GE and Sensus collaborate on smart meter communications
July 14, 2015
GE’s Digital Energy business is working with North Carolina-based Sensus to improve the communications technology in residential electricity meters. The plan is to integrate the Sensus Flexnet communications technology into GE’s existing I-210+c electric meter.
The finished product will be aimed at electric utilities in the USA and Canada.
“This collaboration will deliver enormous benefits for the industry, including operational efficiency and reliability of service,” said Sensus vice president of marketing Greg Myers. “Extending our collaboration with GE – from commercial and industrial to residential meters – complements our own electric meter portfolio and provides more choices for our customers.”
Built on GE’s meter platform and inclusive of a Sensus Flexnet radio module, the GE I-210+c Flexnet-enabled meter will be available with and without remote disconnect. The meter is also expected to meet UL 2735 at the time of initial product availability and Measurement Canada certification within three months of availability. GE’s residential smart meters were the first in the industry to achieve the UL-safety certification in 2014.
“Creating and sustaining two-way dialogue between end users and electricity providers is critical,” said Ed Myszka, general manager for meters at Canada-based GE Digital Energy. “By leveraging Sensus Flexnet technology with our world-class I-210+c electric meter, we’re able to keep this line of communications open with one comprehensive solution. This helps electric utilities meet energy demands and quickly identify and restore power outages while allowing their end users to realise the benefits of the modern grid.”
He said that the UL-certified smart meters offered utilities an added level of confidence surrounding the safety and functionality of their metering systems. With the recent launch of its Stratus meter, Sensus will soon be the only manufacturer to offer two UL 2735 certified meters integrated with the Flexnet network.
The Flexnet system is a long-range radio network that provides a scalable and reliable communications infrastructure for smart cities. The range of the point-to-multi-point network reduces the number of access points required to capture and transmit data. Electric utilities using the network can support multiple applications that increase operational efficiency and customer engagement. The large inventory of licensed spectrum ensures that customers have the bandwidth required to support future data requirements.
An initial launch of the GE I-210+c Flexnet-enabled meter is expected this month with general availability in the second half of 2015. Sensus and GE are exploring the opportunity to extend their collaboration to include IEC meters.