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Monitor Energy Consumption in Real-Time

Smart Energy solutions such as Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) provide many benefits to utility companies and their customers. These include outage detection, demand response, more flexible billing cycles, remote meter control, more accurate readings, and reduction in time and money previously needed for manual data collection. Using Smart Energy solutions allows utilities to avoid outdated and expensive methods for calculating energy usage at each residence.

A power meter manufacturer who works with smaller municipalities across the U.S. wanted to offer utility companies an easy-to-implement solution for Smart Energy. To do this, the manufacturer designed an XBee® ZigBee embedded module into its residential power meters. This 2.4 GHz radio module communicates to a ConnectPort™ X gateway that services 50 to 100 power meters in a neighborhood or apartment complex. The ConnectPort X regularly communicates back to central monitoring center at the power company via an IP connection and Device Cloud by Etherios™, giving the power company accurate consumption data in real-time.

Part of Digi’s Drop-in Networking product family, the XBee, ConnectPort X and Device Cloud work together to allow utility companies to “drop-in” a customized wireless network in a cost-efficient, non-intrusive, and secure manner. This solution offers significant benefits to the utility company and customers:

  • Utility companies may monitor energy consumption in real-time
  • Significant savings in meter reading manpower, with less room for error in readings
  • Timely information—daily vs. monthly
  • Ability to remotely turn the meter on/off as residents move in or out
  • Ability to pinpoint outages and eliminate service calls—3,500 calls were avoided in one month, saving $35 per call

With Digi’s Drop-in Networking solution, the power meter manufacturer is able to offer utility companies a convenient, cost-effective way to monitor energy consumption in real-time, as well as locate outages and remotely control energy usage.

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