New smart meter software that helps utilities avoid service outages from Echelon


Varun Nagaraj,
Sr VP Product
Management and
Marketing, Echelon
San Jose, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 7, 2012 – New control operating system (COS) software has been launched by Echelon for its smart meter portfolio, enabling its smart meters and those from its Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP) meter partners to be upgraded in the field to function as multi-parameter grid sensors, in addition to serving as billing devices.

These meters separate billing data from grid power quality data – such as voltage, frequency and power factor – so that they can be read on independent time cycles. By separating these data types, the utility can collect relevant power quality information on an as-required basis, instead of collecting large volumes of billing and operational data from each meter on every read cycle. This enables the utility’s communications infrastructure and analytics applications to minimize the volume of data collected and processed, while increasing its usefulness – ultimately improving service reliability at lower cost.

“As smart grids scale to incorporate more users, more distributed generation, and other applications like street lighting and electric vehicle charging, it will become increasingly important to collect and analyze power quality information in the distribution network in near real time,” said Varun Nagaraj, senior vice president of Product Management and Marketing at Echelon. “We are pleased to be the first to offer smart meters that provide utilities the ability to access only the power quality data they need, and when they need it. This approach will simplify the ‘big data’ challenge and let the utilities improve service reliability and maximize the life of grid assets.”

The new capabilities enabled by the COS software include:

  • Improved relevance and data reduction with 4×16 channels of load profile data
  • Grid asset protection with per phase measurements at the transformer
  • Operational efficiency improvements with location services.

Additionally, Echelon has further expanded its smart meter portfolio with the introduction of the MTR 0600 series. The MTR 0600 is an affordable, modular smart meter designed for utilities in emerging markets to stage their smart grid investment, while improving reliability. Utilities can replace their existing meters with the MTR 0600 in standalone mode, and subsequently upgrade them in the field with a communications and control module that allows them to plug into the rest of the Echelon energy control networking platform. The communicating MTR 0600 serves as both an automated billing device and a grid sensor and integrates with the utility’s billing and analytics applications.