Continuing our blog series on natural gas safety, in this blog we will discuss the role of the Active Network in improving the delivery of gas. Aging infrastructure, natural disasters, leaks and tampering can create costly incidents for natural gas utilities, consumers and first responders. With these challenges to natural gas delivery, it is important for utilities to establish visibility, control and awareness. With smart gas meters, like the Intelis gas meter, operating on an open network, gas utilities can proactively address challenges and improve operational efficiency.

A connected network of smart devices is called the Active Network, which is characterized by intelligent devices with computing power working together to respond in real time. The Active Network harnesses the power of IoT to improve safety, reliability and profitability for gas utilities and consumers.

Intelligent devices like the Intelis gas meter are a crucial building block for the Active Network because they enable interactive communication for gas utilities. With built-in edge computing, the meter has integrated safety and control capabilities that give utilities access to high-resolution data in the field and near real-time and post-processing analytics. Harnessing this innovative technology, gas utilities can identify vulnerabilities in the system and respond in real time to ensure safe, efficient delivery of natural gas to their customers.

With the Active Network, utilities have increased awareness of their gas distribution system, which equips them to enhance their operations. Utilities can carefully monitor all conditions in the network, recognizing even the smallest irregularities in the network, such as meter removal. The Intelis gas meter is equipped with air detection alerts, which send an alarm to the utility operations center in the case of a potential meter removal. With this connected network of smart meters, utilities can also remotely shut service for move-outs and line maintenance to ensure safety and revenue protection.

The modern natural gas utility network must be active, responding to problems in real time and delivering detailed analysis of threats to the network before incidents occur. With Itron’s IIoT network and smart meters, natural gas utilities can not only measure, but communicate to solve problems in the distribution network in real time.

Learn more about Itron’s Active Network solutions and see a demo of the Intelis Gas Meter at the 2019 AGA Operations Conference & Biennial Exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee by visiting us at booth 1011, and be sure to visit the Itron blog on April 29 for the next blog in our series. Also, if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our first blog on Ensuring Safety in Natural Gas Delivery Amid Natural Disasters.

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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.