UNDERSTANDING RADIO FREQUENCY AND BC HYDRO S SMART METERS

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1 UNDERSTANDING RADIO FREQUENCY AND BC HYDRO S SMART METERS

2 SUMMARY Radio frequency (RF) technology has been around for over years and is a part of everyday life radios, TVs and medic alert systems are examples. BC Hydro s smart meters use an RF-based wireless communication technology to send consumption information back to BC Hydro. B.C. s Provincial Health Officer, Health Canada and the World Health Organization (WHO) have confirmed that wireless meters pose no known health risk or reason for concern. There are three things to consider with respect to radio frequency: signal strength, transmission duration and distance from the source. Smart meters are located outside of the home and transmit for a total of less than a minute a day, at a signal strength level below the precautionary limits set by Switzerland the country with the most rigorous standard in the world. Planetworks, an independent telecommunications engineering firm, has confirmed that a smart meter communicates for 2 to 3 seconds a day at RF signal levels less than.5% of Health Canada standards.

3 THE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM Electromagnetic (EM) waves are produced by vibrating electric charges that give off packets of energy called photons. Unlike ocean or sound waves, EM waves transfer energy through electric and magnetic fields, not through matter such as water or air. The electromagnetic spectrum allows physicists to classify different types of electromagnetic waves on the basis of their wavelengths and frequencies. What determines the wavelength and frequency is the amount of energy each wave carries specifically, the level of energy in each photon. This video from an education resource website explains the different properties of electromagnetic waves at different frequencies. BC Hydro s Smart MHz - Image from Scientific American

4 THE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM Some forms of electromagnetic radiation, like light, are essential to life while others such radio waves simply make life more convenient. Radio waves are in the low-frequency end, gamma waves are in the high-frequency end, and visible light is in the middle. BC Hydro s Smart MHz

5 DEFINING RADIO FREQUENCY Radio waves are electromagnetic waves which travel at the speed of light, or 186, miles per second (3, km/s). Radio waves are also referred to as radio frequency (RF), defined as a particular rate of oscillation of photons. The frequencies of RF waves are slower than those of visible light, making RF waves invisible to the human eye.

6 HEALTH CANADA Federal department responsible for oversight of national health issues Draws on knowledge and research generated around the world to make informed, effective choices as Canada s health regulator Establishes safety limits for exposure to things such as leisure noise, ultraviolet rays from the sun, and also radio frequency Safety Code 6 is the specific regulation that establishes public and occupational exposure limits to radio frequency Safety Code 6 is reviewed and updated regularly (most recently August 29)

7 HEALTH AUTHORITIES CONFIRM SMART METERS ARE SAFE Health Canada In the case of RF fields, health effects research on the subject has been ongoing for over 5 years and there are thousands of published studies. There is a great weight of evidence that RF field intensities below Safety Code 6 are not harmful. This conclusion is based upon the bulk of scientific evidence from animal, in-vitro and epidemiological studies that have been carried out worldwide, including at a Health Canada laboratory. World Health Organization (We are) concerned about cell phones, but not smart meters. It sort of sounds, I wouldn't say specious, but far-fetched, really, said Daniel Epstein, spokesman for the WHO's Americas region. (Jan 211) (The Danish cohort) study showed no link between mobile phone use, including longer term use of more than years, and the risk of glioma or any other brain tumour. These are new results that were not available at the time of the IARC Monographs meeting. (Oct 211) 7

8 Based on Planetworks smart meter RF testing data and Richard Tell Associates research on WiFi. WIFI ON FERRY TRIP Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay 1 hour and 4 minutes 1 trip 35 years =

