Gas Meter Pickup
The smart way to upgrade your traditional gas meter
The patented gas-meter pickup is designed to be retrofitted to a traditional gas-meter to make it smart-compatible
The pickup device only needs to be attached to the gas-meter dial face: no need to replace parts.
Intrinsically safe device: installable by a non-professional
The pulse output means the reading can be easily interpreted by an attached device.
The pickup works for dials of any size and pointers of any colour
Light conditions don’t matter: the unit emits it’s own light source and accounts for background-light.
The compact and light unit can be fit anywhere.
The device is patented and covers all dial colours.
Many governments (including in the UK) are currently pushing for smart-metering.
Many gas-meters require retro-fit upgrading to be compatible: there is an estimated 6.6M Units in the UK that require retro-fitting or replacing.
HOW IT WORKS
Traditional smart meters have dials to represent usage. The pick-up converts this to a pulse output.
The device emits a light onto the face of the dial.
The photoreceptor then detects the light reflected back.
When the pointer is undetected the reflected light is mostly white due to the background colour of the dial.
As the pointer moves past the photoreceptor, only the colour of the pointer is reflected back (e.g. red light if the pointer is red).
The absence of the other colours in the spectrum (e.g. green and blue light if the pointer is red) is detected by the photoreceptor.
This is then recorded as one rotation of the dial.
The pickup is then able to calculate each revolution against Gas Meter unit output.
The reading is output as a pulse.
Recieving units can sense the pulse and interpret the gas meter usage.
The Gas Meter Pickup was granted its patent in 2015.
Patent GB 2473005, granted in March 2015, covers the production of a signal based on the visual detection of a dial on a utility meter.
The patent covers an RGB detector, meaning a dial pointer of any colour falls under the patent. Finally, the patent also includes the inclusion of a communications device to transmit signals to any other remote device.
Viability of Market
In the UK, Energy companies are required to take all reasonable action to provide every domestic household with a smart meter.
The DECC aims for all households to have smart meters by 2020. As of March 2015, over 21 million traditional gas meters were still in use. Approximately 6.6 million units have no existing pulse output. The patented device provides a simple, unobtrusive, and ultimately cheaper method of making gas meters “smart”.
Similarly, Small-Medium Industrial companies will be required to replace smart meters or retrofit to upgrade traditional meters. We estimate that there are over 350,000 commercial gas-meter units that will be retrofit upgraded by 2020.