Itron has launched a new smart metering solution that features the OpenWay CENTRON 4G LTE meter, which provides broad territory coverage, low latency, and network longevity. The OpenWay smart grid solution enables utilities to deploy any combination of cellular and RF mesh communications, including 4G LTE, all under the same network management system.

According to Itron, “4G LTE communication is particularly useful for hard-to-reach locations or territories or for opt-in scenarios. Due to the low latency of the 4G LTE network, the new solution is also a good option for DA/SCADA applications or utilizing smart meters as grid sensors to monitor distribution system conditions.”

Jeff Carkhuff, Itron vice president of global solutions marketing for electricity explains, “Itron is pleased to announce its first 4G LTE smart metering solution. With this new solution, we answer our customers’ needs for fast, reliable and flexible communications. In addition, with the support of Sierra Wireless and Verizon, we are able to deliver a 4G LTE solution that is cost-effective and provides longer term investment protection by utilizing the latest wireless technology platform. With the industry’s broadest portfolio of software, communications and measurement technology, Itron has the ability to adapt our solutions to utilities’ unique needs. All with the goal of enabling our customers to operate more efficiently and create a more resourceful world.”

Verizon Enterprise Solutions managing director, energy and utilities practice Michael Brander adds: “By enabling Itron’s OpenWay CENTRON 4G LTE smart meter to run on Verizon’s 4G LTE and intelligent IP networks, we are helping to make the electric grid the smart grid of tomorrow. Collaborating with companies like Itron to enable the possibilities of the smart grid is yet another step in how the industry is moving the Internet of Things (IoT) forward.”

The solution will be commercially available by the end of the first quarter of 2015.



RF Safety Compliance and Duty Cycle for OpenWay CENTRON 4G-LTE Meters

December 2015


“BC Hydro plans to deploy the cellular solution as an alternative to offset remote area network pockets that have challenging network connections to the RF mesh network; in these cases cellular meters are a more economical solution to provide consistent and reliable performance from these locations.”

“Daily Data Reads: A read from a single phase residential cellular meter typically accounts for about 5kB or 40,960 bits per day in data transmission. Considering the worst case throughput for a connection to meter (highest daily usage), a 5kB read requires 71 time slots of transmission at 0.5 msec each. This results in 35.5 msec of actual transmission time necessary to transfer the read. BC Hydro currently plans for up to 3 reads per day (a typical maximum) which results in ~106 msec of transmission time per day for the daily reads.”

“Unlike the RF Mesh product, whose transmissions are evenly distributed throughout the day, an ICS device transmits in very discrete time windows. Therefore, rather than using the calculated duty cycle across an entire day, the duty cycle within the six minute reference period (HC requirement) is utilized to determine the level of RF exposure. The worst case scenario within a six minute time window would contain the following: one interrogation (71 messages), one status check (1 message), one connection (2 messages), one management connection (1 message), and nine additional messages for a power up or daily events and exceptions. That is a total of 84 messages for a total time of 0.042 seconds for a single phase meter.

For a polyphase meter, the payload size was increased to 15 kB. Again, accounting for payload overhead, the total messages for a polyphase meter would be 226. This results in a total transmission time per Reference Period of 0.113 seconds for polyphase meter.”



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