Safety is always top of mind for gas utilities, and new technology advancements, like the OpenWay® Riva Intelis gas meter, make it possible to reduce safety incidents and the associated costly damage. At the end of June, Itron showcased our new gas meter at the World Gas Conference in Washington D.C., demonstrating how smart meters on an active network equip utilities to analyze near real-time data to protect consumers and the utility workforce.

Harnessing the power of the active network, Itron’s OpenWay Riva Intelis ultrasonic gas meter is equipped to respond quickly. The meter has been thoughtfully developed to enhance safety by controlling excess flow at all service points.

The meter features a built-in high flow alarm and a temperature sensor that identifies potentially dangerous conditions, such as open fuel lines or fire, and can automatically trigger a safety shutoff device to control the flow of gas. Air detection identifies meter removal, with the option to limit gas flow, while also sending an alarm to utility personnel, helping prevent incidents before they arise. Utilities can use the meter to temporarily shutoff service for situations such as non-payment, move-outs or line maintenance until a more permanent disconnect can be completed. The Intelis transforms the gas distribution network from a one-way gas delivery mechanism to an interactive energy network offering numerous benefits to utilities.

With safety and control integrated into smart gas meters, utilities have access to high-resolution data in the field. Leveraging edge computing, every device in the network is a computing and application platform. With this innovative technology, gas utilities can identify vulnerabilities in the system with connected response to changes in the network. For example, utilities can proactively control gas flow to homes before flooding and other dangerous situations occur; events that could cause gas meters and appliances to become displaced and potentially cause free flowing gas at customer sites.

With this approach, gas utilities can capitalize on the potential of connected devices, like the OpenWay Riva Intelis gas meter, that have the computing power to not only measure and communicate, but also solve problems on the network. These devices and sensors dynamically detect a gas leak, corrosion or low pressure and can notify the utility before they become a serious event – improving safety, reliability and profitability.

When it comes to delivering natural gas, safety is paramount. Advances in technology are giving utilities more visibility into their systems to prevent incidents before they happen. With the active network, utilities can help ensure the safety of their customers and their employees while also limiting waste and conserving natural gas.

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Annette Gardiner
Vice President, Gas Strategic Development
Annette Gardiner joined Itron in September 2016 as its vice president of strategic development.
Prior to joining Itron, Annette held a number of leadership roles in the gas utility industry, including vice president of shared services at Consumers Energy and president of New Mexico Gas Company.