February Conference Focuses on Improving Overhead Distribution Reliability & Smart Grid Readiness

Improving Smart Grid readiness, overhead distribution reliability, and the emergence of predictive technologies will be the focus of an important utility conference taking place in Columbus, Ohio, February 9-11 of 2010.

The Smart Grid & Overhead Distribution Reliability Conference explores the latest reliability measures and technologies being used by utilities to prepare distribution networks for the higher standard required for Smart Grid data transmission lines. “Run-to-failure reliability strategies are incompatible with Smart Grid requirements,” declares John Lauletta, President and CEO of Exacter, Inc., the conference host. “Clean signals for data transmission are the new standard in conjunction with minimizing outage time. I think a lot of people will be surprised at the new technologies and solutions available for eliminating line interference.”

Keynote speaker Paul Feldman, Board Chairman of the Midwest ISO, will share insights on critical distribution reliability and Smart Grid preparation issues. Utility speakers will present new methods being employed across the country that are making an impact on distribution reliability. Professors from The Ohio State University who have done extensive research on how and why equipment fails will share their insights, and the conference will also explore business case scenarios for addressing SAIFI/SAIDI reduction.

“If you will be deploying Smart Grid technology, if you are looking for new ideas for reducing SAIFI/SAIDI, if you want to see the latest technologies and ideas for improving distribution reliability, this is the one conference in the utility industry you should attend,” concludes Lauletta. “It’s a conference about new ideas and new approaches for addressing the higher-reliability standards Smart Grid demands.”


Colleen Groezinger : Exacter, Inc.
7700 Rivers Edge Drive : Columbus, OH 43235
614-880-9320 : croezinger@exacterinc.com


Sensus Marks the Deployment of Four Million FlexNet SmartPoint Devices


Electric, gas, and water utilities have installed more than four million Sensus FlexNetâ„- communications systems endpoints–double the number installed last year at this time–and ten percent of President Barak Obama’s recently announced goal of deploying 40 million smart meters over the next several years.

“˜We’re experiencing the largest single grid modernization investment in U.S. history,” says Peter Mainz, President and CEO of Sensus, a technology company that provides software and hardware for all types of utilities worldwide.

Sensus is a market leader, supporting many utilities in the deployment of their individual smart grid projects over the past few years, projects that were started before the idea of stimulus funding and built around a solid business case for the utility.

“We currently have approximately 200 individual AMI smart grid deployment projects across water, electric, and gas utilities that are either on their way or that have been completed throughout the U.S. and Canada,” says Mainz. “These projects, which are being implemented by utilities ranging in size from several thousand to several million SmartPointsâ„-, are, along with hitting our four million mark, evidence of the range and scalability of our technology solution.”

The two hundred Sensus FlexNet customers represented by the four million endpoints include large Investor Owned Utilities, small municipalities, and rural electric cooperatives. “Our customers expect IP-based open standards, real-time, two way communications, interoperability, direct point-to-point connections, higher data rates and, as has been the case for years, reliability. It’s not just about meters anymore. It’s about the smart decisions utilities and customers are now making with the data that a technology-savvy infrastructure provides,” says Mainz.

Now, in the latest generation of the Sensus FlexNet system, utilities have a choice of the traditional one-way AMR system, a fixed-base system two-way communication system, or a combination of the two–which allows for the migration to the smart grid at the pace suited to the individual utility.

“One of the significant advantages of this new technology is that it enables utilities to make an easy and seamless transition to an advanced smart grid system,” says Mainz. “For example, a utility can start out with the basic walk-by or drive-by AMR system and can at any time transition to more advanced fixed-based system, gaining the functionality of a two-way fixed-base system without replacing or even visiting the endpoint. This transition is accomplished using over-the-air commands.”

FlexNet provides the utility industry’s most reliable and flexible two-way AMI fixed network. Utility customers benefit from the dependable, mission-critical performance of a dedicated, primary-use, FCC licensed and protected communications network combined with ANSI compliant metering, IP-based wide area communications, open standards home area networking, advanced smart grid products, and IP-based information systems.

Sensus delivers timely and accurate AMI communications through crystal-clear and massively redundant RF data paths with double the RF power of competing systems. This empowers utilities to communicate with a complete range of endpoint devices including smart water, gas and electric meters, intelligent home devices, and distribution automation equipment in any mix of rural and urban terrain. Forward-thinking utilities confidently choose FlexNet to provide a single-technology solution that reduces cost, mitigates technology risk, enables pricing flexibility and demand response, and improves operational efficiency.

Sensus is a time-tested technology and communications company providing data collection and metering solutions for water, gas and electric utilities around the world. Sensus is a transforming force for the utilities of tomorrow through its ability to help customers optimize resources, as well as to meet conservation and customer service objectives. Sensus customers rely on the Company for expert, reliable service in order to meet challenges and exceed goals.



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