Jump to content

All Activity

This stream auto-updates     

  1. Today
  2. Andrew at MEA

    What does it take to be an IoT engineer?

    A ‘BeeTLE’ in the IoT Yippee! – no more USB cables to connect into our IoT devices to set them up! Our new measurement and data logging core – code-named the ‘BeeTLE’ during product development – uses a Blue Tooth Low Energy (BTLE) radio link instead. This is a non-trivial step forward in field measurements, because connectors are the weak-points in field enclosures. At 2.4GHz, enclosure walls are transparent to communications while remaining opaque to rain, sun, dust and wildlife. Similarly, the need for robust portable field computers has finally disappeared; mobile phones – already Bluetooth and 3G/4G enabled ­ – and custom apps pick up that load. For the past five months MEA’s product development focus has been on the development of the simplest possible and lowest-cost IoT device that could read our range of on-farm sensors. This BeeTLE core would be the fundamental logging platform from which future products would step off as we add LPWAN, CAT-M1, NB-IoT and satellite backhaul links. For the moment though, BeeTLEs need only human legs + smart phones + nimble fingers + modest intellect to go out there to fetch data. Data logging fills in the measurement gaps between visits, and the irrigator trades off his travel time against the convenience and higher capital cost of always-on IoT telemetry systems. There are no network Hubs or Gateways needed; the user has those in his pocket in the shape of his mobile phone. Telstra and their ilk provide the longer back-haul of data and send him the bill for those services. Green Brain – MEA’s existing database and farmer web app in the Cloud – provides all the long-term data storage. Once new data is uploaded from a BeeTLE through the mobile phone to Green Brain, graphical data all comes back down over the Internet to the same smart phone for data display. The devil is – of course – in the detail. What happens when the measurement site is out of 3G/4G coverage? (Answer: Unloading takes place normally between BeeTLE and phone, with data stored in the phone’s memory. Upload and data display happen automatically once the farmer returns within range of either Telstra or his home/office Wi-Fi system) Can multiple users – the farmer and his workers – unload the same BeeTLE? (Answer: Yes. Green Brain tracks and automatically synchronises phones and incoming data) And so on and so forth. Good software engineering ensures that the whole process is seamless and ultra-simple for the user, despite lots of clever stuff being needed behind the scenes to cope with all the edge cases. But what’s the really cool thing about Blue Tooth connectivity? The Beetle – now called a ‘GBLogger’ because its powered by Green Brain – needs no On-Off switch! If connectors are a pain, access to power switches elevates that enclosure vulnerability to a whole new level. But no switch is needed; the entire product runs on less than 25µA of current, allowing the GBLogger’s batteries to be loaded and sealed in at the factory with years of shelf life ahead. And Australian aircraft now allow ‘gate-to-gate’ usage of such low-power BT devices, so GBLoggers can be shipped by air while continuing to advertise their readiness to start logging at a moment’s notice. Figure 1 This simple MEA circuit board is at the heart of a battery-powered, Bluetooth-enabled smart-sensor and Green Brain-enabled data logger for the simplest possible MEA on-farm IoT platform
  3. Yesterday
  4. The Internet of Things (IoT) market was worth USD 605.69 billion in 2014 owing to rising requirement for internet connectivity worldwide coupled with technological advancements. The emergence of start-ups in different industries to satisfy growing need of consumers is anticipated to result in increasing venture capital investments. The market is estimated to grow at 15.2 % to reach over USD 1.88 trillion by 2022. IoT market is projected to increase at a significant pace on account of its ability to improve efficiency and enable new services. IoT connects devices including industrial equipment and consumer electronics through a network that allows users to gather information and manage devices via software. Key factors that are expected to propel future growth include improving connectivity and internet access, data processing requirements and decreasing costs of internet enabled sensors. In addition, the market is likely to witness significant growth opportunities over the forecast period owing to increase in demand for gadgets such as wearable devices and futuristic elements including connected homes, vehicles, and cities coupled together with industrial internet of things (IIoT) To view summary of this report, click the link below: www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/iot-market The absence of universally accepted standards that give rise to security and privacy issues are expected to hamper growth in the industry. Moreover, the introduction of stringent rules and regulation in the U.S and Europe to tighten data security and privacy for internet users are anticipated to restrict further market growth. The global IoT market was dominated by device segment comprising of sensors and modules and contributed to over 30.0% of the overall market in 2014. The device segment is projected to witness significant growth opportunities through introduction of innovative IoT platforms as a substitute for competitor devices such as HomeKit by Apple Inc and Brillo by GoogeInc A significant revenue share in the IoT market is anticipated to be occupied by the consumer electronics application segment followed by manufacturing and retail. The introduction of new concepts such as connected cars in the transportation sector is expected to propel demand for IoT over the forecast period. In 2014, about 25.0% of the overall industry was acquired by this segment. Emerging economies such as Japan, India and China are expected to be the key drivers of IoT industry on account of manifestation of major component and technology manufacturers such as Huawei and Samsung coupled with the potential for the high-speed broadband internet. Asia Pacific is thereby projected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 16.0% over the next seven years. IoT is a dynamic market majorly fuelled by new product developments and enhancements in technology. Organizations are focussing on investing in IoT divisions, innovation labs, and R&D to obtain the first-mover advantage to expand globally and mark their presence. Key companies include major telecom and technology giants such as Alcatel-Lucent, Accenture PLC, Google Inc., Apple Inc., General Electric, IBM, Freescale Semiconductors, SAP SE and Samsung Electronics. About Grand View Research Grand View Research, Inc. is a U.S. based market research and consulting company, registered in the State of California and headquartered in San Francisco. The company provides syndicated research reports, customized research reports, and consulting services. To help clients make informed business decisions, we offer market intelligence studies ensuring relevant and fact-based research across a range of industries, from technology to chemicals, materials, and healthcare. For more information: www.grandviewresearch.com
  5. Last week
  6. Andrew at MEA

    What does it take to be an IoT engineer?

