From the Field

Honeywell Implements Smart-Metering Network for Municipality

Honeywell has announced it is implementing a smart-metering network for Duncan, Okla., that will allow the municipality to collect electricity- and water-usage data from residents and local businesses automatically. The smart-grid deployment is part of a broader energy-efficiency and public-safety program funded by a 15-year, $14.2-million energy-savings performance contract and backed in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The program will help the city improve meter accuracy, reduce its energy and operating costs, and enhance public-safety services.

Through the program, the city is expected to decrease electricity consumption by 2.2-million kwh per year—enough energy to power more than 200 homes annually. The program also is projected to cut annual carbon-dioxide emissions by nearly 1,600 metric tons. According to figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing more than 300 cars from the road. Honeywell expects to install the smart-meter network and complete the upgrades by the end of 2010.

The city will pay for the program through the energy and operational savings as well as the improved revenue generation the smart-meter system and infrastructure upgrades will produce. Honeywell guarantees approximately $1.7 million in savings per year as part of the performance contract so the work will not increase city operating budgets or require additional taxpayer dollars. Duncan will use more than $2 million in ARRA stimulus grants through the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help fund the program at the outset.

To create the smart-metering network, Honeywell will replace existing utility meters across the city with more than 9,000 electric meters and 12,000 water meters from Elster Integrated Solutions. The new meters will be connected via a Tropos wireless mesh network that builds on the city's existing broadband service. Every meter will come equipped with a digital register—instead of traditional rotating dials—as well as wireless technology that allows the meters to send readings to nearly 700 “collector” meters located throughout the city, which will then transmit the data to the utility systems.

The electric meters also feature two-way communication capabilities that will provide the city greater visibility into, and control of, the electrical grid. Instead of simply collecting usage data, for example, utility employees can pinpoint specific houses or facilities affected by a power outage or remotely shut off power if needed. The new meters also will reduce costs further by detecting water leaks or other problems almost immediately.

The smart-metering system will allow the city to generate timely, accurate usage and billing information for occupants and eliminate the need for meter readers to visit properties every month. The system also provides a platform for future energy-management strategies, such as demand response, that help minimize the need for additional generation capacity.

In addition to the utility improvements, Honeywell will implement energy-conservation measures at several city facilities and public areas. This includes:

• Upgrading HVAC equipment and building controls at the court building, main fire building, main library, police station, and city hall.

• Installing energy-efficient induction fixtures on all street lights and installing light-emitting diode (LED) traffic signals for improved safety.

• Adding variable-frequency drives at the city's wastewater treatment facility to reduce energy consumption and costs.

The city also will use the wireless network for police, fire, and utility applications, including remote connectivity for officers and closed-circuit security cameras for high-traffic public areas. The technology upgrades will allow law-enforcement personnel to access programs, files, and information from anywhere in the city, which will help improve safety and security by expediting reporting and allowing police to spend more time on the streets. Utility employees will have mobile access to the network as well.

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