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Echelon Corp. has rolled out new Control Operating System (COS) software for its smart meter portfolio. Smart meters from Echelon and from its Open Smart Grid Protocol meter partners worldwide can now be upgraded in the field to function as multi-parameter grid sensors, in addition to serving as billing devices, according to the company.

These meters separate billing data from grid power-quality data - such as voltage, frequency and power factor - so that they can be read on independent time cycles. By separating these data types, the utility can collect relevant power-quality information on an as-required basis, instead of collecting large volumes of billing and operational data from each meter on every read cycle, Echelon explains.

The new capabilities enabled by the COS software include the following:

- Improved relevance and data reduction, with 4 x 16 channels of load profile data. The new software enables Echelon MTR 1000 Series Single Phase Meters and MTR 3000 Series Poly Phase Meters to set up 4 x 16 channels of load profile data.

- Grid asset protection with per-phase measurements at the transformer. The new software includes the ability for meters to measure, store and transmit peak power per phase.

- Operational efficiency improvements with location services. New features in System Software 5.1 and Element Manager 3 - software packages that operate at a utility's head-end - can use global positioning system coordinates to map how meters and grid devices are connected to transformers.

Echelon has also further expanded its smart meter portfolio by introducing the modular MTR 0600 series. The MTR 0600 is a modular smart meter designed for utilities in emerging markets to stage their smart grid investment while improving reliability, according to the company.

Utilities can replace their existing meters with the MTR 0600 in stand-alone mode, and subsequently upgrade them in the field with a communications and control module that allows them to plug into the rest of the Echelon energy control networking platform. The communicating MTR 0600 serves as both an automated billing device and a grid sensor, and integrates with the utility's billing and analytics applications.

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