Burbank, Ca., turns to Wi-Fi for electrical monitoring

The water and power company in Burbank, Ca., has begun to implement automatic meter reading across a Wi-Fi network that may double as a trouble-shooter and go citywide by 2011.The water and power company in Burbank, Ca., has begun to implement automatic meter reading across a Wi-Fi network that may go citywide.

Burbank Water and Power has completed a feasibility study and is in the second phase of a four-part effort to equip meters with Wi-Fi chips. The city appears to be proceeding carefully, rolling out the technology and testing it with each implementation. The target date for citywide completion is 2001.

In addition to making meter reading more efficient, one of th chief goals of this project is to improve the city’s response to blackouts and outages. The new system will include monitoring and automatic notification of problems; currently, the utility is not aware of outages until residents report them.

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