During this year’s AGA conference, we’ve been discussing natural gas safety. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the role of methane detection in improving gas safety. Undetected natural gas leaks can deal devastating damage to a utility and its customers. To increase safety for natural gas utilities, Itron, New Cosmos and Consolidated Edison (Con Edison) collaborated to integrate New Cosmos’ battery-powered methane detectors on Itron’s IoT platform through the Itron developer program.

With these devices on Itron’s secure, standards-based industrial IoT platform, utilities can detect natural gas leaks and quickly alert emergency crews to improve safety in the communities they serve. The detectors are the first battery-powered solution deployed on Itron’s network and can be easily integrated on Itron’s network infrastructure. The New York City utility, Con Edison, is currently deploying 9,000 of these smart natural gas detectors on its existing Itron network, which the utility uses to manage 3.6 million electric meters and 1.2 million gas modules.

The innovative detector will sound an audible alarm to immediately alert anyone nearby if it detects natural gas in the atmosphere where the device is installed. In the case of a leak, the device will also immediately communicate with the utility, which will respond with a crew(s) and notify the local fire department so they can also respond and investigate. The alarm, which includes a voice recording that advises building occupants to evacuate, will continue to sound until the utility silences the unit. Learn more about the deployment in this video.

By alarming the utility and building occupants quickly of a potential leak, these detectors can help save lives. Con Edison’s deployment demonstrates the revolutionary potential of Itron’s network and developer tools to successfully deliver Industrial IoT solutions to scale for utilities and cities globally.

Since the start of Con Edison’s natural gas detector deployment, the device has helped the utility mitigate potential issues, demonstrating the device’s effectiveness in ensuring safety. Learn more about Itron’s natural gas solutions here. Also, be sure to check out our previous gas safety blog articles on Ensuring Safety in Natural Gas Delivery Amid Natural Disasters and Enabling the Active Network for Natural Gas.

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