AMRA News – 2000 AMRA Report chronicles record-breaking deployment plans

The January 2000 AMRA Trials & Installations Report details the deployment of 14.9 million AMR units – the largest total ever in an AMRA publication, and an increase of over 8% in units scheduled for deployment compared with 1999. The report includes data about 228 ongoing or recently completed projects at 224 utilities in the Americas, Europe, India, the Middle East and Australasia.

Many utility representatives report AMR projects designed to boost competitive ability and provide services such as AMR, outage and tamper detection, load-profiling, customised billing, rate-based pricing, load management, distribution automation, and supervisory control and data acquisition.

Seventy-five utilities report 58 new installations of more than 1.2 million units and 17 new trials of nearly 16 000 units. Meanwhile, 55 utilities expanded existing AMR projects, adding about 982 000 units.

Six utilities report installations of more than 1 million units each.

Though only 14 combination electric/gas utilities report ongoing AMR projects, several are large-scale. The total of over 8.5 million units includes three new installations of about 642 000 units and four expansions comprising nearly 620 000 units. Representatives’ responses don’t indicate a technology of choice, however. Five systems use fixed-network radio, five use PLC, two use mobile radio, one uses walk-by radio and one uses a hybrid of PLC and cable technologies.

Electricity utilities report the majority of deployment activity: 147 utility project managers are conducting 135 installations of nearly 3.9 million units and 15 trials of nearly 16 000 units. The majority – 93 – rely on PLC technology, 15 use radio, ten use dial-inbound, nine use fixed-network radio, four use mobile radio, two use dial-outbound, one uses two-way telephone, one uses cable and 15 use a hybrid of communications technologies.

Eleven gas utilities are installing 1.63 million units and one is conducting a trial of 330 units. This total is bolstered by large deployments at Minnegasco Inc., which plans a 550 000-unit system, and Missouri Gas Energy, which has a 485 000-unit system. Six gas utilities are deploying AMR systems that use radio technology, two use fixed-network radio, two use mobile radio, one uses dial-inbound and one uses a combination of mobile and fixed-network radio.

Water utility listings detail 29 projects; 24 are installations of 937 000 units and four are trials of more than 11 000 units. Only three break the 50 000-unit mark: Philadelphia Water Department’s 435 000-unit mobile radio system, Milwaukee Water Works’ 155 000-unit radio and mobile radio system and the City of Aurora’s 60 000-unit radio system.

Fourteen water projects use radio technology, five use fixed-network radio, four use mobile radio, one uses PLC and three use a combination of radio technologies.