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Wireless Technology for Electric Utilities

By Phill Feltham

The electric industry is making the transformation from a centralized, producer-controlled network to one that is less centralized and more consumer interactive. An automated, widely distributed energy delivery network, the Smart Grid, is characterized by a two-way flow of electricity and information, and potentially is capable of monitoring everything from power plants to customer behavior to individual appliance performance.

Incorporated into the grid are the benefits of distributed computing and communications to deliver real-time information and enable the near-instantaneous balance of supply and demand at the device level. Integrated, wireless communications strategies are pivotal in the deployment of any Smart Grid system as millions of residential and commercial smart meters need to be connected to and monitored at the back office utility.

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