Kamstrup, Sigfox partnership to reduce utility AMI costs


Kamstrup’s smart water meter, Multical 21 has been successfully integrated with Sigfox’s communication technology and will help reduce utilities’ operational costs for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). According to a statement, the integration of the two technologies enables water companies to avoid investing in new communication infrastructure for AMI but rather use an existing or already deployed communications network.

The Multical 21, it is claimed, accurately measures consumer water usage and has a 16-year battery lifespan, now includes a Sigfox communication radio instead of a wireless M-Bus radio.

The integrated radio will enable the smart meter to be used on a network already deployed and being operated in a country or region. “Sigfox cooperates with different network operators and operates the Sigfox network,’ instead of a utility deploying its own network for smart meter data telemetry.

Stig Knudsen, product manager at Kamstrup, said: “Many utilities want to dedicate their time and effort to their core business without having to also take on the roles of communications experts and network operators. To them, a solution that utilises an existing infrastructure and is operated by industry experts is an appealing option.”

Technology integration

The launch of the new Kamstrup smart water meter integrated with Sigfox’s communications follows an agreement by the two companies to continue combining their solutions after Belgian utility Water Link selected the two solutions in developing an AMI solution in 2016.

Water Link had purchased 205,000 Kamstrup smart water meters and selected Sigfox’s communication network to connect the digital meters.

Commenting on the development, Jan Van Cappellen, former project manager at Water Link, said: “Because we are combining the meters with a smart valve, we were convinced that Sigfox would work best for us. Kamstrup is a frontrunner in IoT solutions for intelligent water metering and they provided us with the flexibility and interoperability we needed.”

Per Trøjbo, senior vice president at Kamstrup, added: ”We consider Sigfox to be a great supplement to our existing Wireless M-Bus offerings. With our Sigfox-enabled water meter, we combine Kamstrup’s proven metering technology with next-generation communication technology to offer utilities the best of both worlds.”

The two say in addition to quickly detecting and sending data regarding water leaks, bursts, reverse flows and tampering incidents, the new meter now has the ability to send large amounts of data at a faster pace.

Image Credit: 123rf.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.