- The system consists of a LoRaWAN Gateway, an installer’s App and a Management and Control Software for the communications network.
- The first LoRaWAN Gateway in the market specific for water and gas remote meter reading.
- A fully autonomous smart device, requiring ultra low consumption, which does not need internet or electricity network connection.
- Equipped with several hardware and firmware systems that allow to reduce energy consumption by almost 200 times compared to the LoRaWAN Gateways in the market.
Arson Metering, a company specialized in remote meter reading, has established a milestone in its sector with the development of an innovative technology worldwide. It has created the first LoRaWAN Gateway specific for remote reading of water and gas meters and sensors, which responds to the needs of these installations. Its technology has been developed over the last five years and successfully validated in practice.
The new LoRaWAN Gateway for Metering uses the long-range communication technology LoRa, which is at the base of the so-called Internet of Things -IoT- revolution. Based on this communication standard, Arson Metering has developed a device customized to the requirements of remote reading and sensing necessary to guarantee a high degree of security in these installations; for this purpose, it counted with the collaboration of the main meter manufacturers. Thanks to its features, it provides a solution to the most common needs of water and gas distribution networks, which neither the conventional LoRaWAN Gateways nor other technologies have been able to solve until now: to guarantee communications without requiring connection to electric network nor a broadband connection, as well as to provide an immediate level of response to alarms sent by the meters, eliminating the possibility that these could get lost along the way.
The first LoRaWAN Gateway for Metering
The comparison of this new device with conventional systems gives an idea of the importance and innovation introduced by Arson Metering, as well as the role it can play in the Smart Cities. The remote reading and activation deployments that are being done are limited by the available electrical connections and coverage. “Five years ago we already detected the problems that could arise in the long range networks, when there is a great amount of devices and information to transmit and we began the development of a specific solution to answer them”, Amador Martinez, manager of Arson Metering points out; “in this time we have improved the technology and we have developed a system that is going to revolutionize the data acquisition of sensors and gas and water meters”.
The reality of LoRaWAN worldwide comes from the hand of an intelligent device, the Gateway for Metering, which interprets the data it receives. It is designed to receive, process and transmit a large number of meter items. It has an autonomous response capacity, which allows it to manage communications and optimize the network, decide which alarms it executes on the moment and which derives to the central server, and guarantee the operation of the whole system including the points of difficult location. It works with batteries and without a broadband connection, as it does not require high-speed communication with the servers. This means that with this Gateway the remote reading network can provide personalized coverage to 100% of the meters, wherever they are, since it can be installed wherever it is convenient and, therefore, it can have access without limits to all the points where it is needed. Data transmission is much faster and efficient and consumption is much lower, “ultra low”. In fact, energy consumption is reduced by nearly 200 times compared to the LoRaWAN Gateways on the market.
LoRa technology has been used internationally for a long time and there are LoRaWAN Gateway devices from different manufacturers on the market, but none specific for remote reading nor with these features. Arson Metering was the first company to design and manufacture it. For this purpose it has collaborated with the LoRaWan Alliance, the technological association committed to the large-scale deployment of IoT through the open standard LoRaWAN worldwide.
As a first step and once all the field validations have been completed, Arson Metering plans to carry out in the next few weeks several telemetry installations that include these devices in several towns with different orography.
Exclusive features for meters
“Conventional long-range technology, as we know it, does not take into account small details that are essential in the field of remote meter reading, such as the fact that a meter’s battery also suffers, which affects its duration… we wanted to go deeper into all these aspects in our new Gateway,” says the manager of Arson Metering.
So, the LoRaWAN Gateway for Metering has specific features for the management of water and gas meters and sensors. One of the most important features is its universality; it integrates the protocols of all the meters of the different manufacturers in the market, so it is able to operate autonomously according to each type of meter and/or sensor.
The efficiency of the new system is improved by a new and exclusive Interruption System that filters communications and sets the device in an alternating one-second sleep until it is activated by the reception of a signal. This property allows it to go down from a usual consumption of around 500 milliamps to 8 milliamps. Furthermore, thanks to the activation of the Adaptive Data Rate -ADR- which organizes the network, it is also possible to optimize consumption and make it more efficient by extending the life of the meter batteries.
Security is based on the reliability of communications and above all on the intelligence provided to the device. Arson Metering’s LoRaWAN Gateway interprets the anomalies and reacts instantly in an autonomous way generating the corresponding alarms.
In addition, the Gateway includes a specific terminal for meter installers called L-Bep (LoRaWAN-Bluetooth-End-Point) to facilitate the installation of the device making it easiy for the installer to carry out his work in a fast and intuitive way. The L-Bep terminal also allows the meter data such as serial number, location, indexes, expansion factor, etc. to be sent to the central servers.