The first task with any smart water technology installation is making sure the communications are working. VIDI sensors can transmit data using IoT (Internet of Things), low-cost digital technologies.
In Wrexham, I am using a wireless LoRaWAN network. LoRaWAN connects the battery-powered VIDI sensors to the VIDI Cloud via the internet. The ‘LoRa’ in LoRaWAN stands for ‘long range’. A LoRaWAN network consumes very little power. This means data can be transmitted numerous times throughout the day with minimal impact on battery life. Batteries last for a minimum of 10 years.
LoRaWAN is an open global standard meaning that different manufacturers can access it.
With the communications set up and tested, the sensors have begun transmitting data to Hafren Dyfrdwy’s engineers. Whilst it is early days, the sensors are already providing data that will indicate, in almost real time, if there is a pipe burst on the network and where it is.
Over time, the sensors will enable Hafren Dyfrdwy’s engineers to track comparative flow data. For example, the flow this Monday compared to last Monday, or the flow this January compared to last January. The engineers will be able to set up alerts based on variations in the data.
The Hafren Dyfrdwy team has been really supportive in creating the smart network. In particular, Andy Jervis (DST* Team Manager) worked to identify the projects; Mark Jervis (Leakage Manager) installed LoRa devices in the field; and, Tom Buchanan (Senior EICA** Technician) helped with the installation of communication gateways.
In my next blog, I’ll cover Phase Two of the trial. Phase Two includes installing additional sensors to provide greater coverage. The variety of sensors will also be extended with position (0-100% and open/closed) and level sensors being added.
If you have any questions about the trial, the products being used or any other aspect of smart water networks, email me at email@example.com (or simply click on my contact details) or telephone me on 07983 706675
Till next time, da bo am y tro!
* Distribution System Technician
**Electrical, Instrumentation, Control and Automation