The UKTI invited SASIE, alongside five other UK organisations, to join a Trade Mission in Brazil to explore collaboration on Smart Grid systems. The tour included visits to six energy companies in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte. Research projects had been funded by the Brazilian energy regulator to explore smart metering, automated networks, distributed generation and community engagement. Each company had selected a suitable urban or rural area of their network area for a research study, examining the cost benefits of further investment.
‘Non Technical Losses’ was a term frequently used. In parts of Brazil, notably Rio, up to 40% of the electrical supply disappears through theft. Sophisticated systems of automated switching and consumption analysis allow the energy suppliers to identify theft and for automatic disconnection. Energy is billed monthly in Brazil to avoid debt accumulation.
“Non technical losses are an issue in Brazil. Several utilities use the lamp-posts for distribution.”
Our answer? MonoEnergy.
SASIE has developed an integrated MonoEnergy system of renewable energy, including solar PV and thermal together with a hybrid (air and ground source) heat pump. The integrated, intelligent controller and daily/seasonal storage systems provide a packaged solution for space heating, hot water and power supplies.
SASIE’s presentation of the system at the Smart Grids conference in Sao Paolo on the 20th March, 2014 was well received. Not all aspects of the system are relevant for Brazil. However, the Brazilian market is set to explode in terms of distributed generation and there are significant opportunities for sustainable energy solutions to solve the 7pm peak in power demand arising from electric showers. SASIE has been invited to explore manufacturing opportunities and collaboration with local universities and the energy company in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, which covers a network supply area equivalent to the whole of Europe. We also hope to host an exchange arrangement with Brazilian students later this year.
(photos contributed by Chris Allen, Elexon)