Automatic Meter Reading

Deployment of Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) solutions tailored for the electricity segment is viewed as a vital requirement to help government and regulatory bodies with ensuring the following:

  • Accounting and auditing power distribution across the existing power utility distribution networks

  • Identification of causes of power theft and the ability to identify the entity - HT consumers, people tapping the power line directly etc - that is responsible for such malpractices

  • Ability to avoid visiting customer premises on a monthly basis to obtain billing data

  • Remote data retrieval ensures that billing can also be generated online

  • Assist the end user with an analytics capability to understand, and subsequently plan their power usage on a daily basis

Our AMR solution provides continuous on line monitoring and logging of essentially, though not limited to, the following parameters with respect to various utility network equipments on a real time basis:

  • Current on Each Phase

  • Power Factor

  • Frequency

  • Power - Active / Reactive / Apparent

  • Energy - Active, Reactive and Apparent

This data shall be retrieved on demand. This information shall be retrieved from any chosen monitoring unit at most once every 2-5 seconds. This data assists in generating the following spread sheets and MIS reports:

  • Energy Balancing at Sub Stations

  • Daily Peak Loads Feeder / Transformer Wise

  • Peak Load of the Station & Bus Bar Profiles

  • Daily Log Sheets & any other forms / reports as required by the Utility

In addition to parameters retrieved on demand, the following reports shall be generated on schedule:

  • Billing data recorded at 00:00 hours every day

  • Load Profile data collected at a 30 minute interval for a period of at least 30 days

  • Abstract parameters such as name plate details and programmable parameters

  • Event/Tamper data are retrieved on exception

Why Cell Labs

Our AMR capability has the following features that ensure that it is among the best of the breed solutions available in the market today:

  • A robust and tested methodology for 'reverse engineering' the capability to communicate with and retrieve data from electricity meters in India that primarily adhere to proprietary and unpublished protocols for interactivity. Our solution has been tested and approved leading meter manufacturers that provide for almost 60% of all 3-phase meters deployed in India today.

  • A sound methodology and demonstrable capability to provide a 'pull' based technique for enabling the centralized data server to communicate with remotely located GPRS modems attached to electricity meters. This solution enables the central server to uniquely address these modems that have a dynamic addressing scheme which is very characteristic of a GPRS/3G network.

  • A robust understanding of all the requirements specified under the AMR section of the SRS (System Requirement Specifications) specified by the PFC under the R-APDRP program - We have successfully demonstrated the solution within this program as part of the technical demonstrations at recently concluded tenders in various states mentioned above.

  • A comprehensive understanding and working knowledge of the MIOS - Meter InterOperability Standard specification for communicating on a common platform with meters of various makes.

  • A strong team of technology specialists having a combined experience of almost 60 man years within the telecom industry and embedded systems.

  • Cell Labs has patents pending on the business processes involved in providing this entire gamut of business intelligence on top of the data retrieved from the electricity meter.

Remote Asset Management

Remote Asset Management is a systematic process of operating, maintaining and upgrading physical assets cost-effectively thus ensuring efficient use of industrial heavy machinery.

Our Solution is designed to gather performance parameter data from the assets on the field to enable companies increase machine efficiency and reliability, reduce or avoid scheduled down time, eliminate unscheduled downtime, reduce overall operation and maintenance costs, optimize energy costs, increase time between machinery overhauls, increase personnel safety and reduce encounters with machinery thereby helping improve profitability.

Remote Asset Management is considered vital in ensuring that equipment/machinery is remotely monitored and controlled in order that the following aspects are attained:

  • Increased Efficiency of Production - ensuring that there is more yields and less wastage of resources and raw material

  • Increased Efficiency in After Sales Service - equipment once sold, can be managed with a goal to increase after sales effectively while at the same time reducing existing liabilities - avoidable travel to customer location, reduction in carbon foot print of the company etc.

Solutions

We currently provide solutions tailored to the following industry segments within this domain:

Power Generation Companies

Some of the parameters retrieved from turbines and electricity generators include:

  • Battery Voltage

  • Engine Speed

  • Energy Meter

  • Generated Units

  • Generator Load

  • Generator Base Load

  • Generator Load Reference

  • Generator Frequency

  • Generator Voltage

  • Generator Current

  • Generator Power Factor

  • Generator Front Baring Temperature

  • Generator Rear Baring Temperature

  • Generator Winding Temp - A

  • Generator Winding Temp - B

  • Generator Winding Temp - C

  • AC OC Temperature

  • Jacket Water Temperature

Cell Tower Management

Telecom Service Providers require to monitor cell towers in order that vital parameters are carefully studied to promote the quality of usage. Some of the parameters to be generally studied include:

  • Fire & Smoke Alarm

  • Door Open

  • DG Fail to Start

  • HCT

  • DG Emergency Stop

  • DG Alternator

  • Site On Battery

  • Mains Fail

  • LVD Alarm Activated

  • All Rectifier Fail in DC Power Plant

  • DG Idle Running

  • DG Fail to Stop

  • PIU Reset

  • LLOP

  • Room Temperature High

  • DG Power Supply Rectifier Fail

Why Cell Labs

  • A sound methodology and demonstrable capability to provide a 'pull' based technique for enabling the centralized data server to communicate with remotely located GPRS modems attached to various units being monitored. This solution enables the central server to uniquely address these modems that have a dynamic addressing scheme which is very characteristic of a GPRS/3G network. Such a capability enables supervisory control of the assets as and when required.

