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  2. 18 Oct "Apple and GE today announced a partnership to deliver powerful industrial apps designed to bring predictive data and analytics from Predix, GE’s industrial Internet of Things (IoT) platform, to iPhone and iPad. The two companies unveiled a new Predix software development kit (SDK) for iOS, which gives developers the tools to make their own powerful industrial IoT apps." More info https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2017/10/apple-and-ge-partner-to-bring-predix-industrial-apps-to-iphone-and-ipad/
  3. Yesterday
  4. Smart Metering of Utilities

    Introduction Smart metering using IoT has the potential to increase efficient use of utilities and identify and resolve issues in supply infrastructure in the utility industry. One definition of smart metering is the collection of metering data on utility (electricity, water, gas) use, and the systems and processes that derive value from the data. It also enables two-way communications from the meter to utility providers and users, and involves intelligence and processing within the meter that differentiates it from simple automated meter-reading systems that send a reading at specified intervals. Smart metering is widely used in the electrical power industry, due to ready availability of power for IoT devices, however has proved more challenging in metering other utilities such as water. Smart meters enable users and suppliers to gain insights into the utility use of a particular site, piece of equipment, house: anything with a meter. It also gives electricity distribution or water network operators insights into the operation of the network. On the supply end of the meter, utility providers can start to understand what demand is on the network, and when and where there is demand. Smart metering solutions have the following key focus areas: sustainability: reducing the amount of resources that we consume and the energy required to treat or distribute the resource increasing labour efficiency (eg. installing a sensor rather than having a person check manually) increasing economic efficiency As with any IoT project, the cost of smart metering solutions needs to be offset by efficiency or cost savings driven by value extracted from the data collected. One key to increasing efficiency with smart metering is to provide customer friendly data visualisation, interactive analytics and data sharing to allow users to monitor and modify their utility usage. This may not be necessary for corporate users, who will require integration of smart metering data with their own business systems to drive economic and operational benefits. Enrichment of data with additional sources (such as weather and home automation data) also adds value, as does automating processes and work flows by feeding smart metering data or summaries into scheduling, reporting and service systems. Monitoring water use can also businesses predict future utility use for more informed financial planning. Smart metering of water The water industry has historically lacked economically IoT solutions for smart metering. Only around one percent of residential water meters (95% of the water market) are smart enabled. However the application of IoT technologies to high water users is now delivering significant results. Low cost, high volume remote sensing devices are using new low power wide area network (LPWAN) communication technologies and advanced data analytics to develop new business models for the management of water use. Users are more easily able to identify water leaks and consumption trends, to generate insights and facilitate smarter action. The key components of IoT in the water industry are similar to other vertical IoT solutions: · physical layer: low cost, low power remote sensors and devices · network layer: LPWAN, other connectivity · Cloud and edge computing · Data storage, analytics, machine learning · Integration with operational and business systems These components and their relation to each other are shown in the diagram below. Diagram courtesy of Rian Sullings, WaterGroup Pty Ltd Machine learning is used to improve the efficiency data analysis, especially for large data sets for cities rather than individual buildings. Integration of smart water metering systems with operational and business systems is a developing area, as historically they have been stand alone systems rolled out by water utilities with links to billing and some data analytics. Future developments are likely to include data connections to systems that schedule maintenance work, and automatic alerts to operators to resolve detected water leaks. Smart water meters distinguish baseflow (constant, steady flow) from leaks (steady or slightly fluctuating use of water which varies from the norm). Data analysis can inform other efficiencies including timing of air conditioning operation to maximise efficient use of cooling towers. Leak detection provides the greatest economic benefit of smart water metering. A recent project delivered water savings that covered the cost of smart meter installation in less than a year. The diagram below shows the increase in water usage (dark blue line) caused by a leak in the roof sprinklers during the new year’s break at a facility. An automatic alert sent by the smart metering system allowed the leak to be detected and fixed in a matter of days. Diagram courtesy of Rian Sullings, WaterGroup