Two-Way Communications Network for Gas Utilities Efficiently Collects and Stores Meter Data to Improve Billing and Operations

Jul 30, 2012, 15:15 ET from Aclara

CLEVELAND, July 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The new Aclara® Series 3000 family of gas-meter transponders equips its STAR® Network advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system with two-way communications capability, providing efficient, automatic, and hourly collection of time-stamped meter readings. The data provided by Series 3000 Meter Transmission Units (MTUs) eliminates estimated billing as well as errors, promotes revenue protection with real-time tamper detection, and reduces customer-service calls. Aclara is a leader in Intelligent Infrastructure solutions and part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ESE).

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Series 3000 MTUs support all residential and commercial meters as well as pulse-input devices and electronic volume correctors. The breadth of Aclara's Series 3000 family allows utilities to choose units designed to exactly match the configurations of their gas meters, thus minimizing installation hassles. Two-way communications in the current Series 3000 facilitates over-the-air configuration of devices and performance of synchronized systems reads to reconcile the difference between how much gas enters the system and billable gas consumed.

"The Series 3000 fixed-network AMI is truly on the cutting-edge," said Vaishali Sangtani, Aclara product manager responsible for the Series 3000. "Instead of relying on monthly data collection by meter readers or drive-by systems, gas utilities can take advantage of hourly interval data. By increasing the amount of meter data available to the utility by well over an order of magnitude, utilities are now empowered to make far more accurate, precise, and reliable decisions than ever before."

The Series 3000 line provides significant improvements that allow utilities to support revenue-protection efforts. The MTU can detect device tampering that involves reverse flow, tilting of the meter, index-cover adjustments, configuration changes, and the use of magnets to adjust the way meters operate.

The Series 3000 Gas MTU lithium-ion batteries are guaranteed for 20 years when operated under typical conditions involving hourly interval reads. Aclara MTUs offer accurate, consistent readings in virtually all locations, even when placed in difficult installation locations such as meter vaults and basements.  

The scalable STAR Network system is a radio-based fixed network that empowers utilities to maximize meter functionality and provide superior customer service. STAR Network MTUs transmit interval data over private, FCC-licensed 450- to 470-MHz radio frequencies that are not affected by disruptive interference. The high-performance Aclara Series 3000 Gas MTU is a third-party certified, intrinsically safe device.

About Aclara
Aclara® represents the industry's leading Intelligent Infrastructure technologies for providing device networking, data-value management, and customer communications to water, gas, and electric utilities globally. Over 500 utilities in nine countries rely on proven Aclara solutions to connect with their customers. Aclara Technologies LLC is part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ESE), St. Louis. Create Your Intelligent Infrastructure™