9 STANDARDS AROUND THE WORLD Electromagnetic regulations and standards in 235 countries reveal different approaches Most restrictive RF regulation, based on precautionary principle*, is found in Switzerland Regulation** (9MHz) Limit (μw/cm 2 ) Canada Health Canada Safety Code 6 6 Germany (ICNIRP) 45 Luxembourg 22.5 Italy (precautionary*) 9 Poland 9 Switzerland (precautionary*) 4.5 BC Hydro s Smart Meter 2 * Designed to reduce potential long term risks due to limited knowledge ** All regulations are based on a distance of 2cm away from transmission antenna Source: Mazar, H. A Global Survey and Comparison of Different Regulatory Approaches to Non-Ionizing RADHAZ and Spurious Emissions. Ministry of Communications, Israel. Baumann, J., Goldberg, G., Regulation for the protection of the general population in Switzerland. Swiss Agency for the Environment, Switzerland. 9

10 RADIO FREQUENCY AND SMART METERS Power signal less than.5% of Health Canada Safety Code 6 (2 µw/cm 2 vs 6 µw/cm 2 ) 5% below world s strictest regulation - Switzerland s precautionary limits for highly sensitive areas such as schools and hospitals (4.5 µw/cm 2 ) Equipped with a radio that is 1/5 th of the power of handheld 2-way radio Communicates seconds a day Installed in existing meter sockets outside customer homes Radio frequency from a smart meter over its entire 2-year life span is equivalent to the exposure during a single 3 minute cell phone call.

11 PLANETWORKS CONSULTING CORPORATION Independent telecommunications engineering firm based in North Vancouver Specialize in certification of products and environments against Health Canada Safety Code 6 standards for electromagnetic profiles Contracted by BC Hydro to undertake independent compliance testing of BC Hydro s new wireless meters Use high-end, specialized measurement equipment the Narda NDM-55 Broadband Field Probe All results and findings indicate that BC Hydro s meters are well within Health Canada Safety Code 6 limits Compliance testing completed on: Single smart meter in a BC Hydro testing facility Bank of smart meters in a BC Hydro s operations facility Bank of 4 smart meters in a apartment building meter room, in Victoria B.C.

12 SINGLE METER IN BC HYDRO METER SHOP RF measurement probe Single active smart meter 12

13 8:22:23 AM 9:4:23 AM :58:23 AM 12:16:23 PM 1:34:23 PM 2:52:23 PM 4::23 PM 5:28:23 PM 6:46:23 PM 8:4:23 PM 9:22:23 PM :4:23 PM 11:58:23 PM 1:16:23 AM 2:34:23 AM 3:52:23 AM 5::23 AM 6:28:23 AM 7:57:12 AM 9:15:12 AM :33:12 AM 11:51:12 AM 1:9:12 PM 2:27:12 PM 3:45:12 PM 5:3:12 PM 6:21:12 PM 7:39:12 PM 8:57:12 PM :15:12 PM 11:33:12 PM 12:51:12 AM 2:9:12 AM 3:27:12 AM 4:45:12 AM 6:3:12 AM 7:21:12 AM :23 AM :23 AM :23 AM 6:23 PM 4:23 PM 2:23 PM :23 PM 8:23 PM 6:23 PM Percentage of HC SC6 Uncontroled Limit 2 SINGLE METER RADIO FREQUENCY PROFILE At 2 cm from the meter, the average strength of a meter is.3795% of Health Canada s Safety Code 6. Percent of Safety Code 6 % HC Safety Code 6 5% * % % Measured Data - Meters Active Background Noise Safety Code 6 Uncontrolled Limit * 2 Measured Data - Meters Active Background Noise September, 211 Time September 12, 211 Safety Code 6 Uncontrolled Limit * Based on Richard Tell Associates Report 13