  • Cell Labs has patents pending on the business processes involved in providing this entire gamut of business intelligence on top of the data retrieved.

  • A strong team of technology specialists having a combined experience of almost 60 man years within the telecom industry and embedded systems.

Automotives

Automotives are traditionally fitted with an 'On Board Diagnostic Port' (OBD) port to provide information related to the various vital parameters that control its health and working. Today, there exist many devices that could be connected to the OBD port of an automotive when it is at the service station as a result of a probable fault. A major drawback with the currently existing systems though is that they do not provide the information about the exact causes of failure at the time of failure. The data retrieved after the failure is simply reflective of the probable causes based on its historical nature.

Cell Labs proposes a unique solution to retrieve data from the automotives OBD port and transmit it for consumption using wireless technologies like GPRS. In this mode, Cell Labs proposes to permanently attach a retrofit device to the OBD port to periodically read data of relevance. The data read is consolidated and transmitted to remotely located central control stations.

Some of the parameters that could be read from sensors linked internally to the 'Electronic Control Unit' (ECU) includes:

  • Throttle Position(TP) Sensor inconsistent with Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor

  • Fuel Delivery Error

  • Fuel Timing Error

  • Barometric Pressure - Too Low

  • Injector Circuit Malfunction

  • Engine Over Speed Condition

  • Vehicle Over Speed Condition

  • Engine Oil Over Temperature

  • Random/Multiple Misfire Detection

  • Exhaust Gas ReCirculation Valve Position Sensor Circuit Malfunction

  • Evaporative Emission (EVAP) leak detected (fuel cap loose/open etc)

  • A/C Evaporator Temperature Sensor Circuit Malfunction

  • System Voltage Malfunction / Unstable

  • Immobilizer Lamp Control Circuit Malfunction

  • Gear Shift Position Circuit - Intermittent Malfunction

Why Cell Labs

Cell Labs is currently involved in developing a business intelligence server that can forecast such metrics as follows based on the data retrieved

  • Average speed studies to determine generally the driver's control on the vehicle

  • Specific information on possible 'Driving Under Influence' patterns during a chosen period of time

  • Average statistics on usage of the vehicle that can promote efficient usage of the vehicle thus reducing the amount of fuel used and so promoting eco-friendly driving in general

  • Controlling the automotive from the remote station when vital parameters are violated while at the same time informing the driver about the situation - For e.g.: The remote server could be programmed to control the maximum speed at which the automotive may travel exceeding which the automotive can be automatically restricted while at the same time the user is informed sufficiently.

Cell Labs has patents pending on the business processes involved in providing this entire gamut of business intelligence on top of the data retrieved from the automotive.

Add-On Features : The retrofit devices can be fitted with external sensors like an alcohol sensor which in turn can be fitted on to the Steering wheel to identify any inebriated driving conditions and report the same to the regulatory authorities or make sure that the automobile is not started at all. One can even spot the automobile on a physical map.

Considering that high speed mobile networks in India shall bring in the much needed geographical spread in combination with higher data rates, we visualize that empowerment of the rural sector will take the center stage. Technological advancements in the health care segment assisting transfer of patient diagnostics data to remote hospitals followed eventually with robust analytics to consolidate such data and suggest probable diseases and treatment methodologies shall be considered vital.

Renewable Resource Management

Our M2M solution can be used for Renewable Resource Management in equipment such as

  • Printers

  • Coffee Vending Machines

  • Automatic Teller Machines

Considering after sales support initiatives make up a major share in such equipment manufacturer revenues, M2M technology can be used to remotely monitor these assets at the customer site without the need for constant manual checks. Vital parameters essential for proper functioning of these equipment can be constantly reflected at central service stations thus ensuring that support personnel travel to the customer site only when absolutely necessary. This mode not only increases the device management efficiency, but also reduces unnecessary costs involved in travel while at the same time contributing to reductions in carbon footprints of such companies.

