Water Usage Metering

Application Notes

Application Background                                                                                                                                      Printer Friendly Version

Water usage metering 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 wasted in their organizations. These measurements can also be used to detect leaks, so that water usage and the cost of water can be monitored.
Neon Metering Module (NRM) can be wired up to a water meter to act as a logger and communicator. Data readings such as pulses are recorded by the NRM and uploaded to Neon. This data is then analyzed and presented in numerous ways.

Water meters

Water metering users typically set up the NRM to record metering pulses for 24 hours, and then upload the data once per day at a predetermined time, e.g. midnight. Water metering customers at times may wish to set an alarm point, such that an unusual water usage over a period is signaled as an alarm condition and this is sent to the server at the time the unusual condition occurs.

Application Detail

Water meters usually provide a pulse output based on, say 1 liter per second, 10 liters per second and so on. When considering logging systems, you may wish to have a Neon Remote Terminal or Module record and measure the raw liters per second, or accumulate pulses in some other 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 (this is how often the inputs are read and checked for alarms). Typically: scan inputs each minute and then set equipment to sleep to conserve battery life

Neon Node Graph Display

Neon Node Channel Display

Alarms – Decide if there are any high water usage conditions you wish to check for an alarm level, and if that alarm level 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 someone

Logging Data to Memory – Decide on an appropriate logging interval (this is how often the data is recorded in memory). Typically: log inputs every 5 minutes and then set equipment to sleep to conserve battery life.

The next consideration is how to power the NRM. A power budget should be performed by Unidata engineers to decide the best power method, either solar panels and sealed lead acid batteries or lithium batteries.

With a daily reporting schedule, and using the single high capacity lithium battery as a power source, NRM units will measure and report for 3 to 5 years before a battery change is needed.

When reporting metering pulses, the NRM can also be set up to report battery voltage, and an alarm can be set to low battery / battery change alert.

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 Multi Chart tab will appear with extra charting options.

Water Metering

A Channel Type option 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 of Liters per Second can be selected, this will add extra information to the displayed data and a daily total line in KL will appear on the chart.

Water metering users typically set up the NRM to record metering pulses for 24 hours

A water meter type report can be configured via the Automated Reports tab; Neon can also export Hydstra formatted report files.

Water meters in large organizations 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