A concession agreement for the installation of smart meters in Antwerp was signed on Thursday, June 23. Water-link is working on this project with the joint venture ENGIE Fabricom-Hydroko, and immediately scored a first in Belgium with this innovative and potentially disruptive project.
Initially, 1,000 smart meters will be installed during a pilot period planned to last one year. If an evaluation of the pilot project proves positive, full roll-out of approximately 205,000 smart meters will begin, and these will be installed over a period of 3 to 4 years.
This means that all of Antwerp’s households will have a smart meter by the end of 2020. It will allow water meters to be read remotely every day using the wireless network installed and managed in Belgium by ENGIE M2M. This network is based on the global SIGFOX connectivity system for the Internet of Things.
Some of the many advantages:
- More comfort: the customer no longer has to pass on water meter readings, or be present when water is connected or reconnected.
- More sustainable and cost-effective: faster leak detection.
- Real-time billing: no more surprises when the annual settlement bill arrives.
- Less collateral damage: thanks to the ability to disconnect the water supply remotely if there is a breakage in the pipes or other problem.
- Rational water consumption and budget control thanks to accurate monitoring of usage.
- Less frost damage: a frost warning message can be sent to the water meter.
- Alternative to disconnecting the water supply; customers with problems in paying bills can now be supported since supplying a minimum quantity of water is possible.
Hydroko NV from Kapelle-op-den-Bos aims to use this project to make the strategic leap from being a distribution and production company to a Solution Provider for water companies both inside and outside Belgium. Hydroko also wants to expand its expertise and experience in materials technology with contemporary and future-oriented ICT technologies. This project also reflects the company’s ambition to remove lead from the entire domestic supply network through the use of modern synthetic materials, avoiding in this way the contamination of drinking water with lead.
For more, please see http://hydroko.com/
What is the background to this success?
The development process began in 2013, following which the ‘Innovatiecentrum’ (Innovation Center) accompanied Hydroko in transforming the idea into a product. Important key elements in this process were the referral to Imec to develop the state-of-the-art electronics module, and the approval of the IWT project (now AIO), which was successfully completed.
Innovation enabled Hydroko to reach a new level: from simple distributor of faucets, to a leading innovative player at European level.
The Internet of Things is often talked about, but for many it still seams a distant pipedream. This installation of smart water faucets and meters proves that SMEs can also play a leading role in the development of the Internet of Things.
Source: Innovatiecentrum Website