ENTEL - Geospatial Approach to Electricity Non-TEchnical Losses

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Image credit: GMATICS S.r.l, Project: ENTEL

The ENTEL project enables the development of an innovative service that combines information derived from satellites (Earth Observation and Meteorology) with various other information (relating to the electricity grid, the electricity supply and socio-economic elements) to improve the effectiveness of DSOs’ (Distribution System Operators) enforcement action against the electricity Non-Technical Losses (NTL).

Electricity NTL are losses associated with the amount of non-billed consumptions which mainly affects distribution and retail segment. They are mainly generated by theft of the electricity but can be also produced by other causes. ENTEL aims at identifying a set of data sources and related algorithms, with extensive use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), for the characterization of end-user sites in relation to electricity consumptions. Starting from this, ENTEL develops a model producing estimates of electricity consumptions at user premises level for identifying areas with a high risk of NTL.

Users and their needs

Electricity Non-Technical Losses are estimated of about a hundred billion USD per year globally (source: World Bank), mainly concentrated in emerging markets. In South America, DSOs report losses due to NTL of about 20-30% of the total supplied energy, but NTL are also present in Europe, ranging approximately from 2% to 20%. NTL mainly affect companies operating in the distribution and retail segments, which manage grid operations and maintenance, measure end-users’ electricity consumption and perform on-site inspections.

ENTEL enables solution for DSOs for facing NTL, and is of potential interest also for public authorities aiming at the implementation of more efficient electric systems and at reducing tariffs for paying customers.

Based on the existing cooperation relation, ENTEL has involved Italian DSOs as reference users for its implementation. DSOs cooperates in supporting the analysis of customer problems/needs, in providing insight about their operational process to counter NTL (including sharing of their internal data), in evaluating the technical results produced by the projects and, most important, in assessing the cost benefits of a possible ENTEL operational service. Starting from Italy, ENTEL will be further developed and promoted in South America and Europe.

Service/ system concept

ENTEL exploits the automated processing capabilities of Earth Observation data through Artificial Intelligence algorithms, and pay-per-use cloud services (business scaling-up). The ENTEL project proposes a combined use of HR and VHR satellite data, weather satellite data, Google services, Open data, and other geospatial data as part of an analysis and evaluation model that takes into account the electricity consumption information to provide a turnkey service at electricity customer level. The resulting application services will be characterized by high performance/price ratio.

The results consist in a characterization of neighbours and buildings in relation to their electricity consumptions, as well as probability of NTL, which will be provided, as input, to the IT department of DSOs, their operation staff and field workforce.

Image credit: GMATICS S.r.l, Project: ENTEL

Space Added Value

Currently, DSOs mainly use Earth Observation data and Geo-Information for new grid planning and management. Through ENTEL, EO data are newly exploited, in combination with electricity consumption data, for the characterization of electricity consumptions in relation to electricity NTL. The proposed service approach uses different data from EO satellites as a remote and reliable source of information, impacting on several service key points. EO satellite data, from both optical and radar sensors, provide specific added values in terms of multitemporal information to characterize customer facility and its environment. Moreover, all the EO data information is processed in a fully automatic manner in order to make possible the smart integration of the different workflow steps.

Current Status

ENTEL project started its activities in March 2020.         

Prime Contractor(s)

Status Date

Updated: 06 April 2020 - Created: 06 April 2020