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Batteries booted out!

Ultracapacitor solves power problem. By Graham Pitcher.

SmartSynch, serving the electric utility industry since 2000, focuses on delivering automatic meter reading (AMR) systems linked through two way communication architecture. SmartSynch’s solution enables utilities to quickly implement a cost effective, real time metering solution to its most important customers.
The latest wireless SmartMeter was integrated on the Elster A3 Alpha meter – the prototype of which was completed in February of 2002. Power supply size, life and cost were key challenges faced by the company in creating this new wireless meter. Lead acid batteries were the original power source, but their limited life expectancy of three to five years, their weight, a difficult health assessment, and the costly battery replacement process were all undesirable aspects of the technology. In some instances, physical leakage was also an issue.
The company needed a power supply which could effectively power internal components at a generally constant rate, but one that could also handle the power peaks demanded by the unit’s wireless connectivity – something that sharply reduces the life of most batteries.
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Vanessa Knivett

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