T&D World Magazine

Ambient, Itron Collaborate to Provide Automatic Near-Real Time Legacy Meter Reads

Ambient Corp. and Itron Inc. have announced development of the Ambient EDC module. The EDC module provides utilities a true, efficient path from legacy automatic meter reading (encoder receiver transmitter commonly known as "ERT") systems to more advanced smart metering.

"The possibility of leaving assets stranded without a clear road map or without a viable option for incorporating such assets into a smart grid platform has prevented many utilities from deploying smart grid technology. The new EDC module, developed with cooperation from Itron, gives utilities a critical migration path linking their legacy meters to newer advanced communications systems without stranding recently deployed assets," said John J. Joyce, president and CEO of Ambient Corp.

The EDC is an optional module integrated into Ambient's smart grid node. Strategically installed at various points along the distribution grid and always collecting data from surrounding meters, the EDC eliminates the need to drive-by each meter to collect meter reads. The EDC listens for messages from meters equipped with ERT modules and automatically collects and stores that data. The frequency of reads and amount of time the information is stored are configurable by the utility. Using the new EDC module, utilities will be able to get data periodically for near real-time meter reads, along with outage detection, instead of once-a-month or estimated reads.

Data collected by the EDC module will be transferred to the utility's meter collection software, and eventually to their billing system, as Ambient and Itron work together to complete the end-to-end process.

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