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COMMERCIAL FEATURE UNITED UTILITIES GETS SMART DATA in drive-by modus by Diehl Metering Sappel, a business unit of Diehl Metering, has been working with United Utilities on the development of its metering infrastructure as part of an extensive 10-year contract. The Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology, using drive- by equipment, provides transparent consumption and enables future- orientated energy data management. United Utilities maintains a network of 42 000 kilometres of water pipes and 76 000 kilometres of sewers to supply the north-west of England with drinking water and waste water services – and is thus one of the largest water utilities in Great Britain. The company supplies three million households and 200 000 industrial and commercial customers from Crewe to Carlisle including the major cities of Manchester and Liverpool. Increasing the efficiency of the whole system Besides the potential in terms of new end consumer services, the advantages of a future-orientated infrastructure for automatic meter reading are: • The increased efficiency of all metering data management processes • AMR over radio increases safety for the staff reading the meters. Additionally, the tiresome task of arranging appointments with end consumers is also no longer necessary because now there is no need to enter a customer’s home in order to read the meter. Successful cooperation United Utilities is investing heavily in improving the monitoring of the water infrastructure to a suitable level for the future. The French metering specialist Diehl Metering has already proven to be a reliable partner over a long period of time. It is planned to extend the concept to the whole United Utilities region, so that all of the utility’s measured customers can benefit from transparent consumption. 54 Established technologies in use The ALTAIR rotary piston meter has proved to be an economic meter with system capability for United Utilities’ current and strategic requirements. The equipment is delivered as a set, ready for installation – no programming is necessary and possible application faults are eliminated right from the start. Pilot project implemented successfully With the support of Diehl Metering, United Utilities used AMR for the first time in Buckshaw Village, Lancashire in 2010. Using the passive-drive-by concept, it is now possible to detect suspicious fluctuations in water consumption or loss of water quickly. End consumers will have a realistic overview of their water consumption in future. The new meter infrastructure of United Utilities can also be upgraded without limitations, for example, to a fixed network. By deciding on ALTAIR and IZAR, United Utilities has literally laid the foundation for future-orientated metering and energy data management. In 2010, Diehl Metering was awarded a 10-year contract, under which the French company will supply a large number of ALTAIR water meters and matching radio modules for automatic meter reading every year until 2019. Dustcarts collect data United Utilities is currently implementing ‘Passive Drive By’ – an innovative model for reading water meters. The meter readings are transferred automatically to receivers mounted on board Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCVs), which follow their specified routes, generally weekly, very reliably. The meter readings are then collected regularly and without significant cost on driving by – and automatically transferred to the server platform, from where they can be conveniently retrieved by a PC. solution can be extended into a fixed network whenever required. Efficient integrated metering solution When United Utilities was looking for a suitable partner, Diehl Metering clearly came out on top. Diehl Metering’s integrated concept provides maximum benefit at low investment cost. As soon as the intelligent water meters – i.e. equipped with radio technology – are installed, they can be read as the next RCV passes by. Depending on the development and strategic goals of the utility, the mobile Established technologies in use Diehl Metering supplies United Utilities with ALTAIR and IZAR Waterbox system components in a version tailored to the requirements in Great Britain. MI ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Neil Harper, Operational Development Manager at United Utilities. He has been with United Utilities for 28 years, and is responsible for all UUW’s fiscal water metering policies and strategies. Neil sits on a number of Water Industry metering groups and is a regular contributor to UKWIR and WRc projects and programmes of work, and he is currently working on developing UUW’s metering strategies for household and non-household customers for the next Asset Maintenance Period (AMP – 6) and beyond. METERING INTERNATIONAL ISSUE - 2 | 2014