Integrated Data Management Solutions
|Deregulation has had a profound
effect on the utilities and energy market, intensifying
the demand among distributors for strategies that streamline
operations and eliminate unnecessary overhead, while allowing
them to maintain excellent customer service.
cStar's meter-centric solutions are an innovative response
to that demand, which harnesses the power of wireless
communications technology in order to create new efficiencies
in meter reading and processing energy consumption.
| cStar was the first to develop
a precise 'radio-ranging' communications system, which
could identify and locate a mobile transponder from a
mobile reference transmitter. This initial invention is
the technological core of cStar's meter-centric solutions.
Automatic meter reading via wireless LAN (w/LAN)
|A transponder, in this case
a cStar Micro-SkyGate radio mirror, is installed at a
utility meter and a transmitter (SkyGate SVS-1005) is
installed in a mobile utility vehicle. The transmitter
in the vehicle sends a carrier signal at an ISBM frequency
that the SkyGate radio mirror instantly picks up, processes
and responds to, encrypting and re-broadcasting relevant
meter data back to the transmitter in the utility vehicle.
The data transmission between the vehicle and the SkyGate
radio mirror is carried via w/LAN.
When the vehicle returns to the office, the data is then
uploaded (again via w/LAN) from the SkyGate transmitter
to the client server - a technique called "store
and forward." The SkyGate SVS-1005 transmitter covers
a range of approximately 1 mile.
This method of data collection is particularly well-suited
to urban and suburban areas where high volumes of meters
exist within a relatively small area. Saving companies
time and money, automated meter reading via w/LAN is an
easy way to streamline the data collection process and
to reduce costly overhead.
Automatic meter reading via wireless WAN (w/WAN)
|For less densely populated areas,
automatic meter reading via w/WAN is an innovative way
to overcome the time-consuming task of traveling long
distances between individual meters. In rural and semi-rural
areas, a PLC (Power Carrier Line) Micro-SkyGate end-node
is installed at each meter and a WAN Multiplexer (the
SkyGate RRS-1200) is installed at a local power supply
pylon. The SkyGate multiplexer is configured to poll specific
PLC SkyGate end-nodes at regular intervals, or whenever
meter data is required. The PLC SkyGate end-nodes instantly
pick up, process and respond to the polling signal, encrypting
and re-broadcasting relevant data back to the SkyGate
multiplexer, which automatically delivers the data to
the client server online, in real-time via w/WAN. Each
multiplexer can support up to 50 end-nodes, though transformer
capacity in many areas of North America limits the number
to approximately 10. The result is an extremely cost-effective
means of collecting more accurate data in less time, with
more flexibility and fewer hassles.
|By harnessing and refining wireless
communications technology so that utilities and energy
companies can streamline meter reading and data collection
processes, cStar has developed an innovative, cost-effective
solution to a common "Utilities Enterprise"
problem - a solution that saves time and money while ensuring
that collected data is more accurate and easier to manage.
And cStar's solution is flexible enough to fit the unique
characteristics of any infrastructure, any utility configuration
and any business strategy.