Over 10 years ago, the reading of water meters located outside homes was a major breakthrough. However, this achievement has been already superseded by technologies providing a reading frequency of less than one hour, and progress is being made to read water consumption in real time.
In this process, the evolution of communication technologies has played a key role. At the beginning of this century, proprietary protocols constrained the options of instrumentation and connectivity that could be selected, when one of the two elements had already been implemented.
Fortunately, protocol standards such as OPC, ModBus and MQTT have become the norm over time, as well as the new LPWAN communication technologies (Lora, SigFox, NB-IoT), compatible with any manufacturer. As a result, we can now select the instrumentation and communications independently, making it possible to choose the most appropriate option for each project. Our motto is that technology is not bad or good, but suitable or unsuitable, depending on the client’s needs.
Durante este proceso, los operadores de conectividad han adquirido una mayor relevancia, siendo ya imprescindible la colaboración entre empresas y operadores para cada proyecto de digitalización. Por ello, en Idrica hemos establecido alianzas sólidas con compañías líderes en IoT para la comercialización de nuestra tecnología, proporcionando soluciones llave en mano. Tal es nuestro compromiso que la primera prueba de comunicación mundial en NB-IoT se realizó desde uno de nuestros contadores de agua en Valencia (España).
When we talk about connectivity, it is necessary to put in context the importance of transforming data into information. Yes, we cannot talk about connectivity without talking about IoT, but neither does it make sense to talk about IoT without considering Big Data or Cloud Computing.
Nowadays, 90% of companies collect data from their sensors and business processes, but only 10% of them use it properly. In order to transform information into knowledge, and finally into business intelligence, it is necessary to implement a system of data intake and processing, regardless of suppliers or communication protocols.
Thanks to its agnostic approach, our GoAigua platform is scalable with future communication technologies or protocols (5G), anticipating trends in connectivity. In addition, it connects with the rest of the business processes of the entire water cycle, transversally.
After all, there is no point in having state-of-the-art connectivity if the architecture of the technological solution in place is not capable of ingesting and processing all those millions of data with sufficient speed.
The digital transformation of processes, driven in 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic, is a must. Society is increasingly demanding a better management of water, one of our most precious resources.
At Idrica we put our experience at the service of utilities, supporting them in their digitalization through innovative technological solutions. Our GoAigua platform provides a holistic view of the entire water cycle, helping companies make more efficient decisions.
Article by Carlos Tejedor, Technical Leader of Smart Metering at Idrica
Carlos Tejedor leads the Smart Metering division at Idrica. A Building Engineer with a master’s degree in Efficient Management of Urban Water, graduate from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain). Water professional since 2006, specializing in customer services, interior installations and advanced consumption measurement. In 2010 he joined the Smart Metering project at Global Omnium as its operational manager, participating in the consulting, design, implementation, monitoring and maintenance, and technical support phases.