Hidroconta and Orange will digitalise more than 100,000 smart water meters for Canal de Isabel II
Canal de Isabel II entrusts its new IoT project to Hidroconta and Orange: they will be in charge of the deployment of 9,000 gateways connected to Orange's NB-IoT mobile network and using TST Sistemas technology implemented by Hidroconta, to enable the connectivity of more than 100,000 smart meters.
Canal de Isabel II, the water services provider in the region of Madrid, Spain, continues to move forward as part of its clear commitment to digital transformation. In this regard, it has entrusted its new IoT project to Hidroconta and Orange as suppliers of 9,000 gateways – connected to Orange's NB-IoT mobile network and using TST Sistemas technology implemented by Hidroconta – to enable the connectivity of more than 100,000 water meters.
The project entrusted to a Temporary Joint Venture between Hidroconta and Orange is part of the Strategic Plan 2018-2030 of Canal de Isabel II, which provides for the digitalisation of urban water cycle uses, including the deployment of cutting-edge meters, thus offering its customers remote reading services.
The digitalisation of water management undertaken by Canal de Isabel II is an innovative and transformative process that seeks to improve water management in the region of Madrid. Thanks to the implementation of advanced technologies, such as sensors and geographic information systems, it is possible to monitor the status of the distribution network and detect any potential leaks or breakdowns quickly and efficiently. In addition, digitalisation allows users to access real-time information about their water consumption and receive alerts about any potential service disruptions. This process not only improves the quality of the services offered by Canal de Isabel II, but also contributes to a sustainable and efficient use of water resources.
Canal de Isabel II entrusts its IoT project to Hidroconta and Orange as suppliers of connectivity for more than 100,000 water meters
The gateway to enable automated remote reading of electronic water meters is a gateway type device with a wM-BUS communications bus and long-range wireless communications NB-IoT. The gateway modules are advanced communication devices that enable the digitalisation of water meters. These modules are installed on the meters and are responsible for collecting detailed information on water consumption in real-time, thanks to advanced metering technologies. The modules then transfer the data to a central processing unit, where it can be analysed and used to improve water management. The advantage of the gateway modules is that they are highly efficient and accurate, allowing better monitoring of consumption and early detection of possible leaks or water losses.
One gateway will be deployed for every 11 water meters placed in residential connections to a water system. The gateways are stand-alone devices and are designed to provide long-range wireless communications using NB-IoT technology. Some of the key features of these devices are:
- Battery powered: the device does not require an external power supply and instead uses batteries. This means it is portable and can be used in locations where there is no access to a power outlet.
- NB-IoT long-range wireless communications: the device uses NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) technology to provide long-range wireless communications. This technology is especially useful for Internet of Things (IoT) devices that need to send data over long distances and with low power consumption.
- Compatible with UNE-82326:2010 communications bus: the device is compatible with the UNE-82326:2010 communications bus, a Spanish standard used in some industries for device and system communications.
- Real-time clock: the device has a built-in real-time clock that allows measurements and events to be accurately recorded over time.
- Read-on-demand through in-person interaction: allows a user to interact with the gateway device and request a specific reading, providing greater flexibility and efficiency in data management.
Canal de Isabel II’s Strategic Plan for the period 2018-2030 contemplates the digitalisation of urban water cycle uses
- Over-the-air update of both the device FW and the NB-IoT modem: the ability to update the device firmware and the NB-IoT modem without having to disassemble the device or physically travel to the site.
- Debug port: a connection that allows developers to access system information and debug code in real-time. Important during the development and testing process, it allows developers to detect and correct errors more quickly.
- Internal process information LEDs: they indicate relevant information about the reading and data collection process.
- Compatible with any mobile operator, allowing greater flexibility and versatility of use.
Thanks to Orange's NB-IoT network, Canal de Isabel II will benefit from low battery consumption for its gateways, which is vital to enable operations throughout its lifecycle. In addition, this network allows greater signal penetration to transmit readings in difficult locations, as well as lower hardware acquisition and communications costs.
The gateway modules are highly efficient and accurate, allowing better monitoring of consumption and early detection of leaks or water losses
Gabriel Aparicio, responsible for this project at Canal de Isabel II, said: "Remote reading of water meters is an important part of the digital transformation of water cycle management, which should enable a much more responsible and sustainable use of a scarce resource. With it, it will be possible to offer end users a better service thanks to real-time information about consumption, moving from bimonthly readings to hourly readings, in addition to benefits such as remote management of smart meters, automatic leak detection, etc."
María Ruano, Hidroconta's Marketing Manager, added: "This is an important project that consolidates Hidroconta in the development of remote metering projects. The Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE) to advance the digitalisation of water cycle management in Spain is supporting these projects and many municipalities are engaging in extensive remote reading deployments, such as this initiative launched by Canal de Isabel II in the region of Madrid. In this case, the idea is to digitise water consumption data from the meter fleet, monitoring consumption every hour and sending this information to Canal de Isabel II for analysis and management."
This is an important project that consolidates Spanish company Hidroconta in the development of remote metering projects
According to Íñigo Polo, Director of Public Administrations and Digital Services at Orange, "Canal de Isabel II's confidence in Orange's IoT services is the result of our leading position in this technology, the good results that our network has offered in terms of performance and autonomy, as well as our constant support for two years to help them in the implementation of the pilot projects that allowed testing the new remote metering technology."
Remote meter reading is an important part of the digital transformation of water cycle management, which should enable a much more responsible and sustainable use of a scarce resource. With it, it will be possible to offer end users a better service thanks to real-time information about consumption, moving from bimonthly readings to hourly readings, in addition to benefits such as remote management of smart meters, automatic leak detection, etc.