Large parts of Australia have suffered well-publicised droughts throughout the last decade, as the country has experienced a warmer, drier climate. The problems have been compounded by a population that is booming in urban areas. With future water availability uncertain, efforts to manage consumption and reduce wastage are a high priority for federal politicians and local government.
Tom Fryers of Aquiba says, “A key part of tackling Australia’s growing water problem is the widespread roll out of smart electronic water meters. These must be capable of providing much higher quality data than previously possible, as part of a system with communications and analysis software to empower suppliers and customers with the knowledge they need to manage demand.”
The Aquiba A200 meter measures water flow extremely accurately, even at very low flow rates – meaning that even a dripping tap can be detected. This has the potential to save water on every street in Australia. The meter is able to offer a breakdown of consumption to give customers an accurate overview of their water use – allowing them to make sensible choices about their water consumption and to identify any areas of the home in which they can cut back on use. The accuracy of the A200 also ensures that water bills are representative of how much water the consumer has actually used.
“Australia’s water woes will grow as the planet warms,” says Tom Fryers of Aquiba. “While desalination is playing a key role in meeting the water shortfall it is an expensive and carbon intensive technology that does little to help conserve this precious resource. It’s crucial that we look to the demand side as well as these large capital projects to increase supply. Smart water meters like the A200 offer a lower cost alternative solution that can potentially lead to a long term reduction in water use by keeping consumers better informed about consumption. In addition, the widespread roll out of smart water meters will give utilities and government visibility of how resources are being used in order to best manage the water network.”
Sentec’s smart technology combined with Takahata’s specialist knowledge of manufacturing has resulted in a water meter with a high degree of functionality. The metrology at the core of the A200 is accurate even at flow rates below 1 litre per hour and its robustness means accuracy will not deteriorate over its 20 year lifespan. The need for timely communication between meters and utilities has also been built into the A200. Data can be sent via radio or optical ports at times and frequencies to suit the utility and customers. Aquiba’s first smart water meter adopters also have the reassurance that the meters can have firmware upgraded remotely and also have extra built in memory to allow more functionality to be added in the future.
Sentec is based in Cambridge, UK and specialises in smart metering systems for water, gas and electricity, as well as electronic product design and development. Sentec’s technology is in over 7 million electricity meters worldwide. Takahata Precision is a Japanese water meter manufacturing company with extensive expertise in mechanical design, high precision moulding and product assembly for demanding applications in utility, automotive and consumer sectors.
Smart Utilities runs from 3rd – 4th November at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne. Tom Fryers will be giving a talk entitled “How to future-proof your smart water metering investment at 11.55am on 3rd November. Sentec, who are gold sponsors of the event, will be showcasing the A200 from Aquiba on stand 16, where there will be demonstrations and the opportunity to discuss system concepts and applications with the team’s experts.