System-wide safety certification for meter socket powered fiber-based smart grid data collectors


Vancouver, BC, Canada — (METERING.COM) — October 1, 2009 – System wide safety certifications from the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) for use of the RT-4101 Ethernet data collector in smart grid deployments that utilize fiber optic networks for data communications has been awarded to communications networks provider Tantalus Systems Corp.

The Tantalus RT-4101 is the first device of its kind to be granted a complete system safety certification incorporating an AMI-enabled electric meter collar adapter providing a fully safety certified low voltage power delivery system. These systems are used for power provisioning to externally mounted telecommunications equipment such as optical network terminals (used to connect fiber cables to homes and businesses), as well as other devices including Ethernet routers, cable routers, and UPS modules.
Deployment of the RT-4101 is underway at two municipal utilities in Tennessee – Chattanooga EPB and Pulaski Electric System. Pulaski, which helped with the design of the device and with field trials, also uses Tantalus’ wireless radio system to provide smart grid services to rural customers. Although the Tantalus network operates in both IP and RF environments, it is a single network that delivers data to a central server where it interfaces with utility software systems such as billing and outage management applications. The hybrid network provides a comprehensive coverage solution and high redundancy. It also facilitates easy migration from RF to FTTH as the utility’s fiber network expands and its communications needs evolve.
“Home run networks – which add smart grid functionality to the three core services of high-speed Internet, video and voice-over-IP communications – allow a utility to get even more value from its fiber network,” said Eric Murray, president and CEO of Tantalus.

EPB in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for example, anticipates that it can create almost $850 million in value from both communications and smart grid services through job creation, energy savings and other efficiencies.

“There is on-going debate over what will emerge as the smart grid’s communications standard of choice,” Murray added. “Utilities must prepare themselves for data requirements 10 or 20 years in the future, as millions of devices will eventually need to communicate over the network, such as smart appliances, smart thermostats, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, to name a few. That’s in addition to the tens of thousands of meters and distribution devices already in place. In receiving the system wide safety certifications for the RT-4101, Tantalus becomes the first to provide a fully proven, fully tested Ethernet-based communications module that can support these rapidly evolving needs.”