Itron cellular solution helps water utilities better manage distribution systems

Fri, 2014-06-06 06:00 -- Jesse Berst

By expanding its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) capabilities in North America with its cellular solution for water utilities, Itron says utilities are able to collect real-time consumption and flow analysis, pressure data and meter data from commercial and industrial (C&I) customers via a public cellular network.

Built on Itron’s global WaterMind technology, the cellular solution features an analyzer module with cellular communications, a pressure sensor and Itron’s software as a service. Each module can support up to four water meters at once. With the solution, utilities can monitor distribution systems and receive real-time updates on performance.  And when used with Itron Analytics, the solution combines critical pressure data, flow analysis and consumption information with fundamental AMI data to provide utilities with an effective distribution monitoring system.

Itron, a Council Global Partner, says the solution also provides utilities with tamper, zero flow and peak pressure alarms as well as flow rate distribution analysis and meter right-sizing capabilities for C&I customers.

Expanding value of water analytics for utilities

Itron also announced it is collaborating with OSIsoft to expand the value of analytics for water utilities to improve insights and decisions. The companies are working together to enable data sharing between their solutions by integrating OSIsoft’s PI System with Itron Analytics, a leading analytics application providing business intelligence. The integration is designed to enable water utilities to analyze performance of the distribution network in real-time.

Itron Analytics harnesses the value of data generated by utility smart distribution investments, and OSIsoft’s PI System collects data from more than 400 disparate data systems and sources, including SCADA and other operational systems. The integration will enable utilities to take data collected from multiple sources that are not traditionally tied together and analyze it within Itron Analytics to create actionable information. This will give utilities greater visibility into their systems in real-time to detect trends, respond to events more rapidly and optimize operations of their systems. For example, utilities can integrate data from Itron’s AMI solution with bulk water meter consumption data stored in the PI System, improving district metering calculations.

Integration work is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.

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