Modern Electronic Meters
Electronic meters introduced since the 1990s.
EV Series & Phase3
EV Series (1992 to 1999), Phase3 (1992 to 2000)
The EV and Phase3 meters were the first fully electronic models offered by GE. The EV meters were plug-in replacements for existing electromechanical polyphase meters and used register modules based on registers GE was already making for their electromechanical meters (the M-90E module was based on the M-90 register etc.). The Phase3 series of meters had the same basic technology as the EV meters but had advanced registers that took full advantage of this new metering technology and its ability to take measurements formerly done by separate external equipment.
Both the EV and Phase3 meters were built in socket, A-base, and switchboard versions (the switchboard version of the EV was labeled the ES). Unlike present solid-state meters with wide-ranging power supplies, these meters were built to specific supply voltages (120V, 240V, etc.) and are similar in size and weight to standard electromechanical polyphase meters. On the EV and ES meters, the V-60 numbering scheme was carried over (the EV-3 was the same as the V-63S etc.), and the single-phase style of the EV was simply numbered EV-1. Both the Phase3 and EV meters have been discontinued in favor of the more versatile kV and kV2 meters.
Photo by David Dahle
(1992 to 1999)
This series of meters was the first fully electronic line of meters made by GE. Unlike present electronic meters with wide-ranging power supplies, the ES were built to specific supply voltages (120V, 240V, etc.). These meters were built to fit existing DS-60 series meter installations just by sliding out the old cradle and installing the new. The ES meters also came in several styles which corresponded with the electronic registers that were available for installation to GE mechanical meters (M-90, M-90A, T-9x), and each register had the old register model with a "E" suffix (M-90 -> M-90E etc.). The numbering from the DS-60 series carried over to the ES meters (DS-63 became ES-3 etc.), and the single-phase style was simply numbered ES-1.
(1996 to present)
The kV meter was a big improvement over the previous EV series and in some ways is better and more versatile than the ABB Alpha meter. Like the Alpha, the kV has a wide-ranging power supply that eliminates the need for separate versions for each supply voltage. The kV also utilizes software that allows configuring of the measurement functions (such as selecting kW, kVAR, kVA, even emulation of a thermal demand meter). To allow further reduction of inventory, the kV can even be reconfigured by software to change it from one form to another - i.e., setting up a Form 16S meter (3-phase 4-wire Y 3-element) for use in a Form 1S (single phase 2-wire) service! Diagnostic software is also built in to allow on-site verification and monitoring of the service voltages/currents and power quality. The kV line has since been superseded by the kV2 and kV2c lines of meters.
Photo: GE Website
(1999 to present)
The Centron is the first fully electronic single phase meter that is designed to be competitive price-wise with existing mechanical models (most of which have since been phased out). The actual meter circuitry is contained within one board integrated with the meter's baseplate and which connects with one of several interchangeable registers. Initially, these register options included 'traditional' pointer-type or cyclometer registers (since discontinued). The currently available LCD register options include several different types of automated meter reading technology integrated into the register board in addition to a non-AMR version. Since this meter is fully solid-state, all versions regardless of voltage or class have the SAME Kh value - 1.0 instead of various values that have been used in the past (2, 3.6, 7.2, etc.). Earlier examples of this model carried the Schlumberger name, but now carry the Itron brand.
Photo by David Dahle
Westinghouse/ABB E1 Series
(1987 to 1994)
Like GE's EV and Phase3 meters, Westinghouse's E1 polyphase meters were their first fully electronic models. Also, these were offered as plug-in replacements for existing electromechanical polyphase meters and used register modules that could easily be exchanged in the shop. The E1 line of meters was offered in both socket and A-base versions. Unlike present solid-state meters with wide-ranging power supplies, these meters were built to specific supply voltages (120V, 240V, etc.) and are similar in size and weight to standard electromechanical polyphase meters. The biggest shortcoming of these meters was a design flaw in the register modules that would cause the demand interval to become infinite, resulting in inaccurate demand readings. Despite an apparent fix and a later redesign of the modules, these meters became unpopular enough that this model has all but vanished, especially after the much-improved Alpha meter came out in 1992.
Photo Credit Unknown
(1992 to present)
The ABB Alpha was the first electronic polyphase meter to have wide usage by electric utilities. The Alpha meter has a wide voltage range power supply that allows it to be used on any circuit voltage between 120V and 480V - previously, utilities had to stock one of each different voltage rating of meter for a given form. Also, this meter was loaded with new functions that allowed simplification of existing meter installations. The Alpha meter is available in several styles: single phase and polyphase, socket, A-base, and switchboard versions. In addition to all this, this model was proved competitively enough that it was not hard for utilities to choose this as their polyphase (and demand) metering solution.
In 1996, the Alpha+ version was introduced with improved software for even more functionality. Also, it was slightly redesigned to incorporate better surge and lightning protection by a physical modification to the circuit board inside and elimination of the external surge arrestors from the base.
Photo by David Uy