    The IoT and the Iron Triangle The Christmas break was over and – in mid-January of this year – we regrouped here at MEA to figure out what our next product offering would be. Across the table from the engineering team sat our management and marketing folk who – for some reason – were looking us rather sternly in the eye. “Now” – said our MD – “we don’t set product development time-lines to meet market-launch opportunities but we need new product to go on show at the Irrigation Australia International Conference-Exhibition in Sydney between the 13th-15th June 2018” And so, it all began again… As engineering director, my job is to look blithely unconcerned at these times and to prevent panic breaking out among the younger engineers. Five months, to go from a clean sheet of paper to working prototypes that will utilize new technology across all the diversity of skill sets that form MEA’s IoT product development team – electronics, PCB layout, firmware phone app and web app developers, mechanical engineering and industrial design, manufacturing, packaging and all the usual interplay with our marketing, sales, operations and service people. Not to mention our suppliers… As engineering director, I don’t get to do anything specific in the way of design work anymore, but I’m expected to be across every facet of this IoT ‘sprint’ to an immovable goal post. So, I make use of the ‘Iron Triangle of Product Development’. This rule-of-thumb states that you have to continually make decisions between Quality, Cost and Time-to-Market. But you only get to choose two out of three, because they are all in their way mutually exclusive. What the rule doesn’t say is that different segments of the project get different mixes of choice. Sometime I’ll choose Quality and Speed at some additional production Cost. At other times I need to sacrifice Quality to Time-to-Market and lower Cost. And so on and so forth, literally on a daily basis. So, on this past Tuesday (June 12th, 2018) our marketing team flew into Sydney from Adelaide and Queensland with the expected new product good to launch. True, we only finished firmware a week ago, the phone app half a week ago, and a brand-new version of Green Brain just two days before. And we had to pull a few swifties by 3D-printing new parts of the enclosures rather than the more time-consuming business of creating injection-moulding tools. We took the risky step of prototyping PCB and early-production run PCB assemblies in China for the first time, because local manufacturers are not well set up for rapid and inexpensive prototyping. And we kind of skimmed over the extended field trials, relying on 35 years of data logging and field experience to direct our in-house testing. So, we made it, thanks to a deep well of company experience and rapid prototyping techniques. No doubt next week we’ll be getting the stern eye once again, and we’ll limp once more to the starting blocks.
  7. Tim Kannegieter

    Automation in the IoT Era

    Title: Automation in the IoT era Description: Siemens has long been a leader in the field of automation and electrification, pioneering what are now considered traditional technologies like SCADA and PLCs. More than most companies, Siemens has been evolving its service offerings to take advantages of the new technologies encompassed by the Internet of Things. In this presentation, Siemen's Head of Digital Enterprise will provide an overview of how its product offerings have evolved to take advantage of the exponential increase in hardware and software capabilities. He will address the challenges posed by start-ups, cyber-security threats from more connected systems, and how Siemens is responding. A number of leading-edge case studies from around the world will highlight the massive changes that have occurred in automation over the last decade or so. About the presenter: Chris Vains has a rich background in electrical and electronic automation for the manufacturing industry with several years in the food and beverage industries. He is currently Head of Digital Enterprise driving strategy for Siemens digitalisation offerings in Australia and NZ and is responsible for introducing Siemen's Mindsphere IIoT platform to market as well as its Digital Factory. Before that, he was General Manager of Factory Automation and earlier the business unit manager for automation systems including SCADA. Prior to Siemens, he worked as a project engineer for Hitech Control Systems and was a sales engineer with Wonderware Australia.
  8. Earlier
  9. Tim Kannegieter

    NSW Health supporting IoT

    Interesting article here on NSW Health: https://www.pulseitmagazine.com.au/australian-ehealth/4395-nsw-health-rolling-out-wireless-core-platform-for-mobility-and-iot
  10. Tim Kannegieter

    Extension to Windows 10 IoT Core

    Windows IoT Core Services has been announced building on the original launched in 2015. See https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2018/06/05/windows-10-iot-tomorrows-iot-today/#OhHzc9pFA4Y6gc3C.97
  11. Tim Kannegieter

    Android Things Starter Kit

    See https://developer.android.com/things/get-started/kits
  12. Anastasia Stefanuk

    New IoT Devices Made in Ukraine

    P.S. Guys, did you hear about Ecoisme? Very cool and talented guys, I highly recommend them! Here more about Ukrainian IT scene.
  13. Andrew at MEA