Benefits

Some of the benefits of remotely managing renewable resources include:

  • These solutions enable the capability to connect to resources deployed on the customer site. Using wireless connectivity capabilities, the resource can be constantly monitored for faults even before the customer has identified them. The issue can be logged directly into the customer support database for handling. In case the fault is primarily to do with software or can be fixed remotely, the customer care center can directly provide the fix over-the-air. This is possible since our solution has an effective 2-way communication strategy (between the resource and the manufacturer's control center). This capability is independent of the telecom service provider and does not entail any additional configuration on the part of the customer.

  • The solution also assists the manufacturer's control center by providing details of the status of the various accessories required for trouble free functioning of the remote resource. Customer visits by the manufacturer's maintenance personnel can then be scheduled very effectively by ensuring a thorough knowledge of the issue to be resolved. Logistics aspects related to the trips such as identifying all customers that can be served efficiently in the shortest span of time ensure that manufacturer can also adhere to global environment policies by reducing their carbon footprint.

  • The manufacturer can also ensure that in cases where the remote equipment requires software upgrades it can be performed over the air. The wireless connectivity over 3G/GPRS/CDMA networks ensures that such upgrades can be performed irrespective of whether the resource is online. In addition since the manufacturer can directly interact with the remote resource, the extra overhead of educating the customer about the availability of such upgrades on its upgrade site and the hassle of ensuring that the customer does a proper job of upgrading the system can be completely avoided.

  • In cases where the customer is interested, the manufacturer can also offer analytics solutions to provide the former with statistics reflecting the use of the device. Some examples are Printers where we can monitor prints per hour, busiest usage times, from which department, colour or black and white printing, etc.

  • We also provide a built in solution for seamlessly billing the communication costs spanning possibly multiple telecom service providers. This capability ensures that the manufacturer need not bother about identifying the communication costs for every resource that is on the field. Based on the network and the data plan that a particular resource is configured to, the cumulative communication costs for this solution can be computed for use by the manufacturer.

Depending on the equipment being monitored some of the parameters that could be studied include:

  • Printers

    • Printer cartridge levels

    • Printer software upgrades when a software issue is observed or when there is an enhancement

    • Remotely identifying the exact location and possible causes of malfunctioning equipment

  • Coffee Vending Machines

    • Current levels of the various ingredients that make up coffee

    • Remotely identifying the exact location and possible causes of malfunctioning equipment

    • In cases where such vending machines are provided with advertisement screens, the ability to push dynamic and location based advertisements

  • Automatic Teller Machines

    • The cash content within the machine and the need for refilling it

    • In cases where remote video surveillance is provided, the ability to provide a live video feed for remote monitoring

Why Cell Labs

  • Cell Labs has patents pending on the business processes involved in providing this entire gamut of business intelligence on top of the data retrieved

  • A robust and proven base M2M solution that can be easily tailored, customized, and extended for the needs at hand

  • A strong team of technology specialists having a combined experience of almost 60 man years within the telecom industry and embedded systems

Environment

Considering the environmental awareness being promoted world wide as regards carbon credits and determination of the carbon foot print associated with various industries, we believe that M2M capabilities shall provide a robust solution to assist the industries with determining their carbon usage on a day-to-day basis or on the basis of each equipment used. In addition to process industries that would anyways require sensors on each of their equipments, carbon footprint of companies that thrive on "After sales service" - printer manufacturers, automotive service stations, etc are also bound to benefit with such endeavors.

Environment specific parameters can also be measured by continuously studying the concentrations of the various chemicals released by heavy machinery within chemical industries. Such details provide a first hand capability to audit the adherence to specified norms of pollution control.

In all the industries that are required to provide constant after sales support such as travel to a customer site to maintain the equipment, a vast reduction in carbon footprint can be visualized in order that unnecessary trips to the customer premises may be avoided. Trips may be restricted only to those scenarios where the presence of the maintenance person is absolutely indispensable. Even under such circumstances the maintenance person can have a first hand picture of the problem at hand and go on site only for its rectification.

Some of the industries that can make use of such solutions include:

  • Chemical industries requiring adhering to defined norms of pollution control, the release of toxins can be effectively audited.

  • Companies that thrive on After sales support such as printer manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, and vending machine manufacturers.

Why Cell Labs

  • Cell Labs has patents pending on the business processes involved in providing this entire gamut of business intelligence on top of the data retrieved.

  • A robust and proven base M2M solution that can be easily tailored, customized, and extended for the needs at hand.

  • A strong team of technology specialists having a combined experience of almost 60 man years within the telecom industry and embedded systems.

Automatic Street Light Management

The operation of street lighting accounts for a significant portion of the overall energy consumption. Modern cities require millions of luminaries ranging from 70 to 250 watts in capacity to light up streets. The rate of new installations which is growing at 3-5% every year, nullifies efforts being made by lamp manufacturers by introducing energy efficient lamps.

Soaring energy bills burden utilities, tax payers and consumers alike. Indiscriminate use of energy burdens the environment with C02 emissions every year and contributes to global warming. Street lighting is an area of high potential in this respect.

