A case study with SUEZ and Severn Trent.
Severn Trent’s strategic drinking water plan is to balance supply and demand, investing wisely to safeguard the water supply for future generations. One of the first steps in their AMI journey was to investigate whether there was a suitable smart metering solution for their topography. Furthermore, Severn Trent wanted to assess whether it would be possible to deploy a solution based only on their own properties.
The trial around Nottingham represented the challenges existing across the whole Severn Trent supply area. It was an end-to-end solution. SUEZ worked in partnership with the client team for meter installation and site access as well as Diehl Metering for WIZE meters and transmitters and Temetra who supply Severn Trent’s Meter Data Management (MDM) platform.
Four WIZE network gateway sites were implemented and each equipped with one or two antenna depending on the expected contribution and need to generate directional propagation. Diehl Metering WIZE meters were fitted pre-assembled and preactivated, allowing for the simplest process installation and immediate connection to the SUEZ ON’Connect™ platform. The meters transmit encrypted readings via the WIZE network to the SUEZ ON’Connect™ system. The data is unencrypted, validated and deciphered by the platform before onward transmission to the Temetra platform twice a day.
- WIZE was the only solution that proved viable for rural areas as well as urban and suburban
- 98.8% average performance with nominal variation due to the different terrains
- On average, 23.3 hourly readings available daily per meter
- 100% of the meters installed in narrow boundary boxes
- All of the network based on Severn Trent properties
- The system was integrated into existing Temetra MDM
- The field engineers found the meter installation to be simple and quick
- 14% of properties included in the WIZE trial were found to have leaks
- An unexpected benefit was the ability to understand changes in water usage behaviour during the first lock-down which helped with supply and demand planning.
How a WIZE solution works
WIZE provides a low-power, long-range and bi-directional communication network that operates over a protected channel for smart metering in the VHF frequency band; 169 MHz. The network is an open protocol promoted and supervised by the WIZE Alliance and is fully compliant with the European standard EN13757. The SUEZ approach to deploy WIZE networks provides the most efficient rollout as it maximizes population coverage and network performance whilst providing value for money.
Considerations for hosting the transmitters include:
- Site Ownership: properties owned by the utility are significantly more cost efficient, enable autonomy and allow for quicker installation
- Site topography and required antennae height influence the quality of network coverage
- Meter locations: The sites can impact transmission conditions and need to be considered when developing a resilient network
- Access to power. If power isn’t available onsite, SUEZ can provide solar or wind power solutions.
WIZE meters have a battery life of 15 to 20 years depending on the configuration and data granularity. WIZE meters are available for the main manufacturers.
The WIZE meters and transmitters are supplied pre-configured and preactivated so they connect seamlessly as soon as within range and without the need of additional configuration.
Meters are linked to the SUEZ ON’Connect™ platform and ready to install. Field teams are trained on the simple steps for fitting the equipment. A straightforward installation is key for cost and operational efficiencies.
WIZE meters can provide 15 minute, hourly and daily readings, as well as a range of alerts such as leakage, backflow and tampering. Additionally, they offer the option to produce specific data frame for network analytics and asset management. The data transmission is encrypted and can only be deciphered by the SUEZ ON’Connect platform before onward transmission to the customer platform of choice (e.g. Temetra).