Electric utilities and municipalities can better collect and analyze data that provides real-time actionable information with the new iConA™ Generation 4 residential electric meters from Sensus. The new generation of Sensus smart meters will enhance the ability of utilities to use data to monitor and control their infrastructure to balance supply and demand, restore service faster following outages and encourage consumers to conserve electricity.
“The Sensus Gen4 smart meters, which have been in development for three years, offer a host of innovative technologies that bring compelling new benefits to utilities and consumers in the areas of operational efficiency, safety and reliability of service,’’ said Sensus President Randy Bays.
Sensus is offering versions A and B of the Generation 4 meter. Both Generation 4 meters include a patented and patent-pending high temperature detection technology with a patented optional automatic disconnect that enables utilities to receive real-time notification of heating caused by external issues. The meters also feature design enhancements to help prevent water and other contaminants, such as insects, from entering the meter.
The Generation 4-A meter is available without any upgrade to communication network software so customers can take immediate advantage of the technology. The Generation 4-B meter requires an upgrade to the regional network interface in the communications network to enable all features.
The Generation 4-B meter is the industry’s first meter with opt-out capability, allowing utilities the flexibility to turn off and on all radio frequency (RF) transmissions remotely. It also features four channels of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C12.19 load profile data that enables multiple time-of-use rate structures.
Both versions of the meter can leverage the point-to-multipoint FlexNet™ communication system, which is uniquely capable of bringing back volumes of data from any meter. Beyond improving the data used in billing, electric utilities can use the information to help with transformer optimization and integrating distributed generation.
The Sensus FlexNet system is a long-range radio network that serves as a dedicated and secure two-way communications highway for investor owned utilities, municipalities and electric cooperatives. The network architecture requires less infrastructure and offers a lower cost of ownership than competing solutions.
Another benefit of the FlexNet system is the ability to dedicate distinct channels to specific applications, which reduces latency that can occur when multiple applications share the same channel. Delivering data faster is more than just the speed of transfer—with the FlexNet system, utilities can prioritize time-sensitive applications such as distribution automation, remote shut off and demand response.