Smart Meters

News and insights into the latest developments in smart meters technology, utility deployment plans and the use of advanced metering infrastructure to improve customer service and demand response strategies. The focus will also include trends in wireless or fixed communications such as power line carrier (PLC) or wireless ad hoc networks over Wi-Fi, wireless mesh networks, low power long-range wireless (LORA), ZigBee (low power, low data rate wireless), and Wi-SUN (Smart Utility Networks).

The Zigee alliance builds momentum

The ZigBee™ Alliance, an association of companies working together to enable wirelessly networked monitoring and control products based on an open global standard, continues to build momentum. At the Alliance’s recent Open House in Chicago in September, a record number of ZigBee products were demonstrated from member companies.

During that meeting, the Alliance also recently announced that BM Group, a leading international company in connector technology, has been admitted as a “Promoter” level member, joining Chipcon, Ember Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Honeywell, Mitsubishi Electric, Motorola, Philips and Samsung on the ZigBee Alliance Board of Directors.

New system components improve AMI performance

Distribution Control Systems Inc. (DCSI) has released system components that enable its new AMIgo™ system to manage and deliver increased numbers of two-way commands by exploiting the parallelism inherent in the electrical grid.

The TWACS® system is already able to communicate concurrently on multiple electrical phases and exploit other elements of parallelism, and the marriage of two new products – IMT-XM and MIRA – enables it to deliver increased amounts of interval data at a high rate of speed. The IMT-XM is a TWACS metering transponder that adds the ability to compute fixed block demand with 15 or 30 minute intervals.

Sucessfull pilot results in AMR deployment

Arad Technologies Ltd., based in Israel and part of the Arad Group, has completed the development of a water meter with an electromechanical register. The Interpreter is operated electronically, and has a liquid crystal display (LCD) that shows volume and instantaneous flow rate in all possible units.

A miniature electric engine operates a mechanical odometer in parallel that gives both a mechanical and a digital volume indication. The Interpreter is incorporated inside the Dialog 3G – the AMR RF transceiver unit used in all Arad Group products. It can also be installed on most existing water meters, allowing conventional water meters to be upgraded to 3G transmitting technology.

Water meter with electromechanical register

Arad Technologies Ltd., based in Israel and part of the Arad Group, has completed the development of a water meter with an electromechanical register. The Interpreter is operated electronically, and has a liquid crystal display (LCD) that shows volume and instantaneous flow rate in all possible units.

A miniature electric engine operates a mechanical odometer in parallel that gives both a mechanical and a digital volume indication. The Interpreter is incorporated inside the Dialog 3G – the AMR RF transceiver unit used in all Arad Group products. It can also be installed on most existing water meters, allowing conventional water meters to be upgraded to 3G transmitting technology.

BPL Trial for Tasmania

Aurora Energy and its telecommunications subsidiary Tastel, in partnership with Mitsubishi Electric, will trial access to broadband internet through the utility’s existing powerlines in Hobart, the capital of the state of Tasmania in Australia.

Participants in the commercial trial will be able to access broadband internet and telephone services through modems plugged into power points in residents’ homes. The trial will initially be made up of about 500 connections, and if it is successful could be expanded to 250,000 residents in Tasmania.

More smart meters deployed in Ontario

Technology provider Itron Inc. has implemented its fixed network AMR technology for Newmarket Hydro, Ontario, Canada, with the help of independent meter service company Olameter. Olameter has an agreement with Itron to provide Newmarket Hydro with data collection services.

The utility was interested in advanced metering, but wanted to avoid upfront costs and ongoing maintenance fees. Olameter provided metering services for a pilot  project, and now the company is reading electricity, gas and water meters using Itron’s Fixed Network radio system for three utilities in the region. This is the only system of its kind in Ontario to read all three types of meter using one network. The Olameter/Newmarket deployment is one of five ongoing Itron Fixed Network AMR pilot projects in Ontario.

PLC Specification to be released by year-end

OPERA (the Open PLC European Research Alliance) will publicly release a specification for powerline communications by the end of the year. The new specification covers the PHY, MAC and equipment of broadband PLC systems, making it the only open PLC standard that ensures full interoperability for PLC broadband access and inbuilding distribution systems without recourse to proprietary technologies.

Duke Energy selects LODESTAR for meter data management

Duke EnergyPeabody, MA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 27, 2006 – LODESTAR Corporation, a provider of energy software solutions, has announced that Duke Energy has licensed LODESTAR® Meter Data Management™ on an enterprise-wide basis. Duke Energy supplies, delivers and processes energy for customers in the Americas.

TXU signs deal for 400,000 BPL meters

Jim GreerDallas, TX, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 27, 2006 – TXU Electric Delivery, the regulated transmission and distribution business subsidiary of TXU Corp., announced this week that it has signed an agreement with Landis+Gyr to purchase 400,000 meters with Broadband over Power Line (BPL) capabilities in 2007.  Landis+Gyr is a manufacturer of advanced meters.
“Our contract with Landis+Gyr is a major step forward in TXU Electric Delivery’s drive to develop the nation’s first automated, smart electric grid,” said Jim Greer, Vice President, Asset Management, TXU Electric Delivery. “TXU Electric Delivery is following through on its strategy of implementing innovative technology to improve reliability, safety and customer satisfaction, as well as provide a platform for new energy management and billing options for consumers.”

Autovation 2006 – the eye of the metering storm

[Nicholas McDiarmid][October 26, 2006] It is repeatedly observed that advanced metering technology is currently in what is called the tornado phase – a pioneer phase in which a multitude of platforms and applications are available, but also in which no standards or norms prevail. If that is true, then attending this year’s Autovation 2006, the AMRA’s International Symposium, was like being at the eye of the storm.

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