Pty Ltd Challenges Challenges to IoT smart metering solutions can be industry specific. For example, the water industry has infrastructure, such as underground pipes and meters, that are very difficult to access and successfully establish data communications with. This has historically made implementation of IoT and other electronic solutions (end-to-end telematics, SCADA) solutions challenging, as they require deployment of devices with access to power and communications channels. Prototypes are being developed for Sigfox smart metering devices outside North America and Europe, as the frequencies vary between regions, and smart metering devices have not been widely used outside these areas. There is also a limited amount of knowledge of developing smart metering applications for IoT, particularly in the water industry, so collaboration with professional organisations and between developers is important. Another challenge is educating utility users that installing a smart metering system will not increase sustainable resource use unless there are clearly defined goals and methods to store, analyse and feed data into decision making to change behaviour to maximise efficiency. To do this, smart metering systems need to be integrated with business or operational systems, which can be challenging as some utilities (eg. water), currently have limited standards to aid integration of IoT data. Security of smart metering systems is also a concern, particularly for government run systems. This can result in private servers being set up rather than hosting smart metering data in the cloud. Data ownership and privacy are also challenging, particularly for sharing of data collected from private homes. Suppliers and Innovators Australian smart metering company WaterGroup has formed a partnership with IoT communications provider Thinxstra to use the Sigfox LPWAN to allow high water users to detect leaks, and has received an award from the Australian communications industry for positive application of IoT technologies. Over the past few years, South East Water (SEW) in Victoria have been trialling a range of different Internet of Things (IOT) technologies with the goal of creating the most advanced water and waste water network in Australia. The trials are aimed at identifying an IOT platform that will allow the connection of around one million monitoring and controlling devices across SEW’s water and wastewater network using a low power wide area network. More information is contained in the case study page for this project. Standards The Australian national data standard standard for energy smart metering is NEM-12, administered by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Standards for IoT-based smart metering of water are still being developed. There is no standard format data storage and transfer, so there are many different file types and formats, which are difficult to integrate. Middleware software can be used to convert data into a common format for integration. Other areas for development in IoT smart water metering data standards include reliability, communications protocols and security. IoT smart metering applications in Australia also use the Hypercat standard for cataloguing and storing IoT data. Sources The content in this page has been primarily sourced from: Webinar titled ‘Smart Metering for Water with the Internet of Things’ by Rian Sullings, Manager Smart Metering & IoT, WaterGroup Pty Ltd Further information Discussion of audience questions from Webinar titled ‘Smart Metering for Water with the Internet of Things’ by Rian Sullings, Manager Smart Metering & IoT, WaterGroup Pty Ltd
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  6. Attendees: Tim, Arkady, Geoff Apoligies: Arthur, Peter 1. General Discussion Arkady reported from his trip that there is a big head of steam building for IoT in Europe. GS advised of a report on Everything IoT conference on ABC news 11-Oct-17 – including a brief comment from Frank Zeichner. GS advised on problems experienced by organisations seeking end-to-end solutions in finding a complete solution provider. 2. Background TK is launching two new communities - Risk Engineering BOK in the new year; and Energy Engineering (supported by electrical College) with a possible fourth – STEM – so TK’s ability to support IoT Community will ramp down – in particular the driving of the agenda – from Feb 2017 onwards. 3. Webinar Recording EA members can access video recordings on My Portal, and non EA members can purchase access. Videos are up on YouTube. Tim edits each video (about 3 hours work) and puts up within 24 hours. This role by Tim will persist into the future. EA benefits by building a BOK and CPD collateral; and the community benefits through having the webinar recordings available to its members. The Webinar editing arrangement is working well. In due course the current solution may be replaced by an EA-wide enterprise solution for webinars. 4. Marketing Now that the community is maturing and the webinar support system in place, Tim will move within EA to internal marketing and support. Why is EA not running conferences in the space? Opportunity with new person in place (located in EA office in Sydney) to adopt a more strategic view of conferences within EA. GS to establish linkage between Tim and Graham Town who is ITEEC Board member with conference portfolio from ITEEC perspective. Now we have something of substance to show, in particular via the portal, we can start to promote the community and gain synergistic benefits. Arkady identified Stuart Corner as active in running IoT blog, and having useful contacts in the industry and the media. Tim sees the main objective is providing greater visibility of the community. 