Smart water meter: KMD EnergyKey and internet of things (IoT) will cut down on drive time for Odense municipality

A new project will investigate whether Internet of Things (IoT) and KMD EnergyKey can make the task of data collection easier for Odense Municipality and thus cut down on the drive time needed to check their many water meters.

Three days in a Peugeot 206

Three days a month, technical supporter Kim Allan Kristensen starts his company car, puts a small antenna with a Bluetooth receiver on the roof and drives around to Odense Municipality’s 534 water meters. Once he gets close enough to a meter, the receiver on the roof of the white Peugeot 206 can collect data from the water meters. Software from Kamstrup has been installed on the phone and iPad, so Kim can see the location of the water meters in the form of red dots. Once all the red dots have disappeared, he will have driven about 600 km.

“It is very simple, once the red dot disappears, you’ve collected the data. That’s all there is to it. It’s just that it takes these three days of driving, and like this we only receive data once a month.

It is very simple, once the red dot disappears, you’ve collected the data. That’s all there is to it. It’s just that it takes these three days of driving, and like this we only receive data once a month.

Kim Allan Kristensen, technical supporter, Odense Municipality

This is precisely why Odense Municipality and VandCenter Syd have decided to collaborate with KMD and try something new. An IoT project with smart meters that transmit data back to the office every day, so Kim no longer must get in the car, and so errors can be detected quickly.

Up to the cloud and back down to the office

The smart meters send their data via an IoT network, Sigfox, which collects data in the cloud. KMD EnergyKey then retrieves data directly from Sigfox Cloud. Kim Allan Kristensen is eager to see whether the new IoT solution works, and he expects that it will quickly create added value for Odense Municipality:

“We can stop spending three days a month driving around the city. We can download the water meter data into KMD EnergyKey at whatever frequency we need it. We save both time and driving. Right now we only receive data once a month. But this solution allows us to get data every day. I anticipate that on any given day when we show up to work, we might say something like: ‘Uh-oh, there’s a meter with a leak or a burst,’ and then we can decide in the moment, without even having to step away from the desk.

We save both time and driving. Right now we only receive data once a month. But this solution allows us to get data every day.

Kim Allan Kristensen, technical supporter, Odense Municipality

Kim can receive important alerts from the water meters because KMD EnergyKey supports the water meter-specific alerts

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is an expression that means it is no longer just people who connect to the Internet - our things can also connect to networks via sensors and transmit data wirelessly. A specific example might be a watch that calls for help if you have a fall, or a water meter that can report data itself.

Sigfox

Sigfox is a network that owns its own radio frequency. In Denmark, Sigfox is administered by IoT Denmark. All Sigfox-compatible can be set up so that they beam their data up into the cloud via a radio network. This makes data collection automatic. Sigfox Cloud enables an authorized third party, such as KMD EnergyKey, to extract the data.

Time for other things

The new solution means technical supporter Kim Allan Kristensen no longer must spend three working days driving around to water meters across Odense Municipality. It not only saves on the cost of diesel that was used to drive some 600 km – now Kim has three more days a month he can spend working on other things:

“We will be able to spend these days doing something more sensible. We might start by validating some more numbers that are transmitted from the electric company. We keep a close eye on district heating data and water data, but we do not have a very good overview of electricity data, so this will probably be the next thing we need to figure out. In other words, figure out what the data quality is like. Now we will probably have the time to do that too.”

 

We keep a close eye on district heating data and water data, but we do not have a very good overview of electricity data, so this will probably be the next thing we need to figure out. In other words, figure out what the data quality is like. Now we will probably have the time to do that too

Kim Allan Kristensen, technical supporter, Odense Municipality

Easy new data with IoT and KMD EnergyKey

KMD EnergyKey works with IoT devices and systems such as Sigfox so data collection is automated, simplifying everyday life for many, such as Odense Municipality’s Kim Allan Kristensen. KMD EnergyKey is excited about the solutions that can be brought to its customers using the Internet of Things (IoT) and looks forward to entering more collaborations that result in value creation for its customers. Business architect for KMD EnergyKey Christopher Gersbo-Møller says:

“With IoT, which means Internet of Things, sensors have become much cheaper and more accessible than before. It has now become much easier to measure what can be called ‘comfort parameters’ such as temperatures, humidity, and CO2 levels. It makes it possible to go one step further. Naturally, this is something we would like to support in KMD EnergyKey. For instance, if you compare the indoor temperature with your energy consumption or your CO2 level or something else, then of course there will be some associations that are relevant to analyze.