Design requirements are demanding in this highly constrained regulatory and standards-based environment. Typical requirements include a product life cycle of 30 years, maintenance-free battery life of 15 years, very low-power electronics and low-power software techniques, frequent use of low-power radio communications (e.g. Zigbee) which was included in the power budget, and low cost.
We developed the Smartcard electronics module and the mechanical meter interface. This included tamper-proof, injection moulded plastic housing, microcontroller PCB with smartcard reader, software and the meter was designed for a maintenance-free battery life of 12 years.
Q-Smart was designed for low-cost, high-volume manufacture and comprehensive factory test coverage. The meter design was optimised for the manufacturing partner’s processes and design rules.
By redesigning Siemens Metering Services’ Q-Smart gas meter, we cut the number of batteries needed from just five to one, dramatically reducing unit cost. Amazingly, at the same time, we doubled the product’s battery life.