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Universal meter platform supports multiple smart grid systems

Posted: 12 Sep 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart grid?

Smart meter manufacturer Elster Solutions announced that it has developed a universal meter and radio platform, the REXUniversal meter, which can operate in 900MHz RF mesh smart grid systems with no additional costs and hardware risk associated with specialized radio communication option boards.

Previously, if a utility wanted to operate one vendor's communications on another's meter, they had to have a separate proprietary communications card physically installed in the meter. By integrating interoperability into a single card containing both metrology and communications, Elster's REXUniversal meter simplifies updates to local area network (LAN) communication functionalities. It also enables operational efficiency by removing meters and physically change-out communications board for system-wide network change.

On the Elster REXUniversal metering platform, communication protocols are changed remotely to alter the device's personality, allowing it to operate natively in different network systems without requiring hardware replacement. With the ability to quickly and cost-effectively migrate endpoints to different communication systems, utilities are no longer locked in to just one network for their smart grid technology and system needs.

Elster's platform features a highly advanced radio and communications processor, capable of supporting future IEEE 802.15.4g standard and IPv6 protocols. This sophisticated technology design supports multiple vendor protocols, provides utilities with greater flexibility to change or upgrade network systems, and offers exceptional security by embedding memory directly on the chip.

Elster's REXUniversal meter design also supports additional communication modules, including but not limited to, cellular or Ethernet wide area network (WAN) interface cards, and options for local connectivity to in-home devices and gas and water meters. "This advanced integrated communication hardware sets a new industry benchmark for utility flexibility, system interoperability and risk mitigation in technology choice," said Mark Munday, president and CEO of Elster Solutions.

The company also recently announced an agreement with Landis+Gyr to complete the first integration of outside firmware on Elster's meter platform.

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