SMART WATER & UTILITIES
Smart Water technology provides a wide range of business benefits that spans asset management, planning, operations and customer engagement.
Whether it’s a network wide rollout of Automatic Meter Reading or the installation of Smart Network devices such as Sewer Overflow Sensors, Pressure Sensors and Mass-flow sensors, the benefits can be seen immediately and well into the future.
Automatic Meter Reading (AMR)
AMR generally refers to the remote reading of water, gas or electricity meters using some form of communications technology. While it has been available for many years, the uptake of AMR for the collection of domestic water meter data in urban, suburban and rural areas in Australia has been slow as the cost, until now, has been quite high.
When considering their potential use of AMR, local councils and water authorities have typically considered the reading of meters for billing purposes only, found that the technology incurs many times the cost of existing manual meter reading methods and then rejected it. However, Taggle’s technology lowers the cost of AMR significantly and, as a result, many organisations are now using it for billing and a range of other purposes.
For many water utilities, the distribution network accounts 50-60% of their assets and, surprisingly, they have very little visibility of their status and performance. While SCADA is widely used to monitor and control the production of water and delivery to service reservoirs, it is rarely used to monitor those assets beyond the reservoir. Part of the reason for this is that, up to now, it has been uneconomical to provide widespread data communications from assets like water meters.
AMR is now seen as providing a wealth of information which can be used for leak detection, demand management, load balancing, network planning and optimisation. When viewed in the context of these wider applications of data, AMR is becoming a key tool in the planning and operation of efficient water distribution networks in Australia and overseas.
Smart Water Networks
In addition to Automatic Meter Reading, Taggle’s technology is being used to collect data from a wide range of other sensors. Examples include sewer overflow sensors, water level sensors (float switch and pressure types), rain gauges, temperature and humidity sensors and others which have digital, analog and serial interfaces.
Data from such sensors can provide a new level of information for SCADA systems, allowing operators to get a more complete picture of what is happening across their networks.
The drivers of change and benefits of knowledge
Identifying Water Loss
Customers by actively managing their water usage can identify water leaks within their property. Council can use the instantaneous data to identify mains leaks. Lowering this water loss reduces electricity usage cost at the water plants and pump stations and also equates to extending the life expectancy of the mechanical and electrical components.
Providing a Customer Portal is a very positive step forward in community relations. Real time access to their water usage patterns and subsequent cost provide the customer with the power to manage their water usage. This will reduce the frequency of customer complaints.
The Network installed to manage Council’s water data can also be used by other local businesses to monitor a wide variety of parameters. These include but not limited to weather data, soil moisture, Viticulture, Industry to name a few.
Minimising water loss and reduction in the total consumption leaves more water in the river system enhancing the health of the aquatic environment.
Reduce operating costs and non revenue water losses