First supplier in Europe with heat meters using IoT via LoRa
In 400 villas in Salem, south of Stockholm, Sweden, LoRa-equipped meters are now installed, where the district heating company can be its own communications operator. As a result, the project will be the first in Europe to install smart energy meters for billing with built-in IoT to this extent. The choice of LoRa technology means that district heating gets a unique combination of openness and security at an attractive price.
The heat meter Ambiductor HEAT 1 has been available with integrated LoRa for a few months, but only now, as the first meter on the market, it can meet all requirements of the Measuring Instruments Directive, Swedac's National Regulations, the Swedish Energy Agency's regulations, while complying with the LoRaWAN standard developed by LoRa Alliance.
LoRa is the next generation of data collection via radio, providing brand new possibilities compared to traditional mobile and radio technology or wired communications. The meters send data several times a day and all are received in a single gateway that has 10-15km range. Everything is collected in the measurement data program via an application server. The server also handles things such as time stamping, transmission periods and transmission speeds.
With LoRa technology, we were given meters that, with battery operation, showed correct daily values with the same accuracy as required on electric meters. At the same time, we covered a sufficiently large area, unlike traditional technology. Ambiductor is the supplier who is technically at the forefront of LoTa, so it was natural for us to choose them as partners in this project. Robert Eklund, Södertörn Fjärrvärme
There are similar projects in smaller scale running in Germany using electricity meters, but this is the first time someone does this in district heating. Therefore, the project is unique and creates completely new challenges to take into account. LoRa and Internet-of-Things represent a paradigm shift in district heating and water distribution.
A strength with LoRa is that it can handle incredibly many meter with very simple means. The system supports bi-directional communication and may therefore potentially change the entire utility industry.
Ambiductor, a measurement technology company in Täby, has developed the technology that made it possible for these meters. They are pioneers in LoRa and within measurement technology and have been working on that technology for over a year already. Their first LoRa device arrived early in 2017.
This is proof that the future in data collection is already here. But we have only seen the beginning of the possibilities of IoT in energy meters and water meters. Several other utility companies have begun exploring the possibilities and only the imagination sets limits. We are proud to have put Sweden back on the map, because the interest from abroad is great. Karl-Johan Hultman, CEO Ambiductor
More about LoRa and meters can be read (in Swedish) at www.ambiductor.se/lora.