A Wireless M-Bus based smart water meter model: a case of Nairobi City Water & Sewerage Company
Kinuthia, Ephraim Mwangi
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Water in the many aspects of our lives is used, and therefore it is very critical to humanity’s survival. Unfortunately, in Kenya, water industry has been facing myriad meter reading challenges. Notably, as the population of the meters increase, companies have employed more staff to read meters manually. These has subsequently triggered a blotted work force hence increased operational costs. Security and privacy concerns arise due to the frequency of water company’s staffs visiting the customer’s premises to perform various duties. Customer complaints relating to wrong billing that are occasioned by erroneous meter reads and wrong meter matching consequently leading to misstated bills to the customers, have been on the rise. It is also not possible in almost all households to estimate the quantity of water in the storage without manually checking the water tank level. On the other hand, various phone-based applications in the water that are developed are not able to eradicate fully the challenges experienced in the water sector. This paper adopts applied research methodology to provide a practical solution to the challenges affecting meter reading in the water companies using the Wireless M-Bus technology. The study delivers a wireless meter-bus smart water meter model integrated with other smart metering devices to enable remote meter reading. It further discusses technologies used in the smart water meters, various smart meter implementations and the driving factors to adopting smart metering while exploring the advantages with smart meters over the mechanical meters and their economic value.