Measuring the consumption of energy or resources has always been important to allocate the individual amount and losses in the supply chain. Therefore, meters were introduced right after the first water, gas or electricity networks started operation.
Since billing is directly coupled to the measured values, these devices have high requirements on accuracy and reliability over their entire lifespan. In most countries there are legal requirements in place to guarantee correct operation. In addition to these tough demands, the installation environment can add an additional burden to the meter.
Not all of them are installed in a quiet place inside a house. In some regions outdoor installations are common. This situation adds even more requirements: Besides resistance to water, dust, and UV light, especially a wide temperature range must be considered.
As this is already a challenging job for the electronics board and the plastic housing, particularly the battery powering the meter must deliver its energy efficiently. While very high temperatures are activating a battery and consequently increasing self-discharge and enhancing the chemical ingredients to degrade, very low temperatures are slowing down the ion mobility, causing voltage drops and reduction in power capability.
An exciting example of many tough requirements coming together is an e-meter project for Russian Locomotives. Since both industrial and household meters are usually attached to the grid for the entire lifespan and a backup battery must only cover blackouts, disconnecting is a regular operation in a locomotive. It happens every time the machine is not in operation; and so the backup battery has a tough job keeping the meter going on a regular basis, especially considering the low winter temperatures in Siberia and the hot summers in the southern regions.
To cope with this the manufacturer decided to use four Tadiran SL-860 cells in a battery. Their XOL chemistry is optimised to low and constant self-discharge even at high temperatures and guarantees a suitable stability at –40°C and even below.
By choosing this technology, the railway companies have a reliable meter powersource working for a long lifespan without unplanned outages which would be far more costly at the end than a high quality battery.
The manufacturer is well known and well reputed in the battery business: Tadiran offers more than 50 years of experience in Lithium Thionyl Chloride technology. Having its own R&D, its own process engineering and its own quality assurance it can exactly determine how its products will operate in the field and deliver and meet the
requirements. Especially in the harshest environmental conditions, Tadiran is often the first choice.
About the author
Marc Henn studied Mechatronics Engineering near Frankfurt/Main and holds a Master´s degree in Business Administration. After a longtime responsible position in the testing and certification industry, he joined Tadiran as Manager of Application Engineering in 2016.
About the company
Tadiran Batteries is a leader in the development of lithium batteries for industrial use. Tadiran Batteries are suitable where utility meters require a single long-term standalone power source even if it has to supply high pulse currents for a GSM module. Visit: https://tadiranbatteries.de/eng/