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A case study on why IoT water metering makes sense, even in remote NZ

Arthur D. Riley & Co Ltd (ADR) is one of New Zealand’s most experienced fieldsmart technology companies for the Utility industry. This is the story about the challenges and benefits of one of their first IoT projects.

New Zealand is generally not short of water, so not the first place you would think of for monitoring water consumption. However some areas of the Country experience water scarcity, especially in the hot summer months. This is the case for Duvauchelle, a small town of mainly holiday homes situated at the head of Akaroa Harbour on Banks Peninsula, an area service by the Christchurch City Council (CCC).

As a beach-side holiday town the population of Duvauchelle triples in the summer months, and so does the water consumption. To the point where water is brought in by truck to cover the essential needs of the inhabitants, at a very high cost to the CCC.

Clearly the town was under “water stress”. With the advent of IoT and the SIGFOX New Zealand National Network there was technology available with near real-time metering of the water consumption, enabling the CCC to better understand demand and potential water leaks. ADR was appointed to help with designing and implementing this smart technology.

The objectives were very clear: previously water meters in the settlement were read once every two years. The CCC now wanted six reads per day to better identify potential over-consumption patterns, high users and leaks. Overall, they wanted to get greater visibility of water usage as well as share the data with wider stakeholders (community and water utilities).

A few challenges presented themselves with project. The area is quite remote with limited cellular coverage, so the use of IoT technology required the installation of a wireless network base station in the right location to cover for the hilly terrain. Also, the water meters were below ground level  and had to be secured under heavy duty plastic or metal lids (reducing radio reception quality of wireless sensors). To add to the difficult, the project had to be completed in difficult weather conditions.

water meter installation sigfoxWorking in conjunction with ADR, Thinxtra installed a solar powered Sigfox base station on an ideal high point in Duvauchelle. ADR then retrofitted 266 water meters in town with IoT pulse dataloggers, and started monitoring consumption data from each water meter via ADR’s bespoke water management platform.

Within a few weeks, ADR were getting some interesting insights, which needed to be checked live. For example, sites with hidden connection to the main pipes, householders diverting pipes before the meter, people removing their dataloggers, trucks passing by and refilling from CCC water tanks, overflowing water tanks, and the usual 10% leakages.

From the beginning of the project, based on the difference between sourced water and the captured water from the meters, 60% of the water was missing. By going through each individual meter consumption insights and determining the real issues on site, and at the same time fixing them over a three month period, they were able to reduce the unaccounted water figure to 30%. This 30% unaccounted water loss will reduce further as more leakage issues on the network are identified and fixed.

Bruce Franks from A.D.Riley commented: “From now on, not only are the users properly allocated their consumption, but Duvauchelle doesn’t require as much water to be brought in by truck during summer, a previously highly inefficient and costly exercise for this small, remote place. From this early experience in dealing with IoT smart metering, ADR and the CCC have gained a lot of insights on consumer water consumption in Duvauchelle, such as previously unknown major leaks, unaccounted for home and commercial excess water usage – gains that could be easily replicated to larger scale projects in an even shorter period. “ Additionally – “This project also enabled ADR to develop PowerBI dashboard for analytics which has been instrumental in solving leakage and loss identification”


About A.D.Riley & Co Ltd (ADR) – making utilities smarter since 1909

ADR’s founder, Arthur D Riley, was an engineer renowned for his entrepreneurial spirit, something the company continues to embody as providers of fieldsmart technology. ADR are always there for our customers, with technology and expertise that keeps operations running in the field. From high voltage power distribution, water revenue metering and system control, to data acquisition and parking management systems, ADR offers a proven, fieldsmart solution backed with technical expertise.

More info at http://adriley.co.nz
Contact: Bruce Franks (Marketing and Development) bfranks@adriley.co.nz


About Thinxtra New Zealand

Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things by commercialising and operating the first nationwide LPWA network in New Zealand (based on Sigfox connectivity technology) as well as enabling and promoting a full eco-system of partners that provide IoT solutions and services to increase productivity, accelerate decision making, improve quality of service and quality of life, and find more economical solutions to common problems.
Thinxtra is leading this IoT revolution, by connecting the un-connected, for a more sustainable future.

Contact: Shaun McBride (NZ BDM) shaun.mcbride@thinxtra.com

 

IoT Coverage where you need it, plug & play.

2019 is kicking off with the best offer so far in the LPWAN market in the region.
Thinxtra now covers 87% of the ANZ population & 97% of HK population, on track to reach 95% target overall. However there will always be challenging environments such as deep indoor or remote locations. Now, a single plug & play Sigfox Access Station Micro can cover, for example, large rural areas or underground parkings to connect hundreds of devices in the vicinity.

The days of complexity of installation, configuration of IoT devices and overall high cost are finally gone.

Coverage… Where you need it
Discreet with integrated antenna and sleek design, Sigfox Access Station Micro can be installed anywhere: hidden or on display, indoor or outdoor, in an attic or underground, in warehouses, buildings, shops, farms or offices… With the sealing cover, the Access Station Micro is dust and water resistant (IP65).

Coverage… Made easy
With its compact form factor and integrated antenna, Sigfox Access Station Micro can be easily installed within minutes. Accessories are included in the box to start using the Access Station Micro straight away. Power-over-Ethernet allows flexible installation and do not require professional assistance. The Access Station Micro connects to Sigfox Cloud via existing LAN infrastructure and Internet access, but it also has the possibility to use a 3G/G USB dongle (optional) for quick and versatile installations.

Coverage… Affordable
Sigfox Access Station Micro addresses the challenges of affordable coverage densification by keeping the RoI of any IoT solution deployment and operations low. Designed with great sensitivity it can cover an entire building, or easily cover 3-4km around your farm (with no specific installation, just plug it to your current router via ethernet or uses the 3G/4G dongle) and and can process up to 70 000 messages per day. With extremely low energy consumption, the Access Station Micro is compatible with smart solar panel deployment enabling untapped application connectivity where no power source is available.

To make it easy for everyone to access LPWAN coverage, Thinxtra decided to make it very affordable at a lease price of only $20 exc.GST / month + set up fee. (T&Cs applies)

With low prices and a plug & play installation, there are no more barriers to connect your smart things wherever you are.

More info on our offering and Sigfox Access Station Micro


About Sigfox
Billions of objects worldwide will be connected to the Internet; their data will be stored in the cloud and will participate in the digitalization of our environment. Having a global, simple, low-cost and low-power connectivity solution is fundamental. This is the challenge that Sigfox addresses by deploying a low-bandwidth dedicated network, already present in 60 countries.

Created in 2010, Sigfox is a recognized global pioneer and leader in a sector that is already disrupting business models and will revolutionize the whole of society. The ambition of Sigfox, embodied in the slogan “Make Things Come Alive“, is to give a voice to the physical world around us and to allow these billions of objects to play a role in economic and social development.

For more information please visit: www.sigfox.com


About Thinxtra
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Asia Pacific by operating the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as enabling a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services partners to connect the non-connected, to increase productivity, to accelerate decision making, to improve quality of service and quality of life, and to find more economical solutions to common problems.

Sigfox is the world’s leading provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has built a global network to connect billions of devices to the Internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible. Sigfox’s unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption, and global scalability.

Thinxtra is backed by the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation), an Australian Government fund with a mission to accelerate local transformation towards more efficiencies.

PR Contact: Renald Gallis – VP Marketing +61 404 894 960 renald.gallis@thinxtra.com