5. Governance Tim is proposing that ownership of the IoT Community needs to transfer to the ITEE College, now that the pilot has proven successful and the online community model has been proven. Energy and Risk Engineering communities are being established based on a model whereby each community is supported by a unit of EA. Ideally, a similar relationship will be established with ITEE College. College Board can establish a subcommittee with responsibility for the community. The community needs to become a part of EA’s main stream, so as to maintain relevance. 6. Course Accreditation Universities are establishing IoT courses – EA has a course accreditation role, and logically will put in place measures for course accreditation. GS is participating in IoT Alliance activity in relation to education, and engagement with EA in this process. EA’s domain is the University and course accreditation area. EA and ACS currently jointly accredit software engineering courses, and IoT would be a natural complement to this. 7. Webinar Program To be a main topic of the next Core Members meeting
  7. IoT and STEM Outreach

    Yes, agree with pretty much all that. I would tend not to be too dismissive of the value of learning the principles of coding. At my daughter's age, the concepts of IF/THEN constructs and all the other coding principles are all very new and worthwhile I think. And primarily at this stage, I think my aim is just to get her enthusiastic about learning, so the scratch level programs have been great and she still has some way to run with it. However, I take your point that she will pretty quickly run out of runway to learn with just coding which is why I am already thinking about what next. Your point about teachers asking what will you drop is very valid. They don't teach this stuff in normal school time for that very reason. However, as a parent I have oodles of after school time and holidays to fill which I would like to be as enriching as possible, hence my interest in this. I'm not actually particularly focused on coding or even STEM. However, I did attend a DATA 61 event where one of the keynote speakers was 9 years old and was a little blown away by the potential of young people to create a future using data. As you say, its what you do with the data rather than coding as a skill that will make the difference. However, I think understanding how to manipulate data via coding will be \ a modern day skill that should sit alongside other skills like literacy and mathematics. But how to develop it over time in a reasonable fashion? I put up a proposal in EA about a year ago to launch a STEM Outreach Community, whereby deliverers of STEM education services such as yourself could collaborate and learn from each other. It hasn't got traction yet but I remain hopeful. Cheers Tim
  8. AIIA IoT MER: The Smart Mining Conference

    See https://www.aiia.com.au/events/upcoming-events/south-australia-events2/southaustralia/the-smart-mining-conference
  9. IoT and STEM Outreach

    Yes, Newcastle only at the moment. But now that we've run our first session the feedback has been very encouraging - we now have plans for expansion! Definitely supply and demand is a factor. Like all these trends the supply tends to overshoot the demand. But I think there's also a element of thin value. By which I mean the dominant marketing message is that coding = skill for the future and that code camps = coding competence. When you sell something predicated on those two shaky equivalences you only have a short period of time before people notice the emperor is wearing no clothes. So yes, experience with Scratch, using a screen to create rather than consume are very valuable. But I think you also need to get kids off computers and working with things and people. They're the human skills that will always be in demand, particularly in tech and engineering. I like your progression idea. I suppose the teachers would argue: sounds great, what are you going to give up to make room for it? I was on a webinar this morning with Jon Samuelson on this topic and it's amazing how often he aligned with these themes. For instance: Advice from game developers: don't worry about making things too hard. Kids disengage from school because it's too easy, not because it's too hard. The challenge is the attractive part. "Coding in isolation without connection to physical environment can be just game creation". He goes on to say boys will often go on for days into their own world creating games and learning nothing, while girls will get bored. "Structured play" is the best learning environment. A 21st century learner should strive to: create, empathise, persevere, communicate, envision, be patient, observe, explore, adapt, collaborate, etc. That is, human skills. For reference, the webinar url is: http://home.edweb.net/webinar/stem20171011/ and I've attached a couple of his slides. Those price points are interesting. We went with $159 for two days and $149 for five after school sessions, which seems pretty attractive. Main challenge is that we want to keep teacher:student ratio really high to provide great service so it's a balancing act.
