Wireless AMR for new range of meters

Iskraemeco, a leading manufacturer of automatic metering devices, has selected Wavecom technology for use in several of its newest automatic  electricity meter reading projects. Wavecom’s wireless solutions will be integrated into Iskraemeco’s most advanced electricity meters and other telemetry devices. These meters  are targeted at deregulated energy markets and are intended for residential, commercial and industrial applications. The wireless capability provided by the Wavecom module Q2406B enables the meters to be read automatically via wireless network carriers – a preferred solution for many utility companies operating in newly deregulated markets.

Nationwide AMR network coverage

Advanced Metering Data Systems, a US-based company providing AMR technology and wireless monitoring services to electricity, water and gas utilities, has secured 652 MAS(multiple address system) exclusive-use radio spectrum licences in the recent Federal Communications Commission spectrum auction. This means that the company now owns exclusive-use spectrum for the entire United States, except for four cities.

K-type meter upgrades

 

Figure 1

Brooks Utility Products Group has developed a line of low profile K4 and K7 conversion kits and accessories, allowing for modern upgrades. K-Type meters were practical when utilities had 400 and 600 amp metering, but did not want the additional equipment required to use socket-style meters. This provided little flexibility for meter upgrades, new services and main-tenance, however, and the K-Base conversion products have been introduced to solve these problems.

The new products are designed to convert K-Base enclosures to accept socket-type meters, allowing utilities to switch to new metering technology such as AMR, to eliminate shop and on-site K-Type meter testing and reduce inventory costs. They include the low profile K4 and K7 conversion adapters, K7 to current transformer kit, K4 and K7 safety shield, K7 safety jumper and K-Base socket cover gasket.

Evaluating the benefits of AMR

The City of Seattle, Washington has engaged Plexus Research, Inc. to help it select meter reading technology and develop a comprehensive business analysis of its performance. 

The South Lake Union and Denny Triangle areas (SLU/DT) near downtown Seattle are undergoing extensive redevelopment with new residential, commercial and light industrial facilities. Seattle’s public utilities will install up to 20,000 new electricity and water services. The City’s meter reading staff is already working at maximum capacity, so this affords a superb opportunity to install and evaluate advanced metering and automated meter reading (AMR) technologies. New AMR systems can cost less than manual meter reading, enable better customer service, and support more efficient management of electric and water distribution.

Seattle City Light is a progressive, publicly-owned electricity utility serving approximately 385,000 customers, while Seattle Public Utilities serves over 1.3 million water customers. The two municipal utilities of Seattle are collaborating in this AMR acquisition for SLU/DT.

A competitive solicitation for procurement of up to 2,000 AMR-equipped water and electricity meters will be released to qualified suppliers in mid 2005. The meters will be integrated immediately into the mainstream operations of Seattle’s utilities. Plexus Research will support Seattle in conducting a detailed business analysis of the costs and benefits of the AMR.

IEC catalogue of publications 2005

The IEC catalogue has once again been improved, and now offers a Favourites list. The Catalogue on CD-ROM provides users with an ideal tool for consulting the entire bibliographical information on international standards, specifications, reports and other documents. The search functions on the CD-ROM are identical to those on the IEC web site, allowing users to do text searches as well as searches by publication references, dates, technical committees and ICS codes. It is also possible to look for IEC publications in French.

Once the programme is installed on a computer, its database can be updated via HTTP or FTP with new bibliographical data every two weeks. It also gives links to all NCs and NC-appointed sales outlets, as well as the IEC web site. Every time you update the database you will be notified if a new publication has been published or if any of the publications selected have been modified.

Intelligent meters for domestic demand management

The Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) task force has recently released the preliminary results of its deliberations, which provides an easy-to-understand and readable overview of the technology. The task force examined BPL issues within three broad areas – technology, security and regulatory. It will continue to remain engaged with industry stakeholders and customers in the coming year as it looks to optimise the benefits of the technology for the public. Specifically the task force expects to continue to monitor the ongoing pilot programmes and commercial deployments taking place in the US, and to focus on emerging regulatory issues – possibly even formulating a best practices guide for state regulators.

Copies of the report can be downloaded from NARUC’s web site.

BPL task force releases first report

The Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) task force commissioned by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) has recently released the preliminary results of its deliberations, which provides an easy-to-understand and readable overview of the technology.

The task force examined BPL issues within three broad areas – technology, security and regulatory. It will continue to remain engaged with industry stakeholders and customers in the coming year as it looks to optimise the benefits of the technology for the public. Specifically the task force expects to continue to monitor the ongoing pilot programmes and commercial deployments taking place in the US, and to focus on emerging regulatory issues – possibly even formulating a best practices guide for state regulators.

Copies of the report can be downloaded from NARUC’s web site.

Kazakhstan joins the IEC

The country of Kazakhstan, in central Asia, has progressed from being a participant in the IEC's Affiliate Country Programme to its new status as Associate Member. This brings the IECs total membership to 63 countries.

The move gives Kazakhstan the right to participate in all technical meetings, and in the Council and SMB meetings held within the framework of the IEC annual general meeting. It also has access rights and can comment on all IEC technical documents, and can ask to become a participating member on a maximum of four technical committees.

The Affiliate Country Programme, created in 2001, offers newly-industrialising countries a form of participation in the IEC without the financial burden of actual membership.

Getting the best out of your RP programme

 

 

IURPA

Since taking over the chair of the International Utilities Revenue Protection Association (IURPA) Ive had the opportunity to attend a variety of training conferences and industry seminars, and to provide industry professionals with information through forums such as Metering International.

Revenue protection in the Australian utility industry

 

 

AURPA

Deregulation and privatisation of electrcity utilities leading to full retail competition (FRC) in the southern states of Australia in the late 1990s and early 2000s has exposed networks and retailers to greater areas of revenue loss than before. To prepare for FRC, the industry went through a period of downsizing and centralisation of all functions, which resulted in an exodus of experienced personnel. Further, meter providers, data agencies, networks and retailers are all ring-fenced from each other and each has its own data, billing and information systems.

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