The Smart City is one of the today’s hot topics, which extends over many different use cases. For one of these use cases, an innovative solution has been developed and tested in a joint project between STACKFORCE and the badenova subsidiary E-MAKS in the last months: Until now, shaft water meters could only be read manually by the energy service providers, as the environment in which the meters are installed are very challenging for wireless and wired data transmission. As a result, this was causing considerable effort and even risks regarding safety and security. As a first step, the two companies have developed and tested the wM-Bus-to-LPWAN Bridge, a device that collects meter data directly in the shaft by using a radio interface and then forwards it via the very own LoRaWAN® network. In case of missing coverage by the LoRaWAN® network, the devices are using the Sigfox Network as a fallback. The data transmission via LoRaWAN® resp. Sigfox worked very reliable for long distances, therefore not only the effort for reading the shaft water meters is reduced, but also a more frequent and precise data retrieval is possible. Then, the data is pre-processed and structured by the STACKFORCE “Integration Kit”, which also enables the management of data transmitted via different protocols if required. Finally, the data is integrated to the user’s application. With the application builder solution “Streamsheets” by STACKFORCE, the energy service provider can monitor the data of the shaft water meters customized to his requirements. The advantages of digitalizing the readout process are not only economic efficiency for the energy service provider, but also ecological benefits.
Since the solution has been developed in the SmartCityKommT project for the shaft water metering field can be rated as a success, there are already many more ideas for application beyond this use case. The first small projects are already being planned, for example for Smart Farming, Smart Home and of course Smart City.