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Cost Effective Meter Reading

Date: 08.10.2008

The need for greater meter data and increased read frequency, whilst providing residents with greater privacy, has driven interest in ever more flexible automatic meter reading systems. This flexibility invariably leads to increased system sophistication and with it increased costs, making most systems unsuitable for smaller metering installations.

That is until now with the launch of a flexible range of Automatic Meter Reading Systems by Stream Measurement Ltd (UK Distributor for Sensus Water and Actaris Heat and Gas Meters). Utilising well proven M.Bus (Meter Bus) technology, fully compliant with European Standard EN1434, the system can interface to any make of meter which offers a pulse, encoder or M.Bus output and can be used to monitor water, gas, electricity, heat, steam or oil meters. In its simplest form the system comprises a PC with a level converter and a slave per meter, with connection via a standard 2-wire telephone cable.

The system can be designed to provide cost effective communications with groups of meters as low as three with almost no limit on the maximum number of meters and can be connected with any wiring topology be it line, star or tree. Through the software the meters can be addressed individually, with each meter transmitting its metered volume data, its actual totaliser reading, serial number and a unique, programmable ID address. This reading can be taken on demand or on a programmable, automatic cycle and the user is ensured of a quick efficient meter reading without transcript errors which might be the case with other technologies.

The collected data can be exported in various formats to enable integration with existing systems or specifically designed reports. The nature of the system means that meters can be installed in difficult to access positions, avoiding the need to enter an area to read the meters, speeding meter reading and reducing personnel requirements.

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