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Home>Topics>>STAR Network AMI System

STAR Network AMI System

Thu, 7 Feb 2013|

Aclara's STAR Network AMI system is ideal for collecting and monitoring customer usage data, helping water utilities save millions of gallons of water while overcoming the critical challenges they face in efficiently managing their water systems.



[MUSIC] As the demand for our planet's most critical resource continues to grow. Water utilities are taking the lead in implementing new technology, to manage their systems more efficiently, and engage customers in conservation practices that will ensure an adequate water supply for generations to come. To this end. Utilities deploy the Aclara STAR network water system more often than any other AMI system available because it is a leader in proven solutions. For improved utility performance and responsible water management. Aclara's robust STAR network AMI system is the ideal solution for collecting and managing customer usage data. The fixed, flexible, and scalable Star Network technology has helped water utilities save millions of gallons of water. While overcoming the critical challenges they face. Efficiently planning, managing, and operating their water systems. The Star Network offers one-way communication systems to deliver secure accurate meter data to the utility. Twice a day and two-way communication systems that deliver hourly metering data four times per day with more robust functionality. These systems provide solutions that go way beyond those offered by simple automated meter reading systems. To make this possible, STAR's AMI Radio Topology consists of three components. The meter transmission unit reads the data from the meter and transmits it to the data collector unit which collects all of the data and sends it to the network control computer which provides software for multiple advanced metering infrastructure application. Utility networks are quite diverse with many different meter manufacturers. And meter types out in the field. The Aclara Meter Transmission Unit, of MTU, connects to all major manufacturers. And is available as a single port unit or a dual port unit for compound meters with two registers. THe MTU automatically and accurately reads meter data and transmits it to a data collector unit, or DCU, via a low power FCC licensed channel, in the 450 to 470 megahertz range, at regularly scheduled intervals, without disrupted interference. One MTU transmission burst lasts only 70 milliseconds, which is less time than the blink of the eye. These microbursts are reliably transmitted from the MTU to a DCU. Most utilities set their systems for four transmissions each day, so in one calendar year, the transmission time would accumulate to less than two minutes. And each transmission includes the twelve most recent readings at four daily uploads. The star network MTU is a reliable and energy efficient radio transmitter with a twenty year permanent battery that is capable of transmitting data reliably from the most. Challenging water meter installation locations. Retrofit installations in basements and in pits is quick and efficient In the process of collecting and transmitting meter data, data collector units, or DCUs, are installed throughout the service territory on a wide variety of assets, including municipal and utility building roofs, water or other towers. Street lights and utility poles. The DCU utilizes a redundant and robust network design, providing a spatial diversity of radial receivers, so that if one collector misses a transmission, a neighboring data collector will capture the data. The system requires no repeats, buddy boxes, or other hops to complete a transmission to a DCU. DCUs are self contained battery powered, and recharged via an AC line connection or solar panel. The solar panel option freeze utilities from negotiating power contracts from each. Take/g-out point, saving time and money. They are typically installed on a half-mile to one mile grid. One Star DCU will support several thousand meters in a typical urban area. DCU's decode and error check the received data before storing it in local memory. The data is then sent back to the utility using a wide variety of backhaul communication technologies. From the DCU, the data is sent to the system's network control computer. Or NCC software, which uses a web browser-based interface for mission critical advanced metering infrastructure applications. Such as customer service, billing, accounting; reporting and maintenance. Star Network's One-Way Communication System delivers accurate, reliable and secure meter data to the utility, twice a day. This provides accurate billing information, improved customer service, and revenue protection. One way communication systems are ideal for simple, accurate meter reads. The two way communication system provides a reading of system water consumption at a single point in time. Today, most utilities are opting for two-way communication to use the collected data for more than billing information. These customers gain the full benefit of the Star AMI technology by capturing hourly meter data and transmitting it four times per day with all meter reads time stamped. And system flux synchronized to within 1 minute. Time stamped meter reads provide utilities and regulators with the ability to set structured rate plans billing customers not only for th water they use but for when it is used. A network wide reading can be used to compare system input volume to measured consumption quantifying non-revenue distribution system loses. This singluar reading reconciles the system data, and provides information on the magnitude of all system leaks. In addition, STAR Network two way communication systems support integrated acoustic leak protection, offered by Aclara, in collaboration with Guterman international. The Star network integrates seamlessly with existing information technology, and metering systems. Access to more frequent, and accurate data, enables customer service representatives to provide more personal customer service. Including notifying customers about normal meter consumption, indicating a potential leak on the customer side of the meter. Star Network data can also be presented to customers to help the better understand their consumption and help make decisions about how to conserve and reduce their usage. With millions of endpoints deployed, at clear as a established and proven star network provides the information utilities need for improved bottom line performance and responsible management of our most critical natural resource. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]

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