The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to gain ground in the energy sector. The GAZPAR connected meter, which connects in-place meters, is an exemplary solution deployed by gas distributors.
The RICE teams have played a key role, both in originating this innovation and improving it and monitoring its performance over time.
GAZPAR is a connected solution of a new kind, illustrating a very specific and rational approach. For the latest meters, there is no need to completely remove and replace the legacy meter; GAZPAR is a smart building block that plugs into the existing installations.
Preliminary studies were carried out in the RICE test center in Alfortville, Val-de-Marne. Starting with simulations, with many mathematical calculations, and then validation tests in POC (Proof of Concept) mode, our experts contributed with GRDF to the gradual construction of the connected chain leading up to the validation of a functional assembly and the development of a prototype. After six months of testing, rollout on the network was able to begin in 2016.
GAZPAR is a connected module that directly interfaces with the legacy domestic mechanical gas meter. In practical terms, it converts the movements of the mechanical meter wheel into an electronic reading and saves the data so that it can be transmitted to the information system. Data collection can be as frequent as necessary, even extending to a reading in (near) real time.
This is a niche project which features all aspects of IoT innovation: systems with sensors, embedded intelligence, security, information system or connected systems but also, and this is essential, data protection. Encryption of the transmitted data is a key part of the project to prevent any interception and potential reading of the collected data.