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Sagar Patil1, Gopal Pawaskar2, Kirtikumar Patil3
Final year B.Tech Student, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Walchand College of Engineering, Sangli, Maharashtra, India1 Final year B.Tech Student, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Walchand College of Engineering, Sangli, Maharashtra, India2 Final year B.Tech Student, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Walchand College of Engineering, Sangli, Maharashtra, India3
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Electrical power theft detection system is used to detect an unauthorized tapping on distribution lines. Implementation area of this system is a distribution network of electrical power supply system. Existing system is not able to identify the exact location of tapping. This system actually finds out on which electrical line there is a tapping. This is a real time system. Wireless data transmission and receiving technique is used. This will provide an additional facility of wireless meter reading with the same technique and in same cost. This will protect distribution network from power theft done by tapping, meter tampering etc.


Electrical power theft, wireless data transmission and receiving, tapping, meter tampering


T Wireless digital data transmitter
R Wireless digital data receiver
METER (M1, M2) Load side meter
METER Pole side meter
L1, L2 Single phase loads
M1, M2 Digital energy meters
P Pole based system (installed on a distribution pole)


Generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy involve many operational losses. Whereas, losses implicated in generation can be technically defined, but transmission and distribution losses cannot be precisely quantified with the sending end information. This illustrates the involvement of nontechnical parameter in transmission and distribution of electricity. Overall technical losses occur naturally and are caused because of power dissipation in transmission lines, transformers, and other power system components.
Technical losses in T&D are computed with the information about total load and the total energy bill. While technology in on the raising slopes, we should also note the increasing immoral activities. With a technical view, Power Theft is a non ignorable crime and at the same time it directly affected the economy of a nation. Electricity theft a social evil, so it has to be completely eliminated. Power consumption and losses have to be closely monitored so that the generated power is utilized in a most efficient manner. The system prevents the illegal usage of electricity. At this point of technological development the problem of illegal usage of electricity can be solved electronically without any human control .The implementation of this system will save large amount of electricity, and there by electricity will be available for more number of consumer then earlier, in highly populated country such as INDIA.


 This system would provide a simple way to detect an electrical power theft without any human interface.
 It would indicate exact zone and distribution line on which unauthorized taping is done in real time.
 It would be time saving if distribution company personnel take reading by this wireless technique.
 It would provide a digital record in case of any judicial dispute.
 To maximize the profit margin of power utility company.


A. Power Theft Detection
L1, L2 Single phase loads
M1, M2 Digital energy meters
P Pole based system (installed on a distribution pole)
Consider a distribution system [1] [2][5] shown in conceptual diagram. Two single phase loads L1 and L2 are supplied from two different phases. M1 and M2 are the energy meters that measure power consumed by these loads over a period. Pole based system (P) have been installed to detect power theft.
Load Side Energy Meter (M1, M2):
Meter is installed on load side to measure a power consumed by load over a time. Also it has an additional feature of transmitting that data to receiver using wireless technique [7].
Pole Side Energy Meter:
One energy meter is installed in a pole based system. This meter is capable to measure a power sent over each line connected to that pole.

Pole based system:

It consists of Wireless data receiver, Micro-controller, Digital energy meter. Digital energy meter will measure power sent over each line for a certain time period.
B. Wireless Meter Reading
The same data transmitter installed in a load side energy meter is used for wireless meter reading. Utility company personnel will have its data receiver.


