From Michigan Stop Smart Meters
By William Bathgate, Electrical Engineer
October 12th, 2016
Revised October 13th, 2016
Editor’s Note: In the following article, originally written as a public comment to the Michigan Public Service Commission, Mr. Bathgate considers safety issues with the new electric meters as related to our current discussion of a proposed rule change concerning emergency shutoffs for “hazardous conditions.” Revisions to this article are indicated in blue and consist mainly in the addition of a section dealing with the lack of lightning arrestors in the AMI meters.
Case No. U-18120
Proposed Rule 460.137 — 37(1)(a) & 37(1)(i)
A utility may shut off or deny service to a customer “without notice, if a condition on the customer’s premises is determined by the utility or a governmental agency to be hazardous.”
I hold an electrical engineering and mechanical engineering degree and previously was employed through late 2015 for 8 years at the Emerson Electric Company. While at Emerson Electric I was the Senior Program Manager for Power Distribution Systems and in charge of an RF and IP based digitally controlled high power AC power switching system product line in use in over 100 countries and I was also directly responsible for product certifications such as UL, CE and many other countries electrical certification bodies. I am very familiar with the electrical and electronic design of the AMI meters in use because I was responsible for very similar products with over 1 Million units installed across the world.
I have just reviewed the transcripts of the hearing held in Lansing on this subject and came to realize there were many comments regarding the issues identified from the effects of both the RF emitting AMI meter and the non RF emitting AMI Opt-Out Meter. I have personally tested the RF emissions from the AMI meter and measured that the meter does not send data just a few times a day as the utilities publish. It actually sends an RF pulse about every 4-5 seconds constantly and a longer duration RF emission after midnight running about 3-5 minutes. There is no need for the AMI meter to send a pulse every 4-5 seconds all day just to synchronize and time stamp the clock inside the meter, the meter only needs to send data once a day for 3-5 minutes. All these pulse transmissions the AMI meter is doing is a complete waste of energy and because it is a short but frequently pulsing signal that is not needed to measure power consumption, it is creating needless health effects and is impacting consumers as evidenced in the testimony. Some consumers have been affected to the point of near death experiences. The Mesh Network design is saturating the environment with RF transmissions mostly for the purpose of the network synchronization not the consumption measurement of power. I could not think of a worse network design for a power measurement device.