In countries and areas where water is scarce, it’s a better choice to realise reasonable and strategic water use by using prepaid water meters and adopting the method of “pay before water consumption” to regulate water resources in a more reasonable way.
The Prepaid IC card water meter is a mechanical-electronic integrated water meter assembled by adding sensors and valves on common mechanical water meters. The electronic module collects the measurement signals, receives the instruction from the IC card and controls the opening and closing of the valve, by which the function of prepayment can be realised.
According to our experience in marketing, product development and manufacturing, we believe good products should comply with the following technical features:
1.Ability to mass produce, to control the production process better, and to carry out independent R&D The ability to mass produce means the manufacturers have confidence in the quality of their products; better production process control ability further assures the products’ quality; and independent R&D ability guarantees upgrade of products, quick solutions to product breakdown and prompt satisfaction of individual needs.
2.Reasonable management function The Prepaid IC card water meter should, at the very least, have the following management functions:
- Ability to record the last 12 months’ water consumption information, and the ability to read information like meter status and historical water consumption information.
- A tamper-proof design is necessary: once the user dismantles the meter, the valve closes automatically.
- Ability to record information like cumulative water consumption quantity, residual water consumption quantity and latest water consumption quantity.
- Setting restrictions by user card on water quantities purchased for one time.
- Setting alarm water quantity by user card. When the residual water reaches the alarm water quantity, the water meter closes valve to remind users to recharge.
- The valve can be opened and closed periodically in order to avoid getting rusted or blocked.
- Meter data is secure in the event of battery death.
- Easy issuing of replacement user-cards.
- The water meter should have an LED display, which will illuminate on insertion of the IC card.
- Management cards – such as the checking card, meter replacement card and calibration card – should be provided to facilitate administration.
3.Better configuration design. Water meters are installed in different environments and are therefore subject to widely varying conditions. Mostly they are installed in damp indoor areas or highly humid and hot outdoor areas. A better configuration design should have the following technical features:
- The valve configuration (for example, the electronic motion ball valve) is robust enough to avoid damage from even the slightest impurity.
- Under normal conditions, the IC card holder can be closed to avoid water damage.
- The water meter should have an LCD display that is not exposed to direct sunlight.
- The protection class of meter crust for indoor installation should be higher than IP65, and for outdoor installation, higher than IP67.
4.A sturdy security system
As one of the civil utilities, prepaid IC card water meters are used in large quantities and in vast ranges. If the security system of the electronic part is attacked, serious problems could arise. Therefore, measures for security systems mentioned below are very important:
- The function of “one card-one meter, one card-one code” guarantees that even if the operation code of the card is broken, the whole system’s security cannot be affected.
- The information of credit purchasing is effective for only one transaction. When the card is recharged, related information will be strictly checked. Only if all the information is qualified, can water be purchased. When the card recharge is finished, the information becomes ineffective.
The prepaid IC card water meter is an excellent product, especially when considering its features. Once the equality of measurement, the rationality of use and the stability of nature are all guaranteed, customers will gladly to accept it and their habit of using water in a strategic and efficient way will be formed. This will assist utilities in reducing working pressure, saving management costs, speeding up funds recycling, improving funds’ operation factor and realising paramount profits. At the same time, the inconsistency between suppliers and purchasers can be reduced, limited water resources can be saved and the sustainable development of the society can be promoted.