LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. — October 12, 2009 — Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) and Ambient Corporation (OTCBB: ABTG) announced today development of the Ambient® EDC module. The EDC module provides utilities a true, efficient path from legacy automatic meter reading (encoder receiver transmitter commonly known as “ERT”) systems to more advanced smart metering.
“The possibility of leaving assets stranded without a clear road map or without a viable option for incorporating such assets into a smart grid platform has prevented many utilities from deploying smart grid technology. The new EDC module, developed with cooperation from Itron, gives utilities a critical migration path linking their legacy meters to newer advanced communications systems without stranding recently deployed assets,” said John J. Joyce, President and CEO of Ambient Corporation. “With greater than 60 million ERT meters in the U.S. alone, the market potential is very significant.”
The EDC is an optional module integrated into Ambient’s smart grid node. Strategically installed at various points along the distribution grid and always collecting data from surrounding meters, the EDC eliminates the need to drive-by each meter to collect meter reads. The EDC listens for messages from meters equipped with ERT modules and automatically collects and stores that data. The frequency of reads and amount of time the information is stored are configurable by the utility. Using the new EDC module, utilities will be able to get data periodically for near real-time meter reads, along with outage detection, instead of once-a-month or estimated reads.
”Itron has always believed in the value migration brings to utilities as their business needs for automation continue to grow. We look forward to working with our partners to create an open, industry standard smart grid environment. Ambient’s EDC module provides another valuable tool our customers can use, especially those that are looking for ways to bridge to Itron’s OpenWay® solution,” said Russ Vanos, director of marketing for Itron.
Data collected by the EDC module will be transferred to the utility’s meter collection software, and eventually to their billing system, as Ambient and Itron work together to complete the end-to-end process.
“This new application continues to demonstrate the flexibility and extensibility of the Ambient Smart Grid® platform. A node with the EDC module can also be simultaneously utilized to provide other smart grid applications such as distribution system monitoring,” said Ram Rao, Chief Technology Officer of Ambient Corporation. “The EDC is currently being tested in the field by one of our utility partners.”
Key Features of the EDC:
- Has a lower unit cost than previous solutions
- Flexibility for backhaul connections
- Provides a migration path from legacy systems (AMR) to smart metering, eliminating drive-by or mobile systems
- Allows the utility to have near real-time reads of meters
- Service outages detection