Techem cost-effective way to increase energy efficiency

Techem cost-effective way to increase energy efficiency
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As the market leader in remote radio metering of energy consumption in homes and commercial buildings, Techem is driving integration and digital processes in the property sector. The company had been using radio-based technology for this for many years. Meter readers used a ‘walk-by’ process to collect readings from electric meters using mobile devices. Plausibility checks were then carried out to avoid transmission errors and other issues. In certain circumstances, Techem also used a stationary radio solution to read meters.

Both processes worked well and reliably in practice, but there was still room for improvement. The main disadvantage of mobile data collection was that the company still had to send an employee to the relevant property to take the meter readings. With stationary collection, every master data collector needs 230 volts power supply. Its location also must be chosen carefully to ensure that it has sufficient mobile coverage. Plus, the radio standard currently in use has limitations as it is unable to penetrate thick concrete walls and transmit signals from deep cellars.

For these reasons, and to further improve and digitise its processes, Techem decided to look for a simpler and more flexible solution when collecting meter readings.

Techem tested a number of different technologies before deciding on a solution based on LTE Cat NB1 (Narrowband-IoT) and a close partnership with Vodafone. Unlike the other technologies they tested, Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) impressed the development engineers at Techem with its low energy consumption, highly reliable data transmission, ability to penetrate building materials, and the Europe-wide consistency and availability of its radio network.

Together, the experts from Techem and Vodafone carried out laboratory tests and developed devices and applications for operation in the live Vodafone network. The first step was to swap the fixed, stationary data collectors for devices with integrated NB-IoT. Master data collectors were then no longer required as every device could transmit the readings it collected to Techem itself at determined intervals.


Emerging (technology has been on the market for > 2 years)

Secure and reliable transmission of vital patient data.

A single management platform to simplify a nationwide roll-out and improve cost control.

Support from an IoT leader to enable healthcare digital transformation.


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