Solar powered water meters could save MOD £100,000 a year
Severn Trent Costain is to extend its pioneering trial of using solar panels to power remotely located water meters for the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
The move to incorporate the technology at a further 20 sites, powering all 1,100 meters installed within the contract, will enable a saving of some 7,700 conventional batteries and reduce cost by £100,000 a year.
The use of photovoltaic (PV) panels provides an efficient solution to the challenge of providing electricity to remote sites, which are often a considerable distance from the nearest mains power source.
Providing water and wastewater services to 1,300 MOD sites across England, the units are suitable for most outdoor locations and require minimal commissioning.
Using the solar panels also means fewer maintenance visits and less mileage incurred on routine battery changes.
Results from the trial show that the continuity of data can be maintained even under adverse conditions such as very low light levels.
The units have also improved the continuity of measurement for leakage and consumption, and by reducing electricity consumption have diminished the carbon footprint and environmental impact of the sites.
In addition, the transmitters that have been replaced with a PV panel can be re-used as spare parts for other equipment.