Telemetry Subnets Offer Low TOTEX for Remote Asset Monitoring
The ever increasing demand for improved levels of service, efficiency, controllability and reliability in the water industry are dictating that a greater number of our remote assets are subject to real-time monitoring and control.
As our staff will testify, no other industry poses a greater challenge on remote communications technology than water! Not only are our assets remote but also the vast majority are buried and the environment is hostile, devoid of power and the cost of access can be high due to the need for traffic control and confined space entry.
For many years the cellular networks were thought to hold the answer; however recent mast sharing and power saving programmes, the imminent closure of the 2G, plus the cellular industries migration from 3G to 4G and 5G and our own switch from CAPEX and OPEX to TOTEX has highlighted clearly that cellular may not be such a good deal after all.
Back in 2010, Radio Data Networks embarked on a project to develop something new for the Water Industry, the Telemetry Subnet. Faced with the barriers from numerous IT departments who feared further cyber attacks, outages and being held to ransom by third party data hosting companies, we pioneered a scheme that ticked the industry’s big boxes of sweating existing assets, cyber proof, testability and most importantly handed back total control to the water companies.
The system we developed, which now already serves 4 major utilities, delivers over 85-million message per annum! Unlike licence free, this system operates under the assurance of an exclusive licenced and harmonised Band II allocation from Ofcom. Key to the success of the system has been the method of data delivery, which again has ticked all the boxes of even the most cautious Telemetry Managers. By deploying a product that we have developed called the Gateway Receiver at existing outstation locations, we have been able to port data seamlessly directly back into the customers existing SCADA using nothing more than the outstations spare digital inputs. Thanks to the Gateway’s fuzzy logic controller cards, data such as sewer levels, flow, CSO spill duration, valve status, leakage, etc. can be added to existing systems as simply as adding any other alarm point.
Unlike, cellular where battery life and cost is prohibitive, the Telemetry Subnet also delivers data real-time and provides an automated reassuring 5-minute health message. Further, there are no SIM cards to manage and depending upon the application, battery lives of up to 10-years can be achieved. Finally, rather than pay per Mb of data, our sub-licences offer unlimited data for each licenced customer, so the more devices they add the better. Typically costs can be as low as £0.0001 per message!
Currently the subnets are used for, CSO spill monitoring, blocked sewer detection, pump control, rain gauges, flood monitoring and containment valve operation.
Copyright Radio Data Networks Limited, November 2014
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