When Spain’s Global Omnium Group wanted to provide early warnings for consumption anomalies it turned to go-aigua’s smart water solutions including its Tiresias system that brings smart algorithms to enable data processing
The Global Omnium Group is one of Spain’s largest water utilities, with a large share of the water-related service market, it manages more than 400 municipalities, from small towns to large cities. Altogether, it serves more than one million customers. In its 130 years of experience, the company’s offering to clients has gone from community service through public sources to highly technical domiciliary service. After the appearance of water consumption meters, Global Omnium evolved from taking readings on paper to manual recording on handheld terminals and automatic taking of walk-by or drive-through measurements, a process which guaranteed the veracity of the data.
Even with that new technology, from the users’ counters only punctual readings were available, whose only utility was the billing of the consumption made. Between reading and reading three months would pass, in which the meter would record the consumption but no useful information beyond that was obtained.
Tiresias and the efficiency of smart metering
In recent years, the Global Omnium Group has developed the Tiresias environment through its smart solution company: goaigua. Tiresias is a big data remote readout platform suitable for any sensorisation, but optimised for large meter parks with a large amount of information being produced. It uses a fixed communications network, through issuers, concentrators and repeaters, communicating with the networks and protocols of the main meter manufacturers; it is, however, optimised to receive data streams from IoT devices through standard technologies such as SigFox, Lora and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT).
Currently, the Tiresias environment in Global Omnium receives information from more than 700,000 water meters adding up to two billion annual data points, while displaying a highly efficient data intake. As with the big data information system, the data intake is a crucial point to ensure the quality of the results obtained after treatment. Tiresias incorporates deep learning algorithms to efficiently reconstruct the information that may have been lost in the transmission.
The incorporated algorithm and its machine learning capabilities allow Tiresias to obtain individual consumption patterns of each client and, relating them to variables such as the use of water, socio-economic and geographical environment and other factors, extrapolate the known consumption patterns to users who do not yet have meters with remote-reading capabilities – smart metering.
From the incorporation of the smart metering environment, users can see in the virtual office, an online environment designed to streamline the billing process as well as make it more transparent, the evolution of their consumption updated hourly.
Internal and external leak detection
Beyond a transparent, efficient and accessible consumption tracking system, the Tiresias platform allows for multiple added value features. Users who deviate from their pattern of habitual consumption can be warned of the possible existence of internal leaks within their own household or installation
pipelines. Each month 2,500 users are informed of possible internal leaks in their installation.
In a similar fashion the smart solution has also helped in locating manipulated counters as well as fraudulent situations. The combination of the information processed by the Tiresias platform with that coming from the sensorisation of the distribution network and its sectors is also used for the prelocation of leaks in the distribution network.
Knowing the water produced, Tiresias combines this information with the aggregation of the consumption of the system and generates complete and reliable information about the quasi instantaneous hydraulic performance of the sectors and the whole of the distribution network.
Tiresias and go-aigua
These analysis capabilities related to the location of leaks in distribution networks and the evaluation of the hydraulic performance of the systems makes Tiresias a key ally and introducer for other solutions in the go-aigua smart solution suite.
For example, Ears, go-aigua’s system for intelligent management of water distribution, collaborates with Tiresias in the evaluation of hydraulic performance of sectors or complete networks, and also in the identification of leaks in the distribution network itself. The forecast of the water demand that Tiresias calculates allows Linkwatt to apply its advanced algorithms of both hydraulic and energy cost optimisation of the production of water, optimising the cost of potabilisation in the treatment plants.
Tiresias receives, treats and quality-checks the instantaneous information gathered from the users’ counters. Such features, allows it to evolve beyond a gatherer of big data into a real business intelligence engine.