    Smart Passive Sensors

    ON Semiconductor have introduced a range of IoT wireless sensors for measuring temperature, moisture, pressure and proximity that are battery-free and microcontroller-free—using standard protocols. https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/industry-articles/the-rundown-of-on-semiconductors-smart-passive-sensors-sps-for-the-iot/
  14. NewieVentures, an electronic product development consultancy, is kicking goals and thus on the hunt for a talented electronics or embedded systems engineer. Join a small team to make a big impact. We turn ideas into products and no two weeks are the same. From our suite of Smart Parking devices to industrial power test rigs, you’ll get the opportunity to apply every facet of your technical knowledge while still exercising your vision and sense of value. Our particular speciality is in the Internet of Things and LPWANs, from PCB design to cloud infrastructure. We believe in life-long learning and doing what you love. Looking for 5+ years experience or the insatiable desire to gain it, for a full-time role in Newcastle West. Contact me at heath@newie.ventures or on 0431 909 116. Call for Engineers.pdf
  15. Tim Kannegieter

    7 things you should know about IoT

    Title: 7 things you should know about IOT – before you start your next project Description: It’s impossible for any one person to get their head around every detail of the Internet of Thing. By paying attention to these critical areas you can maximise the benefits that IoT can bring to your next project. Every new project being planned today should be taking into account the new possibilities that the Internet of Things (IoT) brings to the table. However, for those new to the field the vast array of technologies and considerations can be hard to get your head around. The IoT Engineering Community of Engineers Australia is in the process of distilling its body of knowledge to just seven key points that every engineer should take into account before starting their next project. This session of the IoT Community will discuss the key technologies and processes including business planning, skills development, architecture, communications, sensors and electronics, cloud and analytics, and security. For each area we will present “the one thing you should know” and the panelists will debate the merit the point. Come armed with your own questions. About the presenters: Dr Tim Kannegieter: Tim is the knowledge manager of Engineers Australia with a long history of engineering journalism. Geoff Sizer: Geoff is CEO of Genesys Electronics Design and a past chair of Engineers Australia’s ITEE College Andrew Forster-Knight: Andrew is Group Manager Intelligent Systems, South East Water Andrew Skinner: Andrew is the Engineering Director at MEA Frank Zeichner: Frank is an Industry Associate Professor at UTS and CEO of the IoT Alliance Australia
  16. Description: Taggle currently manages over three million water meter readings per day, making it one of the largest remote sensing operators in Australia and arguably the most successful IoT implementation to date. While the company is still heavily focused on the water industry, it is now beginning to look at adjacent markets including agriculture and environmental monitoring. This case study describes the development of Taggle’s one-way water metering and remote sensing solution using LPWAN. Source: Based on a webinar delivered on 1 May 2018 to the Applied IOT Engineering Community of Engineers Australia by Mark Halliwell, Business Development Manager, Taggle Systems Biography: Mark Halliwell has a background in Electrical Engineering, and 20 years’ experience in business development roles with systems associated with SCADA, industrial automation, communications, environmental, AMR and other remote monitoring systems. He has previously worked for companies such as Advantech, Halytech and Schneider Electric. Introduction This case study describes the development of Taggle’s one-way water metering and remote sensing solution using LPWAN. While IoT developers and designers may get excited about what they can build into their latest creation, this can increase project costs by increasing the functionality beyond the user or client’s requirements. For example, if water meters are to have built-in leaks alerts, they require electronics which can monitor the flow of water, parameters to determine what constitutes a leak, power and electronics to allow parameter changes, and the processing power to detect leaks and communicate the alarm back to base. Because water utilities deploy millions of water meters, every dollar of functionality in each meter adds millions to the cost of rolling it out across their assets. An alternative is to take raw consumption data, feed it to the cloud, and process the data to answer the questions that the user needs answered. This is a much more economical approach, and changing the parameters is simpler as only the analytical algorithm needs to change, while the meters remain unchanged. The decision on whether one-way or two-way communications is used should be based on the requirements of the application and the minimum level of communications required to meet the users’ needs. The same applies to the choice of communications technology. A commonly used technology is a low power wide area network (LPWAN). One-way communications is very well suited to the collection of high volumes of data, and applications such as water metering which do not require remote control or communication back to devices. Two-way communications is better suited to low volume remote control applications where users collect data from the field and respond with a control output using the same communications network. Company focus Taggle’s business focus is to provide a cost-effective IoT solution for monitoring of distribution networks. Their goal is to enable customers to use data, rather than collect data. To this end the company provides “network as a service” to collect data for users, and allow them to analyse and use it as they need. The company first decided to concentrate on the water industry in 2012 or 2013. The diagram below shows a rough snapshot of the water supply system from the point of capture, through water treatment and delivery to reservoirs at that time. Diagram courtesy of Mark Halliwell, Taggle In the top part of the diagram above, the network asset value and the potential for saving water are relatively low, due to the high level of monitoring. But the distribution pipe networks between the reservoirs and consumers’ homes have a high network asset value (in the order of 60 to 70%). The level of monitoring is also low, and limited to a small number of pressure reducing valves. This leads to a high potential for further water savings with improved monitoring. Taggle realised that by adding smart water meters for every domestic customer, the utility providers could very quickly get a sense of what was happening in the distribution pipe network, and a view of what is now called “dark assets”. Communication Systems Taggle’s proprietary network is a one-way LPWAN solution, however they are equipped to provide two-way LPWAN and have recently deployed a combined Taggle/Lower Base station in Townsville. They are also prepared to feed narrowband IoT through their network as a service, and can cater to 3G and satellite communications when required. System overview An overview of the Taggle remote sensing system is shown in the diagram below. Diagram courtesy of Mark Halliwell, Taggle Sensors are used to send data to the Taggle receiver network, which is then sent to a cloud server using 3G or 4G data communications where it can be accessed by users using analytical tools. Receiver Because the technology is based on pushing data from sensors to receiver, the receiver is the core of the system. Taggle uses a star topology with the receiver at the centre, which they describe as a very sophisticated software-defined radio (SDR). A high gain antenna allows the receiver to detect extremely weak signals, similarly to the way that mobile phones are able to detect the weak signals from GPS transmitters from satellites tens of kilometres away. A diagram of the receiver is shown below: Diagram courtesy of Mark Halliwell, Taggle The software allows the receiver to be easily reconfigured in the field. Each of the company’s 300 receivers conducts a spectrum analysis three times a day, and these spectrum snapshots are analysed to find interference or degraded signal strength. The company uses this information to make changes via their SDR to optimise reception. The receivers also feature Active Interference Cancellation to block out any interfering radio signals. This mechanism can be compared to noise cancelling headphones for radio, although it operates a bit differently. As a SDR which uses Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum technology, the receiver has a very high capacity when compared to other LPWAN receivers. Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum is similar to the technology used for CDMA and is the basis for some military communications. It is a frequency hopping technology invented in 1941 to provide secure communications for guiding torpedoes. Transmitters When Taggle built its network technology with receivers at its core, the company recognised that there was no point in building a network and hoping that people would join. Taggle saw it as necessary to also develop transmitters which could be used on their network. Because the company had discovered a niche market in collecting data for water meters, or automatic metre reading, it started to design transmitters specifically for water meters as shown in the diagram below. Diagram courtesy of Mark Halliwell, Taggle The transmitter in the middle of the diagram above was designed specifically for the Elster B100 meter, which is the most widely used water meter in Australia (about 75-80% of domestic water meters). The top transmitter is an Elster (now Honeywell) meter with a built-in Taggle radio that is totally integrated. The difference shows the transmitters’ evolution over the past seven or eight years. Transmitters can also be used for pressure and level sensors, and Taggle has used them in Adelaide with SA Water for water cooling. They are also starting to be used widely for rain guages, both for water utilities and also agriculture. They are also used in weather stations. The company also makes more sophisticated transmitters for multi-parameter devices. Some examples are shown below. Diagram courtesy of Mark Halliwell, Taggle Example of system deployment The diagram below shows an example of the application of Taggle’s water monitoring system in the New South Wales town of Narrandera. Diagram courtesy of Mark Halliwell, Taggle That network comprises about 2200 water metres, with data collected every hour by a single receiver (shown as a blue dot in the middle of the diagram). The range from transmitter to receiver is in the order of two kilometres. The following diagram shows the wider area around Narrandera, Goldenfields Water. The diagram shows that there is a much bigger network in that area, with Narrandera in the bottom left hand corner. Diagram courtesy of Mark Halliwell, Taggle The Goldenfields Water network includes approximately 12,500 water meters, spread over an area of around 22,500 square kilometres. The whole network is serviced by 30 receivers. This is a good example of how LPWANs can add value when collecting data from wide areas. Customer results Taggle’s first system deployment was with Mackay Regional Council in Queensland. The Mackay network comprises about 40,000 thousand meters. The data from these meters has told the Council that about 2.5% of properties have a leak (1500 properties per year). Armed with this data, the Council now sends out leak notices to ratepayers, which is good for public relations because the customer saves money and can address maintenance issues early to avoid structural damage. Mackay Council have also been able to use the data, to reduce the time to repair leaks from 150 to 60 days, and the overall consumption in the Mackay region has dropped by about 12%. This has meant that the Council has been able to defer a $100 million investment in a new water treatment plant by at least 12 years. Ratepayers have also benefited, with water charges on hold and expected to be reduced in the future. Taggle now has more than 25 water utilities as customers and has networks (including transmitters and receivers) collecting data from an area of about 300,000 square kilometres. This involves monitoring around 120,000 endpoints and delivering 3.5 million readings to customers daily. The diagram below shows the deployment of Taggle systems around Australia. Diagram courtesy of Mark Halliwell, Taggle Sources: The information on this page was primarily sourced from: Webinar titled ‘Water metering and remote sensing: When one-way is the better way’ by Mark Halliwell, Business Development Manager, Taggle Systems.
  17. Tim Kannegieter

    The ground truth of IOT

    Recording: This webinar has now passed. Members of Engineers Australia can view the recording for free on MyPortal. Logon and navigate to Practices > Systems Integration. You can also view a list of all recordings. To be notified of upcoming webinars, register on this website and tick the newsletter box. --------------------------------------- Title: The ground truth of IOT Presenter: Heath Raftery, Head of Technology, Newie Ventures Description: The reality of implementing IoT projects on the ground can often be very different from the what is espoused by vendors of new technologies. A key issue troubling systems integration in IoT projects is the different language and expectations used by various project stakeholders. For example, IoT is looking to penetrate markets dominated by traditional SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems. LPWAN and cloud vendors are talking to people who are running systems like Modbus and the language is often completely different. According to Heath Raftery, “IT people are now talking about edge computing as the new black but industrial people have always done computing at the edge”. Integrating the new approaches around legacy systems, or with clients who don’t understand the pros and cons of either, can produce multiple misunderstandings and “gotchas”. What is needed is a clear process translating customer intention into technical requirements, to ensure the right tool is selected for the job. This presentation will outline the experiences of Newie Ventures, providing tips for making IoT project run smoothly. It will be illustrated by a number of case studies including an industrial control application around automatic lighting systems. About the presenters: Heath has more than 15 years’ experience as a computer engineer, electrical designer, software developer, product designer, researcher and project manager. He specialises in the Internet of Things, hardware design for manufacturability, data analysis, embedded electronics, artificial intelligence and signal processing. He has previously worked for organisation such as ResTech, HRSoftWorks, Innov8 and Bureau Veritas. He is also the founder of STEM education company MiniSparx as well as the Newcastle IoT Pioneers group. When: 12pm (NSW time) 15 May 2018. The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes question time. Where: The presentation by webinar Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system linked above. Note, to register you need to have a free EA ID which you can get on the first screen of the registration page. Take note of your ID number for future events.
  18. Tim Kannegieter

    Smart Cities: A roadmap

    Recording: This webinar has now passed. Members of Engineers Australia can view the recording for free on MyPortal. Logon and navigate to Industry Applications > Smart Cities. Others can purchase the recording on EABooks. You can also view a list of all recordings. To be notified of upcoming webinars, register on this website and tick the newsletter box. Title: A Roadmap for Smart Cities Presenter: Adam Beck, Executive Director, Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand Description: Smart cities are considered one of the key application markets for the Internet of Things. The aim is to use IoT technologies to help cities and economies around the world to build prosperity and liveability for their communities. However, the idea of a smart city is an elusive concept. What is required is a framework to develop an appropriate vision for any given city and progress this with a systematic roadmap. The Smart Cities Council was established to help governments and associated agencies achieve just this. This presentation will provide engineers with insights as to the focus of mayors, city planners and those responsible for managing cities. Key considerations for selecting the right IoT technologies are explored. About the presenters: Adam founded the ANZ branch of the Smart Cities Council and is also Cities Advisor to the Green Building Council of Australia. Is is Ambassador with Portland-based think tank EcoDistricts, where he was previously Director of Innovation. Before entering the non-profit sector, Adam spent 15 years with global consulting firms, including Arup. He was also lecturer and studio lead in social impact assessment and community engagement at the University of Queensland. Adam has dedicated his career of more than 20 years to advance city-building practices around the world, through the creation and deployment of frameworks, tools, and protocols that accelerate sustainability. When: 12pm (NSW time) 15 May 2018. The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes question time. Where: The presentation by webinar Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system linked above. Note, to register you need to have a free EA ID which you can get on the first screen of the registration page. Take note of your ID number for future events.
  19. Tim Kannegieter

    Other IoT resource sites

    Ours is not the only community or website aiming to document and explain the subject of the Internet of Things: Following are some other sites: Postscapes has an Internet of Things Handbook.
  20. Nadine Cranenburgh

