PITTSBURGH, PA - October 12, 2006
The FlexNet Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system, released onto the market just a year ago by Sensus Metering Systems, already offers two new enhancements designed to heighten AMI functionality for electric utility companies.
FlexNet is a radio frequency, fixed network utility metering system designed to increase meter reading efficiency, reduce overhead costs, and enhance customer service. Its two-way and one-way fixed based monitoring provides up to 300 square miles of coverage, depending on terrain, from one network tower. The patented technology allows for Internet Protocol configuration of the network and meter endpoints, as needed. In addition, the system is designed to be scalable to accommodate growth as a utility expands the meter deployments throughout its service territory.
Now, a new hot socket detection feature is made possible by the use of a built-in internal temperature sensor. This feature directly addresses safety and customer service issues. When an electricity meter overheats, it can sometimes melt and shut down the meter. The hot socket warning offers protection for the utility company by alerting them about the dangerous situation in real time. The utility can then respond to the situation as it occurs improving customer satisfaction.
In addition to hot socket detection, a meter location feature has also been added to the FlexNet system functionality. This allows for a meter to be tracked when it has been moved from its original location in the field. The FlexNet system uses a poll command to determine position and signal strength of the meter relative to other nearby meters of known location, enabling the system to identify the location of the misplaced meter.
Both enhancements are designed to work on a FlexNet system that incorporates Sensus’ solid-state electricity iCon meters. “The bottom line is this, FlexNet is already a great solution for utilities, but with these new features integrated into the Sensus iCon™ meter, a utility will offer its customers the highest level of productivity, accuracy and service available in the metering industry,” said Marc Reed, Director of Communications Technology at Sensus.
More about FlexNet
The FlexNet system’s two-way features include demand reads, kWh and actual voltage measurements, programmable read interval, low-voltage and breaker re-closure warnings, outage and restoration notification, as well as on demand meter functions that are accessible from the Internet. Additional benefits include remote meter disconnect/reconnect, 15-minute interval data, real-time clock calibration for top-of-the-hour reads, TOU billing and consumption correlation, energy management programs, text and rate change notification, load shed and restore, and real-time data for management and billing. The FlexNet system also offers integrated gas and water modules for multiple utility applications.
Because the FlexNet system is a self-sustained, tower-based AMI network, there is no need for additional fixed network equipment piggy-backed onto the utility distribution system. This solution eliminates the need to have electric company staff involved in the network deployment process.
About Sensus Metering Systems
The Sensus Metering Systems companies are leading world-class providers of water, gas, heat and electric meters including comprehensive metering communications system solutions that comprise both automatic meter reading (“AMR”) and advanced metering infrastructure (“AMI”) systems. Additional linked businesses include Smith-Blair, Inc. a leading provider of pipe clamp & coupling products for the water, gas, and industrial markets; and Sensus Precision Die Casting a producer of complex, high quality die castings.