Optimising Your Water Usage and Reducing Costs

Spot water leaks quickly and save money with a smart water meter.

The days of water leaks going undetected for months costing farmers thousands of pounds in lost water are gone, thanks to new smart water meter technology from Glas Data.

Water leaks are often hard to detect above the ground and when a farmer relies on taking water meter readings manually, it may be several months before a leak is detected.

The cost of an undetected water leak can be considerable. It is estimated that a water leak of one cubic meter per hour costs £70 per day, which adds up to £516 in a week and £26,000 over the course of a year.

Identify water leaks quickly.

Glas Data has developed a solution to help farmers and food producers spot water leaks quickly, so that they can take mitigating action before the costs mount up.

“Our smart water meter uses Internet of Things technology and LoRaWAN sensors which have a long battery life of several years and the ability to send data over a long range. This means that users can see real-time water usage for all of their sites in one easy to understand dashboard on their laptop, tablet or mobile phone,” explains Colin Phillipson.

The sensors are quick and easy to install and send data to an antenna which is usually installed on a farm building.

Glas Data’s system also allows users to set up alerts that will send an email or text message if water use is unusually high, which may indicate a water leak.

“Undetected water leaks can cost farmers and food producers a huge amount. Receiving an alert to let you know when to take action can mean significant savings,” adds Colin Phillipson.

Optimising water consumption.

Wasting water can also cost farmers significant amounts of money. Having accurate water use data means that farmers can manage their consumption, by monitoring water use over time and identifying ways to make savings. 

Benchmarking water usage and highlighting where efficiencies can be made, will allow users to understand how water consumption can be improved 

Glas Data’s technology also makes it possible to automate water flow with smart control valves to optimise water usage across the farm.

Cloud-based solution.

“Data is only useful if it is easy to access and understand,” says Colin Phillipson. “Farmers don’t have much free time, so we’ve designed our Glas Core data management dashboard to be simple to use.”

Glas Data’s cloud-based system uses simple visualisations, but also allows for in-depth analysis. The system is easy to connect to many different devices and can allow oversight of farming or estate operations on a single dashboard.

For more information about how the Glas Data can help with water consumption management and leak detection, please email hello@glas-data.com or call 07485 017650.


Intelligent Monitoring for Animal Feed Silos

New technology can alert farmers when animal feed silos are almost empty, and automatic emails can even be sent to their feed supplier to place an order.

To find out how much animal feed is in a silo, traditionally farmers have either used a viewing hatch on the silo or banged on the silo’s side with a mallet. With a huge margin for error, there was scope for costly mistakes like over filling bins and wasting animal feed. Climbing 

Now an innovative Internet of Things sensor can help a farmer to accurately track how much feed is being stored.

Accurate, Real-Time Data

Colin Phillipson, co-founder of Glas Data explains: “Our sensor tracks the weight of the silo in real time. It is quick and easy to install and monitors the weight of the silo and how much animal feed it contains, by translating the compression of the silo’s legs into weight.”

Glas Data works with Ver Facil, a specialist Internet of Things sensor installer. LoRaWAN sensors work over long ranges of up to 20 miles, and as they are low power, their batteries will last for several years. Using LoRaWAN sensors means that farmers don’t have to rely on mobile coverage, as the data is transmitted via an antenna which is normally installed on a farm building.

With Glas Data’s system, data from sensors is displayed on the GlasCore dashboard - an easy to understand one-screen display which can be viewed by the farmer on their tablet, laptop or mobile phone.

“Access to this accurate data means farmers can measure efficiencies, by monitoring the amount of feed used each day and tracking data over time. It will also be possible to calculate the feed consumption per animal and to correlate this against other productivity metrics,” adds Colin Phillipson.

Automating the monitoring of animal feed storage saves farmers time as they will no longer have to make manual checks on feed silos. The accuracy of the sensor readings also means that over or under ordering animal feed will be a thing of the past.

Automatic Animal Feed Ordering

Glas Data’s system can also be set up to send an email to a farmer’s feed supplier automatically when a delivery of animal feed is required.

“The system is flexible allowing farmers to set their own thresholds, so feed orders can be placed exactly when they need them to be, without the farmer having to remember or place an order manually.

“From the feed suppliers’ point of view, our system will help them to pre-plan their orders and identify peak times,” says Colin Phillipson.

To find out more about Glas Data’s animal feed silo monitoring solution, please email eleanor.whitlock@glas-data.com or call 07485 017650. Feed bin


New technology solution for water meter readings

A new generation of precision battery-operated water meter sensors are saving farmers time and money.

Water meters are often read manually on farms because the cabling to connect water meters to their software package is an expense that farmers want to avoid. 

Although it may seem like a cost-effective approach initially, taking manual water readings has several disadvantages. It is incredibly labour intensive, requiring someone to physically check the meter. That is time that may be more productively spent on other tasks around the farm. 

A manual checking process may also be less accurate, and leaks or unusual consumption profiles may not always be identified. 

Accurate water consumption data every 30 minutes

But now new technology offers a more accurate and less labour-intensive solution. Glas Data and its technology partner Ver Facil can offer a small battery-operated device that simply fits onto the meter and transmits consumption data every 30 minutes.

The sensor uses long-range, low power (LoRaWAN) technology. Because it is low power, the battery will last for several years.

The water meter sensor will transmit its data to the GlasCore dashboard, which can be viewed on mobile phone, laptop or tablet. This virtual meter reading avoids the need for someone to manually check the meter. 

The data from the sensor can be displayed on a water consumption graph, which will allow the farmer to spot any unusual consumption or potential water leaks. To make this process even easier and ensure quick action is taken if leaks are suspected, a real-time alert can be sent by text or email to alert when water consumption reaches a certain level.

Options for water meter sensor installation

Glas Data and Ver Facil offer several options for the installation of water meters.

  1. For water meters with an existing "pulse output cable" fitted, a LoRaWAN pulse counting device is the best solution.
  2. For water meters capable of having a cable fitted but not installed, Glas Data and Ver Facil will source the correct cable and provide this along with fitting instructions and the LoRaWAN device.
  3. Some older meters do not have a facility to accept a pulse output cable. In that situation, a new meter with an embedded LoRaWAN sensor inside is the best solution.

An unidentified water leak could result in tens of thousands of pounds of lost water. A battery-operated sensor will remove the potential for human error, and real-time alerts mean that farmers will know when action needs to be taken before the costs mount up.

For more information on the water meter sensor and GlasCore dashboard please call 07485 017650 or email hello@glas-data.com.


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