In this write-up you’ll see how easy it is to use Valarm Tools Cloud for real-time monitoring of remote water usage! With the Totalizer functionality, Valarm Tools Cloud keeps track of water flow and how much water gets used by you or your customers.
UPDATE: Click here to see how your water usage totals integrate into real-time, web-based dashboards customized for your organization.
For this example we’re using:
- PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) sensor adapter that counts spins or ticks from a water flow sensor like the McCrometer EA618-02
- Ethernet sensor hub connected to a long-range WiFi antenna, TP-LINK CPE210
Below is a photo of what the Valarm water monitoring deployment looks like. Note that this water is being drawn from a deep water well where a PWM is monitoring water flow in the pipe and at the same time a 4-20mA pressure transducer is monitoring the water levels in the water well. There’s a propeller in the blue pipe that spins as water flows through the pipe. The PWM sensor adapter in “edgecount” mode counts 2 ticks for each propeller spin, which we can use with Valarm Tools Cloud and your own custom endpoint to calculate water usage and flow rates.
Here’s what the data looks like when viewing the remote Valarm unit in the Device Manager on tools.valarm.net. Note the PWM 1 column is the count coming from the PWM sensor connected to the McCrometer water flow unit seen in the picture above. Note that the Yocto PWM counts up to 1 million then restarts counting from 1, which is why we need the totalizers seen in the Calc 1 and Calc 2 columns. You can configure your totalizers by clicking on the orange configure totalizers button and below there’s more on how you set this up.
After you click the configure totalizers button you’ll see this window to Configure Totalizing Calculators. If you need to start your count value at a specific number you can click the orange edit button at the top to change it.
There are 4 totalizers available and you can switch between them using the tabs at the top of the window. In this example we’re configuring the 1st one and storing the values in the Calc 1 column in the device details view on Valarm Tools Cloud. Check the box to Enable the totalizer and give it a name and notes that apply to your scenario. Here we’ll keep track of all the raw data from the PWM channel 1 and output it into the Calc 1 field. You can also set a pre-divisor to divide all of the values by a certain number (e.g., by 2 as we do in the next example) and a post-scaler to convert the ticks to your liquid measuring unit of choice, e.g., gallons, liters, acre inches, or inch-acres. Your scaler will depend on your water flow sensor manufacturer, pipe size, and what units you want your results. You’ll customize all of this here on this screen in Valarm Tools Cloud.
Here’s the configuration for another Totalizer where we’re using the same PWM channel 1 and outputting into the Calc 2 field. There’s a pre-divisor of 2 set here since the Yocto-PWM in edgecount mode counts 2 ticks for each propeller spin of the McCrometer EA618-02. Now that we’ve divided by 2 we can multiply these “pulses” by the manufacturer’s specifications, e.g., 3.846 for a 10″ pipe, to get gallons.
Remember you can use all of the other Valarm Tools Cloud features for your sensor data like mapping, graphing (seen below), and forwarding real-time sensor data to your endpoints via APIs.
Here are some examples from Valarm customers that are currently using this water totalizer functionality:
- Nebraska’s North Platte Natural Resources District (NPNRD) – part 1 & part 2
- Dudek environmental consulting in California
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions!