- October 21, 2010
October 20, 2010 ‚Äì Libelium announces a Smart Metering Sensor board for its Waspmote platform. The board extends the current features by supporting the measurement of electric current, water flow, weight of materials and goods, liquid level, distance and displacement of an object. Applications include managing the usage of electricity & water, supply chain management and manufacturing.The European Union sees the widespread introduction of smart metering as vital in the reduction of energy costs and carbon emissions. The 2009 Electricity Directive will ensure that every household in the EU will be fitted with smart meters by 2022. Smart meters allow energy usage to be precisely monitored and controlled in real time and are equally important for domestic and industrial customers. Most existing smart metering products are closed systems with limited wireless range making them unsuitable for most industrial uses. A wide choice of ZigBee radio modules is available including, for long range purposes, 868 MHz (for Europe) and 900 MHz (for US). Industrial systems need to be configurable and very reliable. The modular, open platform is readily configurable to meet the specific needs of a customer. Users only need to buy those boards and sensors that they require for their particular application. Many existing smart meters depend on a mains power supply meaning that if that fails, the meter powers down and is therefore unable to send an alarm. The Waspmote electrical current sensor is suitable for domestic and industrial use covering up to 150 A.The water flow sensor - capable of measuring flows in pipes from 0.15 to 60 litres/minute - is suitable for measuring water consumption, for detecting leakage in pipes and for monitoring agricultural irrigation.The term ‚Äôsmart metering‚Äò often refers to monitoring the supply of electricity and water; however, it is a much broader technical challenge. Highly reliable smart metering can not only be used for managing utility supplies but also brings benefits to managing liquid storage, inventories such as grain in silos and movement of goods.For these other applications, the board can be combined with a rich choice of sensors. Examples of uses include: weighing goods during manufacturing with the load cell sensor; checking liquid levels in a tank with the level sensor; measuring distances to objects with an ultrasound sensor; and measuring object movement with the displacement foil sensor.Waspmote‚Äôs modularity and openness enables Smart Metering to be deployed flexibly by customers. The versatile board, which is ideal for smaller and medium scale deployments, supports up to six sensors; the customer can select the type and number of sensors to use. For larger scale deployment, Libelium offers a development service to create custom metering boards with one or two sensors.