Posted by Bob on 9/25/2014 to "Smart" Meters
Electrahealth.com Editor Note: It is not a surprise that when Sensus investigated its own 'smart' meter products, it found that its meters were not the cause of the fires and property damage. What caught our attention, however, was this admission (notwithstanding the somewhat ambiguous pronoun reference): "Our experience has shown that these issues are systemic in the industry." Are they referring to the 'smart' meter fires or to something else? You decide.
RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 1, 2014) ... Sensus, a leading provider of clean technology solutions, is conducting utility site inspections and performing extensive lab testing to determine the root cause of recent smart meter incidents. Results to date point to contributing external factors such as water intrusion due to holes in meter boxes, hot socket conditions in the meter box and over voltage in the distribution system.
Product design engineers and quality teams are working closely with customers to understand the specific events that led to recent issues that impacted a small number of iConA™ Generation 3 2S remote disconnect meters.
"Safety is our number one priority and all Sensus meters go through rigorous testing and meet or exceed industry safety standards," said Sensus President Randy Bays. "I have been personally involved with our customers and Sensus quality and engineering teams as we work to collect fact-based and data-driven information on these specific incidents."
To date, data received from seven recent issues in an installed base of 175,000 meters points to contributing, long-standing industry issues: one was caused by an issue with a meter base attached to a home, three were caused by utility over voltage, two were caused by water intrusion through the meter base and one remains under investigation.
Sensus underscores the critical importance of careful meter installation procedures, including the examination of meter boxes and wiring at installation, training of meter installers and the need to have rapid remedial action when field problems are observed.
"Our experience has shown that these issues are systemic in the industry and we are committed to delivering solutions that help our customers to overcome these challenges. I have complete confidence in the employees and technology that carry the Sensus name," said Bays. "We are committed to providing safe products through engineering excellence and testing to industry standards."
All manufactured meters are subject to ANSI standards including: ANSI C12.1-2008, Code for Electricity Metering and ANSI C12.20-2010, American National Standard for Electricity Meters 0.2 and 0.5 Accuracy Classes. Given that there are more than 40 million meters deployed to date in North America, the failure rates seen in the industry are very low.
Sensus remains focused on working with utilities to help them understand and address external issues that impact meter deployments.