RIO Tronics R & D for Sustainability
Smart metering manufacturers are a key to monitoring energy and carbon conservation and products’ toxicity reduction. Should they not be leaders in exemplifying this in their own products?
Committed to sustainable practices, RIO Tronics has undertaken research in cooperation with the University of California Davis, and the University of California Irvine, to quantify the toxicity of its products, and substitute its materials for safer and less toxic ones in its products-
The work has resulted in a healthier and less toxic series of products. The results are published in the Wiley publication:
Volume 9, Issue 2, pages 319–328, April 2013
It can be linked at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ieam.1384/abstract
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.”