SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif., Feb. 26, 2002 — Metering Technology Corp. (MTC), a supplier of low-cost digital meters with integrated Automated Meter Reading (AMR), today announced new additions to its product line, including the mStarà¢â€ž–AR residential electric meter, the mVision dual purpose in-home display and gateway, and mView software systems.
The mStar-AR and the mView software, a comprehensive package of applications that collect data and program the meters, comprise part of a metering system that offers new ways of collecting customer energy usage information remotely, as well as communicates electronically with utility customers via the mVision, an in-home display that allows the consumer to play an active role in managing, budgeting, and monitoring energy consumption.
The AMR solution is readily available and is being deployed throughout North America, where deregulation is calling for utilities to remain competitive by offering time-of-use meter readings and consumption-related services to their customers.
“MTC’s new offering is an advanced, power-driven solution that enables end-to-end revenue-cycle management that was designed with significant input from a cross-section of utilities. Those utilities, seeking new customer-focused strategies and retail perks in the wake of deregulation, are closer to achieving these goals with the help of MTC’s technology,” said Peter Larsson, President and CEO of MTC. “We have removed several technology obstacles that have impeded the deployment of advanced, yet simple to use digital meters with integrated AMR.”
The mStar-AR electric meter system is very scalable, ranging from meters being read via optical port to complete two-way communication networks. The mStar-AR can communicate over the existing building wiring by Powerline Carrier (PLC), by a RF communications infrastructure, or by Wide Area Network (WAN) pager communications.
It also has the option to communicate via an optical port for direct computer or hand-held reader communication, and via serial connections. This communications flexibility positions mStar-AR as the ideal meter for advanced programs, and opens a vista of opportunities for utility projects ranging from optical fiber networks and hybrid fiber coaxial, to broadband gateways. The mStar-AR can provide remote control of customer power, tariff period recording, automatic system updating, alarm monitoring, and multiple-level password protection. Another unique feature of the mStar-AR is the short hop radio frequency technology for simultaneous gas and water metering.
Depending on the communications option selected, the mStar-AR can regularly communicate with the mVision in-home gateway device, and maintains automatic communication with the utility’s host software server. The mVision provides a data bridge between numerous mStar-AR meters and the mView host software, offering a level of economic scalability new to the industry.
The mVision display unit is an inexpensive interface unit that sends utility messages to the customer about special rates, peak hours, kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage, total kWh on meter, value of kWh budget, present power consumption, present tariff period, and can alert the consumer when rates begin to climb over the allotted budget for the month, letting the consumer know to conserve energy throughout the home. mVision also displays the date, time, and temperature (at the mVision location). The mVision is an important asset to utilities, as deregulation calls for utilities to offer innovative solutions to consumers and as the need for consumer involvement with the management of energy usage increases.
MTC’s end-to-end solution includes two software programs, mView-Hostà¢â€ž- and mView-MPXà¢â€ž-. mView-Host is a comprehensive software application that has the ability to manage operation and collect data from the mStar meters. The host software sorts and filters the collected data and can export it to other applications for custom viewing or customer billing purposes. mView-MPX gives the utility company administrators the ability to create configuration profiles that field technicians will use to program and read the mStar-AR.
The mStar-AR is compliant with ANSI C12.20 for accuracy class 0.5% and other related ANSI specifications for such metrology. The meters are being demonstrated at the company’s booth at DistribuTECH 2002 Feb. 27-March 1 in Miami Beach, Fla.
MTC was founded in 1997 to design and manufacture metering solutions for the revitalized and expanding market for energy measurement solutions. Its proprietary silicon chip technology enables MTC to deliver intelligent, low-cost meters for commercial and residential needs in North America and world markets, as well as metering modules for licensing and resale. For more information on MTC and its metering products, visit the Web site at www.metertech.com.