Harnessing M2M technology for smart utility metering in the commercial sector

Reducing water and energy consumption has become a top priority in green business practices today. XLink, together with industry leading and reputable partners including water engineering specialists WRP and energy specialists KT Utility Forensics, has developed smart metering solutions for the monitoring and management of both water and energy consumption. The solutions comprise sophisticated machine-to-machine (M2M) technology that effectively addresses the skills shortage barrier by providing clients with immediate access to daily monitoring and control of their water and / or energy consumption.

Smart water metering solutions allow for the identification of system malfunctions, leaks, pressure fluctuations or unauthorised water use as they happen and send early alarm notifications allowing for immediate action. Furthermore, they remove the need for monthly manual meter readings and ensure that accurate readings are provided to local councils for billing. The benefits of smart metering solutions are often underestimated and even a small leak of only 2m³ / hour can result in an additional R27 000 each month to the customer’s water bill.

WRP partnered with XLink Communications to provide the M2M platform, product installation, on-going portal support and maintenance services that enable WRP to transmit the data from the reader logger attached to the client’s water meter through to a base station, and ultimately to XLink’s Insight for m2mconneXion™, an internet-based data acquisition and display facility.

“Without this form of ‘real-time’ monitoring a leakage of this kind is often overlooked and can run for months if not years. As water becomes more expensive and scarce throughout South Africa, the need to implement continuous monitoring and evaluation will increase”, comments Grant McGlashan of XLink Communications.

Electricity consumption is no different for businesses and smart energy metering allows businesses to turn data into strategic intelligence that also positively impacts bottom line. An analysis of the data collected in 2013 revealed that 77 percent of KT Utility Forensics’ 800 customers discovered discrepancies in their electricity billing. Smart electricity metering resolves concerns around current local council billing and ensures that clients are only billed for their actual consumption at the legislated tariffs as set by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).

The web-based online management system uses the latest in online metering technology, enabling internet connected customers to remotely monitor their utility meters through access to up to date billing and usage diagrams. Each meter is fitted with a SIM card that sends the relevant data via the GSM network to the online portal where the data is captured in various reporting and graphical formats. End-users have accurate and real-time readings of energy consumption (KWH), demand (KVA), reactive power (KVar), voltage (V), amps (A), frequency and power factor. This information provides the client access to accurate carbon footprint reporting, outage monitoring, bill comparison, meter estate management, usage optimisation as well as tariff comparison.

In addition to reducing carbon footprints and benefiting from the associated cost savings, there is also a government incentive linked to smart utility monitoring. The energy efficiency tax incentive Section 12L of the Income Tax Act (deduction in respect of energy efficiency savings) came into effect on 1 November 2013, which allows taxpayers to claim deductions of 45 cents per kilowatt hour, or kilowatt hour equivalent, of energy efficiency savings before the year 2020.

For more information visit www.xlink.co.za or call 011 438 3000.


Source: www.xlink.co.za

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