RALEIGH, NC - February 3, 2009
Sensus today announced sweeping open systems upgrades to its industry-leading licensed band FlexNet smart grid solution with the addition of IP addressability for all electric, gas, and water smart grid endpoints. The new IP solution implements secure twoway IPv4 and IPv6 addressing to utility endpoints from any utility-approved application. Sensus further announced that all existing FlexNet users have the option to upgrade to the new IP addressing on their existing networks with existing endpoints via on-air commands without the need for field visits. The IP solution will be demonstrated at the Distributech trade show in San Diego February 3-5, and production released as an optional upgrade with FlexWare release 2.0 in August 2009.
“IP-addressability is one of several strategic items on our development roadmap being readied for mass production” said Britton Sanderford., Chief Technology Officer for Sensus. “We’ve had IP designed and running for almost a year. Now that we have completed the critical, third-party assessments and endorsements of IP in relation to our overall AES-256 PKI security model for the smart grid, we are announcing the architecture” said Sanderford. “This also gave us the time to work through all the associated architectures for home area networking, demand response, distribution automation, and SCADA applications, especially where multiple protocols such as DNP3 and Zigbee may be simultaneously incorporated on the same network.”
“As utilities continue to expand their thinking beyond ANSI metering standards and focus on the day-two benefits of utilizing AMI to achieve improved customer relationships, reduced carbon footprints and protecting their investment, we believe they are going to find the Sensus IP-based FlexNet solution the product of choice.” said Bill Yeates, Sensus Executive Vice President Conservation Solutions. “The ability of existing customers to upgrade to this enhancement also demonstrates our original design criteria for FlexNet to easily adapt to evolving market demands and standards.”
Industry experts generally agree that use of open systems protocols for communication with smart grid endpoints points can speed implementation and compatibility, especially with back-end information systems.
“Some firms are talking about the Smart Grid; a few forward-looking industry leaders like Sensus are building it” noted Craig Boice, President of the Boice Dunham Group, an energy technology consulting firm based in New York City. “Open systems IP addressability is a milestone. Sensus is creating value for utilities, their customers, and their technology partners.”
Sensus is a time-tested technology and communications company providing data collection and metering solutions for water, gas and electric utilities around the world. Sensus is a transforming force for the utilities of tomorrow through its ability to help customers optimize resources, as well as to meet conservation and customer service objectives. Sensus customers rely on the Company for expert, reliable service in order to meet challenges and exceed goals.
FlexNet is the electric utility industry’s most powerful AMI solution. It meets today’s and tomorrow’s AMI requirements for ubiquity, redundancy, security, demand response, and the smart grid. FlexNet’s open systems architecture combines powerful, industry-leading two Watts of radio power with crystal clear FCC-licensed radio spectrum and the latest industry standards for communications protocols and security to maximize systems performance and minimize operational costs in both dense urban and remote rural applications. FlexNet ensures sustainability, protecting the utility infrastructure investment with uninterrupted delivery. FlexNet endpoints are equipped with the ability to accept downloadable revised code; modulations, protocols, and frequency of operation. Data rates, system bandwidth, and communications protocols can be fully upgraded as future requirements and features are developed. Sensus FlexNet further mitigates risk by using APA™ (All Paths Always) technology; this ultimate form of self-healing ensures critical messages are delivered without re-routing delay.Download PDF