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Smart Water Metering


Image Source: Itron & Diehl Metering


Smart water meters in Singapore

The term “Smart Water Meter” has been trending recently among options to improve water management. Having a good water management system is crucial as it brings about better data clarity by tracking water usage coupled with added capabilities such as detecting leaks, leading to higher water efficiency as well as streamlining billing purposes. This would be beneficial not just in terms of cost savings, but also enables water conservation efforts to contribute to sustainability as part of Singapore’s Green Plan. Besides environmental considerations, Singapore’s drive towards being a Smart Nation would heavily involve digitalizing device functionality with IoT. Having a smart water meter system allows for automated readings of data as well as digitalization of said data for analysis, which falls in line with Singapore’s Smart Nation goals. As such, every building should consider upgrading to smart water meters, with stakeholders ranging from government bodies and industries to all private homeowners in allowing them to manage their own household’s water usage.


What are smart water meters

A smart water meter comprises of your typical water meter with added capabilities. These meters can be no different from traditional water meters in terms of operating principle, however they come embedded with an electronic computing unit that allows it to communicate with server platforms: the keystone for its smart features. Having the ability to communicate and upload data to a local or cloud server will subsequently allow analysis to be performed on said data provided. Based on the web of smart meters deployed around the monitored compound, the analysis can range from water usage at specific timings and locations, to leak detection from suspicious constant flows.

Ultrasonic water meters


Being able to measure water usage accurately and reliably is an important characteristic for a smart water meter, as this would lead to higher data resolution and thus provide more meaningful analysis. Leak detection also requires high accuracy and precise measurement from a water meter, as being able to effectively capture small leaks would also translate to the need to read minute changes in water volume and flow. As such, even though traditional operating principle such as volumetric or velocity water meters can be used in a smart water metering system, they can be prone to failures or lack the accuracy to effectively detect small changes in flow. Ultrasonic water meters are prime candidates to be the next staple of water meter technology and are also the best candidate for use in smart water metering systems. Not only does ultrasonic water meter allows for high accuracy in water volume and flow readings, but it also has no moving components which drastically improves the reliability of the water meter as they are less prone to failures. As such, it is beneficial for smart water meters to employ ultrasonic water meters, making them an important consideration when choosing to upgrade to smart water meters.


Smart water meter solutions

Besides the water meter itself, smart water meters require the infrastructure for them to be implemented successfully. This comes in the form of AMR (Automated Meter Reading) and AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure). AMR generally refers to the employment of a mobile receiver that personnel can be equipped with to collect water meter data by either a walk-by or drive-by. The mobile receiver comes in the form of a dedicated device, which can be linked to an application for user access on laptops and smartphones, allowing users to easily map out their water meter readings as well as perform basic analysis using accompanying proprietary software of their water meter.

AMI typically involves a fixed network rather than a mobile reader, and comes with the added benefit of having a constant monitored overview of an area that the AMI is deployed in. The infrastructure can even make use of cellular networks that can allow information to be sent directly and securely through these networks to a privately hosted server or a cloud platform by the water meter’s manufacturers. A fix network would allow for more in-depth monitoring due to the constant supply of water meter data through the fix network, which translates to higher capabilities and accuracy in analysing water usage or incidents such as a leak.


Upgrading to a smart water metering system will bring a slew of benefits to the end user, and not only help with Singapore’s Green Plan goals but also transition towards being a smart nation. Having an expert opinion in transitioning to smart water meters will be invaluable in understanding your specific requirements, and will help in a creating a more ideal system of smart water meters that can better suit your ecosystem.


For more information and consultation regarding the smart water meters for Itron or Diehl Metering, do email us at sales@val-technik.com.sg or call 6742 2770.



Reference

2) https://www.smartnation.gov.sg/initiatives/urban-living/amr

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