Water Usage Metering

Application Background

Measurement of water usage is usually done manually and very occasionally, perhaps once per year. This provides usage over a long period, but usage patterns cannot be determined. Water Utilities and high usage water customers often need to know usage patterns; hourly, daily, monthly etc. to better understand how water is being used or possibly wasted in their organisations. These measurements can also be used to detect leaks, so that water usage and the cost of water can be monitored.
Neon Metering Logger can be wired up to a water meter to act as a logger and communicator. Data readings such as pulses are recorded by the NRL and uploaded to Neon. This data is then analysed and can be presented in numerous ways. Water metering users typically set up the NRL to record metering pulses for 24 hours, and then upload the data once per day at a predetermined time, e.g. midnight.

Application Detail

Water metering customers at times may wish to set an alarm point, such that an unusual water usage over a period is signalled as an alarm condition. The alarm occurrence is sent to Neon server and an appropriate response is generated, like sending an email or sms text message to allocated people.

Water meters usually provide a pulse output based on, say 1 litre per second, 10 litres per second and so on. When considering logging systems, you may wish to have a Neon Remote Logger measure and record the raw litres per second, or accumulate pulses in custom specified way by mathematically calculating usage at the logger level before uploading the data to a central server. As the data is not for any process control requirement, sending the collected water usage information to the Neon Server once per day is usually sufficient.

Scanning – Decide on an appropriate scan interval. Scan interval determines how often the logger scans inputs. Typically: scan inputs each minute and then sets equipment to sleep to conserve battery life.

Alarms – Decide if there are any high water usage conditions you wish to check and if that condition is exceeded, what action is to be taken. For example: report the alarm information to the server immediately and / or send an email or text to assigned people.

Logging Data to Memory – Decide on an appropriate logging interval. Logging interval defines the time between the logs. At each log, data is recorded in the logger memory. Typical log interval is 5 minutes. A logger wakes up every 5 minutes, scans inputs as per defined scan rate, stores data in the memory and sets equipment to sleep in order to conserve battery life.

The next consideration is how to power the Neon Remote Logger. A power budget should be calculated by Unidata engineers in order to determine the most practical and economical way to power the NRL. The most common solutions are lithium battery packs or solar recharge system (set of properly sized up solar panels, a solar controller and a rechargeable sealed lead acid battery).

With a daily reporting schedule, and using the single high capacity lithium battery as a power source, NRL units will measure and report for 3 to 5 years before a battery change is needed. The Neon Remote Logger can be set up to regularly report battery voltage. The alarm can be sent if the low battery voltage was detected.
To configure a water meter node on the Neon Server, the node type of “Water Meter” is selected from the drop down box available on the Node Details tab. This will change the layout of Neon for nodes of this type in particular a new Water Meter tab will appear with extra charting options. A Channel Type selection will now be available on the Data Channels tab; this provides extra options when displaying data for channels related to water meters. To activate this feature a channel type “Litres per Second” can be selected, this will add extra information to the displayed data on the Water Meter Tab and a daily total line in KL will appear in the Daily Summaries table.

A water meter type report can be configured via the Automated Reports tab; Neon can also export Hydstra formatted report files. Another available option is to “Enable Aquarius Interface” which will allow for Aquarius to import or export the data for the specified node.

Water meters in large organisations often have one main water meter, then several sub meters. The Neon System allows water users to set up a ‘parent and child relationship’ so the ‘child’ water meter usage can be aggregated to check usage by the main ‘parent’ water meter.

Typical Configuration

Options for Application Specific Instruments / InputsUnidata Part NumberDescription
Pulse Output Water MeterCustom PartWater Meter 1/5/10/100 liters per minute (Example manufacturer – Elster)
T-ProbeCustom PartPulser for Retro-Fitting to V100
PR6Custom PartInductive Pulser for V200 Range of Cold Water

Options for Neon Telemetry - NRL / NRT / RTU / Field UnitsUnidata Part NumberDescription
Neon Remote Logger 16 Channels3016AOptions Available: 3G/4G Cellular, Ethernet, Globalstar, Inmarsat, Iridium SBD and LoRa
Neon Remote Logger 8 Channels3008AOptions Available: 3G/4G Cellular, Ethernet, Globalstar, Inmarsat, Iridium SBD and LoRa
Neon Remote Logger 4 Channels3004AOptions Available: 3G/4G Cellular
Neon Remote Logger 4 Channels M Series3004A-MOptions Available: 3G/4G Cellular, Ethernet, Microsatellite, Iridium SBD and LoRa
Cellular RTU 3G/4G2013F-AB03 / 2013F-AB04Neon Metering Module 3G/4G with Antenna and Li Battery
Cellular RTU 3G/4G - Industrial2016F-AB03 / 2016F-AB04Neon Remote Terminal 3G/4G with Antenna and Li Battery
Low Earth Orbit Satellite Globalstar2015F-AB0NRT Satellite Globalstar Modem with Antenna and three Li Batteries
Ethernet2017F-0B0-1 or 3NRT Ethernet with single or triple Ethernet Ports with three Li Batteries
Equatorial Orbit Satellite - Inmarsat2018F-AB0-1 or 3NRT Ethernet with single or triple Ethernet Ports with three Li Batteries
LCD Display2500ENRT LCD Display
NRT Field Termination Strip2103F2015F,2016F,2017F, and 2018F NRT FTS
NRT Firmware Option2303A-8M8M Extended Memory Option
NRT Firmware Option2303A-8M-CAM8M Extended Memory & Serial Camera Option
NRT Firmware Option2303A-CAMSerial Camera Option

Options for Neon Application Software - Customer ServerUnidata Part NumberDescription
Neon Application Software2302ANeon Server Software Licence Incl 5 NAL
Neon Application Software2302A-10Additional 10 NRT Access Licences
Neon Application Software2302A-20Additional 20 NRT Access Licences
Neon Application Software2302A-50Additional 50 NRT Access Licences

Options for Neon Application Software - Unidata ServerUnidata Part NumberDescription
Neon Application Software2301ANeon Data Initial Subscription Setup Fee
Neon Hosting Service2301A-01Neon Data Service Fee for 1-50 NRTs
Neon Hosting Service2301A-02Neon Data Service Fee for 51-100 NRTs
Neon Hosting Service2301A-10Neon Data Service Fee Metering

Options for Conventional Dataloggers / Field UnitsUnidata Part NumberDescription
Neon Remote Logger 16 Analog Channels / Touch Screen Display3016A-00016 Ch NRL (Superseded Prologger 7001D)
Neon Remote Logger 8 Analog Channels / Touch Screen Display3008A-0008 Ch NRL (Superseded Stalogger 6004D)
Neon Remote Logger 4 Analog Channels / Touch Screen Display3004A-0004 Ch NRL (Superseded Micrologger 8010C)
Starlog V4 Management Software6308A-AUEStarlog V4 Full Licence Key