GPL recording revenue loss on 50 hertz meter system

– 60 hertz does not make meters spin faster, says Dindyal
The continued use of the 50 hertz meter system is resulting in revenue loss for the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL), Chief Exec-utive Officer Bharrat Dindyal says.

However, for the company to effectively clamp down on the loss and complete its conversion exercise, it needs more money.
Many persons have complained of the conversion process, which changes the power supply from 50 hertz to 60 hertz which is used in most countries, saying it results in the speeding up of the meter, resulting in higher electricity costs.

A resident of the Albert-town area spoke to this newspaper about his concern, and requested that the power company address the issue. However, when approached with the question, Dindyal admitted that while it was a popular belief that the meter speeded up, it actually under–recorded, resulting in losses to the company rather than the consumer. He explained that meters were designed differently and while they worked on the principles of a motor, it was not exactly the same. He said they were not sensitive to frequency but rather to the amount of power being consumed. “So, if I have a 50 hertz meter and a 60 hertz supply, the meter tends to under-record. It doesn’t speed up,” he said. He explained that there was a technical explanation for this, since the mismatch resulted in a retardation of the disc.

Following a survey, Dindyal said the company had since been able to identify all those meters. “We have identified all the instances where we have the 50 hertz meter and we will change them because we are losing money,” he said.

He added that a large section of the city still had 50 hertz meters and he pointed out that while some conversions were currently being undertaken, the bulk of it required a bit more money. He said it would require as much as US$11M.

Dindyal explained that it meant too that new transformers, insulators conductors and other relevant equipment would also have to be purchased.

With regard to the use of electrical appliances, he explained that motors in some appliances would tend to spin faster if there was not compatibility and so this could lead to the burning of some meters. As such he implored persons to purchase dual frequency appliances to avoid the destruction.