Described as “a pioneering breakthrough in water quality monitoring”, Analytical Technology’s new MetriNet multi-parameter water quality monitor for networks is said to offer “a brand new approach to smart sensor technology”.
The monitor employs a modular approach to the distributed collection of water quality data. It is said to provide “no compromise” continuous measurement of all the main water quality parameters you need to measure in distribution networks, including residual chlorine (free and combined), turbidity, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, and temperature.
At the heart of the system are a series of proprietary smart digital sensors – “M-Nodes”. These are connected to the water supply using a purpose designed “click-connect” flow cell arrangement. Sensors are connected in series to minimise water usage and can run at pressures up to 6 bar. The monitor also has a water-saver feature that allows continuous measurement or a batch-sampling regime. In the UK market, these sensors have a small surface area with fully compliant materials, so the water can be allowed to return to service where the application allows, says the firm.
M-Nodes are said to be ultra low-powered and able to run autonomously for years at a time on small batteries. Alternatively they can be powered from a local plc or telemetry system. Flexibility is emphasised as a selling point: M-Node sensors can be connected to any data gathering system.
For those looking for a complete solution, M-Nodes can also be connected to the MetriNet User Interface (MUI). The MUI connects to up to 8 M-Node sensors and connects to the outside world via any FTP-based system. The MUI also has on board data-logging with seemingly generous data storage capabilities.
ATi General Manager Dr Mike Strahand says he believes the launch of the MetriNet is a huge turning point for water companies:
The MetriNet offers a sustainable solution to meet the complex challenges currently facing the water sector, he says, expressing the belief that it will ultimately help drive down complaints, increase water companies’ SIM scores and result in pro-active network management to safeguard water quality for customer use.
Multiparameter monitoring systems might be nothing new, but the difference with ATi’s MetriNet, seemingly, is with the quality of the sensor, this being the core technology of the firm, in contrast to other offerings, where the quality of data handling is emphasised.
The MetriNet is claimed to be unique because it combines the best of everything for the first time, according to Strahand.