Published on Jun 05, 2023


Power line communication (PLC) presents an interesting and economical solution for Automatic Meter Reading (AMR). If an AMR system via PLC is set in a power delivery system, a detection system for illegal electricity usage may be easily added in the existing PLC network. In the detection system, the second digitally energy meter chip is used and the value of energy is stored.

The recorded energy is compared with the value at the main kilo Watt-hour meter. In the case of the difference between two recorded energy data, an error signal is generated and transmitted via PLC network. The detector and control system is proposed. The architecture of the system and their critical components are given. The measurement results are given.

Description of Power Line Communication

This paper describes detector system for illegal electricity usage using the power lines based on the research work-taking place at the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), Bangalore. The target of this study is to discover new and possible solutions for this problem.

India, the largest democracy with an estimated population of about 1.04 billion, is on a road to rapid growth in economy. Energy, particularly electricity, is a key input for accelerating economic growth. The theft of electricity is a criminal offence and power utilities are losing billions of rupees in this account. If an Automatic Meter Reading system via Power line Communication is set in a power delivery system, a detection system for illegal electricity usage is possible .

Power line communications (PLC) has many new service possibilities on the data transferring via power lines without use of extra cables. Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) is a very important application in these possibilities due to every user connected each other via modems, using power lines. AMR is a technique to facilitate remote readings of energy consumption.

The following sections will describe the proposed detection and control system for illegal electricity usage using the power lines. The scheme is based on the research work-taking place at “Central Power Research Unit (CPRI), Bangalore ”.In this section the discussion is on how a subscriber can illegally use the electricity and the basic building blocks for the detection using power line communication.

Methods of illegal electricity usage:

In illegal usage a subscriber illegally use electricity in the following ways,

1) Using the mechanical objects: A subscriber can use some mechanical objects to prevent the revolution of a meter, so that disk speed is reduced and the recorded energy is also reduced.

2) Using a fixed magnet: A subscriber can use a fixed magnet to change the electromagnetic field of the current coils. As is well known, the recorded energy is proportional to electromagnetic field.

3) Using the external phase before meter terminals: This method gives subscribers free energy without any record.

4) Switching the energy cables at the meter connector box: In this way, the current does not pass through the current coil of the meter, so the meter does not record the energy consumption.

Although all of the methods explained above may be valid for electromechanical meters, only the last two methods are valid for digital meters. Therefore, this problem should be solved by electronics and control techniques .