Non-technical Losses Detection: An Innovative No-Neutral Detector Device for Tampered Meters
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The increase in electric energy tariffs in conjunction with social and cultural aspects often leads electric energy consumers to tamper with electric energy meters, as a means to decrease the reading for consumed energy at their respective residencies. One form of meter tampering that is very difficult to detect is the removal of the neutral conductor, which goes on to produce an effect where the meter registers a consumption that is lower than the real consumption. The identification of this fraud is difficult due to the fact that the readings are scheduled, and as such the fraudulent consumer needs only to reconnect the neutral conductor at the time of the meter reading. This article presents a device developed for identifying and registering this type of theft, thus making it more difficult to practice. Laboratory tests and simulations have shown that the lower the power factor of an installation in low voltage, lower will be the reading registered on the meter when this type of fraud arises. This newly developed device has shown itself to be robust, with a low cost as well as efficient in performing to its proposed intent.
KeywordsNon-technical losses Meter tampering Fraud Prototype
The authors would like to thank the Federal University of Mato Grosso for their support and access to its physical space for the development of this study.
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