A. Power Theft Detection
Digital energy meter (M1) will measure a consumed power by load (L1) over a period. It will send a data in proportion with consumed power to receiver with the help of wireless digital data transmitter. Receiver on the pole system will receive a data sent by transmitter in a load side meter. Receiver will send it to microcontroller. Also energy meter on pole will measure power sent over line1 and provide appropriate data to microcontroller. Now microcontroller has two readings one is power calculated on pole itself and another is power consumed by load (L1).
Suppose there is tapping done by any unauthorized person on the line to connect his appliance as shown in figure1. Over a certain period there will be difference between meter reading (M1) and pole based reading. Microcontroller will compare these two values and if the measured value on pole is more than value send by meter (M1) by some tolerance then power theft is happening on line1. This theft signal generated on pole system can be transmitted to substation by power line communication technique or by wireless technique whichever is suitable an economical.
Tolerance should be provided for losses of line. Because over a long period there will be difference in reading of meter on load side and pole side due to loss of line between pole and load. Therefore tolerance should be provided through programming of micro-controller.
B. Wireless Meter Reading
Now a day utility company personnel goes at every house to take the readings of meters for billing purpose. It will create problem when consumer is out of Town or home is locked due to other reasons. This system of wireless meter reading is based on the same principle of wireless data transmission that is used in power theft detection. Utility company personnel will have a device consists of wireless data receiver with microcontroller and display. When that device is in the range of data reception it will receive the data sent by transmitter in the load side meter. For this one counter has to be installed in the load side meter (shown in figure). It will keep a record of power consumed by load over a given time (say one month).This recorded data will be send by transmitter wirelessly. Receiving device will receive the meter reading and keep its record with consumer serial number. For this device should be in the range of transmitter. Hence, utility company personnel don’t have to check every meter. He can take reading without going to consumer’s house. This is time saving technique.


Whenever input power is passing from supplier to the receiver, at that time if the total amount of power is not received by the receiver then there is possibility of theft of energy.
ΣPsent = ΣPconsumed + Loss ……..No The
ΣPsent ≠ ΣPconsumed + Loss ……..Theft Occur
Here, Psent = Power measured by pole side energy meter
Pconsumed = Power measured by load side energy meter


To program a micro-controller to detect a power theft on one line following flowchart is used. First of all initialize ports of micro-controller as input or output as per required. Set the tolerance in program depending on the loss of line for which this system is installed. Set the delay time (say 10min) which is depending on after how much time interval system scan the line for theft detection. Take the data from wireless data receiver at preset time interval (10min). It represents power consumed by load over given time. Take the data from meter installed on pole at the same time. It will represent the power sent over that line for preset value (10min).
If power sent on line is more than power consumed by that load over a given time considering tolerance the power theft is occurring on that line. Send the signal of power theft with the line number and its area to utility company. For this wireless transmission or power line communication can be used. If power theft is not occurring on that line then again take the data after say 10min. It’s an endless program.


 Instead of using wireless data transmission technique, one can use power line communication. In power line communication data signal is modulated on power signal and sent it through a same electrical distribution network. This will reduce the cost for separate communication line.
 One can decide the resolution of this system. Due to economic consideration, instead of installing this system for each consumer utility company can install one system for one colony. Then power theft on any line in that colony will be identified by this system.


The progress in technology about electrical distribution network is a non-stop process. New things and new technology are being invented. The proposed system found to be little bit complex as far as distribution network is concerned, but it’s an automated system of theft detection. It saves time as well as help to maximize profit margin for utility company working in electrical distribution network. Utility company can keep a constant eye on its costumer.


We would like to thank our project guide Dr. D.S.More for directing and supporting us throughout this project.

Figures at a glance

Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure
Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5


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[2] Ashfaq Husain, “Electrical Power System”, 5th ed, CBS Publishers and Distributors Pvt. Ltd., 2007.
[3] M.A.O liveira and C.C. Barioni, “Technical loss calculation by distribution system segment with corrections from measurements”, Proc.20th international Conference and Exhibition on Electricity Distribution, Prague, Czech Republic, June 2009, pp. 1–4.
[4] Sunil S. Rao, “Switchgear Protection and Power Systems”, 9th ed, Khanna Publishers, 2012.
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[6] C. J. Bandim, E. R. Alves ., A. V. Pinto, F. C. Souza, M. R. B. Loureiro, C. A. Magalhges and F. Galvez-Durand, “Identification of Energy Theft and Tampered Meters Using a Central Observer Meter: A Mathematical Approach”, Transmission and distribution conference and exposition, 2003 IEEE PES, vol. 1, pp. 163-168,2003.
[7] “RWS-434N Datasheet”, Wenshing electronics co., Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan.