Being an innovative gas supplier in the Benelux, Antargaz is taking further steps towards digital development and automation.
Thanks to the LoRa® network of Proximus and the expertise of SilentSoft, a European pioneer in the remote monitoring of energy consumption, Antargaz has decided to equip its gas metres with connected sensors. More specifically, Antargaz will have those sensors installed on all customers metres connected to a propane gas network starting from September 2017, with a continuous implementation over the next 6 to 12 months.
How does this technology work?
Aside from Wi-Fi and 4G, the LoRa® network provided by Proximus positions itself on a mobile level on the long range/low power network. This network is a key-element in the Internet of Things (IoT) architecture and enables an automatic and accurate transmission of small packages of data. Once the LoRa® sensor is connected to an Antargaz gas metre connected to a propane gas network, the readings are transmitted periodically and can be consulted at any given point in time on SilentSoft’s online platform.
What are the key-benefits of this new tank monitoring system?
- Since it involves small data volumes, the device’s battery life is extended in comparison to those using SMS and/or the GPRS network.
- Readings are done automatically and continuously, so customers will no longer be required to submit their metre readings by card, email or telephone.
- Thanks to the tracked history, it is easier to determine the precise gas metre reading when moving.
How is the implementation done?
The end-user doesn’t need to do anything! As from September 2017, more than 1,000 Antargaz customers will be contacted proactively to inform them when this new technology will be installed. The customer does not need to be at home, as long as the gas metre remains accessible.
Maarten Engelbeen, Operations Analyst at Antargaz is pleased with this new step towards digitalisation and automation: “Until now, we have been using a fairly old-fashioned way of working to pass on metre readings. The customer sent in a sheet, we entered data into the system manually and in addition, someone went along in person once a year to check. With the automatic sensors, all this can now be done digitally. Automation was essential.”
Customers also benefit from the new system- “The customers rent the tank and the metre. They don’t have to do anything else. Even in areas where the LoRa network connection is fairly low, we still collect all the data easily,” says Maarten Engelbeen.