T&D World Magazine

XEMEX Chooses Telit Module for Automated Meter Reading Application

Belgian AMR company XEMEX has selected one of Telit’s GSM/GPRS modules to be deployed in XEMEX’s CrediTalk Smart Meters. Telit’s GE863-Quad module will enable CrediTalk to continuously monitor data related to its customers’ energy usage as well as widen the utility company’s portfolio of services.

The GE863 module from Telit will be deployed in XEMEX’s CrediTalk units. These smart meters have been designed especially for use in facility management and building technology.

“After extensive testing of the various GSM modules, we found that the GE863-Quad from Telit matches best our technical requirements,” says Marc Coppens, CEO of XEMEX.

With the pre-paid CrediTalk application, energy companies can monitor and analyze the customers’ consumption habits. CrediTalk is attached to existing meters and provides additional functions and communication features. The GSM/GPRS-based communication system enables constant communication between the meter and a central reporting system. The GSM module assures permanent access to the users’ data without the need for additional smart cards or access codes. The CrediTalk management application allows the meter to be managed from any remote location with the highest level of reliability.

CrediTalk’s pre-payment facility enables consumers to manage their transactions from home through an online feature. Misplaced or lost electricity bills will now become a thing of the past. Consumers can use the meter’s display or visit a website to retrieve detailed information about their electricity usage, which enables them to adjust their power consumption accordingly.

“The manufacturing time and cost savings afforded by the GE863 make it ideally suited for large-volume applications such as CrediTalk developed by XEMEX,” explains Roger Dewey, president and CEO of Telit Wireless Solutions, Inc.

The GE863 is one of the world’s only GSM/GPRS modules to boast the BGA (Ball Grid Array) assembly concept. Rapid assembly is thus possible using the pick-and-place method, the same for standard SMD components. The Telit-specific features EASY GPRS and FTP made the elaborate data transfer requirements for this application simple to develop. The module measures just 41.1 mm x 31.4 mm x 3.6 mm, weighs just 9 grams, and can withstand extreme temperatures from -30° C to +80° C.

With the continuing deregulation of European gas and electricity markets, competitive pressure is growing on public utilities. The ability to access detailed information on customers’ usage habits is becoming more and more important. Public utilities are also being forced to differentiate themselves from their competitors through additional services. AMR gives these companies the opportunity to offer such services. Companies and consumers can read meters remotely and therefore measure consumption in real time. Remote reading promotes greater flexibility in responding to customers’ needs. AMR offers much more than just new sources of revenue for public utilities; it also reduces costs and makes the management of plants and equipment easier and more streamlined.

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