China Gas deploys 100,000 point gas meter network


Wuhu, China — (METRING.COM) — July 19, 2007 – China Gas will deploy a network of 100,000 residential gas meters across three cities, using a wireless solution for optimum communications. HowDeep, a Chinese company providing automatic meter reading (AMR) systems to electric, gas and water utilities throughout China, was chosen as the main contractor for the project.

The meters will be installed in the cities of Wuhu, Yichang and Huainan. To meet China Gas’s requirements, HowDeep had to find a wireless solution to allow their meters to ‘communicate’ within a wireless network as well as with a central monitoring system.

After completing a comprehensive technical analysis, HowDeep identified Wavenis technology as the best wireless solution. The Wavenis range is able to work in star, mesh, or hybrid wireless sensor network architectures, resulting in simpler, more reliable and less expensive installations.

Coronis was therefore engaged as a technology partner and supplier, working directly with HowDeep’s team to implement Wavenis technology. Coronis’s customized development services led the integration of Wavenis technology for HowDeep’s meter and add-on modules. The Coronis teams customized HowDeep’s firmware applications as well as optimized the footprint for specific PCB boards and connectors to HowDeep’s specifications. They also matched network layers capabilities to HowDeep’s  applications and designed and created a customized antenna.

The Waveflow solution was identified as the most suitable add-on component for the proposed new solution. With near real time meter reading capability, long battery life, and unique wireless networking features, the Waveflow offers a secure and reliable means for implementing AMR networks in mobile and fixed network reading. This particular project required the Coronis team to take a standard Waveflow and reengineer it to fit into the casing the HowDeep team developed that would meet the functionality and features unique to the Chinese market.

HowDeep began the RF development process for its meters using the Wavecard solution, a ready-to-use OEM development platform that allowed them to enable their meters with long-range and ultra-low power Wavenis wireless features with a minimum of integration effort. Wavecard OEM boards include the Wavenis RF transceiver for optimized wireless communications and a microcontroller for software components. This solution offered cost savings often associated with single-chip RF solutions, plus the convenience of using HowDeep’s existing microcontroller for their applications and the Wavenis protocol stack.