For nearly a quarter century, Itron Inc. has been building an unmatched reputation as the leading technology provider and source of knowledge to the global utility industry for advanced metering technology for electric, gas and water utilities. Itron systems are installed at nearly 3,000 utilities in 45 countries and are used to collect data from hundreds of millions of electric, gas and water meters throughout the world.
Itron’s extensive portfolio of data collection and management solutions delivers strong value to electric, gas and water utilities throughout Europe, North America, Australia, Asia and the Pacific Rim, the Middle East and Latin America. Itron’s handheld meter reading systems, or electronic meter reading (EMR) and application software, enable utilities to take the paperwork out of meter reading, dramatically increasing operational efficiency and accuracy.
For well over a decade, Itron has also been the world’s leading provider of automatic meter reading, or AMR technology, having automated data collection from more than 25 million meters in North America alone. AMR technology enables utilities to collect accurate consumption and tamper data more frequently and efficiently from electric, gas and water meters equipped with AMR communications modules via wired and wireless communication networks. Itron also offers its utility customers a choice of AMR data collection technologies, ranging from radio-equipped handheld computers to vehicle-based mobile systems and advanced fixed networks that utilise public and private communication networks.
THE NEW G5R HANDHELD COMPUTER FOR EUROPEAN MARKETS
Itron recently updated one of its most popular electronic meter reading computers. The G5R is a lightweight, rugged handheld computer that boasts an internal radio that complies with most European standards for utility meter reading. An integrated 433 MHz Radian radio allows for seamless data collection. This means improved data collection and faster reads for enhanced productivity.
Despite its compact, 225mm length body, the G5R packs powerful features like a 33 MHz 486 processor, 8 megabytes of DRAM and another 8 megabytes of non-volatile compact Flash memory. And because the unit is designed to exceed MIL-STD-810E, it is rugged enough to handle knocks, drops, heat, cold and rain.
When it comes to battery life, the G5R is designed to work – all day, every day. Its power management system chooses from several modes to improve performance and battery life. This means the operator can read more meters without the need to recharge the battery.
Enhancing the G5R is Itron’s optional VIENA software solution. This is a flexible, economical application to read meters, manage route allocation and transfer information. Put simply, VIENA is designed to help manage the complex task of collecting data from the field and integrating it into other systems. Relational database architecture, drag-and-drop route allocation and automatic data transfer are just a few of VIENA’s features.
More than 100 European utilities use Itron’s VIENA because it is faster and improves productivity. Itron configured VIENA to handle different types of work orders, and the software is easily customised. There is also virtually no learning curve for using it. VIENA’s screens are easy to understand and the user interface is clear and familiar. Perhaps most importantly though, with VIENA, data is safe.
Because they typically represent the bulk of a utility’s load and the largest source of revenue, Itron also provides utilities with a complete portfolio of data collection systems and energy management application software for commercial and industrial energy users. With Itron technology, utilities can cost-effectively gather the load data they require from large energy users, and use that data to support a variety of critical objectives, including load management and demand response; complex billing, rate development and analysis; web-based information exchange; and enterprise energy management.
Over the past 18 months, Itron has acquired several leading technology companies that significantly expand the company’s ability to help utilities worldwide meet critical operational and strategic objectives.
With the acquisition of Silicon Energy earlier this year, Itron added to its industry-leading data collection technology best-in-class energy management software to enable utilities and large energy users to leverage the value of the metering data they collect for billing, customer care, load management, distribution system optimisation and enterprise energy management purposes.
Itron also now provides transmission and distribution utilities with leading-edge software tools for line design. Using Itron’s advanced line design software solutions, engineers have a powerful tool for optimising the line design process to achieve cost reductions, increased capacity and reliability, stricter adherence to design standards, and greater designer productivity.
For generation, transmission and distribution companies, accurate forecasts remove the guesswork from daily operations and long-term planning. This lowers both cost and risk. With the industry’s leading forecasting tools and expertise, Itron delivers energy intelligence directly applicable to infrastructure construction and maintenance, pricing contracts, supply schedules, load profiles, rate design, energy efficiency and demand response programmes and more.
One of Itron’s newest forecasting tools is MetrixND version 3.5. The latest version of the energy industry’s most powerful and versatile forecasting tool, no other software on the market can be used for short and long-term hourly load forecasting, load profiling, retail forecasting, and even monthly energy and peak forecasting. MetrixND offers users added flexibility to quickly build and evaluate alternative forecasting models. This all adds up to accurate forecasts and intelligent decisions.
Itron has combined the power of wireless communications, the Internet, and real-time information exchange, enabling utilities to transform field service operations and empower their field representatives to work smarter and achieve significant gains in operational efficiency, worker productivity and customer service.
“Itron has proven itself as a key strategic partner to utilities for meter data collection and management throughout Europe and around the world,” said Steve Helmbrecht, vice president and general manager of Itron’s International Business Unit. “With Itron’s new, expanding capabilities, and a new European office in Amsterdam, we’re now positioned to help utilities throughout the European continent optimise their operations, assets and resources.”