    Energy Analytics

    Introduction Energy analytics is a specific application of IoT data analytics which can be used for several purposes including energy management, predictive maintenance, usage forecasts, anomaly detection and automated reporting. To perform effective data analytics using IoT, a good first step is integrating all sources of energy data to a central location for analysis. It is worth noting that the difference between energy monitoring and analytics is that monitoring only allows users to view data in a particular format, while analytics provides insights to the user through alerts (for example when there is a system failure or unusually high usage). These insights can also be pushed to business intelligence (BI) tools, building management systems <link>, and data visualisation platforms. A diagram depicting a typical energy analytics system is shown below. Diagram courtesy of Umesh Bhutoria, EnergyTech Ventures Energy Management and anomaly detection Like the insights derived from smart metering of water and analysis of the resulting data, the insights from energy analytics can be used to form an understanding of the energy consumption of machinery and plant, and use this to optimise energy consumption and identify problems early. The demand for energy management systems is growing fast, with investment in the tens of billions of dollars. An example of an energy management application is shown in the diagram below, the dark green line shows the expected behaviour for a chiller network in a commercial building based on the present week’s consumption. The yellow line shows the expected behaviour based on an earlier consumption period. The difference in the two lines shows that the chiller’s energy consumption has increased over time. This could be linked to maintenance or increased activity. Having this analysis available allows engineers and maintainers to identify and find the source of problems. Diagram courtesy of Umesh Bhutoria, EnergyTech Ventures Similarly, anomaly detection using energy analytics looks for variations in observed patterns of energy usage to determine if there is a problem to be rectified. Bringing all the available data together, automating analysis and setting alerts, makes anomaly detection easier than trying to extract information from raw data points in a traditional building management system (BMS). Predictive maintenance To move towards predictive analytics and predictive maintenance using IoT energy analytics, it is essential to be able to review how systems have behaved in the past, in order to forecast how they will behave in the future. While tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning have potential to predict maintenance requirements, it is necessary to have several years’ worth of maintenance and operation data to train them to predict maintenance requirements effectively. A good starting point is putting systems and infrastructure in place and conducting a gap analysis similarly to any other data analytics <link> system implementation and clearly defining your scope and specifications (see the Project Management page for more information) Sector-specific energy analytics While energy analytic algorithms exist for many generic purposes such as time series and general forecasting, there is a gap in the availability of algorithms specific to particular industry sectors or machinery types. For instance, if the objective was to optimise a chiller system, it would be unlikely that an off the shelf algorithmic solution would be available. For industry or organisation specific analysis tasks, it might be necessary to seek the expertise of vendors who are able to build the organisation’s understanding of the data to be analysed and to develop tools to use the data to meet business goals. Sources: The content on this page was primarily sourced from: Webinar titled “The Data Indigestion Crisis: New approaches to Energy Analytics” by Umesh Bhtoria, Founder and CEO, EnergyTech Ventures
  21. Two-way communication in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) is automatically better than one-way communication, surely? Not necessarily, according to the presenter of our next webinar on remote sensing. In fact, there are cases where one way sensing is a far superior approach, such as most metering applications. In preparing for this webinar I met with Mark Halliwell, Business Development Manager at Taggle Systems. In discussing Taggle’s approach to IoT, their decision to focus on one way sensing really stood out. The reasoning is pretty simple. There are many applications where you simply don’t need two way communication and having it introduces more complications than any benefits it might bring. For example security is much simpler with one way communication as there is no way an external attack can be launched on a device via the network. Secondly, power consumption is much less, as the device does not have to be constantly listening out for messages. There are many other nuances in the one-way vs two-way debate, which Mark will address in the webinar. But one other feature of the Taggle system really stood out. Unlike most other LPWAN systems out there, the entire technology has was developed in house, here in Australia. This is not surprising when you look at the pedigree of the founders, which includes the developers of the world’s first 5GHz WiFi integrated circuits. Image: Taggle's MRC-1 transmitter designed for use with the most common water meter in use, the Elster V100. Curtesy Taggle One thing for sure is that competition in the automatic meter reading industry is rapidly heating up, with just about every IoT vendor and LPWAN consultant pitching to gain market share. This is particularly so in the water industry which is opening up rapidly with utilities across the country and globally rushing to capture the benefits of IoT, which include everything from cost reductions in meter reading to deferment of capital intensive investments in upgrading water infrastructure. With such competition, it’s no longer enough to simply offer IoT solutions. They need to be superior to other IoT solutions and this is where Taggles believe it has an advantage. By developing the technology in-house, from the chip level up and focusing on the one-way approach, it is able to optimize the solution at all levels. Taggle has made a big bet on the question of one way versus two way communication and it appears to be paying off. Mark claims they have the largest IoT deployment in Australia, currently taking over 3 million water meter readings per day. The company has also embraced the growing “as a Service” movement, by owning and maintaining its own LPWAN network so the customer only pays for the data and associated services rather than owning its own communication infrastructure. Software packages are provided that process the data for reporting and visualization purposes, including apps for end users. A great case study on a Taggle deployment at Mackay Regional Council (MRC) was reported in Utility Magazine, which featured some impressive results, way before the term IoT became trendy. In 2016, a demand management campaign coupled with the Taggle system saw individual consumer water consumption in Mackay reduce from 240L/d to 210L/d, contributing to the estimated deferment of a new water treatment plant from 2020 to 2032 and helping hold price increases to zero. In that same year, around 1500 lead notifications were sent to customers and reducing the average duration of a leak from 150 days to 60 days. Of course there are many other applications of IoT technology in the water industry, such as monitoring and reducing excessive pipe pressure, reducing pumping costs, preventing sewer overflows, identifying infiltration of the system . I wrote up a good case study earlier on what South East Water in Victoria is doing and this this explores some of these areas in more detail.
  22. Tim Kannegieter

    Casino hacked via a thermometer in a lobby aquarium

  23. Tim Kannegieter

    Casino hacked via a thermometer in a lobby aquarium

    LOL!! I have reposted this on the LinkedIn discussion group.
  24. Casino hacked via a thermometer in a lobby aquarium – what a nice story. Sad, there is no technical details in the article. http://www.businessinsider.de/hackers-stole-a-casinos-database-through-a-thermometer-in-the-lobby-fish-tank-2018-4?r=UK&IR=T
  25. Tim Kannegieter

    Demystifying Energy Analytics

    Next Tuesday 17 April, Umesh Bhutoria from EnergyTech Ventures will be delivering a webinar titled The Data Indigestion Crisis: New approaches to Energy Analytics. The successful startup from India is in the process of establishing its business in Australia, participating in a bootcamp program being run by Energy Australia. He company has developed an Insights as a Service business around energy analytics. I had coffee with Umesh to go over what he will present and was interested to find he is primarily targeting brownfield installations. When I questioned this strategy, he pointed out that the vast majority of installed systems managing energy consumption are largely underutilized, operating as alarm systems rather than being used to optimise energy efficiency. Umesh pointed to a number of issues such as the difficulty of having multiple data sources and a skill gap in knowing what to do with the data even if they had it. The main problem he says, is that companies often don't know what the actually want from their systems. He related one case where he won a contract over a large multi-national vendor because he told the client he didn't want their business if they couldn't see the difference in his approach. This encouraged the client to go back and work out their real needs. In this webinar, Umesh will begin with an introduction to Energy Analytics, outline the different approaches and then look at a case study of of one of the worlds largest Terry Towel manufacturing sites.
  26. Tim Kannegieter

    Water metering and remote sensing

    Recording: This webinar has now passed. Members of Engineers Australia can view the recording for free on MyPortal. Logon and navigate to Industry Applications > Utilities. Others can purchase the recording on EABooks. You can also view a list of all recordings. To be notified of upcoming webinars, register on this website and tick the newsletter box. Title: Water metering and remote sensing: When one-way is the better way Presenter: Mark Halliwell, Business Development Manager, Taggle Systems Description: As engineers come to grips with specifying the most appropriate Internet of Things solutions, a key consideration is the choice of communication system – usually a low power wide area network (LPWAN). The uninformed may assume that two-way LPWAN systems are better than one-way communication. However, many engineering applications such as water metering, do not usually require control of the device or even any communication back to the device. Moreover, two-way communication introduces complications around security and power management that should be considered. This presentation explores the advantages of one-way sensing solutions and the refinements required to make them commercially and technically superior for certain applications. Taggle Systems’ one-way sensing solution is showcased. Taggle was founded by some of the same people who developed the first high-speed Wi-Fi chips, commercializing the development work completed at CSIRO. Their aim was to cover solution gaps that Wi-Fi couldn’t address. Taggle currently manages over 3 million water meter readings per day, making it one of the largest remote sensing operators in Australia and arguably the most successful IoT implementation to date About the presenters: Mark has 20 year's experience in business development roles with systems associated with SCADA, industrial automation, communications, environmental, AMR and other remote monitoring systems. He has previously worked for companies such as Advantech, Halytech and Schneider Electric. When: 12pm (NSW time) 1 May 2018. The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes question time. Where: The presentation by webinar Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system. Note, to register you need to have a free EA ID which you can get on the first screen of the registration page. Take note of your ID number for future events.
  27. The 2nd Annual All-of-Government NZ Digital Transformation is a premier conference bringing leaders from the Government together to identify opportunities to develop New Zealand’s digital capabilities for better public service delivery. The event will include insightful case studies as well as interactive panel sessions discussing a range of topics. This event was previously held in 2017, with over 100 Government leaders in attendance. Attend the two-day conference to hear how other Government organisations are managing their digital, technology, data and business transformations. Packed with exclusive presentations,interactive panel discussions and roundtable sessions. This conference will examine key strategies, plans and initiatives to deliver improved citizen-centric services The 3 key themes to be covered at the conference are: Digital transformation, digital service delivery & engagement: - Governments are modernising their systems and processes to keep up with drive in the innovation economy and deliver better services plus citizen engagement ICT transformation: Citizens are becoming more demanding in timely access to information and services - systems and processes need to be transformed in order to achieve this Data transformation: Government is seeking better citizen insight, to make more informed decisions for both policy and the delivery of digital services For more information on registration please send an email to waleed.ahmed@aventedge.com 2nd Annual All-of-Government NZ Digital Transformation Brochure-WA.pdf
  28. Andrew at MEA

    What does it take to be an IoT engineer?

    The IoT and some Ancient History It was the winter of 1988 and I was shivering with fright in a garage attached to a rented house wherein my wife and three preschool sons awaited whatever bread I could put on the table. I’d completed my work on the South Australian Wind Energy Survey (1984-1987); I’d been contracted to make wind and solar measurements at over thirty sites across the state, logging the data and analysing it on the first IBM PC computer blitzing along at 4.7 MHz. This marvel of cutting-edge technology had two 8-inch floppy drives but no hard drive, no telemetry and a bulky monochrome display. Mechanical printers were slow and noisy. Home-made data analysis software had to be written in BASIC. The Internet was a term and a technology yet to be dreamt of. Renewable energy In South Australia died as soon as the Government-sponsored Wind Survey was completed in 1987. It simply had no traction at all with our electrical authorities who – frankly – had no intention of taking that ‘hippy technology’ any further while there was still plenty of coal to be mined at Leigh Creek in the State’s far north. All those wind measurements gained me a Master’s Degree in Electronic Engineering, but I was now seriously out on my own, sitting at a battered wooden desk with a second-hand kerosene heater as the only source of warmth. Measurement Engineering Australia (MEA) was underway and I was now a pioneer in the brave new world of desktop computing, environmental sensors and data logging. [No grandiose visions of sales outside my home state led me to add ‘Australia’ onto the company name: I just didn’t want to spend the rest of my working life talking about ‘ME’] 1987: Renewable energy and the IoT arrive simultaneously in South Australia, although nobody knew it at the time. At about that time, a long skinny German PhD student set out from the warmth of a European summer to fly down to Australia to start his doctoral studies in agriculture in South Australia. Pretty soon he’d found his way to my lab and we set out together to measure the growth rate of oranges on the Loxton Research Station. ‘Plant-based measurements’ had arrived. Once all this remote measurement gear had been set up in the Loxton research orchard the data coming back showed a remarkable sensitivity to crop water stress. How could I reproduce these measurements in crops that didn’t have oranges hanging off them? So began a thirty-year odyssey to develop a sensor so sensitive that it would allow the plants to do the talking: not the soil, not the atmosphere – the plants! Along the way I studied both ancient and modern circuits, went back to the basics of my craft, studied endlessly through weekends, nights and annual leave and gained a PhD and a Dean’s Commendation. I gave lectures in Europe to scientific audiences, wrote papers for international journals, ran field trials of the sensor in Australian vineyards and analysed the results. I began to see a way forward. All this from the kitchen table, for although I now had a larger desk at MEA there was little time or budget available for such a long-term endeavour. I’d set out to create a ‘new-to-world’ sensor and wound up with a superb education in analog and digital electronics. Three decades have passed and I’m still not at product launch. But I do have a few secret weapons. Down the backyard is my home lab, put together through careful shopping on eBay for second-hand instruments. It is here – during more evenings, weekends and annual leave – that I gained ground that would have been impossible among the distractions of my daily rounds as MEA’s Engineering Director. Data logging and desk-top computing have transmogrified into the Internet of Things, and I’ve become an old dog who understands all that stuff. I’m surrounded by the finest technicians, engineers, marketing, management and operations people who cover off on those skills I don’t have. The business infrastructure is solid. I’ve had decades to learn about viticulture and horticulture at first hand. Plexus routinely carry soil moisture and climate data and deliver it to farmers via MEA’s Green Brain. Best of all, the Internet of Things now spoils me for choice, just as I find myself looking to launch this new crop water stress sensor. Should I choose satellite, Bluetooth, narrow-band or CAT-M1 cellular IoT technologies or the ultra-narrowband Sigfox network? Nothing frightens me anymore; I can put my hand to any combination of these technologies to deliver plant-based measurements to Green Brain and farmers. Wind and solar energy took off in South Australia big-time in the early 2000’s, driven by commercial interest and new players in the energy market. MEA was well-positioned to grow with that wave. We instrumented over three hundred wind monitoring systems across Australia, many of which now host massive wind farms. Likewise, with solar monitoring. Funds from my first outing as a pioneer were reinvested in the development of Plexus and Green Brain IoT technologies for agriculture. And that long skinny PhD student of long ago got over the academic line and returned to Germany as Doctor Braun, now Professor Braun. That small task he left me – to improve on methods of making plant-based measurements – has blown out to become the swan-song of a long engineering career. But at least the IoT is now here to allow me to connect it all up…
  29. Tim Kannegieter

