Wow, it’s been over 2 years since we last checked in from the field! A lot has happened since then, including a global pandemic, murder hornets, and prices for wood are through the roof (see what I did there?). But, what hasn’t changed is the excitement around Sonix IQ. Since we last checked in, Sonix IQ has been deployed at several utilities and I’d like to share some lessons learned from the field.
Pressure at the home has variation
Sonix IQ has the ability to monitor pressure at the home. In every deployment thus far, we’ve seen Sonix IQs report pressure variation at the home that the utility did not know existed. This pressure variation means that the utility could be giving away gas and not being compensated for it or, on the flip side, their customer could not be getting what they are paying for. The root cause for these pressure variations has been traced back to service line valves not being fully opened, faulty regulators, regulators not being properly set, and dirt or debris in the line or regulator. Some utilities are considering revamping their regulator change-out programs because of the pressure data Sonix IQ has presented. Utilities that revamp their regulator change-out programs see reduced lost and unaccounted for gas and increased customer safety.
Automatic shut-off takes time to implement
Sonix IQ has built-in edge intelligence that enables it to shut off in the event of high/low pressure, reverse flow, high temperature, air in the meter, and high flow. What we’re learning is that it takes time to understand normal operation of the gas system prior to implementing the auto shut-off functionality. We find that it’s best to deploy the meters and monitor the non-shut-off alarms for a year prior to enabling the shut-off alarms over the air.
Installation and deployment is seamless
Typical meter installation processes apply when installing and deploying Sonix IQ, except for the back-breaking work of lugging a traditional mechanical meter from the truck to the site. The Sonix IQ is compact and can fit inside your tool bag and only weighs 6lbs. Once the meter is installed, activation with your handheld tool averages around 4 minutes.
High resolution digits are excellent for analytics
After seeing data in 1 CCF increments for years, seeing consumption data down to 0.1 CF is fascinating! You can see just how much gas an instantaneous hot water heater is consuming and can use that data to develop load profiles in the future once enough data is collected. Utilities can now show more granular data to their customers to help them understand their usage patterns. This increased granularity in data can also help utilities with nominating gas supplies and forecasting future expansion needs.
As we continue to learn more about interesting use cases and gain valuable system insights from Sonix IQ, we’ll be sure to update you in this blog series. Stay tuned!
Click here for more information about Sonix IQ.