Short-Range RF For Meter And Utilities Management

By Laird Connectivity

Wireless in the Energy Industry
Technological progress, convenient infrastructure, and added revenue opportunities have driven short-range wireless connectivity into many conventional utilities applications. While standard communication media such as telephone and wired LANs still serve basic commercial and residential metering needs, these options often fall short of today's usage requirements.

Suppliers need instant access to data, simplified installation/operation, reliability in RFhostile areas, and durability in industrial settings where temperatures reach extremes. Additionally, increasing competition is forcing utility suppliers to reduce costs as much as possible, particularly in communication.

Cable-free connectivity helps utility companies remain profitable despite these challenges. Cost advantages can be gained through detailed, timely information on customer usage. RF communication links let utilities instantly gather this information, which can help them to enhance customer service, develop new pricing options, and improve operations.

Thanks to affordable equipment, companies can cost-effectively expand coverage to hundreds of thousands of customers. By integrating short-range RF transceivers into the local LAN and then widening the network via cellular-based WAN, utilities can wirelessly cover 100% of their metering population. Accurate daily and peak forecasts give companies the opportunity to offer time-differentiated prices and customized billing options.

The best wireless systems are designed to operate efficiently, to reduce the costs of deploying and using the network, and to allow users flexibility to increase the data received over time. In addition, they are designed with redundant, back-up features throughout the system to ensure accurate, reliable data delivery. AeroComm's ConnexRF transceivers facilitate all of the above.

Click here to download the complete application note in PDF format.