Itron is expanding its distributed intelligence (DI) platform with the launch of its new product line called Itron Edge Gateway. The new product line aims to enhance the capabilities of utilities to achieve decarbonization and sustainability goals while effectively managing critical infrastructure in the face of increasing adoption of distributed energy resources (DERs).
The product line is expected to facilitate the digitalization of utilities and cities by enabling the rapid integration of distribution intelligence capabilities to any device or sensor without the need for hardware integration.
The Itron Edge Gateway is a versatile and secure edge-computing platform that leverages LTE, Private LTE (pLTE), 5G cellular, and Itron’s GenTM5 Mesh communication technology for intelligent Industrial IoT (IIoT) connectivity. It is anticipated to enable seamless communication between fielded devices (such as distribution automation and distributed energy resource devices) and back-office systems or cloud services. The product utilizes a common back-office application infrastructure with the company’s RivaTM Meter and previously announced distributed intelligence network interface card (NIC) for active application management.
The gateway features a computing infrastructure promoted as capable of hosting third-party applications and connecting, monitoring, and managing new and existing devices or sensors through various interfaces such as Ethernet, Serial, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and USB. By unlocking real-time data processing and analytics, the Itron Edge Gateway platform is expected to empower utilities to make faster, automated decisions through machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).
Promoted key features of the Itron Edge Gateway distributed intelligence platform include:
- Distributed Intelligence: Enables rapid deployment of new use cases without the need for requalifying an end-to-end network platform. It adds distributed intelligence capabilities to any device or sensor without hardware integration.
- Intelligent Connectivity: Supports flexible device interfaces like Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Lower Energy (BLE), and USB, allowing easy integration and management of new and existing devices for enhanced flexibility and scalability.
- Robust Security: Incorporates advanced security features such as full disk encryption, secure boot and key storage, encrypted communications, and secure containers, ensuring protection against cyber threats and data integrity.
- Enhanced Management and Monitoring: Facilitates local or back-office device management and monitoring, enabling full life-cycle management and real-time status visibility.
Building upon Itron’s advancements in DI and intelligent connectivity, utilities and cities now can utilize the Itron Edge Gateway to bring even more intelligence to the network’s edge. This empowers them to collect and manage data more efficiently while harnessing cutting-edge machine learning and AI technologies to make real-time decisions,” said John Marcolini, Senior Vice President of Networked Solutions at Itron. “From a utility IT perspective, these devices offer value with the opportunity for utilities and partners to test and incorporate them into a specific use case. Once deployed, this platform can be easily repurposed for numerous other applications, saving time and cost.
The new distributed intelligence platform proposes to enable a wide range of use cases in collaboration with the company’s partner ecosystem, including:
- Intelligent connectivity for distribution automation devices, supporting advanced grid automation capabilities.
- Remote substation monitoring by connecting multiple devices using legacy protocols and providing DNP3 concentration of assets.
- Active transformer load management to preserve transformers’ lifespan and reduce unplanned outages.
- Augmented voltage monitoring for optimizing grid operations at the edge.
Distributed Energy Resources:
- Monitoring and control of renewable energy sources to manage their impact on grid operations.
- Active load shedding to disconnect non-critical customers while ensuring uninterrupted power supply to essential services.
- Acoustic gunshot detection for helping law enforcement pinpoint the source and number of gunshots.
- Traffic and noise monitoring to enhance urban livability and improve urban planning.
- Digital signage solutions for managing a network of digital signs and advertising space throughout the city.
- Enhanced network security for both new and legacy devices, including edge monitoring, automation, and infiltration detection.
The company’s partner enablement program allows third-party companies to develop applications for the Edge Gateway distributed intelligence product line and join its ecosystem of partners. This program provides access to developer tools and resources to optimize and extend service offerings. The streamlined development, testing, and trial process enables faster application deployment to address utilities’ business challenges.
UAI is a utility-led membership organization that provides support to the industry to advance the analytics profession and utility organizations of all types and maturity levels, as well as analytics professionals throughout every phase of their career. UAI is poised at the cusp of digital transformation to lead this industry into the future.