Smart Metering in the Internet of Things

LPWAN network solution for water meters, heat meters, heat cost allocators and smoke detectors

Billions of intelligent objects (Smart Things) are connected around the globe on the Internet of Things (IoT). It is also possible to globally integrate such metering devices as water meters, heat meters, gas meters and energy meters using radio technology.

Smart meters use the smallest data volumes for communication. All they need is a very low data rate and minimum battery power. The LPWAN technology is predestined for reading measuring instruments because it covers a long range and uses a low data rate. It can be realized at low cost in particular for reading water meters and other measuring instruments.

LPWAN stands for Low Power Wide Area Network and characterises a wireless telecommunications network with minimal power consumption, in which battery-powered objects such as sensors, radio-enabled water meters or heat meters in particular can be connected. Equipped with suitable radio modules, like the ZENNER EDC module, water meters, heat meters, gas or electricity meters can be integrated in these networks.

ZENNER is relying the communication standard LoRaWAN®. LoRaWAN® was developed by the LoRa® Alliance, an international non-profit organisation with the declared aim of establishing LoRaWAN® as the communication standard for the Internet of Things.

At certain intervals the meters autonomously send a data protocol to an existing antenna (base station). From the base station, the data is transmitted to a data cloud and is available for different applications. The radio protocols are encrypted according to the latest technical standards for reasons of data security.

Using the wide-ranging LoRaWAN® technology, a low-cost fixed network for remotely reading thousands of consumption meters is possible. The meter and device communication via the Internet of Things with LoRa® also enables meters to be read more often, more quickly and at lower costs. In addition, individual meters (for example water meters installed in shafts), which could be read only with great effort to date, can now be integrated into the LPWAN.

Glossary of Terms

The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things or IoT for short describes the networking of 'intelligent' objects that are installed in industrial systems, in public places or in private households. We are already surrounded by billions of networked objects and these are to grow beyond their everyday utility value through networking as sensors and acutators expand the functionality to include the recording of statuses and the execution of actions. Experts estimate that there will be approximately a trillion networked devices in the world by 2020. For example some of the numerous areas of application are industrial process control, automation systems, package tracking, intelligent parking space systems, safety and driver assistance in cars, intelligent energy control technology for households and energy supply management systems.

LPWAN (also LPN)
Stands for Low Power Wide Area Network and describes a wireless telecommunication network with energy intake in which different, generally battery-operated, objects such as sensors or consumption meters (water, heat, gas or electricity meters) but also other everyday objectss are connected via long distance communication and communicate using a low bitrate. Intelligent consumption meters, for example, only exchange small quantities of data and only require a low bandwidth and performance to do so. This type of communication between devices is also known as machine to machine (M2M) communication. It covers a long range, has a low data rate and can be realised cost effectively.

LoRa® stands for Long Range, i.e. a wide (wireless) range, Low Power with low energy consumption and Low Cost as a cost-effective alternative to data transmission to date. In april 2016 Zenner became a menmber of the LoRa®Alliance whose members have the declared aim of establishing LoRa® as the communication standard for the Internet of Things, machine to machine (M2M) communication and for industry and Smart City applications. Besides known technology such as GPRS, GSM, 4G or LTE the technology is establishing itself in many European countries, in the USA, South Africa and parts of Asia under the brand name LoRaWAN™. The exchange of knowledge and experience is to allow interoperability between the participants in an open, worldwide standard.

Is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) specification for the wireless communication of battery-operated objects in regional, national or global networks. It fulfils the key requirements for communication in the Internet of Things such as safe, bidirectional communication, mobility and localisation services. The LoRaWAN® standard offers seamless interoperability between intelligent objects (Smart Things) and no longer requires complex local installations. Thus LoRaWAN®-offers users, developers and companies the possibility of simple introduction of the Internet of Things.