There have been a number of critics of National Grid’s Smart Energy Solutions, or so-called Smart Grid, program. Many of them have come from outside Worcester, in some cases from outside the country. They insist that the installation of Smart Meters, which are part of NGrid’s Smart Pilot program in the city, are much more harmful than the public is being told. Among those critics is Curtis Bennett, chief science officer and inter-provincial journeyman electrician (Red Seal). He hails from Canada and reached out to Worcester Magazine to let us know that while utilities have the right to work on meters, “they cannot blanket areas with electromagnetic radiation with wireless frequencies to communicate with meters.” Bennett goes so far as to say that those subjected to this radiation are being “electrocuted.” NGrid is in the process of applying for a zoning variance to build a communications tower in the Tatnuck Square area. There have been numerous requests for delays, including the latest to reschedule a Feb. 3 meeting for March. In the meantime, city councilors have weighed in on a report delivered by Dr. Michael Hirsh, acting health commissioner. The report was roundly criticized by opponents of Smart Grid, as relying on faulty information, drawing several councilors to Hirsh’s defense.
Report on Examination of Selected Sources of Electromagnetic Fields at Selected Residences in Hastings‐on‐Hudson
November 23, 2013
. Devices Under Test
Residential AMR Electric Meters
The AMR electric energy meters of interest are manufactured by iTron. As an intentional emitter of RF energy in the industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band at 902–‐928 MHz, the model of meter has been factory tested to verify conformity with Part 15 regulations of the FCC (Title 47 of the US Code of Federal Regulations). Its test information is available from the FCC. Isotrope reviewed the test filings by referencing the FCC ID number posted on the meters.
Water Meter Transmitter
certification filings describe a pulse is transmitted approximately once every 13 seconds. The device uses frequency hopping (see sidebar above). It is designed and tested under the same Part 15 interference regulations as the AMR meters.
The cordless phone employs the DECT standard and operates in the unlicensed PCS band. DECT phones are required to comply with Part 15 interference regulations.
To evaluate the devices in situ, Isotrope made a field survey of the various emissions of concern, employing an array of electronic test equipment. Conclusions in this report include the observation that Part 15 radiated–‐ and conducted–‐emissions testing of electrical meters does not replicate actual conditions because a power cord is attached to the meter socket in the test chamber rather than simulating the installation of the meter on a meter socket connected to both the power grid secondary and the residence distribution panel. Moreover, while the conducted emissions from the meter at 915 MHz ISM frequencies in a residence was observed to be substantial, FCC Part 15 regulations limit conducted emissions testing to 30 MHz, ignoring the conducted emissions of the AMR radio signal.
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