Our client, Viterra Energy Services, a large European energy supplier, sought a solution to replace manual meter reading in large blocks of apartments and flats, with a smart wireless meter reading alternative. The solution had to be reliable, have lower cost than a manual human read alternative, be tamper-proof and be capable of being produced in high volume.
Using our skills in machine-to-machine (M2M) and wireless building automation technologies, we developed a smart energy product that measured the thermal flux generated by radiators within the buildings. The product was based around a custom radio ASIC that incorporated our XAP microprocessor, an ultra-low-power radio, and other user interface functionality to support a simple capacitative switch and tamper-proof mechanism.
The product transmitted a measure of energy usage to a radio receiver located in the flat manager’s office. The flat manager was then able to accumulate energy usage to enable individual billing for the building occupants.
The product’s manufacturing cost, combined with simple deployment, meant that it offered a cost-effective alternative to manual human meter reading. The use of a custom ASIC drove down the product cost and provided a simple and reliable electronics design, consistent with the market needs for such a product.