EMS Approach to Gas "Automatic Meter Reading"(AMR)
The future with Embedded Meters and data at no extra cost
Historic gas reading technology
Historically automatic reading technology used for gas relied solely on an external cabled device attempting to read pulses from a reed switch or similar within a gas meter. This outdated technology meant the external device had to be told the meter reading upon its installation and it would proceed to estimate the meter reading based on counting the electronic pulses received.
Problems with the old pulse technology
The first main problem with pulse reading technology is the drift between what the meter index read is and what the AMR device estimates the index read to be based on the meter pulses it has received. It is the AMR devices estimated read that is sent to the gas supplier for billing and received by the customer for energy management purposes.
This AMR drift can only increase overtime unless the AMR device is resynced and the cause addressed.
Pulsed AMR devices being attached to elderly meters where the pulse switch is wearing or worn out.
A pulse output on a meter is not designed to last forever. As the meter ages the pulse becomes weak or stops working altogether. This means any AMR device attached stops working along with it. The second problem with this pulse technology is the cost to the consumer. The consumer is already paying for the gas meter by way of standing charges included in the gas bill and are often asked to pay additionally for the AMR device through installation or data charges for meter readings.
EMS solution | embedded AMR technology
EMS solution to gas AMR is simple and 2-fold.
1. Newer metering technologies developed over the last 5 years mean that the meter pulse no longer needs to be utilised.
A sim card and communication module can now be built directly into the meter.
No external equipment is needed to read the meter.
This new technology uses a special device called an absolute encoder which reads the actual position of the meter counter.
This means the electronic reading always matches the meter counter exactly so in turn what is shown on the meter index is what is sent to the consumer and gas supplier.
That means no estimated reads from pulses, no wiring problems, and no broken connections, just half hourly data transmitted exactly as it appears on the meter.
For larger rotary meters a similar solution is available where a single hard-wired encoder using laser technology can read the exact digits of the meter and transmit the exact index read. Even meters that require a conversion/correction device fitted can use this same technology.
In conjunction with EMS’ in house welding capabilities and expertise, most meters up to a 650m3/h capacity can benefit from this technology.
2. No charges for meter data. Firstly, as the automatic reading device is built into the meter itself there are no extra charges for a separate device to be fitted or maintained.
Secondly EMS makes no extra charge to provide access to this half hourly data either by our web portal or to end the data directly to your inbox or FTP.
And as if the above wasn’t good enough because EMS is installing your new meter it will be installed using the highest quality workmanship, which means they will not only exchange your meter but also check and upgrade, where possible, your complete gas meter installation to current engineering standards and regulations.
All carried out by a fully qualified gas meter engineer working for a registered Meter Asset Manager that has been operating for over 10 years.
What happens when the battery runs out in my new meter? Do I need to have the meter exchanged again?
All new meter batteries can be exchanged in service with no interruption to your gas supply. Batteries are currently expected to last 8-10 years. Unlike an old AMR attachment with an expired battery, the new meter will continue logging internally on 2nd smaller battery when the main battery is exhausted. That way no data is lost and the archive sent in full upon battery exchange.
This gives the customer further security of accurate read data with this system even between service intervals.
Will my gas supply need to be interrupted to exchange the meter and how long will the work take?
EMS is committed to keeping disruption to your site to a minimum while the meter exchange takes place. Most small sized meters can be exchange in a single visit with only a few hours off gas time. For larger meters EMS will arrange to survey the installation first. Following the survey EMS will advise if the gas off time required will be longer. All work appointments will be arranged at a time most convenient for you and your site.
What if I change gas supplier? Will I still have access to the same AMR data?
Data from your new meter will continue to be available to you at no extra charge for as long as the meter is installed at your site. Regardless of your chosen gas supplier EMS is able to send monthly meter read data to all major suppliers. Once we have been aware of your supplier change, we will update your automatic read send details accordingly. Your access to the EMS portal and/or email data will be unaffected.
Will my standing charges be increased once the new meter is installed?
Because your new meter is no different cost wise and size wise from your existing old meter, your current agreed standing charge won’t change. Your standing charge may actually come down if the EMS rental is lower than the existing meter managers rental.
Other companies charge me for my read data. How can EMS offer this for free?
EMS believes your meter data is exactly that, “your data”. With highly accurate data coming direct from the meter and no extra devices EMS does not need to charge extra for the service. We will just continue to manage your meter as normal.
Has this new technology been tested to avoid teething problems?
The new meters have undergone years of testing and perfecting by the manufacturer and since been successfully field tested by over 1000 EMS customers.