  10. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    Hi D Cheng, There are many different meters and many components to check to ensure compatibility. From pipe fittings through to wireless communications and data formats. Cheers, Rian
  11. Interesting news on how a computer manufacturer aims to get on the IoT bandwagon. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/dell-bets-big-on-internet-of-things/news-story/892c8d8495756ab387e021579dba7f22
  12. Multiple media reports out that Vodafone has launched their NB-IoT network, with two clients to trial it. Limited geographic coverage around central Sydney and Melbourne with wider roll out next year. See https://www.itnews.com.au/news/vodafone-switches-on-nb-iot-network-475139
  13. IoT and STEM Outreach

    Hi Heath, Just followed up on your link. Well done you! MiniSparx sounds like a great initiative. Newcastle based only? Re Scratch, I don't think there is any issue with Scratch and the demise of the industry in the article you linked sounds more like a law of supply and demand issue. My 6.5yr daughter has done four days now on Scratch and has the basic concepts mastered. She still struggles with slight more complicated things. The main point is that she is using a computer screen to create things rather than just mindlessly watch YouTube videos. What it has make me think about is progression. By the time she is 9 or 10 she will be beyond basic programming stuff. What would be good is a pathway to progress kids through ever more challenging things such as robots and even the IoT stuff Chi Bihn Le talked about. Ideally this would extend over their entire schooling. I was actually imagining her graduating from highschool with a fully fledged ICT degree. Its not has crazy as it sounds because I'm continually amazed at my daughter's ability to absorb complex ideas and use the tools to create quite sophisticated aps and she is not yet seven. She is not particularly bright either. She just has what every young child has when the learning is fun. It also has to be affordable. I pay about $40 a day for normal school holiday activities at the local school after ours care. Admittedly that is cheap but I pay about $100 per day for the code camp stuff, so the temptation to leave her in there is great.
  14. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    How do you keep spare smart meters to ensure compatibility ?
  15. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    Hi Paul - that is possibly true, but my assumption is not to a great extent. I think the significant power use is in making the transmission not doing the reading - in any event I was just minuting as best I could Ryans reply so it was preserved.
  16. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    But then doesn't that lead to using a lot more power as you need to keep polling for the change in those conditions rather than the scheduled transmission?
  17. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    Is water flow, from mechanical meters, calculated on board the edge device or in platform?
  18. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    My question is in relation to the ANU study. Did the $300k saving include the infrastructure maintenance rectification costs, or were those costs captured elsewhere? My query is relation unplanned maintenance costs that may be an initial impediment, despite the long term benefit in timely asset monitoring.
  19. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    Any or all of these parameters are useful, particularly for the WQ monitoring. Additional monitoring of the Cl residual is highly desirable.
  20. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    How do you counter the down time due to vandalism or damage that could possibly give a false alarm (i.e. water leaking)?
  21. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    How is Water Group looking at system upkeep at the physical level (calibration and such)? Is this left to the client or something being requested as part of ongoing project service?
  22. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    Possibly the sensor can be configured with business rules to respond on event, rather than in the normal duty cycle
  23. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    If you can get LP satellite comms is there any reason you would use LP wan? Thanks Paul Answer transcribed from webinar response by Rian Sullings (WaterGroup P/L): Yes. The low power wide area networks over ground may be better in instances where the meter is indoors or doesn't have good visibility to the sky (for example if it is located in abasement car parks or a city like Canberra and Adelaide where there is a metal checker plate over the top of the meter itself). It may also come down to a question of power consumption. The satellite communication for smart metering applications is something that I intend to explore a little bit more, and if there's anybody else out there who's an expert on that or has a cool LP satellite Arduino shield or something like that, feel free to reach out and let me know about it.
