Aquiba - truly smart residential water meters
Sentec is working with partner Takahata Precision of Japan to produce truly smart water meters for the Australian market under a joint venture agreement, branded Aquiba.
Sentec research highlighted Australia as a key market for smart water meters and agreed with Takahata to pool resources to produce a smart water meter to suit the Australian conditions. A joint venture was born, branded ‘Aquiba’.
In line with the Sentec ethos of ’future proofing’, the design includes:-
- sufficient memory space to add new or upgraded functionally when available.
- smart power management - using a 'sleep mode' to maximise battery lifetime.
- sourced a battery with highest longevity to allow for a lifetime of at least 15 years.
- smart operating system, 'Breeze', ensuring the utilisation of the microchip’s sleep mode
- ring-fenced the main operating system so that new applications could be added remotely without affecting the existing systems.
Takahata investigated and prototyped the meter housing, ensuring it could be completely sealed and was as small and light as possible. They made a further leap in innovation for water meters, housing it in plastics which were rugged enough to survive the high temperatures and high UV exposure the meters would experience outside Australian properties.
As well as having ‘smart’ functionality and two-way communications, the team aimed to produce the best meter on the market:
- The metrology, provided by Sentec’s Sterling solid state sensor, is able to detect far lower flow rates than in conventional mechanical meters, with good accuracy across a wide range of flows, throughout its lifetime.
- The lack of moving parts means no jamming or wear, extending longevity and providing a further advantage over mechanical meters.
- In addition, costs are aimed to be in line with mechanical smart meters and potentially lower cost than other technologies such ultrasonic detection.
Although Sentec is able to include any communication protocol, the Australian market requires ZigBee, and this has been designed into the initial Aquiba product, the A200-Z smart water meter.
- Sterling high accuracy solid state flow sensor
- Complete electronic design and implementation
- Breeze firmware and real time operating system
- Sourcing of the most advanced and appropriate battery, microprocessor and other components
- 2-way communications protocols and technology
- Trials management software suite
- Branding and marketing of the Joint Venture and product range
The Sentec and Takahata team have produced a truly smart water meter, specified for the Australian market, but also applicable or easily adaptable to other regions.
Mr Yamamoto, CEO of Takahata Group says, “We are delighted with the progress our partnership with Sentec is making. This smart water meter and the future upgrades the technology allows opens up new, exciting markets. Aquiba smart water meters will be a valuable resource, especially in countries predicting water scarcity, where managing supplies is vital"
The Aquiba meter provides:
- Low flow measurement (down to 1L/h)
- Leak detection capability
- High accuracy across the full flow range and lifetime
- No moving parts, hence no jamming or wear
- Longevity – at least 15 years+
- Field-upgradeable application firmware
- Data retrieval by radio or optical port
The A200 is currently being deployed in trials in Australia.
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