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ZigBee modules mesh for Russian metering

A Telegesis product story
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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Aug 25, 2008

TBN Energoservice is implementing a major wireless water AMR system using ZigBee mesh networking software and ETRX2 modules from Telegesis.

Telegesis UK has won a major order to supply its advanced Zigbee module products to TBN Energoservice of Russia.

TBN Energoservice specialises in the development of automatic meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems using the latest technical developments.

TBN is implementing a major wireless water AMR system based on ZigBee radio technology.

The system uses ZigBee mesh networking software and silicon delivered in module form via the ETRX2 module produced by Telegesis.

In Russia, domestic water has traditionally been preheated in dedicated power plants and pumped directly to consumer's apartments.

Historically, all water services including hot water for central heating and washing has been free of charge.

To introduce a levy-based system a metering scheme has been introduced.

Telegesis ETRX2 ZigBee modules based on silicon from Ember Corp were chosen as the base components for the TBN Energoservice wireless AMR subsystem in order to simplify system implementation.

The major advantage of using Zigbee in this system is its commissioning simplicity.

Each apartment is equipped with a battery-powered logger installed at the same time as the water meter.

Each logger has multiple inputs, includes a microcontroller and Telegesis module and configured as sleepy end node device in the ZigBee network.

Engineers simply mark the locations of every node on a building plan and fit node identifiers.

Zigbee routers for each floor are installed in cabinets on each landing where mains power is available.

Each router contains a Telegesis ETRX2-PA module which has additional power amplification enabling data to be transmitted over three to five floors.

A separate building controller also using an ETRX2-PA module is placed either in a basement or roof space.

This central building controller aggregates data to a central office via Ethernet.

After installation, end nodes and routers form a mesh network; end nodes choose parents randomly.

Parent routers could be situated either on the same floor as end node or on upper or lower floors.

End nodes can work for up to 4 years on one set of batteries, an important advantage of Telegesis ETRX2 modules is a deep-sleep mode with current consumption of less than 1uA while its RTC continues to operate.

End node loggers permanently store records of total consumed water so there is no risk of information loss even if communication between an end node and the whole system is lost.

If an end node loses contact with a parent router it will continue counting water consumption while the information system informs the authorities there is a loss of contact with that end node.

After communication is re-established the end node transmits all the data collected whilst it was out of contact.

Thus TBN Energoservice Company has developed an easy to install, reliable automated meter reading systems of up to 500 water meters.

"Telegesis were amongst the first to develop an AT style command set for our ZigBee module family and the command layer for the ETRX2 forms a powerful ZigBee solution".

"We are delighted that TBN Energoservice has chosen Telegesis modules in this innovative metering application", commented Telegesis MD Nicholas Gomersall.

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