14 Percentage of HC SC6 Uncontroled Limit Number of Data Packets RF Level Number of Packets 9/11/211 1:15:11 AM 1 8:22:23 AM 9:4:23 AM Percentage of HC SC6 Uncontroled Limit :58:23 AM 12:16:23 PM 1:34:23 PM 2:52:23 PM 4::23 PM 5:28:23 PM 6:46:23 PM 8:4:23 PM 9:22:23 PM :4:23 PM 11:58:23 PM 22:23 AM 4:23 AM 58:23 AM :16:23 PM :34:23 PM :52:23 PM ::23 PM :28:23 PM :46:23 PM :4:23 PM :22:23 PM :4:23 PM :58:23 PM 16:23 AM 34:23 AM 52:23 AM :23 AM 28:23 AM 57:12 AM 15:12 AM 33:12 AM 51:12 AM :9:12 PM :27:12 PM :45:12 PM :3:12 PM :21:12 PM :39:12 PM :57:12 PM :15:12 PM :33:12 PM 51:12 AM 9:12 AM 27:12 AM 45:12 AM 3:12 AM 21:12 AM 1:16:23 AM 2:34:23 AM 3:52:23 AM 5::23 AM 6:28:23 AM 7:57:12 AM 9:15:12 AM :33:12 AM Number of Packets 9/12/211 1:15:11 AM :51:12 AM 1:9:12 PM 2:27:12 PM 3:45:12 PM 5:3:12 PM 6:21:12 PM 7:39:12 PM 8:57:12 PM :15:12 PM 11:33:12 PM 12:51:12 AM 2:9:12 AM 3:27:12 AM 4:45:12 AM 6:3:12 AM 7:21:12 AM Ending of Packet Sniffer Data = 9/11/211 8:: AM 8 Ending of Packet Sniffer Data = 9/12/211 8:: AM Packets Per Minute Starting at 9/11/211 8:: AM SINGLE METER TRANSMISSION PROFILE RESULTS Packets Per Minute Starting at 9//211 8:: AM N = 1 active meter N = 1 active meter 12 Day 1 Day 2 N = N = 54 M B Sa :3AM * Transmissions with 2 or more data packets are associated with consumption data transmission Safety Code 6 Uncontrolled Limit 4 * Transmissions with 2 or more data packets are associated with consumption data transmis or time synchronization (time updates) or time synchronization (time updates) 6 5 8:3AM September, 211 Data Transmission 3 Information Actual Bytes Transferred = 8611 Total Transfer Time 2=.94 Seconds Minutes Incremented from Start Time 8:3AM Data Transmission Information September 11, 211 Actual Bytes Time Transferred = Total Transmission Time = 1.83 Seconds Measured Data - Meters Active Minutes Incremented form Start Time Background Noise The actual bytes transferred is 26,64 bytes (26kb), Time which is roughly half the file size of BC Hydro s logo on the bottom left (46kb) September, 211 September 12, 211 The total transmission time is seconds for both days or 1.37 seconds per meter per day. 8:3AM 8:3AM 8:3AM September 12,

15 METER BANK IN BC HYDRO METER SHOP meter bank RF measurement probe 15

16 8:16:59 AM 9:28:59 AM :4:59 AM 11:52:59 AM 1:4:59 PM 2:16:59 PM 3:28:59 PM 4:4:59 PM 5:52:59 PM 7:4:59 PM 8:16:59 PM 9:28:59 PM :4:59 PM 11:52:59 PM 1:4:59 AM 2:16:59 AM 3:28:59 AM 4:4:59 AM 5:52:59 AM 7:4:59 AM 8:3:35 AM 9:42:35 AM :54:35 AM 12:6:35 PM 1:18:35 PM 2:3:35 PM 3:42:35 PM 4:54:35 PM 6:6:35 PM 7:18:35 PM 8:3:35 PM 9:42:35 PM :54:35 PM 12:6:35 AM 1:18:35 AM 2:3:35 AM 3:42:35 AM 4:54:35 AM 6:6:35 AM 7:18:35 AM 8:3:35 AM 6:59 AM 8:59 AM :59 AM 2:59 AM 4:59 PM 6:59 PM 8:59 PM :59 PM 2:59 PM Percentage of HC SC6 Uncontroled Limit 2 METER BANK RADIO FREQUENCY PROFILE At 2 cm from the meters, the average strength of a meter is.4643% of Health Canada s Safety Code 6. Percent of Safety Code HC Safety Code 6 Measured Data - Bank of Meters 5% % * % % Measured Data - Meters Active Background Noise Safety Code 6 Uncontrolled Limit * 2 Measured Data - Meters Active Background Noise September, 211 Time September 12, 211 Safety Code 6 Uncontrolled Limit * Based on Richard Tell Associates Report 16