  24. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    with LORA at least, that is what you need to do. However the LORA technology is cheap enough to install transmitters. Also the coverage in the bush will be further
  25. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    Is there much value in measuring water parameters other than flow with a single smart meter device, e.g. pressure, temperature, pH? Answer transcribed from webinar response by Rian Sullings (WaterGroup P/L): There is value in doing that. Pressure, especially, can be used for gaining insights into network operation. I'm not sure if you'd wire a pressure sensor in every single smart meter across the city, but certainly using smart meters as a vessel to include other sensors to distribute around a network. Maybe every tenth house or so, it might make sense to include pressure to gain operational insights for the network. Also temperature and pH, these sorts of values are very useful in terms of the water quality, making sure that there's no issues with the water as it moves around the pipe network. Temperature is very commonly included in smart metering devices where the electronics and communications are embedded or integrated into the body of the meter itself, temperature sensors being quite simple and cheap and easy to include. pH, on the other hand, the sensors tend to cost a little bit more and be a little bit more complex. I've not seen yet a pH sensor included in a smart metering device. Further information on this question can be found in the South East Water case study on this wiki.
  26. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    LORAWAN vs SigFow technology. Does anyone have a working preference? I have only used LORA. Answer transcribed from webinar response by Rian Sullings (WaterGroup P/L): It's a very hotly contested space for the wireless networks. Yes, there's a few companies and organisations out there, as well as a few standards that are out there competing to dominate that space. I get asked at least once a week which wireless network is the best wireless network, and the answer is the one that fits what you're trying to do. It fits your use case and can get you started now, and you'll be able to deliver a project or a solution on time and on budget. We've used Sigfox and I used that in the example of our prototype. That was simply because it was a lot easier to get started in Australia with Sigfox. There's already an existing network in a lot of the population centres, like the major cities, there's a lot of support online. LoRaWAN, also a lot of support out there and a lot of network coverage, but some of the devices, getting them in Australian frequencies is a little trickier. Not to say it's not possible. It's very possible. You just have to follow it and pursue it and be dedicated to find what you need on the market or build it yourself. And try to avoid the marketing hype that's out there at the moment. Be careful to use impartial sources. Further information on Low Power WAN page of this wiki.
  27. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    You used the Atamo board for development. Did you use this for the final product? Or did you develop your own design? If so, why? Answer transcribed from webinar response by Rian Sullings (WaterGroup P/L): We did use the Atamo development board for the prototype, but not for a final product. The Atamo development board is based on Arduino. It has the Atmega microcontroller. What we've ended up using for a final product is the arm.com. They are more power efficient and stable. They do everything that we need them to do. They've got that little bit extra processing power that can future proof things and also enable a bit more of the calculation in the device. Did we develop our own design? We've partnered with electronic designers from other parts of the world. For us to design a solution in Australia, and have it make business sense, we would have to be distributing it in other parts of the world as well. It makes sense in the short-term for us to do it other way around and partner with those who are in much larger markets than the Australian market, such as the European market, and simply work with them to bring over technology to Australia. However, in doing that, we've had to work with them on improving their designs or adapting them to suit Australia. Obviously, the weather conditions here are significantly different to those in Europe, and in many cases we want more detail of data available than a lot of what's on the European market simply because water is a higher priority in Australia than a lot of European markets. It's not just smart metering for the purpose of getting a meter reading and sending a water bill. It's more required for that network operation, understanding and delivering more detail of data.
  28. Smart metering for water with the IoT

    How well does LPWAN handle urgent and important communications? E.g. a water meter detecting a critical failure that needs immediate response. Answer transcribed from webinar response by Rian Sullings (WaterGroup P/L): Excellent question. If you compare LPWAN to something we're all familiar with like 3G or 4G, it tends to be quite slow to communicate and send that message, but when I say slow I'm talking in wireless terms. In terms of humans realising information has arrived and reacting to it, it might take a few seconds for that message to travel over the air, and one or two seconds for it to arrive on your PC or on your mobile to give you an alert. Typically, a smart meter will be set to send data at a regular interval. Depending on the technology, that might be more frequent with smaller amounts of data or it might be less frequent transmissions with larger amounts of data. If all is operating normally, the smart meter will tick along, sending data according to its regular schedule. You can also implement “transmission upon event” where the device has a little bit more cleverness built into it. It might be able to realise the profile of something like a leak, and say: "The water use has being flowing at a continuous rate and it's 3am and it's been doing this for an hour. That's not normal. That could be a leak. I will send a message right now instead of waiting until my next scheduled transmission."
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