Bromont : LoRaWAN - The technology behind asset management in Bromont
Bromont plans to use a vast network of wireless sensors on its equipment and infrastructure, which can be consulted in real time (123RF).
How can Bromont's resources, services and operations be made more efficient? There's a way. The city plans to adopt a technology, which it will test in a pilot project, that should enable it to do all this and more.
"We want to know our assets and how they work, so we can better plan future investments and then use them as efficiently as possible. And the sinews of war is data collection. We already do this when we inspect our structures. But the ideal is to have real-time, centralized and remote data", said Bromont's Infrastructure and Asset Management Coordinator, Justine Baudart, in an interview.
To achieve this, Bromont has called on Quebec-based X-Telia, a leader in the field. The Longueuil-based company is banking on a wireless technology called Lorawan. The company describes this platform as "the new de facto global standard in the Internet of Things for connecting wireless battery-powered sensors securely over long distances."
Such networks are already deployed all over the world. Several municipalities, including Granby and Sherbrooke, have adopted this interface, according to the X-Telia website.
In order to evaluate the performance and impact of the Lorawan system, Bromont will first use it on a small scale in a three-month pilot project.
Sensors operating on radio waves, rather like cell phones, will therefore be installed on a drinking water booster, a wastewater pumping station, a generator, a drinking water reservoir and a dozen water meters, specified Justine Baudart.
The data will be forwarded to the partner company, which will make it available via a dedicated platform to public works and technical services teams. They will be able to consult and analyze the data without having to send personnel into the field. Bromont will pay just over $25,000 to X-Telia for this pilot project.
According to Justine Baudart, the repercussions of such a system will be manifold.
"Before, we were able to get data once or twice a week on some of our assets. Now, we'll be collecting it several times a day. We'll also be able to have more powerful alerts on the operation and condition of our assets. Does it require immediate intervention, or can we wait until the next day?" she emphasizes.
This will enable Bromont to better prioritize its interventions. We'll also be able to more accurately assess the lifespan of certain equipment and infrastructures," says the asset management coordinator.
Bromont will also be able to reduce its ecological footprint, as municipal staff will no longer need to travel to inspect infrastructure as frequently.
A wide range of sensors is on the menu. Some enable better waste management. Cities can improve "the efficiency of waste collection and recycling with fill level sensors and intelligent routing algorithms", says X-Telia.
There could also be sensors on the pavement to track "reactions" of the asphalt over time. We could also count the number of people who pass through a park or a footpath," said Justine Baudart.
"The catalog is very large," she said, "and we have several options for installing sensors in many locations."
X-TELIA is a Canadian technology company specializing in Internet of Things and LoRaWAN solutions. It supports companies and cities that want to deploy wireless applications based on highly secure, low-cost and low-power long-range connectivity. X-TELIA offers solutions that have been proven elsewhere in the world, as well as leading-edge expertise to facilitate the shift to the Internet of Things. X-TELIA also operates a next-generation wireless network dedicated to the Internet of Things, specifically designed to support new applications that make cities smarter, industry more efficient and citizens safer.