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Abstract-Mechanical water meter with AMR
capabilities is currently widely used in many cities of India. This legacy
system is inaccurate and inefficient as manual data readings is involved in it
thus making it labor intensive. In this paper we present a low cost, accurate
and reliable solution for reading water meter by building a custom read out
device with LoRa transreceiver for communication in the existing system. LoRa
RF platform is a two-way wireless solution that balances M2M (machine to
machine) cellular infrastructure, and provides a low-cost technique to connect
battery operated devices to network infrastructure. To be well-suited  
with the conventional water meter, this system is mounted over the body
of existing meter. A refinement key is based on sensors, microcontroller, LCD
display, EEPROM and long range (LoRa) transreceiver. The water meter data is
established at the billing system by hand-held device comprising LoRa Transreceiver
module. The wished-for system is cost effective and gives automated water meter
reading at high accuracy.

Keywords
—EEPROM, LCD display, LoRa module, microcontroller, M2M,
sensor

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I.      Introduction

In
many parts of the world multi-jet turbine water meter, ready for automated
metering reading (AMR) have been installed by water companies to measure the
consumer’s water consumption. These water meters are read on a monthly basis by
an official employee and the consumer’s bill is computed based on the approved
rates according to the amount of water consumed. Sometimes the customer
premises are not easily accessible and consumption estimates have to be used in
computation of the water bill. This is error prone as accuracy cannot be
guaranteed. This method of manual data collecting is also expensive, labour
intensive and hence inefficient 2.

Laterally
with the expansion of technology and country economic status, people demand
more and more intelligent homes. In the intervening time, it has become inexorable
to transform the conventional manual water meter reading method which is time
consuming, energetic and labour dependent to automatic meter-reading.

Today,
the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most cited topic in scientific and
public media. The IoT fascinating idea of having billions of smart devices for
sensing the real world (and transmitting acquired data to online repositories)
is transforming the telecommunications research. Moreover, the interaction
between the real world and its digital counterpart using secure and real-time
technologies may lead to the solution of many issues related to smart cities,
and more 4.

So,
called Low Power Wide Area (LPWAN/LoRa) network are one of the branches of IOT
network tree, designed to fulfill the need for long range, low power and low-cost
connectivity, when traditional wireless network technology until now are not
the best appropriate for low mobility services 5.

 Water meters
which are not fully AMR but are ready for automated metering reading (AMR
compatible) can enable remote collection of consumption data from customers’
utility using LoRa (Long Range) transreceiver module and process the data to
generate the bill.

In
this paper we present a custom read-out device
with long range transmission basically for low cost implementation and reduced
power consumption. Our aim is to mount this device over the ready for AMR (automated
metering reading) meters. The size and function of this device is compatible
with the existing water meters, thereby smoothing easy installation on the
current water pipeline. The proposed device upgrades the conventional water
meter system by making minimum modifications to existing installation. It seeks
to pay more attention on the use of LoRa module for long distance transmission
of data so that the water meter reading task can be finished at management
department of residence area itself.

                                                                                                           
II.    SYSTEM DESIGN AND SOLUTION

 The
interesting part in conventional meter is the half-red/half-silver wheel that
spins when water flows through the meter.

      

 

      
Figure 1. Conventional Water Meter

Putting an LED and photodiode above of
this wheel allows to detect each turn of the wheel, simply by detecting the
variations in reflected light. Microcontroller is used to perform these
continuous readouts, implement the counting of the total number of turns, and
send this data over a wireless link using LoRa. Compared with the current
meter, this method can save more labour work and is easy to install to the
current water meter. The structure of conventional water meter is shown in fig
1.

 

                                                                                                           
III.   HARDWARE DESIGN OF SYSTEM

Figure 2. Proposed intelligent read out system which
has to be mounted over conventional meter

  When water
valve is opened, water passes through the inlet initiating rotor to rotate
(which is inside the meter) at a speed equivalent to the rate of flow of water.
As each blade of rotor passes through the magnet, a magnetic field is created
which is responsible for the movement of wheel. The wheel speed changes in
relationship to the rate of flow of water. An TCRT5000 module sensor is placed
over the wheel which senses the difference between the metallic and white part
of wheel thus giving readings based on difference in voltage levels.  The output of this sensor is then given to
the ADC pin of microcontroller thus giving digital values. Thus, analog values
are converted into digital and readings are stored in EEPROM .

