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Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Platform Benefit Consumers and Utilities

Tue, 01/22/2008 - 6:08am


Ember, a provider of ZigBee networking systems, and Itron have teamed up to help electric utilities reduce peak load demand and home owners conserve energy by using ZigBee-enabled wireless technology.

OpenWay CENTRON smart meters serve as a gateway for Home Area Networks (HANs) of wireless devices such as ZigBee thermostats, load control devices, in-home displays, and smart appliances. The smart meters also support time-of-use pricing, load profile data and other advanced features required for "Smart Grid" initiatives, such as California’s Title 24 regulations aimed at modernizing the electric grid to reduce peak demand. These features include full two-way communication between the home and utility, a load-limiting remote disconnect and reconnect switch, positive power outage detection and restoration notification, voltage monitoring, theft detection, and the ability to reprogram the meter remotely.

OpenWay CENTRON smart meters use Ember’s chip and EmberZNet PRO networking software platform, which supports the ZigBee PRO Feature Set, to communicate ZigBee networks are self-organizing, self-healing and can operate for years on inexpensive batteries, making it easy for consumers to deploy their own energy-conserving HAN. The Ember system interfaces the HAN with load control devices, enabling utilities to efficiently manage a household’s energy consumption during peak load demands, among its many other intelligent applications. The bi-directional meter also continuously measures and displays active energy delivered to the home, letting consumers see where, when and how energy is being consumed.
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