17 :23 AM :23 AM :23 AM :23 PM :23 PM :23 PM :23 PM :23 PM :23 PM :23 PM :23 PM :23 PM :23 PM :23 AM :23 AM :23 AM :23 AM :23 AM :12 AM :12 AM :12 AM :12 AM :12 PM :12 PM :12 PM :12 PM :12 PM :12 PM :12 PM :12 PM :12 PM :12 AM :12 AM :12 AM :12 AM :12 AM :12 AM 8:16:59 AM 9:28:59 AM :4:59 AM 11:52:59 AM 1:4:59 PM 2:16:59 PM 3:28:59 PM 4:4:59 PM 5:52:59 PM 7:4:59 PM 8:16:59 PM 9:28:59 PM :4:59 PM 11:52:59 PM 1:4:59 AM 2:16:59 AM 3:28:59 AM 4:4:59 AM 5:52:59 AM 7:4:59 AM 8:3:35 AM 9:42:35 AM :54:35 AM 12:6:35 PM 1:18:35 PM 2:3:35 PM 3:42:35 PM 4:54:35 PM 6:6:35 PM 7:18:35 PM 8:3:35 PM 9:42:35 PM :54:35 PM 12:6:35 AM 1:18:35 AM 2:3:35 AM 3:42:35 AM 4:54:35 AM 6:6:35 AM 7:18:35 AM 8:3:35 AM RF Level Percentage of HC SC6 Uncontroled Limit Percentage of HC SC6 Uncontroled Limit Number of Data Packets Number of Packets Number of Packets Ending of Packet Sniffer Data = 9/11/211 8:: AM Ending of Packet Sniffer Data = 9/12/211 8:: AM 8 Packets Per Minute Starting at 9//211 8:: AM Packets Per Minute Starting at 9/11/211 8:: AM METER BANK DATA TRANSMISSION PROFILE Day 1 9 Day Mea Back Safe :3AM 5 Minutes Incremented from Start Time * High Bars are Broadcasts Associated with Interrogations and Time * High Updates Bars are Broadcasts Associated with Interrogations and Time Safety Updates Code 6 Uncontrolled Limit 4 TX Information TX Information 8:3AM 8:3AM Actual Bytes TX ed = September 3, 211 September 11, 211 Actual Bytes TX ed = 9665 Total TX Time = 9.66 Seconds Time Total TX Time =.15 Seconds 2 The September actual, bytes 211transferred is 188,114 bytes (188kb) for meters or 18.8kb September per 12, meter, 211 less than the amount of data for a single meter. 3 2 Time Minutes Incremented from Start Measured Time Data - Meters Active Total transmission time is seconds for both days or.99 seconds per meter per day 8:3AM Background Noise 8:3AM 8:3AM September 12,

18 4 METER BANK IN VICTORIA, B.C. 4 meters bank RF measurement probe Image from day 1 of 5 - Baseline of existing environment 18

19 4 METER BANK VICTORIA TEST CONDITIONS Day 1 - Baseline of existing environment ( background measure ) Day 2 - Installation of smart meters Day 3 - Stabilizing the network ( meters establishing their network ) Day 4 - Simulated network interruption ( exception event ) Day 5 - Operational steady-state (stable environment, one month later) 19

20 7.5% 4 METER BANK VICTORIA RADIO FREQUENCY PROFILE At 2 cm from the meter, the average strength of a meter is.83% of Health Canada s Safety Code % Real life RF profile is less than testing environment because BC Hydro s facilities.% 5.% have more operational background levels. 5.% * HC Safety Code 6 7.5% 5.% 2.5%.% 5.% 7.5% 2.5% 1.% ~ ~ ~ ~ * 2.5%.% 7.5%.5%.12%.%.11%.% Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 2.5% 5.%.5%.12%.%.11%.%.%.5% Day 1.12% Day 2.% Day 3.11% Day 4.% Day 5.% Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 * Based on Richard Tell Associates Report 2

