Fortum; NARROWBAND

In Australia, the LORAWAN network operator, National Narrowband Network Company (NNNCo), has partnered with three water utilities to implement pilot programmes.

NNNCo, City West Water, South East Water and the Yarra Valley Water conducted field and lab tests on the possibility of digital water metering technology to transmit data via low power radio communications network.

The pilot focused on distance covered by the communications network, bandwidth and battery life of smart water meters. The pilots were deployed in Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.

Andrew Foster, Group Manager of Intelligent Systems at South East Water, said: "It is clear from our testing and evolution that the system could feasibly provide data communication coverage to support a digital meter reading solution across rural, urban and CBD topographies.

"...NNNCo's LORAWAN system is a resilient communication network when multi-gateway coverage is provided."

NNNCo is deploying its communication network and smart metering solution across Australia with Actility. The solution is being offered as a managed service and leverages Actility's ThingPark IoT software platform.

Ragho Bharadway, director of digital metering programme at Yarra Valley Water, added: "Having battery-efficient wireless sensor networks and devices is of paramount importance," given the high cost of replacing water meters.

Adoption of Narrowband smart meters

The smart meters trialed have a battery life of 15 years.  Previously, NNNCo piloted the solution with Ergon Energy in Queensland.

The IoT networks and smart meters markets are bound to grow due to the Australian government increasing investments in smart grids. South East Water is also trialing an IoT solution and communications with Huawei and Vodafone.

In late October, water conservation consultancy, WaterGroup, launched Australia’s first, NarrowBand IoT ultrasonic, intelligent water meters according to a company press release.

“With Australia’s big telecommunications companies switching on narrowband IoT now, water utility managers can, for the first time, connect and deploy sophisticated smart water meters across their existing telco networks effortlessly without the need to first establish a communications system,” said Guenter Hauber-Davidson, the managing director of WaterGroup. Read more...

 

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