diagramUtility mangers see long term value in eliminating manual or drive-by meter reading in favour of more automated processes, which leads to increased productivity, enhanced data capture, and improved customer service through continuous monitoring of customer demand and usage patterns.

According to Glenn Emelko, former executive director of Technology for Aclara, “utility customers demand robust solutions that offer the lowest total cost of ownership. Long life and system reliability are both essential.”

Smart decisions for smart meters – a battery technology guidance Designing a smart meter system to deliver 20+ years of maintenance free performance before replacement is a challenging process.

Usually, the manufacturer demand is focused on small and environmentally rugged power sources that provide high voltage per cell, and deliver a good cost/performance ratio. Primary batteries can provide the power required in these applications, particularly for gas meters where safety requirements exclude rechargeable solutions.

Design engineers must determine which of the battery technologies available on the market has the characteristics required by the application. There are a number of technologies to choose including zinc carbon, zinc air, alkaline, and a variety of lithium-based chemistries.

Lithium-based battery technology remains the preferred choice for long-life smart meters due to its distinguished electrochemical properties which exceeds those of all other metals.

Lithium is the lightest metal, and offers the highest specific energy and energy density of all available battery chemistries. When extremely long battery life, extended temperature range and reduced battery size and weight are important considerations, the lithium battery of choice is lithium thionyl chloride, which is available in two styles: bobbin or a spirally wound construction.

Both spirally wound and bobbin-type lithium thionyl chloride uses a non-aqueous electrolyte, resulting in relatively high impedance. Spirally wound cells reduce this impedance by increasing the surface area of the anode and the cathode. This reduce….

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