 

 

Fig 3. Data collector hand-held unit

  In order to
transmit water meter data between meter and data collector system uses the LoRa
transreceiver module. The final reading is thus sent wirelessly using LoRa transmitter
module which is at both the transmitter as well as hand-held unit. The
hand-held unit comprising of LoRa module can cover the distance of upto 2km in
urban area and upto 5km when line of sight.

 

                                                                                                                            
IV.     PROGRAM OF SYSTEM

 

 

  The management program is developed using
Arduino platform. The flowchart of the program is as shown in fig.4 Digital meter data is
transmitted to the data collector using Long Range (LoRa) transmission module
every fixed period according to the requirement of the management. The data
collector sends a signal because of which all the water meters reading which is
in the radius of 2km will get recorded automatically in the storage memory of
data collector unit.

 

 

Figure 4. Automatic meter reading program flowchart

 

                        

                                                                                                                                        
V.    testing the system

 

 When water was
allowed to flow through the meter following readings has been obtained as shown
in table 1. Thus, it can be seen clearly that both conventional meter readings
and designed system readings are getting incremented simultaneously which
implies that the designed read out system is giving accurate reading.

 

 

 

Figure-Designed system mounted over a water meter

 

Water in Liters

Conventional System Reading

Designed System Reading

10

1

 1

20

2

 2

30

3

 3

40

4

 4

50

5

 5

60

6

 6

70

7

 7

80

8

 8

90

9

 9

100

10

10

110

11

11

120

12

12

130

13

13

140

14

14

 

Table 1.

Designed system has been tested at different locations
in steady state i.e. without water flow and readings has been taken as shown in
following Table 2. As seen in the test results, transmission distance in rural
area is little more than the urban area. Thus, result concludes that the
readings coming at the hand-held device matches the actual reading hence
proving that system is giving reliable output.

 

 

 

Sr No.

Reading distance

In meters

Reading Area

Actual Reading

Hand Held Device
Reading
 

Meter no.

Reading

1

100

URBAN

1

0001

1

2

200

URBAN

1

0001

1

3

500

URBAN

1

0001

1

4

800

URBAN

1

0001

1

5

1000

URBAN

1

0001

1

6

1500

URBAN

1

0001

1

7

1800

URBAN

1

0001

 

Table 2.1 Readings of urban area

 

Sr No.

Reading distance

In meters

Reading Area

Actual Reading

Hand Held Device
Reading
 

Meter no.

Reading

1

200

RURAL

1

0001

1

2

400

RURAL

1

0001

1

3

550

RURAL

1

0001

1

4

910

RURAL

1

0001

1

5

1300

RURAL

1

0001

1

6

1700

RURAL

1

0001

1

7

1900

 RURAL

1

0001

 

Table 2.2 Readings of rural area

 

 

                                                                                                                                             
VI.    CONCLUSION

 

  Designed
system has managed to calculate water meter reading rate based on the sensor and
code stored in the microcontroller’s program memory, the volume is displayed on
the LCD and also transmitted to a data collector through LoRa. Today different
IOT connectivity technologies are on and soon with co-exist. Thus, the proposed
system could be one of the promising application for long range and low power
in smart water metering. Thus, this system has significant excellence of
receiving meter readings from much longer distance wirelessly with highly
optimised power consumption.

 

                           REFRENCES

 

1    Hsia,
S.C. Sheu, M.H. and Chang, Y.G.,”,Arrow Pointer Sensor Design for Low Cost
Water Meter,”. Proceedings of IEEE sensors journal 2013, pp. 1281-1287

2    L. Cao,
J. Tian, and Y. Liu, “Remote real time automatic meter reading system based on
wireless sensor networks,” in Proc. IEEE 3rd Int. Conf. Innov. Comput. Inf.
Control, Jun. 2008. pp . 591-603

3    P.Mwangi,
E. Mwangi and P. Karimi, “A Low Cost Water Meter System Based on the Global
System of Mobile Communication,” in Int. Jour. Comp. Appl, May 2016, pp 7-12

4    M.
Rizzi, P. Ferrari, A.Flammrni, E. Sisinni and M.Gidlund, “Usimg Lora for
Industrial Wireless Network,” IEEE ,2017

5    N.
Varsier and schwoerer,”Capacity Limits Of 
LoRaWAN Technology for smart metering applications,” in IEEE ICC SAC
Symposium Internet of Things Track,2017

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