NORTHERN IRELAND WATER SUCCESSFULLY TRIALS WIZE SMART METERING TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY OF ITS SERVICENorthern Ireland Water tried S...NORTHERN IRELAND WATER SUCCESSFULLY TRIALS WIZE SMART METERING TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY OF ITS SERVICE
Northern Ireland Water tried SUEZ WIZE AMI solution at Queen’s University Belfast as part of its future investment, with proven results, on the technology's suitability to meet local challenges.
In 2022, Northern Ireland Water decided to conduct a trial of differing smart water metering technologies to understand their capabilities and viability, with AMI solutions WIZE, NBIOT and DIEHL´s IZAR being tested. Smart metering has been highlighted as one of the transformational, future investment opportunities in their long-term vision , which looks to improve operational and capital efficiency whilst delivering enhanced service and value for customers. The programme introduces new innovative technologies, methodologies and approaches to achieve better outcomes and address root cause issues through data, evidence and analytics.
Northern Ireland Water chose SUEZ to deploy the AMI solutions at Queen’s University Belfast.
Seventy meters were installed across Queen’s University Belfast sites along with one transmitter to understand the quality of reach. This trial has successfully shown how the WIZE solution implemented by SUEZ can handle one of the particular challenges of smart metering: ensuring signal resilience across the territory and underground with minimal infrastructure.
The gateway, hosted on the Ashby Tower, a university building and one of the taller buildings of the city, covered a range of distance of more than 4.5 miles in a built-up area and at the furthest point. While the locations of the meters have significant impact on the transmission conditions – deep boundary boxes with heavy cast iron metal lids are particularly troublesome – the trial provided a 100% connectivity rate for WIZE meters and showed there has been strong consistent signal since the commencement of the trial, in the deepest boundary box, under the heaviest lid.
With its end-to-end solution, including ON'connect™ metering, the SUEZ offer covers the complete value chain, providing network planning, hardware (endpoints and concentrators), technical assistance of local teams for installation, communication network supervision, end-user support, data processing and integration with customer billing systems. The ON'connect™ metering solution provides the necessary IT block to support and create value from the data generated by the WIZE meters. WIZE provides a low-power, long-range and bi-directional communication network that operates over a protected frequency channel for smart metering in the VHF frequency band: 169 MHz. The WIZE network communication protocol is an open protocol promoted and supervised by the WIZE Alliance and it is fully compliant with the European standard EN13757.
“NI Water is at the early stages of evaluation, but these results have clearly shown that this type of smart metering network could be viable and efficient,” commented Daniel Bermingham, Head of Metering, Billing & Collections for Northern Ireland Water.
Francesc Cabrespina, Technology & Solutions Manager, SUEZ said: “Our group has developed a strong expertise in smart meters with more than 5.6 million deployed across the world. We enable our customers our customers to provide access to water services with resilient and innovative solutions, and we are delighted with these encouraging results at Queen’s University Belfast. We look forward to working with Northern Ireland Water further.”