With the Antwerp project using the Multical 21 meter from Denmark’s Kamstrup, it is gaining the long-term accuracy offered by ultrasonic metering, along with the latest communications capability of Sigfox IoT. The meter offers other features too.
‘Due to the fact that the meter is an electronic meter, we can put in some features,’ says Søren Hebsgaard Knudsen, Kamstrup’s UK country manager. These include temperature, and the recognition of flow signatures that indicate a leak or dripping tap. ‘This meter will send an alarm if there is any leakage,’ he says. Similarly, the meter will send an alarm if it sees extraordinary flows that indicate a burst or pipe break.
The remote reading capability supports the type of data frequency most likely to be of practical value for consumption and billing purposes, which means daily. However, it reads more frequently than this. ‘The meter sends out a signal every 16 seconds – a small data package containing all the information you need from the meter, and it does that for 16 years on the small battery in the meter,’ says Soren. This provides the opportunity to collect data more frequently to support the alarms.
Compared to early systems, the move to Wireless M-Bus and Sigfox, for example, represent greater flexibility for water utilities in terms of their investments. ‘The end user is more free to choose another component to put into the system… They are not locked into one manufacturer,’ says Soren
Soren says he does not expect to see the water sector and wireless communications generally to move to a standardised approach as seen with mobile phones. He does however see that the standardisation already achieved for Wireless M-Bus suggests this will see wider use. ‘As I see it, Wireless M-Bus communication is the most commonly used form of communication today. It is quite stable, there is no licence for this frequency, and it is standarised in the EU. It is probably the form you will see used more and more.’
- Kamstrup, smart water utilities