Firelands Electric Cooperative plans to use the new eTWACS power line communications system from Aclara Technologies for its advanced metering infrastructure requirements.
Based in New London, Ohio, FEC will begin AMI deployment to replace residential, commercial and substation technology with eTWACS communications modules, receivers, meter transponders, receivers and processors by summer 2017, laying the foundation for incremental deployment of future, advanced technologies.
Aclara's advanced technology will allow utilities to collect and analyze valuable data to better serve their customers. Utilities can also implement other uses over time, like outage assessment and restoration, voltage monitoring and energy monitoring for distributed generation through net metering.
eTWACS technology dramatically increases the capacity to perform daily, interval and on-request meter reads to meet the data requirements of FEC. Data provided by Aclara's AMI system will allow the utility to better understand patterns of usage and identify programs to reduce system peaks and costs. Moreover, meters on the eTWACS system can be connected automatically, eliminating service calls.
"Our eTWACS system offers utilities the flexibility to perform outage management, load control and distribution management," said Roxy Podlogar, director of product management at Aclara. "The time it takes to retrieve a full complement of "shifted" meter data from a 5,000-meter bus, including intervals, voltages, kilowatt hours, tamper indicators, error flags and demand, is about 20 minutes."
Utilities employing eTWACS product can send and receive more data via power lines. The eTWACS protocol provides concurrent, bi-directional transmission of data simultaneously. All substation buses are read in parallel, and the protocol allows a single outbound command to retrieve data from all feeders.