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Three ComEd smart Meters have caught fire

The Illinois Utility Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) announced Thursday that three of their new digital smart meters overheated causing fires in customer’s homes. The fires damaged metering equipment and the “immediate area around the meter,” ComEd said, adding that tests showed the smart meter design was not the cause of the problem.

“The cause was related to fitting and connection issues with an older-model socket that had a poor connection at the point where the customer’s wires and ComEd’s wires meet,” ComEd said in a statement.

Smart meters allow for communication between utility and meter. They can record and send temperature data, and alert the utility when outages occur.

Smart meters were installed by ComEd in 130,000 homes in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood and 10 western suburbs as part of a pilot program approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission in 2009.

To Learn more about smart meters check out the ComEd website

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Chicago Sun-Times, Comed says three smart meters have caught fire

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Pedaling to generate electricity and a shorter Prison Sentence

There is a new program that allows inmates at a prison in Minas Gerais, Brazil to reduce their sentences by generating electric power to help illuminate the town at night.

Courtesy of Santa Rita Do Sapucai Prison

Inmates charge a battery that is used to power street lamps along the town’s riverside promenade by pedaling stationary bikes. Three eight-hour pedaling shifts will reduce their sentence by one day.

This is an interesting concept; I wonder how it would work in American Prisons. Instead of using the generated electricity to power street lamps they could use it to power the prisons and reduce electricity costs.

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NBC News, Inmates at Brazil prison pedal for electricity – and their freedom

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