Manual reading is becoming a thing of the past: the method is no longer effective in the digital era — it is not possible to get the data on time and human errors often occur when taking readings. In this article we will tell you about wireless water metering — a simple and inexpensive way to simplify and speed up the collection of water meter readings, as well as obtain useful additional information about resource consumption.
Many resource providers still collect meter readings manually, i. e. they assign the task to controllers and receive data from customers via messengers, their website, or by phone. This method has a number of disadvantages:
All of the above problems can be solved with LPWAN technology for water metering. This is a system of devices and technologies that allows the operator to receive data remotely through a wireless channel. This solution includes:
Radio modules — low-power IoT devices for water metering — are installed on customers’ analog water meters. These devices are equipped with optical sensors, which capture meter readings and automatically transmit them at specified intervals through a radio channel to the base station (gateway). Devices working with the LoRaWAN protocol consume very little power, ensuring a long battery life.
The base station broadcasts the data over the Internet to the server of the service provider, where it is conveniently accessed in theirs IoT application for water management.
Cloud connectivity for water metering gives providers access to comprehensive IoT data analytics for water management: the operator can receive real-time information on the status of devices and networks, resource consumption, and emergency situations.
Network architecture for water metering provides Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication for water management.
Jooby, a brand under the Ukrainian manufacturer Infomir, develops and produces the JOOBY AQUARIS radio module for remote reading of Novator water meters. These devices are easily installed on meters and activated in just a few minutes. Once the radio module is installed, the provider has access to information on water consumption, leaks, attempts to tamper with the system to falsify water meter readings, data on the device’s charge, and emergency situations (reverse water flow).
Users can set a convenient frequency for transmitting data during installation. By default, the radio module reads and transmits data to the provider once every 4 hours, but this interval can be changed if necessary as the device can transmit readings from once an hour to once a day.
Installing the radio module on the water meter only takes a few minutes and does not require removal of the meter. The installer closes the water supply, installs the device on the meter, holds a magnet to activate it, and enters the subscriber data in the mobile app. After that, water supply is resumed to the customer and the radio module starts transmitting data to the operator’s administration panel.
IoT communication for water metering with the water provider’s software is carried out through the wireless LoRaWAN network. The data is securely encrypted and transmitted over a distance of up to 15 km in open terrain and up to 5 km in urban areas. Signals from LoRaWAN-based devices penetrate through objects, walls, and ceilings, so radio modules can be installed in multi-storey buildings and basements.
Once installed and activated, the radio modules can operate from 5 to 15 years (depending on the data transmission frequency and the amount of interference between the device and the base station). The radio modules are also maintenance-free and if the battery runs out it is indicated on the provider’s administration panel. The service life is specified as 5 years, but due to the high quality construction of the device and the components used, actual service life can be up to 15 years. The period of free warranty service is 2 years.
Radio transmission characteristics
|LoRaWAN device class||A||Operating frequency, MHz||EU868|
|Data transmission cyclicality||Configurable (every 4 hours by default)||Communication protocol||LoRaWAN|
|Remote switching of data frequency||+||Transmitter power, mW||< 25|
|Data storage period in non-volatile memory (not less than / max), years||10/15||Receiver sensitivity, dBm||< −138|
|Hourly consumption log capacity, months||2||Data rate, bps||250 – 50 000|
|Daily consumption log capacity, years||2||Transmission range in urban areas, km||Up to 2|
|Log capacity of events and alarms, number of events||256||Transmission range in line-of-sight, km||Up to 10|
|Battery status control||+||
|Notification of removal||+||Operating temperature, °C||−30…+85|
|Warning of exposure to the magnet||+||Case protection level||IP54|
|ADR (Adaptive Data Rate) support||+||Service life without battery replacement, years||From 5 to 15|
|Reverse water flow control||+|
|Water meter models||Novator ЛК-15Х; Novator ЛК-15Г|
|*For a complete list of meter models compatible with the radio module, please see the website: wiki.jooby.eu|
|Case material||PA12 polyamide||Battery voltage, V||3.6|
|Overall dimensions, mm||108.4 х 69 х 24||Rated battery capacity, A*h||2.5|
|Weight, g||~ 62|
|Warranty service life, email@example.com||jooby.eu|
Radio module manufacturer Infomir creates device cases on its HP Jet Fusion 5210 industrial 3D printing line. This equipment enables the manufacturing of high-strength products. For printing, HP PA 12 polyamide is used — an environmentally friendly material, the products made of which:
IoT water monitoring is a simple, affordable, and easy-to-use solution for optimizing water metering. Devices equipped with IoT sensors for water management automatically transmit readings through the wireless network to the operator’s administration panel. This system allows providers to obtain information on water consumption, leaks and device status, optimize data processing and balancing, as well as reduce costs and detect theft.
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