Governments are recognizing how the waste of vital resources is affecting countries. Therefore, they’re paying attention to the concept of smart utilities, and it’s a law in many countries. Gas, water, and electricity are the essential utilities required by everyone.
All these utilities need to deploy smart technologies to minimize wastage and leakage. Moreover, providing smart utility services will differentiate the service providers from others. So, here we’ll talk about how LoRa wireless technology is helping in utility consumption reading.
Smart Utilities Revolution
Smart meters are widely deployed across the market globally. Due to the lack of good connectivity options, people enjoy only limited benefits. When smart meters aren’t connected reliably, cost-effectively and robustly, they can’t achieve their potential intelligence. So, one thing is clear that connecting all controls, sensors, and meters isn’t easy because taking many variables into account isn’t straightforward.
But the good news is that LoRaWAN is the best option for connecting each utility sector according to its needs. Previous technologies, like the utilization of cellular networks, satellite connectivity or hardwired connections, have some flaws. But LoRa technology is easy and effective because it provides enough coverage, is easy to deploy, works well for indoor and outdoor situations, and has minimum installation and maintenance costs.
Types of Utilities
As mentioned earlier, there are three main and basic utilities.
Water wastage is significantly high. There are various reasons for water loss, such as faulty meters, poor distribution networks, theft, and tempering. Smart water metering can provide insights into how the distribution network is operating.
Moreover, it tells about how the customers should be billed. The main idea of smart water metering is to monitor energy consumption per user and to minimize the wastage of natural resources.
In the past few years, the electricity demand has significantly increased globally. There are various reasons for this increased demand. One of the major factors is electric factors. No doubt, electricity providers are also taking steps and moving away from burning fossil fuels. They’re shifting towards renewable energy resources like wind and solar. Smart metering was adopted by electricity utilities earlier than water and gas utilities.
But monitoring the generation, distribution, and usage of electricity isn’t an easy task. Electricity production and light companies need data from end-user customers every 15 to 30 minutes to find the required amount of electricity to be generated to fulfill the market demand.
Different distribution companies manage this consumption data. Therefore, connecting and integrating data from end users to get a picture of consumption and demand is a massive challenge.
Companies are now looking for environment-friendly options. Therefore, there is strict monitoring of gas consumption. But the good news is it is a straightforward industry because users don’t generate gas. But its metering is similar to the water industry.
Gas providers need to check on consumption and leakages with smart meters. Moreover, adopting new technologies in this sector has some limitations, so there is a possibility that it will be the last one to become fully smart.
Why LoRaWAN for AMI?
LoRaWAN is the best technology for Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) because of various reasons. AMI is a replacement for aging infrastructure, and it provides automatic meter readings and ready-to-process bills. When AMI and LPWAN are deployed together, they don’t only facilitate meter reading, but municipal committees can use them for various applications, such as water conservation and sustainability concerns.
Long-term operational flexibility and cost savings make LoRaWAN a perfect connectivity option for utility providers. It also helps develop a cross-sector utility collaboration between utilities and municipal organizations. Metering infrastructure and applications require low data payloads and low latency. Therefore water and electricity management are built on LoRaWAN standards.
A publicly managed LoRaWAN network service can manage millions of connected devices. Therefore, municipalities can use this technology for smart metering in a cost-effective way.
LoRaWAN networks are built with abundant capacity and are secure for advanced metering infrastructure. A single LoRaWAN gateway is capable of supporting millions of endpoints. It can ensure secure wireless delivery of municipal data.
As wireless data collection sensors and automated meters are getting advanced, advanced metering infrastructure can streamline billing by monitoring water flow, leak detection, and implementing new structures for water conservation. Moreover, consumers can also get information about their actual water consumption. As a result, they will pay less water bills. These advanced solutions can also help monitor gas pressure and smart gas leak detection.
Smart Utility with LoRa
As discussed earlier, LoRa is an excellent choice for utility consumption reading.
- Due to low power and deep density, LoRaWAN is a good choice for smart utility.
- It’s highly compatible with other protocols and ensures secure data transmission.
- Meters are often located underground, indoors, or in dense urban environments; therefore, many wireless technologies don’t even get there. But LoRa wireless technology is a perfect option for such situations.
- LoRaWAN is an open standard option, and it’s consistent with metering standards.
- Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) is a perfect communication protocol for AMI.
- It’s capable of communicating between long-distance commercial and industrial buildings.
Benefits of Smart Utilities
There are various benefits of smart utilities, such as:
- They improve the aging utility system.
- Smart metering helps control energy consumption and reduce energy wastage.
- They fix traditional utility problems like lack of sufficient coverage, hardwired connections, and measurement by personnel.
- They optimize the consumption of fundamental utilities: water, electricity, and gas.
- Finally, the digital transformation for utilities should be cost-effective and easy to install and manage in the long run.
Utilities demand is increasing with each passing day. Unfortunately, the wastage of utilities is also increasing at the same pace. Therefore, to conserve energy, a smart metering system is required. It can be achieved by using LoRaWAN technology.
LoRa wireless technology is helpful for smart utilities. It’s beneficial for both utility providers and end consumers. So, if you need any help with LoRa design services, you can contact Arshon Technology. We can help you design solutions to conserve energy in a cost-effective way.
Author: Sherry Mosleh IoT Development Engineer at Arshon Technology Inc.