Background

In many cities, water meter reading is done by traditional manual reading. However, water meters are dispersed in many different places, some even in remote field, so the work of meter reading is a practical problem for staff of water utilities. With urbanization and the development of communication technology, more and more cities choose network-based automatic water meter reading system to replace the traditional method.

System Requirements: 

  • Easy to deploy and able to cover the specified area
  • Build up reliable communications between meters and monitoring center of utilities
  • Meet the requirements of transmitting large amounts of data
  • Highly secure and reliable 

Remote Meter Reading via GPRS

In this project, the water company provided water supply for both downtown and suburban areas. In the downtown area, water meters were installed in every resident’s house; in suburban areas, meters were installed separately at each villa, and usually, the distance between two villas was 500m to 5km. Traditionally, the water company used to hire thousands of meter readers to go around to read the meter, and always spend much money on traffic and labor.

Based on the requirements of water meter automatic reading, we provided GPRS based solution. For the downtown areas, we used InDTU324 industrial GPRS modem to connect with the concentrator by RS485 bus in each apartment; for suburban areas, we used InDTU324 to connect directly to the meter of each villa. In each GPRS modem, there was a valid SIM card provided by local mobile operator. These SIM cards could provide special private APN (Private Access Point Network) service which prevented access from public internet and also enabled the access from the water company’s data center to a certain remote meter. (Regarding private APN and SIM card, you can consult your local mobile operator for more information).

Advantages

InDTU324 Industrial Cellular Modem

  • Wireless service makes it easy to build up network and can ensure the network cover all the meters in the specified area
  • The network is reliable enough and can safely transmit data from meters to monitoring center
  • Industrial design makes the products are robust in harsh environment: 
    - Wide operation temperature: -25~70℃(-13~158℉) 
    - Power input: 5-35V DC with industrial terminal
  • Compact design and small size make installation of meters easy
  • Support several industrial data protocols Modbus RTU/Modbus TCP, Transparent TCP, IEC 101 to 104 (coming soon) also support customization for customers' requirements