Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) announced today that it is bringing to market its next-generation ultrasonic gas meter for residential applications. This new product, USONIX, is the result of a year-long collaboration with Panasonic to develop a fully electronic gas meter, meaning the meter uses ultrasonic sensors for measuring gas volume rather than using conventional diaphragm technology. This innovative approach provides gas utilities in Europe with a safe and reliable product to efficiently measure gas.
“Itron’s new USONIX meter is unlike any meter available today,” said Remy Brill, Itron vice president and managing director, EMEA Energy. “Using Panasonic’s field proven sensor technology, USONIX will deliver true business value to our gas utility customers.”
USONIX is highly accurate and meets class 1 accuracy from G1.6 up to G4 meters sizes, thus making it a true multi-range meter. Also, its compact design provides for easy installation at sites with narrow spaces. Key features of this meter include enhanced dust protection, which keeps the meter operating accurately even in harsh conditions; temperature corrected volume as a basis for fair billing; and the lowest noise levels especially for in-home installations. Its low pressure drop makes it the preferred choice in regions with low pressure networks. As Itron’s hybrid smart gas meter, the ultrasonic gas meter’s electronic index supports the latest developments of smart metering communication technologies. Initially, this product will be available in the UK and Italy. Itron will expand its availability over time.
In addition, Itron and Panasonic are continuing to collaborate on new products for gas utilities, including designing a metering product that will enable utilities to identify compatible gas appliances for their customers as part of a gas management service.
“Through this close relationship with Itron, we will be able to provide new business models to energy utilities,” said Masanori Iwai, Panasonic global marketing manager, gas meter devices. “By identifying the compatible appliances, utilities can offer value-added service to the end users, and this will be the key solution for them to realize energy management, which was the missing piece of the industry.”