Aclara’s new data collection network for AMI and smart distribution

Data collection network
Synergize is Aclara’s new data collection network that claims to increase range and bandwidth while reducing latency

Smart utility infrastructure company Aclara has launched a new data collection network to support advanced metering infrastructure systems or distribution solutions for gas, water and electric utilities.

Aclara has unveiled the Synergize as a low-cost ownership network, which builds on the Star RF protocol and point-to-multipoint architecture for gas and water utilities, said the company in a statement.

Data collection network technology

The Synergize RF electric incorporates features to meet the requirements of electric and combination utilities, increasing range and bandwidth while reducing latency.

The network operates on the FCC part 90, 450-470 MHz band, providing 6 dB better range than 900 MHz systems, delivering higher efficiency and lower costs to the utility, said Alan Connolly, president and CEO.

Mr Connolly said at 50 milliseconds, latency on the Synergize RF electric network is half that of other point-to-multipoint systems and less than the latencies of mesh systems.

The Synergize RF system also claims to deliver read rates of up to 228 kbps compared to 128 kbps for other point-to-point systems and 38.4 kbps for mesh networks, optimizing capital and operating savings.

When it comes to ownership costs, over a 15-year period the Synergize RF electric network is estimated to be approximately 35% less than mesh systems.

In addition to offering a RF network, Synergize brings together all the elements of Aclara’s product offerings, including its Metrum Cellular LTE and TWACS power line communications solutions.

All of these communications technologies are controlled through Aclara’s iDEAS single headend platform for AMI and smart distribution.

Water metering technology

The launch follows news in late August that Aclara has acquired part of the market that has opened up for water metering and leak detection technology in drought-hit California.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is one of the largest utilities in California to install Aclara’s STAR network for reading meters hourly.

The data collected from the city’s 180,000 meters by Aclara’s two-way fixed network feeds into an online customers usage service.

Aclara also generates a report that allows the utility to identify customers who may have leaks inside their homes.