Automated Meter Reading
If meter data cannot be extracted from a meter, the continuing functionality of the meter canot be monitored and valuable interval data is not collected. QMC strives to automate every meter we deploy. To do this, QMC uses a variety of communications options to transmit data from the meters to a reporting platform. As requested by our clientele, QMC has standardized on open protocol, non-proprietary platforms to communicate this data. This allows multiple user groups and systems to access the data.
QMC uses many communications options, including universal data loggers, power-line carrier communications, wireless systems, and ethernet based metering equipment.
For automated mechanical meter systems, QMC utilizes M-Bus communications technology. M-Bus (“Meter-bus”) is the European standard for meter communications because of superior data integrity, cost savings and a single network system.
The benefits of the M-Bus systems include:
- Data integrity – Meter Bus provides the actual meter register read and meter serial number to the data collection point. This approach ensures bills always coincide with what the meter register read. This is in direct contrast to pulse output data, which can be lost, offset, manipulated and/or misallocated.
- Installation cost savings – each M-Bus meter is connected to a main M Bus riser, which communicates with one M-Bus master device. This eliminates the need for ‘home-run’ wiring, required for pulse output systems (see diagram below)
- One network – multiple utilities – the same Meter Bus network will collect reads for thermal, water and gas meters
- Power over M-Bus – the Meter Bus network can be used to power water and thermal meters, eliminating the need for 120V power sources for meters
- More data – M-Bus meters can communicate more than just consumption data; they can provide flow rates, temperatures, error messages, etc
- Integration with other protocols – Meter-Bus can convert pulse outputs onto the M-Bus network and integrate with other data collection systems: BACnet, Modbus, etc
QMC strives to supply and support cost effective meter systems with the highest data integrity to its customers. Please contact QMC so we can discuss the benefits of M-Bus systems and design the right meter system for your project.