By Rich Sanders
The need for aggressive water conservation strategies and the technology to support them has never been greater. To this end, Datamatic designed MOSAIC, an advanced AMR network that combines conservation functionality and tools never before available in a single solution, including advanced user-defined conservation monitoring, acoustic leak detection and remote shutoff valve.
MOSAIC is a mesh network. This means that all endpoints also function as repeaters for the transmissions of other neighbouring endpoints. Data is transmitted – or “hopped” – from point to point towards a gateway, similar to the way one might jump from rock to rock to cross a river. Transmissions follow any path necessary to efficiently navigate the network, circumventing environmental obstacles along the way. Should the primary path be unavailable, the network “self-heals” and dynamically routes the data via an alternate path.
MOSAIC uses full two-way communications down to the endpoint, a FIREFLY® Meter Interface Unit (FF), making it possible for operators to “push” conservation monitoring schedules, interval data requests, firmware updates and functional enhancements out via the network.
Advanced user-defined conservation monitoring
MOSAIC has a highly configurable utility for monitoring water usage and compliance with conservation measures. It allows usage “rules” to be applied to each category of water customer.
MOSAIC allows utilities to define nine different profiles. A profile is a user defined schedule that can be applied to a particular category of water customer. Examples of profiles could be “West side of town”, “Even-numbered residential customer”, “C&I”, “Golf course”, “24-hour user”, etc.
Each profile contains four different daily templates that can be used in any combination to create a complete sevenday monitoring schedule.
Each daily template is composed of 24 one-hour monitoring periods, to which a usage threshold can be applied. If a customer exceeds one of these thresholds (e.g. watering on a restricted day), an alert is sent back to the office via the network. Schedules have effective/start and expiration/end dates and can be changed at any time.
MOSAIC’s advanced user-defined conservation monitoring gives utilities a level of control never before possible.
Acoustic leak detection
Permalog+ leak noise loggers used in conjunction with a MOSAIC network (or ROADRUNNER mobile and handheld data collection platforms), are today’s most powerful tool to protect water resources and guard against costly and damaging leaks.
Leaks cost utilities and customers dearly, wasting millions of litres of treated water and disrupting services and lives when small, unseen leaks develop into large scale problems.
Permalog+ loggers attach magnetically to valves throughout the distribution system. Sophisticated algorithms distinguish the sound of normal operations from the distinct acoustic signature produced by a leak.
Integrated with a FIREFLY Meter Interface Unit, loggers transmit data to the office daily via a MOSAIC mesh network or to ROADRUNNER mobile and handheld collection platforms during meter reading operations. A digital correlator analyses the leak data to provide accurate location information for pinpoint excavation and repair.
Remote shutoff valve
The remote shutoff valve (RSV) enables utilities to shut off and reconnect water services without ever touching a wrench. Available as a handheld operated stand alone system or integrated with the MOSAIC AMR network, the RSV is an effective solution to a host of billing, service and field issues, including preventing theft from inactive water services, expediting payment on delinquent accounts and increasing worker safety.
Most water utilities spend thousands of man-hours per year disconnecting and reconnecting delinquent and inactive accounts. But now, Datamatic’s RSV makes it possible to perform shutoffs/reconnections remotely, saving money and enabling utilities to redeploy field service resources into areas that will proactively improve operations and customer service.
RSVs have both disconnect and reconnect capabilities and thus can eliminate two field service calls each time they are used. Theft from inactive services can be virtually eliminated. In most cases, disconnection also expedites customer payment and simplifies collection. RSVs can operate in both pit and non-submersible settings and are available with “Complete” or “Life Support/Trickle” shutoff options.
By combining mesh network meter reading, detailed interval data collection, advanced conservation monitoring, acoustic leak detection and remote shutoff capabilities, MOSAIC is the most powerful conservation tool available today.
This article focuses on water-related functionality but MOSAIC also supports electric and gas metering data using the same network.