T&D World Magazine

Itron and Digi International Partner to Develop Smart Grid Applications

Itron Inc. and Digi International have announced their collaboration to enable utilities to remotely monitor and control distribution automation (DA) devices using the OpenWay advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) network by Itron. The agreement further enhances the electric utility industry’s investment in OpenWay, and expands on Digi’s comprehensive family of Drop-in Networking connectivity solutions.

The combination of Digi's ConnectPort X gateway with OpenWay will allow devices like capacitor banks, reclosures and metering products to communicate. This can reduce equipment and operational costs, enabling utilities to automate and control a larger number of grid points. This will also increase reliability, efficiency and security of the electric grid and enhance the business justification for AMI deployment. The gateway technology will be built on industry standards such as distributed network protocol (DNP) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C12.22.

“Digi complements OpenWay by bridging common technology standards toward the advancement of Smart Grid adoption,” said Russ Vanos, Itron vice president of marketing. “We’re thrilled to expand Itron’s growing portfolio of Smart Grid solutions with Digi’s industry-leading expertise in device networking.”

OpenWay is an AMI solution that uses smart electricity meters and advanced two-way communication networks between the utility and each meter. OpenWay delivers operational efficiency, empowers all customers to participate in energy management and conservation, and is often the first milestone in connecting utilities to the Smart Grid.

Digi’s Drop-in Networking family includes the ConnectPort X family of gateways and Digi’s popular XBee family of radio modules. This enables the gateway to connect wirelessly to local devices using a wide variety of radio protocols including ZigBee to maximize the flexibility of Smart Grid architectures.

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