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Avnet Abacus and TWTG save smart meters from landfill

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Picture of Meenal Datar

Meenal Datar

Membership specialist

Avnet Abacus, one of Europe’s leading distributors of interconnect, passive, electromechanical, power supply, energy storage, wireless and sensor products, is collaborating with TWTG, a leading industrial-IoT specialist based in Rotterdam, Netherlands, to help prevent the disposal of millions of smart meters. 

The viability of existing smart meters is subject to compatibility as technology progresses. If older networks shut down, utility companies may struggle to keep smart meters updated. This leads to replacement devices and older ones being sent to landfill.  

One leading European smart metered electricity provider approached TWTG to design a retrofit module to work with their existing base of smart meters. It needed to communicate with the outside world using 4G. 

To establish the new module, TWTG needed to add a small storage device to provide enough power for data to be sent via 4G.  

Avnet Abacus was called in to help solve the energy storage device and provide support for the new module’s design. The focus was on the battery lasting for 10 to 15 years and meeting all the challenges of being charged and discharged without failure for an extended period. 

Avnet Abacus came up with a solution in the form of an innovative battery from Nichicon, which had been used in a stylus pen. The Nichicon SLB series battery connects via Bluetooth for rapid wireless charging and can accumulate enough charge from the 5mA P1 output to power a single data message per day. It is built to last thousands of charge and discharge cycles.  

By incorporating such an innovative battery, TWTG enabled the devices to send data over 4G, so the smart meters could stay in-use for longer. This collaboration with Avnet Abacus has prevented potentially millions of devices being sent to landfill – a truly sustainable ethos.  

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