A wireless network that collects advanced data from solid-state commercial and industrial electric meters has received formal systems acceptance from Alabama Power Co., one of five U.S. utilities operated by Southern Company.
The completion of formal systems acceptance means that the Itron C&I Network installed at Alabama Power has met all performance criteria established by the utility. Alabama Power’s network, which was installed last year in a commercial corridor in Birmingham, Ala., is collecting 15-minute interval data from 230 commercial and industrial metering points.
“Based on the success of this project, our intention is to expand this C&I Network installation to serve a significantly larger number of commercial and industrial energy customers in the area where the network is installed,” said Derl Rhoades, Alabama Power’s principal of metering services.
The network installed at Alabama Power uses peer-to-peer radio communications to transport data from groups of solid-state meters connected to Itron External Meter Modems through a system of radio relays to a locally installed hub, which routes the data using a single dedicated phone line to the MV-90 host processor.
Rhoades said the network offers key advantages to Southern Company. By using wireless RF communications to collect the data, the network eliminates the need for telephone lines to each customer location, Rhoades said. He also said that the network’s architecture is a good fit for Southern Company’s overall C&I metering strategy. “Our philosophy at Southern Company is that all intelligence should be in the meter, and any system that doesn’t do that does not meet our approval,” Rhoades said.