    Just what IS a smart city?

    I’ve always been a bit confused about what a smart city actually is. When you talk to people in the field, you normally get vague answers about how the Internet of Things is going to transform cities. The basic idea is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness in the way we manage our community assets and services. Using the Internet of Things (IoT) we collect more data and analyze it to make smarter operational and strategic decisions. When pressed for examples, smart city enthusiasts usually point to specific point solutions around parking, water meters, energy monitoring, garbage bins and the like. But individually none of these make an entire city smart, right? For a while, I thought that smart cities must have something to do with interconnecting this large variety of point solutions, to get synergistic benefits through the likes of big data analytics and machine learning. However, the engineer in me knows just how complex such an approach is. It’s a great aspiration, and I’m all for it, but we are a long, long way from that. So it was refreshing to talk to Thinxtra’s VP Ecosystems & Marketing Renald Gallis about their Smart Council Program which recently gained a $10 million boost in funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to help roll out the Sigfox low power wide area network technology to councils across Australia. He confirmed for me that most smart cities are currently limited to point solutions. Thinxtra has partnered with a number of organisations to help them offer a variety of solutions for everything from manhole monitoring to prevent overflow, through to rodent infestation control. What I gained from that conversation is a realization that smart cities ARE about interconnectedness – but it’s more to do with people than technology. According to Renald, the key to smart cities and any other industry vertical, is the quality of the business relationships that sit behind the IoT solutions. When Thinxtra evaluates potential companies to bring their solutions into the Sigfox network, they look first to access the maturity of their thinking about IoT. It’s not enough to have a smart technology solution, it must also be at a price point that makes it viable and it must also be scalable. The company delivering the IoT solution must understand not just the technologies but the organisational systems required to sustain them in the field. It’s one thing to produce a few hundred devices. It’s another to produce tens of thousands devices and support them nationally or globally. Having confidence in the solution is a key part of what Renald calls "proof of value" which goes beyond a simple business case. He will be delivering a webinar on proof of value to this community on 3 April. Renald says there are a lot of “digital tourists” – individuals or companies that have an idea and dabble in the IoT space. However, they don’t really know what they want or fully understand the complex landscape of IoT solution providers. They ending up wasting a lot of time for everyone involved. So what makes a smart city is smart relationships between organisations that really “get” IoT. Smart relationships start with the quality of the organisations involved. Providers need to have all the backend processes to support the systems in the field. This will include partnering with reliable providers of connectivity, middleware and cloud systems. Because the ability to scale is important, the provider in the relationship should ideally be a big player in the market – nationally or globally. According to Gallis, start-ups need to be realistic about their ability to take market share and align themselves to the right global player as quickly as possible in the evolution of their product. Adopters of IoT solutions also need to have the right organisational systems in place to strategically address the way IoT will positively disrupt their business models and processes. Ideally, they will have an innovation department of some sort in place to both assess the technology and to shepherd solutions through to implementation. Smart relationships also relate to how city authorises encourage multiple point solutions to work together. Generally speaking the point solutions will be using the same kinds of technologies. Ideally, these technologies would be from the same providers, using the same platforms. However, in a competitive world, this is wishful thinking, especially for large cities. At this stage concepts like open data and an IoT friendly regulatory environment come into play and city authorities do need to play their role in facilitating smart relationship. So what IS a smart city? I’m thinking it is a vibrant ecosystem of technology providers and adopters across the city, working together to improve macro outcomes like livability, prosperity and sustainability. IoT sits at the heart of that, connecting technologies and organisations. It plays a role in brokering relationships between people from all fields and disciplines to work together in smart ways. As Marshall McLuhan said, “the medium is the message” and today IoT is the medium. --------- Dr Tim Kannegieter is the facilitator of Engineers Australia Applied IoT Engineering Community.
  1. Load more activity