21 Number of Data Packets 9: AM 11:24 AM 1:48 PM 4:12 PM 6:36 PM 9: PM 11:24 PM 1:48 AM 4:12 AM 6:36 AM 9: AM Percentage of HC SC6 Uncontrolled Limit 4 METER BANK IN VICTORIA DAY 1 BASELINE TRANSMISSION Prior to Smart Meter Installation Incoming Cell Phone Call Measured Data - Peak Value (Not Required by SC6) Measured Data - Average per SC6 Safety Code 6 Uncontrolled Limit Time Actual Bytes Transferred = 154,28 bytes (154kb) January 23, 212 January 24, 212 Transmission Time = seconds (1.8 sec / meter) 21

22 Number of Data Packets 9: AM 11:24 AM 1:48 PM 4:12 PM 6:36 PM 9: PM 11:24 PM 1:48 AM 4:12 AM 6:36 AM 9: AM Percentage of HC SC6 Uncontrolled Limit 4 METER BANK IN VICTORIA DAY 2 INSTALLATION OF SMART METERS After Smart Meter Installation Testing Suspended Measured Data - Peak Value (Not Required by SC6) 6 5 Measured Data - Average per SC Safety Code 6 Uncontrolled Limit Actual Bytes Transferred = 432,17 bytes (432kb) January 24, 212 January 25, 212 Transmission Time = seconds (1.13 sec / meter) 22

23 Number of Data Packets 9: AM 11:24 AM 1:48 PM 4:12 PM 6:36 PM 9: PM 11:24 PM 1:48 AM 4:12 AM 6:36 AM 9: AM Percentage of HC SC6 Uncontrolled Limit 4 METER BANK IN VICTORIA DAY 3 STABILIZING Network Formation and Stabilization Measured Data - Peak Value (Not Required by SC6) Measured Data - Average per SC6 Safety Code 6 Uncontrolled Limit Actual Bytes Transferred = 632,971 bytes (633kb) January 25, 212 January 26, 212 Transmission Time = seconds (1.66 sec / meter) 23

24 Number of Data Packets 9: AM 11:24 AM 1:48 PM 4:12 PM 6:36 PM 9: PM 11:24 PM 1:48 AM 4:12 AM 6:36 AM 9: AM Percentage of HC SC6 Uncontrolled Limit 4 METER BANK IN VICTORIA DAY 4 SIMULATED NETWORK DISRUPTION 1 After Simulated Network Disruption Measured Data - Peak Value (Not Required by SC6) Measured Data - Average per SC6 Safety Code 6 Uncontrolled Limit 2 Actual Bytes Transferred = 1,278,576 bytes (1.278Mb) Transmission Time = seconds (3.36 sec / meter) January 26, 212 January 27,

25 Number of Data Packets 9:21 AM 11:45 AM 2:9 PM 4:33 PM 6:57 PM 9:21 PM 11:45 PM 2:9 AM 4:33 AM 6:57 AM 9:21 AM Percentage of HC SC6 Uncontrolled Limit 4 METER BANK IN VICTORIA DAY 5 OPERATIONAL STEADY-STATE After Smart Meters Reached Steady-State Transmission time per meter is 2 to 3 seconds a day including days with higher traffic such as network formation and simulated network disruption. Measured Data - Peak Value Measured Data - Average per SC6 Safety Code 6 Uncontrolled Limit Actual Bytes Transferred = 844,54 bytes (844kb) March 22, 212 March 23, 212 Transmission Time = seconds (2.22 sec / meter) 25

26 4 METER BANK IN VICTORIA SPECTRUM ANALYZER BC Hydro s meters use a narrow frequency band between 92 and 928 MHz More radio frequency activity and output is detected from other sources including FM radio and broadcast TV stations, cordless phones, and household Wi-Fi (personal internet) TV Ch2-6 Cordless Phone FM Radio TV Ch7-13 Cellular GSM-85 TV Ch14-59 Air Traffic Control Radar Cellular GSM-19 Household Wi-Fi & Satellite Radio Signal Amplitude Frequency BC Hydro s Smart Meter * Based on Industry Canada spectrum allocation chart

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