Filipino Volcano Doesn’t Stop Local IoT Development

February 6, 2020
In January, volcano Taal in the Philippines spewed out ashes on the surrounding areas. In the meantime, in the city of Manilla, some 50 kilometers further, the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution was running at full speed. Packetworx is one of the companies leading in IoT innovations and was at the time running trials for a smart water metering project. Volcano Taal’s ash-eruption reached the trial location, completely covering the water meters with ash.
 
The smart water meter completely covered in ash after the volcano activity in the Philippines.
 
The smart water meters used in the project are provided by Talkpool, a Swedish IoT company. “We’ve developed and manufactured the communication module on top of the water meter. The water meter itself comes from our Italian partner B METERS, who are experts in water meter instrumentation. When we developed this smart water meter we wanted to create a solution that is robust, fraud-/tamper-proof and could be used for billing purposes in meter-to-cash applications. Our smart water meters are typically used for submetering and individual tenant invoicing in multi-tenant buildings or by the water utility companies, who can accurately invoice their customers and lower their Non-Revenue Water.”, says Stefan Lindgren, CTO of Talkpool.
 
The smart water meters use LoRaWAN communication technology to transmit the meter readings to the network servers. The technology allows for long range communications, where a single gateway is typically providing connectivity for all meters within 2-3 kilometers. Most devices on these networks are designed to last 10-15 years on their batteries, only sending small data packages periodically. After the ash-covered smart water meter in the Philippines was cleaned, it worked like new again.
 
The smart water meter in the Philippines, after cleaning off all ashes.
 
“In the design phase, we kept in mind that the water meters need to be able to withstand rough conditions, for example in industrial environments. The batteries in the device can withstand high temperatures and still provide 10 years of battery life and the device is IP68 rated, protecting it from water impact. Still though, during the design phase we would have never thought our smart water meters would end up being covered in volcano ash, a unique situation! We’re proud that the meter works as new after having been cleaned up by our partner Packetworx, who are leading the LoRaWAN revolution in the Philippines.”, says Stefan Lindgren, CTO of Talkpool.
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