Water Technology Spotlight

It?s almost becoming monotonous to say that technological innovation is impacting society in one way or another. The fact is, change is constant when it comes to new technology. What one company or industry develops, another builds on those concepts and drives competition and capabilities to new heights. Like it or not, we are in an era in which technological advancements are impacting nearly every industry. ?

There?s no questioning the impact new technology has had on the municipal water industry. From advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to data management and analytics to flow metering, the technology is expanding so quickly it?s often difficult to keep up. In our June 2015 issue, we asked smart metering experts about the current market for advanced metering systems and how utilities can best go about leveraging data to suit their needs. The responses gave a detailed illustration of where we are with smart metering technology, but our experts also noted the lack of technology being implemented by some utilities. It?s interesting to think that despite all the technological development, utilities still have room to grow and adapt.

In this issue of UIM, we invited water technology providers to submit innovative technology that is helping to drive the industry forward. While there?s not nearly enough space to encapsulate everything, we hope this section offers a glimpse into the array of options available for water utility maintenance.?


water-tech-Ultrasonic Portable Flow Meter

For a wide range of water/wastewater applications, the use of clamp-on, solid-state ultrasonic flow meters by Badger Meter meet key accuracy and bi-directional measurement criteria with an installation approach that satisfies cost, reliability and uninterrupted operation needs.

A transit-time ultrasonic meter utilizes two transducers functioning as both ultrasonic transmitters and receivers. It operates by alternately transmitting and receiving a frequency-modulated burst of sound energy between the two transducers. The burst is first transmitted in the direction of fluid flow and then against fluid flow. Since sound energy in a moving liquid is carried faster when it travels in the direction of fluid flow (downstream) than it does when it travels against fluid flow (upstream), a differential in the times of flight will occur. The sound?s time of flight is accurately measured in both directions and the difference in time of flight calculated.

Transit-time ultrasonic flow meters have no moving parts to maintain or replace, making fluid compatibility and pressure head loss a non-issue. Their rugged aluminum enclosure also allows for a long service life. The meters have a large measuring range that enables reliable readings.

SCP-TP ControllerSCP-TP Controller

The SCP-TP Controller is designed to complement a dual solenoid control valve and can switch easily between settings for level control, upstream and downstream pressure management, flow control and position control. It offers ON/OFF control and can be configured with a 4 to 20mA control motor such as the Singer 420 DC pilot mounted control motor. It has digital input controls, user selectable digital output alarms and data logging for system analysis.

The SCP-TP Controller reads and compares the process feedback (process variable) 4 to 20 mA signal to the desired setting (set-point) which is set either locally on touch screen or remotely via 4 to 20 mA signal. The SCP-TP then accurately positions the valve to bring the process variable towards the set-point until they coincide. The SCP-TP has the capability to retransmit the process variable via a 4 to 20mA signal and is equipped with both Serial and Ethernet Modbus capabilities for remote SCADA control and monitoring.

Online Network OptimizationOnline Network Optimization

On average a utility will invest 80 percent of its capital into the distribution network. It is therefore critical to maintain better network control and ensure that network operators are making informed decisions to maximize the performance of assets and resources efficiently and effectively. Today, most of these network operators operate their infrastructure based just on historical and real-time data. While this provides some insight, it makes them manage by reaction rather than anticipation.

Online Network Optimization by Schneider Electric provides operators with advanced tools and network forecasted data directly available in their SCADA operator-friendly environment, helping them detect, analyze and take action upon events even before they happen, all this without the need of extensive hydraulic knowledge. With this solution, SCADA systems go beyond control and are transformed into a powerful operation and decision making tool geared towards improving assets and, ultimately, service.

Smart GatewaySmart Gateway

No power? No problem. Sensus Smart Gateway enables gas and water utilities to pull data from anywhere in their network to help them make critical and fast decisions for their communities.

The battery-powered sensor interface connects to a variety of applications in locations where there is no power or land-based communications. This helps to proactively address preventive maintenance in the production and distribution system and identify equipment failures and potential theft or tampering. Utilities can bring back data on pressure and leaks in areas of their infrastructure once only accessible by humans. It also sends security alerts if doors or valves are opened. Smart Gateway maximizes investment in the FlexNet communication network by sending data without the need to ?plug? into electrical power.
Smart Gateway will be available in December 2015. Please visit sensus.com to learn more.

Field AMR/AMI Analytics AppField AMR/AMI Analytics App

With new apps such as Neptune Technology Group?s NGO app, water utilities can use their existing Android-compatible smart phones or tablets to analyze data logging information immediately in the field. By pairing the app with a portable transceiver, utility personnel can remotely activate radio frequency meter interface units within range ? and generate graphs of water consumption stamped by date and time for an individual account. No trips back to the office are needed to download metering data, and the utility can present graphs and answer a homeowner?s questions about a bill then and there, on-site. The information can also be shared in an electronic format. With readily portable analytics that work easily with existing infrastructure, this type of app can help enhance customer service, reduce truck rolls, and save time and money. For more information, visit neptunetg.com.

Allegro Under-the-Glass (UTG) Interpreter RegisterAllegro Under-the-Glass (UTG) Interpreter Register

Three significant new AMI technologies are incorporated into the Allegro UTG Interpreter Register:
The UTG (Under-the-Glass) Encapsulation Technology is a proprietary manufacturing design which fully encloses the dual-band antenna, endpoint RF circuitry, power source, and the meter register into a hermetically sealed, IP68-rated hardened glass and stainless steel enclosure.

The Universal Interpreter Technology is a patented design which allows a pre-programmed algorithm to detect the magnetic signature of most any bayonet style meter in order to synthetically replicate a 3rd party register for that meter.?

The dual-frequency antenna enclosed within the UTG device is a proprietary and patent pending design. An RF signal shifts its frequency as it passes through water; this antenna design matches that shift which provides consistent performance irrespective to the water condition within the harsh pit environment. For more information, visit mastermeter.com.

mobileRDMmobileRDM

Mueller Systems? smart phone application, the mobileRDM, enables water utility workers to read meters and connect or disconnect service from the safety of their vehicles. It is designed to help water utilities improving customer service, increase operational efficiency and maintain employee safety just became easier with
With the mobileRDM application, utility workers can remotely check the status of service connections, read meters, and connect or disconnect water service all from an Android smart phone using a two-way radio connection. The application doesn?t require an automated meter reading or advanced metering infrastructure system, but it can be used on any existing system. Another benefit of the application is that utilities can deploy it incrementally and expand its use to other geographic service areas without significant capital expenditures.

The mobileRDM application allows water utilities to manage their systems in a smarter way without having to invest in an automated meter reading or advanced metering infrastructure system. With its simple, easy-to-use design and scalable technology, utilities can incrementally deploy the mobileRDM application and expand its use or implement a complete AMR/AMI system as their needs evolve.

While parked within 1,000 ft of a service connection fitted with a 420 RDM, Mueller Systems? remote disconnect meter, utility workers simply push a button for the function they wish to perform. The mobileRDM application then sends a high frequency radio signal directly to the meter. The meter sends back meter readings, system status or confirmation that water service has been connected or disconnected.

Mueller Co.Catalog App

Mueller Co. has introduced a new app to provide easier access to its extensive online catalog. The app, which is available from the Apple App and Google Play stores, features competitive cross reference for brass, project-specific certification requests and resource links. It is designed to benefit distributors, engineers and water utilities.

Mueller Co. designed the app to put information about the tens of thousands of part numbers that are in its extensive catalog a little closer to the user. The resource link connects users with more than 1,700 PDFs and videos available on Mueller Co.?s main website.

The app allows the user to search Mueller Co.?s part numbering system and compare their products against others that they may be more familiar with in the industry. For customers who need project-specific certifications, they can request those through the app. To add to a smart phone, users should search for ?Mueller Co.? in the app store and download it for free.

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