Tantalus has announced the commercial availability of the factory-integrated, TUNet-compatible Itron CENTRON II meter, equipped with Tantalus communication modules. The meter joins the full suite of Tantalus and Itron compatible products for residential and commercial applications for the municipal and cooperative public power market.
The high-performance meter will allow utilities to immediately use real-time interval meter reading, outage/restoral notification, voltage data, tamper detection and remote disconnect/reconnect functionality for residential electric customers. In addition, the new communications module can receive TUNup over-the-air firmware upgrades. This operational cost-saving feature will be used to implement reading support functionality for Itron ERT modules, providing a seamless integration between TUNet endpoints, servers, and existing billing systems. This innovation allows electric utilities to preserve their existing investments in handheld and drive by AMR infrastructure.
Garland Power & Light is one of the first utilities to deploy the new CENTRON II meter and to utilize its newly enhanced feature set. “We’ve determined that the reliability and range of features offered by the combination of CENTRON II meters with TUNet is the best fit to support our AMI pilot project, said Jonas Whitehead, Distribution Manager at Garland Power & Light. “For this pilot, our billing operations require rapid and reliable meter data collection for both remote reconnects/disconnects and billing inquiries.”
The robust, bi-directional metering capabilities of the CENTRON II will enable utilities to support advanced programs such as distributed and co-generation applications and dynamic pricing schedules. The remote service disconnect-reconnect switch includes a load sensing feature with full two-way communication, resulting in fewer trips to the field and reduced operational expense. Newly enhanced remote firmware upgrade capabilities will also reduce truck rolls and manual processes while improving system reliability and responsiveness.
In 2011, Itron and Tantalus partnered to offer a joint migration path to two-way AMI for municipal and cooperative utilities in North and Central America and the Caribbean. The companies recently announced their first joint win in Alabama at fiber-enabled Opelika Power Services. OPS joined the rapidly growing domestic and international Itron-Tantalus customer base which includes utilities like Appalachian Electric Cooperative (AEC), Piedmont Municipal Power Agency (PMPA) and Guyana Power & Light (GPL). The joint solution is designed to utilize existing infrastructure where possible to extend the value of those investments and to enable utilities to dynamically view and manage grid performance, proactively diagnose and resolve problems like outages, and automate many operational processes resulting in improved customer service.