Seeking a solution for hard-to-reach meters for their hospital and military clients, a major California-based gas utility looked to RIOTronics. The challenge was achieving adequate transmission from ROOTS Rotary Gas Meters that were located in underground settings such as basements or vaults, and commonly set behind concrete.
RIOTronics provided a customized solution that included the installation of a longer lead wire (ranging between 30 and 100 feet) running from the gas meter’s RIO Tronics RotaRead Pulse Device to an area that allows for proper communication to the remote transmitter.
After testing the proposed solution on several meters over a period of a few months, the utility elected to install the wire and pulse device on nearly 500 inaccessible gas meters.
RIOTronics has worked with the utility company for over a decade, providing niche solutions for large scale automation projects. The company’s Energy Resource Center also utilizes RIOTronics RegistRead pulse devices for gathering building energy data, and in appliance studies at their food service equipment center.
A large Colorado utility initiated its own Smart Grid in 2005, including gas, electric, and water meters. As part of the plan for leveraging the existing AMI/AMR system to enable dynamic pricing and customer energy use feedback, the city needed retrofits for the existing ROOTS rotary meters that would facilitate reliable data integration into the central billing system.
RIO Tronics has customized over 1100 RotaRead devices to retrofit the larger consumption rotary gas meters with a digital output connecting to the city’s wireless radio transmitters, enabling capture of consumption data which then transfers directly to the billing system. For the city’s schools, the device allows for dual outputs, enabling the schools to utilize their own energy monitoring systems.
Further complimenting the new efficiencies, the RIO Tronics device utilizes a low power solid state output, increasing the time between battery change outs.
RIO Tronics has worked with this utility for several years, consistently providing solutions to niche issues within the grid. Through collaborative troubleshooting efforts the network is nearing the 100 percent mark for a totally seamless digital grid system.
RIO Tronics President Andrew Brock notes “Most projects don’t expect 100 percent. The remaining portion of issues is often too cost and time prohibitive to solve, so the utilities still have to manually read a small number of meters. But by working together down to the last few issues, we are approaching the final one percent and we realize it’s possible to achieve an absolutely flawless solution.”