Three prerequisites for large-scale commercial use of smart water meters

by:Sure     2021-08-25
Easy to use: Easy to deploy, easy to maintain, and easy to use. One of the driving forces to promote intelligent water meters is to liberate manual meter reading. From the perspective of the Water Division, if the intelligent meter cannot meet the characteristics of easy installation, easy deployment, and easy use, it will be a bit more of a loss than if the manpower and financial resources of manual meter reading are transferred to deployment and operation and maintenance. For example, the self-organizing network method, although the communication speed is fast and the construction is convenient, it does not have a unified standard. Each enterprise is in a separate formation, the operation and maintenance are difficult, the power consumption is high, and the installation location is high. Moreover, the interests of the water company cannot be guaranteed. Once the network enterprise has problems or goes bankrupt, the operation and maintenance cannot be carried out, and the water company will suffer huge losses. Another example is LoRa, which is currently relatively popular. There is only Semtech, the only chip manufacturer in the world. The technical risks can be imagined, not to mention maintenance.   Furthermore, it is normal for a water company to apply various water meters from multiple manufacturers. Because there is no unified standard, the multi-protocol access compatibility of various water meters is extremely poor, and it is impossible to achieve interconnection between each other. Due to the different meters, various supporting facilities are emerging one after another, coupled with the diversity of water meter application layer protocols, leading to the emergence of various business platforms like mushrooms after rain. All of these make the water company to manage water meters, in addition to relying on the systems of different manufacturers, but also to equip each meter with its own business platform, and even understand the entire networking process. It is conceivable that under such a situation, the water company's equipment maintenance and platform use are complicated!    Just imagine, if different manufacturers and water meters adopt a unified standard agreement, all meter management and business platforms are integrated on one platform, and the water meters are not only It can realize long-distance transmission, and there is no time-consuming and labor-consuming in networking, and there is no need to consider maintenance and technical upgrades. Then the water company will be much more convenient in deployment, maintenance and use.  Quick use: versatility, can be quickly promoted nationwide and used for a long time.    Regarding versatility, a simpler understanding is how to quickly promote it in the industry, across the country, and even globally at low cost or even zero cost after a successful pilot in one place. And rapid promotion requires three points: no need to rebuild the network, no need for professional maintenance, and future development.   For traditional remote water meters, rapid promotion is indeed difficult to achieve. Regardless of wired or self-organizing networks, the installation environment or use environment to operation and maintenance has greatly restricted its large-scale commercial promotion. For example, the wired RS-485, the communication is stable without external interference, but wiring is required, and the use scene is greatly restricted. This is inappropriate in the old community where the wiring is already intricate, and the installation in the new community will affect its overall Beautiful, it is very difficult to maintain and upgrade in the future. As for the wireless networking solution, although no wiring is required, it is time-consuming and costly, and maintenance cannot be guaranteed, let alone future planning. At the same time, it also needs concentrator purchase fees and communication fees, network maintenance fees, terminal module fees, etc., which are costly. Besides, GPRS has high power consumption and high cost, and the communication module cannot realize real-time CC. For example, the 2G coverage area is not wide enough, the signal is very weak in many new cells, and the current 2G network is likely to be withdrawn. If the water company uses this solution, it may be deactivated at any time. As for new communities that are usually covered by 3G/4G signals, water companies cannot afford their high costs. Regardless of whether it is a 2G solution or a 3G/4G solution, the future will face the possibility of exiting the network at any time, and water companies will face huge risks. In addition, the use of unlicensed frequency bands by LoRa does not have a clear technological evolution direction, and the service life of the solution is also not guaranteed.  Affordable: The cost input should be reduced, and the income should be increased.  Water Division is a non-profit organization and is very cost-sensitive. The scale of replacing smart water meters is relatively large, and the asset investment will be high. Therefore, in order to achieve scale, the price of smart water meters must be lowered. As mentioned above, whether it is an ad hoc network or GPRS, both of them require high investment. Secondly, water companies have an urgent need for smart water services, but it is not easy to achieve the perfect combination of water companies’ business needs and information technology. The current smart water providers and their solutions are difficult to transform water companies’ business needs into Technical requirements. This means whether the use of smart water meters can bring new value models such as leakage detection at home and care for the elderly to water companies. Since intelligence is an inevitable trend and smart water meters are an inevitable choice, how should these three prerequisites be met?    All these changes until the emergence of NB-IoT!   NB-IoT gave us hope that the standard is unified and convenient NB-IoT Networked water meter NB-IoT has a unified 3GPP standard NB-IoT appears as a 3GPP standard and is of great significance to the water industry. The unification of standards will help solve the problem of interconnection and interoperability of wireless meter terminals in the water industry. Water companies do not need to bother to consider the docking problems of different meter factories when purchasing terminals in the future. Interoperability and product compatibility can be effectively resolved.
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