Reading, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — February 29, 2012 – A smart water meter pilot trialling a long range radio-based communications network is being expanded from the Reading area to include London, the technology consortium SmartReach has announced.
SmartReach is a collaboration of Arqiva, BT, BAE Systems Detica and Sensus for smart metering communications in Great Britain.
The SmartReach solution has been trialled with Scottish Power, SSE and Thames Water to demonstrate the suitability of long range radio for dedicated smart meter communications, for energy as well as for water networks.
The extension to the trial will enable Thames Water and SmartReach to assess the performance of the communications system from locations with different housing stock and difficult to reach, underground meter locations.
While the installation of smart water meters has not been mandated by the U.K. government, the trial with Thames Water will enable the benefits such a system could provide to the operation of a water network to be evaluated. Experience from the U.S. has shown the technology to be suitable for meters located in hard-to-reach locations such as meter pits, cellars and basements.
“As water becomes an increasingly precious resource, smart water metering will play a critical role in helping the water industry to better manage consumption and leakage,” commented Dr Piers Clark, commercial director at Thames Water. “Based on the current trial with SmartReach in Reading, we believe that long range radio offers a simple, quick, non-obtrusive and efficient means of building a smart water meter network. Extending the scope of the trial to London will provide further valuable data.”
The SmartReach solution is an end-to-end data communications network aimed to provide a dedicated, secure and universal route to supporting the government’s mandate for providing all homes and small premises with smart meters by 2019.