Sensus smart meters are again at the center of a product recall due to overheating safety concerns, the second such incident in the US since Canada’s SaskPower halted its rollout due to meter-related fires. Florida utility Lakeland Electric has announced it will replace more than 10,500 residential smart meters following fires related to six of the meters in the past year, general manager Joel Ivy said earlier this week.
In an emailed statement, Mr Ivy said:”While this is a small percentage [of meters], the integrity, safety and performance of our equipment is paramount, so we are replacing the remote-disconnect meters.”
Ivy said officials from Lakeland Electric were meeting with US manufacturer Sensus about the remote-disconnect meters, which make up about 9 per cent of the utilities’ total meter assets. A local news report suggested that Sensus will pay for replacement meters. The new type of Sensus smart meter will be installed by Lakeland Electric in September. Lakeland Electric’s decision comes hot on the heels of Portland General Electric’s recent decision to replace 70,000 residential smart
Next generation meter
Meanwhile, the beleaguered meter manufacturer has pushed ahead with a launch of its new residential electric meter – the iConA Generation 4. Sensus is offering versions A and B of the Generation 4 meter, both of which offer a high temperature detection technology with optional automatic disconnect that enables utilities to receive real-time notification of heating caused by external issues. The meters also feature design enhancements to help prevent water and other contaminants, such as insects, from entering the meter.
The Generation 4-B meter is fitted with an opt-out capability, allowing utilities to turn off and on all radio frequency transmissions remotely. It also features four channels of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C12.19 load profile data that enables multiple time-of-use rate structures. Both versions of the meter leverage the Sensus FlexNet communication system, which is carries large volumes of data from any meter on a long-range radio network that serves as a dedicated and secure two-way communications highway for investor-owned utilities, municipalities and electric cooperatives.