Traffic and pedestrian usage patterns do not remain constant throughout the 'darkness' hours. 'Activity level' drastically reduces during late night and early morning hours. Street usage at other times varies depending on the type of street and demographics of the area. Utilities that do not deploy street lighting controls normally, switch on all street lights together at a fixed time during the evening. Street lights glow at full intensity till the early hours of the morning.

The Intelligent Street Lighting control solution from 3GCL allows the utility to vary light output on individual sections of the network in a controlled manner and reduces energy consumption by matching actual lumen output to the lighting criteria for known variable conditions. The street lighting control is provided from a central location over the internet. Signals are sent through wireless links to individual Junction box controllers.

Solution Features

Remote Operation

Street lights are programmed to switch on/off at fixed hours every day. This can be overridden in cases of exception or special events.

Monitor Lamp Status

Real time monitoring of lamp status enables the utility to schedule maintenance activities. Fault history logs can be maintained.

Programmability

Street lights are programmed for remote operation and dimming based on observed usage patterns. Modifications may be made over the air through internet.

Control Lighting (Dimming)

Normal usage pattern of individual streets is programmed based on which the luminescence of street lights is controlled (dimming). Pre-defined profiles accommodate weekly or seasonal fluctuations. Profiled may be overridden to accommodate exceptions and special events.

Alerts

Alerts are generated through e-mail or SMS whenever a parameter crosses predefined thresholds.

Reports

Standard reports provide weekly / monthly / yearly performance related information. For example time based status of lamps, energy consumption against baseline, maintenance reports and customized reports, lamp life monitoring, etc.

Why Cell Labs

At Cell Labs we provide automatic street light management solutions that are of the following flavours:

  • Lamp Level Monitoring

    • M2M chipset is integrated with individual lamps so that the monitoring can be done at macro level.

    • M2M chipset performs all activities mentioned above.

    • Low power RF modules along with data aggregator units can be used to reduce any recurrent communication costs.

  • Controller Level Monitoring

    • M2M chipset is integrated with the controller that controls a series of lamps as an unit, uniformity of the actions and control would be applied to the whole unit.

    • GPRS/CDMA devices can be used to control and monitor the controller and further the individual lamps.

  • Sensor Based Monitoring

    • Sensor based monitoring and control can be done at a lamp level.

Rural Enablement

Rural enablement is seen as a vital sector that advancements in the telecommunication sector can contribute to. M2M capability promotes the ability to penetrate into far flung areas which can afford telecom availability considering the geographical spread promised by such emerging technologies as 3G.

Rural education in India using advanced wireless technologies would involve remotely controlling the course work for students at far flung areas. This mode is seen to eventually encourage 2-way participation between students and course governing bodies that can assess the progress on a regular basis.

In addition to this, kiosks that can assist farmers with details of current atmospheric conditions, soil analysis, and eventual market projections on crops and allied wares for determining crop cycles is seen as a vital offering for rural upliftment.

M2M Gateway

Cell Labs provides a completely home grown and in house solution for handling all aspects of communication between the central control station and all the various remotely located monitoring and data retrieval units.

The M2M Gateway is highly optimized to provide quick and effective communication - two way between the central server and any of the numerous number of M2M devices that are present within the network.

Need

M2M devices when connected to the internet over wireless communication technologies like GPRS are assigned dynamic IP addresses every time they connect. These IP addresses are provided by the telecom service provider randomly.

As a result, it becomes necessary for the central control server to continuously have details of the current IP address of every device as and when it is connected or re-connected. This problem is quite an arduous task to be managed seamlessly.

Possible Solutions

Provision of a static IP address for every M2M device - Telecom Service Providers catering specifically to the M2M domain are currently providing static IP addresses to every SIM card that is inserted into the device. This solution though is not yet wide spread, and moreover not all service providers cater to such a facility.

VPN service provided by the telecom service provider/MVNO - Providers of M2M solutions would need to purchase VPN services offered by carriers/MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) in order to register all their devices and the central control server to lie within the same VPN - Virtual Private Network. So, when a device tries to establish a connection, the carrier supplies it with an IP address from within the private pool maintained as part of the VPN. The central server can then directly establish a communication with such a device.

Our Solution

  • Cell Labs' solution provides a discrete and unique domain name associated with every M2M device present on the network. The central server is expected to use this identifier to assist the M2M gateway in identifying the device it intends to establish a communication link with.

  • The M2M gateway in turn facilitates the linkage between the specific device and the central server.

  • In case a cluster of control servers either located together or geographically spaced apart communicate with the M2M gateway in order to speak to different devices, the latter also ensures that responses from such devices are routed effectively to the control server initiating the dialog.

  • Cell Labs' M2M gateway is highly optimized to effectively balance the load of handling numerous devices with a quick response time.