Water Efficiency January/February 2017 : Page 20

Pinney, director of global water mar-silos and unlocks additional value in the For related articles: keting for Sensus. Th e private network system. “We use application program-www.WaterEffi ciency.net means that utilities will not experience ming interfaces (APIs) to defi ne how transmission interference or share fre-we exchange information with other quencies. “Data is always a priority and is transmitted securely systems,” he says. Th is makes it easier for other companies to and reliably over a spectrum that is protected by Federal law,” take the data from a utility’s R900 system and use it for other he says. purposes. Th is ease of interface has been key to allowing the Mueller Systems off ers the Mi.Net AMI system, powered company to develop an ecosystem of partner companies who by Semtech’s LoRa long-range technology. LoRa not only can use and add value to the data being generated. “We call extends network coverage by miles, eliminating much of the this ecosystem our Connected Utility Partner Program, or infrastructure previously needed by AMI systems, but also CUPP,” says Hanes. provides the LoRa WAN open standards for AMI. “Th e open According to Gerhardt, implementing AMR can start operability ensures that the utility’s network can with a simple Starter Kit, in which the utility receives 20 fl ow mix and match diff erent IoT devices as needed for IQ meters and Kamstrup’s meter reading soft ware for smart-the smart water utility of tomorrow,” says Th omas phones and offi ce computers. “Many of our customers have Butler, vice president of marketing for Mueller appreciated the option to see the accuracy of our meters for Systems. themselves in their own systems,” she says. “We really feel that water systems can, and should, benefi t from an AMR system; AMI IN ACTION that it should not become one more challenge to deal with in “Park City [Utah] Water Department had an AMR their daily work.” system in place, but the city council made the deci-Depending on a particular water system’s needs, which can vary depending on number of metering points, geographi-sion to implement AMI in 2009, selecting the same vendor that we already had for our AMR system,” cal location, topography, and a whole host of unique factors, says Jason Christensen, water resources manager. a water system can decide if sticking with AMR is right, or if Park City invested in AMI to track water usage in they want to implement AMI. real time, and the city council approved the costly Itron off ers two AMI/AMR solutions for water utilities. deployment with the promise of rapid leak detec-Both solutions off er customers a seamless migration from tion and long-term cost savings in mind. AMR to AMI. “One is our single purpose AMR/AMI Choice-AMI allows the utility to provide information Connect 100 Series Solution or our multi-purpose, standards-based OpenWay Riva water solution,” says Ball. Both solutions to customers much more quickly. AMI was mostly deployed by the end of 2010 (about 98%) and fully deployed by 2013 deliver all the AMR/AMI benefi ts discussed earlier, and the (the remaining 2% that represented special situations). “AMI OpenWay Riva water solution off ers the ability to leverage the is fantastic in terms of billing,” says Christensen. “It also allows network for Smart City or Internet of Th ings (IoT) applica-us to manage our radios and meters better than we were able tions as well. to with AMR, in that we know quickly when there is a prob-For AMI, Sensus off ers the FlexNet communication sys-tem. “Th e system securely and reliably transmits consumption lem in the fi eld and can dispatch someone to fi x that quickly.” However, while the utility reaped a signifi cant number of data on the industry’s only private, storm-hardened network at benefi ts from AMI, this didn’t necessarily translate into ben-more than twice the power of competitive systems,” says Dan efi ts for customers. “We were still having to manually look through the data to fi nd customers who might have a leak and then call BEACON them on the phone or send them Advanced Metering an e-mail,” he says. Analytics (AMA) At this point, the utility part-nered with WaterSmart Soft ware and created an online customer portal. WaterSmart provides home water conservation reports and handles leak notifi cation for the utility, automatically notifying customers when there is informa-tion that might indicate a leak. Th e WaterSmart soft ware automati-cally e-mails home water reports to engage customers to log on and utilize the customer portal. Th e portal allows residential users to MCCROMETER BEACON 20 WATER EFFICIENCY WWW.WATEREFFICIENCY.NET

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