the power company – the most blatant form of theft. Other methods include damaged or adjusted power metering equipment to achieve under billing and evasion. The simplest and most common kind of theft is the tampering of the lead seal of the electrical energy meter. This old fashioned security depends on the steel seal on the pliers of the operator to distinguish between an authentic seal and a tampered seal.

Thankfully, high-tech has come to the rescue to prevent, detect, and address the loopholes that have enabled electricity theft all along, something the power sector so urgently requires. Today’s energy meters come with RFID seal tags that are fool proof and effective.

RFID – preventing power theft through technology

This intelligent RFID technology based seal management system can effectively address the problems of theft and pilferage. The RFID electronic seal can be applied to electricity meters, gas meters/water meters etc. In this approach, the product is assigned a systematic digital code. The product and the code are unique and the system is managed by a computer. Each seal securing a meter is checked on the computer, completely eliminating the possibility of internal/ external electricity theft at source.

The seal applies a one-time blockade that cannot be cracked open without damage. The process of sealing involves a steel wire (sealing line) and this can only be tightened once and cannot be pulled out.

After the one-key sealing, an RFID reader can be used to achieve non-contact data collection of the electronic seal into a handheld inspection device and this can be sent back to a database for inspection and analysis.

To unpack, the seal needs to be cut with a special tool for one-time use. An identification chip with a unique ID number is embedded inside the seal. This ensures the uniqueness of the seal number. The seal is printed with a highly secure unique code, set by the company.

The blend of RFID technology and 2D code helps achieve effective anti-counterfeiting. For starters, the seals cannot be forged. Secondly, inspection is reliable and inspection errors are reduced to a minimum. Also, the electrical company can achieve a completely secure management process of the power metering equipment.

The entire cycle of seal management is handled in a professional manner and each operational process from warehousing to encryption to disbursement to sealing to inspection, unsealing and verification is clearly recorded making the process highly scientific and traceable. Importantly, the product is completely green and does not contain pollutants or toxic substances. It is also easy to recycle.

Syrma SGS – a leader with a proven track record in RFID solutions

Syrma SGS Technology has a high level of expertise in RFID solutions. The company develops RFID tags, RFID readers, and software for access control monitoring, inventory management, product authentication, etc. Syrma designs, engineers, and manufactures RFID tags in clear, epoxy, glass, and molded encapsulations covering standard wavelengths (LF, HF, and UHF).

Syrma SGS has proven expertise in manufacturing communication modules, energy monitoring and asset monitoring devices. The company is enabling the Smart Meter National Program with its capabilities in manufacturing RF nodes and modules that go into the box build assembly of smart electric meters. Syrma SGS is also engaged with major players for smart water meters with IoT features incorporated. The company designs multi-protocol, custom-made, readers compatible with standard RFID tags and connects with iOS and Android devices.

Syrma SGS has been the preferred EMS partner of reputed customers for over 40 years through innovative and efficient Electronic System Design and Manufacturing. The company provides a high-mix, flexible volume precision OEM manufacturing. Syrma has proven expertise in RFID tags, cards and underlying technologies and offers OEM solutions to businesses across domains in this space. The company has proven expertise in product design, quick prototyping, PCB assembly, box build, repair & rework, and automatic tester development services. Syrma serves global OEMs in 20+ countries and has supplied several hundreds of million units to satisfied customers.