Townhomes fighting CPS Energy’s smart meters

Eagle Ford & Energy

Townhomes fighting CPS Energy’s smart meters

Multifamily housing residents worried about effects on health, privacy

January 11, 2015 Updated: January 11, 2015 10:14pm

CPS Energy began installing smart meters in August as part of a $290 million plan to change meters for all users by 2018. But some residents don’t want the meters. Photo: Courtesy CPS Energy / ©CPS Energy

Photo: Courtesy CPS Energy

CPS Energy began installing smart meters in August as part of a $290 million plan to change meters for all users by 2018. But some residents don’t want the meters.

Smart Meter Opponents Appeal Maine High Court Decision

Smart Meter Opponents Appeal Maine High Court Decision

20 hours ago
PORTLAND, Maine – Opponents of so-called “smart meters” installed by Central Maine Power have filed an appeal with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court regarding a finding by the Maine Public Utilities Commission that the devices are safe.
Attorney Bruce McGlauflin, representing those making the appeal, calls the PUC decision unusual, with an opinion from each of the commissioners deciding the case.
“They join in an ultimate conclusion, but one of the commissioners’ findings are directly contrary, or contradictory, to the conclusion that he joins with the other commissioner,” McGlauflin says.
PUC Chairman Mark Vannoy says, while the two commissioners took different paths, they basically reached the same conclusion: that the meters don’t pose a credible threat and are therefore safe.

Attorney McGlauflin says his clients want the high court to find the PUC decision contrary to law.

Who Are the Top Ten Vendors in Smart Grid?

Who Are the Top Ten Vendors in Smart Grid?  More appropriately: Here are Your Top Ten White Collar Criminals capitalizing on human suffering and death…Sandaura

Who Are the Top Ten Vendors in Smart Grid?

GTM Research profiles the leading 150 smart grid vendors in its latest market report.

David J. Leeds
January 16, 2012

Landis+Gyr is one of the leading smart meter and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) companies in the world. The company offers a broad portfolio of networking products and services. Landis+Gyr has installed over 300 million meters (this number includes both smart meters and older equipment), with operations in 30 countries. The company was recently acquired by Toshiba for $2.3 billion in cash.

Landis+Gyr calls its networking platform Gridstream. It is capable of being deployed over a variety of channels, including dynamic radio frequency (RF) mesh, ultra-narrow-bandwidth (UNB) powerline communication (PLC), GPRS (2G/3G), 3G, and WiMAX. The company has a substantial focus on distribution automation (DA) and has launched the SCADA Center software application suite in conjunction with DC Systems. Landis+Gyr also has a partnership with broadband communication software company Grid Net to resell their software for meters, switches, and other devices in Australia and New Zealand. (Landis+Gyr has an option to expand the relationship globally.)  While RF mesh has been the most popular smart grid networking platform, Landis+Gyr’s capability to scale over various communication channels allows them to market a champion of WiMAX like Grid Net.

Recently, the company landed a grid contract for 10,000 smart meters with the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). While 10,000 may sound like a small number, the market in China has vast potential; SGCC covers 80% of the country’s mainland population. If this initial phase is a success, Landis+Gyr and Toshiba are primed to make a major impact on the Chinese market. Another recent announcement concerned a partnership with Itron, where the two companies will integrate each other’s communication technology into the other company’s advanced meters.

Primary competitors: GE, Itron, Silver Spring, Trilliant

Analyst Note: The news of Landis+Gyr being acquired by the Japanese electronics multinational Toshiba made big headlines this year, and not without reason. The acquisition was the largest out of all 226 acquisitions in cleantech in the first half of 2011; it also underscores Toshiba’s commitment to making a splash in the electric power sector, coming just a few short years after its $5.4 billion acquisition of the Westinghouse Electric Co. in 2006.

In this report, we have decided to profile Landis+Gyr, as the brand name will continue exist, and because to date, Toshiba has shown a very light touch with the business operations of its new entity.

Apart from the acquisition news, we have been very impressed by Landis+Gyr’s recent successes and product offerings over the past two years. Projects including Hydro Quebec, JAE, and Nashville Electric Service will utilize technologies in AMI, MDM, managed services, DA, and demand response/load management.

Further, the company has an advantage over several fellow vendors in that its networking platform can function over several different communication infrastructures: powerline carrier, cellular, and RF mesh. As such, the company is less dependent on which communication technology is selected by a given vendor. Landis+Gyr is also positioned at the forefront of the coming AMI/DA convergence, expanding grid communications to all critical devices on the distribution grid.



Power Line Communication Frequencies

 Power line communication (PLC) transmits by injecting signals onto household wiring and the electrical power lines. PLC is used for computer networks, wired smart meters and other purposes. There are many types of PLC systems, operating at a wide variety of frequencies. Knowing the frequency is important when investigating and mitigating problems.

Keywords: Power line communication, power line carrier, power line networking, broadband over power lines, frequency, PLC, PLT, PLN, BPL, PLC smart meter, wired smart meter

Ultra narrow band / low frequency PLC

These systems operate at frequencies below 3 kilohertz and are very limited in their transmission speed. They are mostly used for remote communication with electrical meters, including some smart meters.

These types of systems are popular for meter reading in North America as the low frequencies are not blocked by transformers, which on this continent typically serve only a few households. Examples of systems are TWACS and Turtle (TS1 and TS2).

The Turtle TS1 system operates at frequencies as low as 5 hertz.

The utilities often refer to their PLC systems as Power Line Carrier.

Examples of other uses of this frequency band:

  • the human brain (below about 40 hertz)
  • infrasound (below 20 hertz)
  • audilO sound (20 hertz to 20,000 hertz)
  • Schumann resonance (important for human health)
  • S. Navy deep-sub communication (76 hertz)
  • alternating current (50 or 60 hertz)

Narrow band PLC

Narrow band PLC operates from 3 kilohertz to about 500 kilohertz. In the United States and Asia, there are no restrictions on who can use these frequencies. In Europe, the CENELECT standard reserves some frequencies:

Band Frequencies Use
A     3 – 95 kHz Utilities / smart grid
B   95 – 125 kHz Unrestricted
C 125 – 140 kHz In-home networks
D 140 – 148.5 kHz Alarm and security
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