Saft Wins Contract with Leading Automatic Meter Reading Company in the U.S.

May 31, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Saft recently signed a $10 million, two-year agreement with a leading company in the meter reading industry in the United States. Saft will supply its customized A-size LS 17500 lithium-thionyl chloride (Li-SOCl_2 ) batteries for automatic meter reading (AMR) applications.

Growing at a rate of 15 percent per annum, the AMR industry has been embraced because of the significant savings in time and money the technology offers to the utility company. It enables the employee to upload meter readings remotely, eliminating the need for time-consuming manual meter reading. Saft's compact, A-size battery will be installed on the meter to power electronics and the radio that gathers and remotely transmits the information.

"Saft was chosen for this contract because of the quality and reliability of our products," said Thomas Alcide, Saft Specialty Battery Group General Manager. "Under past contracts we have provided this company with 100 percent on-time shipments and our commitment to superior customer service helps us maintain repeat customers. This order establishes Saft as a leading supplier of lithium batteries for the AMR industry worldwide."

Automatic Meter Reading applications require batteries that can perform reliably for long periods of time with little maintenance. Saft's LS 17500 cells are maintenance-free and guaranteed for at least ten years. Utility companies employ AMR because it can be installed in the field and managed remotely; therefore it is critical for the batteries to perform dependably with no maintenance. Additionally, Saft's Li-SOCl_2 batteries feature corrosion-proof containers and operating temperatures ranging from -60°C to +85°C, making them well-suited for installation in a wide range of field conditions.

The LS 17500 cell offers a nominal capacity of 3.4 Ah and its small size is easily integrated into remote or wireless applications. Saft has plans to introduce an increased capacity version of the LS 17500 within the next few months.