Multi-point Socket-Style Metering Saves Time and Money

Gordon Echlin

Multi-point Socket-Style Metering Saves Time and Money

Utility bulk electrical meters are well known for the mechanical innovation that makes installing and removing a meter from service fast and efficient. The solution is to simply twist-and-lift the meter from it base after breaking the seal.  No further disconnection or re-wiring necessary. It was a simple but revolutionary idea that has, over the years, saved untold money and time.

Not So Fast For Multi-Point Meters

With Current Transformer (CT) based multi-point meters, things are a little trickier and not quite as easy. Most multi-point meter designs don't anticipate the future removal or re-installation of a meter - especially those designed for unregulated measurement and verification or power monitory applications.  Even the few that are designed to leave CT's in place and remove the meter "head" as unit may require manual shorting steps. As a result, removing or replacing a meter is a cumbersome process that often involves highly paid electricians and the shutting down of building services.

In regulated metering applications where it's necessary to remove meters for re-verification purposes, the use of solid core CTs, necessary for accuracy, is a problem. The usual manner in which CT's are connected to the meter is via screw down termination. This is a simple and effective technique, but not conducive to rapid and error-free removal and replacement.

Multi-point Meters Get Their Own Unique Socket-style Design

With 15 years of regulated metering experience baked right in -  the Triacta GATEWAY addresses the need for easy installation and removal of multi-point meters in some very unique ways.

Triacta GATEWAY Systems have two primary components, the GATEWAY Head and the GATEWAY Mounting Panel and Enclosure. The GATEWAY Head is the active metrology and computing platform for the system, and also houses the metrology seal. The GATEWAY Mounting Panel and Enclosure is a passive landing base for power and inputs from sensor sources, and acts as the overall enclosure for the meter (with utility seal).


This unique "two-component" approach allows an Enclosure to be installed and electrical connections terminated by electrical contractors separate from the installation of the GATEWAY Head, which may be installed by a technician with no electrical accreditation.

Three Simple Steps Save Time and Money

The mounting panel is first fastened to the wall, reserving the meter's building footprint. Electrical work is then performed - with CT's wired into the electrical panel by licensed electricians. CT's are connected to the GATEWAY's termination modules, which are part of the mounting panel. Triacta Gateway termination modules have automatic shorting capability and therefore can be left connected to the panel. Power/Voltage reference(s) are also applied to the mounting panel.

The Triacta GATEWAY Head can be affixed any time after the CTs have been connected to the termination module by simply inserting the Head, affixing the enclosure, and applying the utility seal.

If the metering module needs to be removed for verification or replacement, the utility seal is removed, the enclosure is opened, and the meter module is easily "pushed" out. There are no mechanical fasteners involved in installing the meter head or removing or replacing the enclosure, just a snug connector. Once the enclosure has been removed, the original meter can either be replaced or a new one inserted.

The mounting panel is first fastened to the wall, reserving the meter's building footprint. The Triacta GATEWAY Head can be affixed any time after the CTs have been connected to the termination module by simply inserting the Head, affixing the enclosure, and applying the utility seal.

This unique "two-component" fastener less approach allows an Enclosure to be installed and electrical connections terminated by electrical contractors separate from the installation of the GATEWAY Head, which may be installed by a technician with no electrical accreditation. Very often there is a cost and skill difference between these operational domains, and the socket style Triacta GATEWAY allows optimization of the process.

Triacta's approach to socket-style metering for multi-point meters not only saves time and money at the point of installation, but also allows for easy removal of meters for re-verification purposes. As the requirements for approved meters in tenant billing scenarios becomes the norm, the potential time and cost savings for both today and tomorrow strike a compelling argument for using socket-style metering in all metering applications.

About the Author

Gordon Echlin is Vice President Marketing and Business Development for Triacta Power Solutions LP, where he has been a management team member since 2009. Prior to Triacta, Gordon was a partner for a boutique venture capital firm, Venture Coaches from 2006 to 2009, and started a telematics company, Netistix Technologies, in 2002. Gordon is a Computer Scientist and technologist by education, and prior to Netistix worked in technical, management and sales roles in Mitel Corporation, Newbridge Corporation and several small startups, since graduating in 1982.

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