ION modules

The Integrated Object Network (ION) architecture offers many different types of ION modules.

Each type of module type has a unique function corresponding to part of a traditional electromechanical power device or providing additional functionality. By combining (or linking) several modules together, you can create custom functions (frameworks) to suit your particular applications. Some examples of individual modules include:

  • Power Meter modules, which provide the functionality of a discrete power measuring instrument, like a traditional electromechanical kW meter.

  • Maximum modules, which are analogous to a peak register, and can keep track of the peak value for any programmed parameter.

  • Data Recorder modules, which behave as traditional strip chart recorders, and can be used to track variations in current flow.

All ION modules share a similar structure. Each module on the ION device is identified by a unique module label. Most modules provide processed data through an output register. ION modules receive data through inputs, and any module that is user-configurable offers one or more setup registers. The registers and settings available for these modules depends on the device you are configuring, as well as its firmware and template versions. Not all registers or settings are available on all devices, and labels may vary.

Available module types and the maximum quantity allowable for each type of module depends on the device. Not all modules are available on all devices. See the online ION Device Templates documentation for device-specific information.

Some module names are configured to be compatible with third-party protocols. Modifying the module name may cause loss of third-party protocol support or the third-party protocol data to be inaccurate.

Do not modify module names or labels related to third-party compliance.
Failure to follow these instructions may result in loss of compliance.

Module classes

ION modules have three different classes: Core modules, Standard modules, and Persistent modules.

Core modules

Core modules are fundamental to ION device or software operation. You cannot create or delete Core modules, and in some cases, you cannot configure them. ION modules classified as Core modules are Core modules across every supporting device; for example, a Core module in the Virtual Processor is also a Core Module in the Log Inserter. Some core modules exist only in certain devices or software components.

Examples of Core modules include: Power Meter module, Communications module, Display Options module, and Factory module.

Standard modules

Standard modules are reusable ION modules that can be created, edited or deleted from your device frameworks. The majority of ION modules in a device or software are Standard modules. You can create or delete Standard modules as needed if your device's security settings allow it and if you have not used up all the available modules of that type.

Examples of Standard modules include: AND/ OR module, External Pulse module, Integrator module, and Digital Output module.

Persistent modules

Similar to Core modules in they cannot be created or deleted, Persistent modules are Standard modules that have been converted to Core modules. These modules are created at the factory and cannot be removed from the device’s template.

An example of a Persistent module is the External Pulse module used for meter resets, which pulses when the Demand Reset switch is pressed on the meter.

Online and Offline modules

The terms "online" and "offline" describe whether a module is currently active or inactive. A module is online when it is functioning normally (monitoring its input and updating its output registers). When you configure a device, the affected modules are temporarily taken offline while you are programming changes to these modules. Once they have been programmed and the changes saved, the modules then return online. Normally this is a routine procedure, but certain circumstances can prevent a module from going back online. For example, if the device lacks sufficient processing power to operate the module, or if the module has been configured incorrectly, the module will remain offline.

The ‘Not Available’ value

If an ION module lacks a required input link, or its input link is invalid, the module's output registers contain no data and are set to not available, for example a lineto- neutral measurement for a 3-wire Delta system. The not available value helps to distinguish between cases where a register contains a value like 0 or OFF, and cases where no actual value is stored. The not available value propagates through all linked modules.

Maximum number of modules

Each ION device supports a limited number of ION modules. Once a device has reached the maximum number of modules of a certain type, no new modules of that type can be created. If more modules are required, you can only make room for new modules by deleting any existing modules of the same type that you no longer require.

Refer to the ION Device Templates document for the latest information regarding ION module counts on all device platforms and firmware versions.

Module security

Some ION devices have implemented security schemes that prevent certain modules, usually modules that provide revenue data, from being configured or deleted. ION devices that use this security scheme are ordered as revenue-class meters with hardware locking.

For more information, refer to your device’s user manual.

Register classes

To link the input of one module to the output register of another module, the input and output must have the same register class. Some inputs allow more than one register class for handling different types of data. The following register classes are in ION architecture:

Allows you to specify a destination address to which the module sends output data.
Contains a logical true (ON, or “1”) or false (OFF, or “0”).
Contains setup information in the Scheduler module.
Allows you to select from a list of several options. Typically only setup registers are enumerated registers.
Event Log
Contains the assembled contents of all the event registers of all modules in the ION device or software node. The Event Log Controller module uses this class of register to provide a log of the events occurring on the device.

Records the events produced by a module. An event is simply any occurrence in the system that is logged in the Event register. The contents of an event register include:

  • A timestamp of when the event occurred.

  • The priority of the event.

  • The cause of the event.

  • Any values or conditions associated with the cause.

  • The effect of the event.

  • Any values or conditions associated with the effect.

Contains a time-stamped list of numeric, Boolean or waveform data. Typically, modules that record data (e.g. Data Recorder, Waveform Recorder) have Log output registers.
Numeric Array
Contains an array of numeric values.
Numeric Bounded
Contains a number bounded by a high and low limit. Typically only setup registers are numeric bounded registers.
Contains a single numeric value. It can be any value within the range capabilities of the device.
Contains a pulse, or instantaneous trigger signal. This class of register is normally used for resetting, pulsing or triggering functions.
Contains text strings. Text strings can consist of any combination of numbers, letters and spaces, excluding double-quote characters ( " ). In addition, the text must not end with a backslash character ( \ ). Backslashes elsewhere in the text are permissible, as is a backslash at the end of the string if it is followed by a space character. String register applications include formulas (Arithmetic module) and device information (Factory module).

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