Web application monitoring consumption of water, gas and electricity
Utilities Manager is a web application which monitors the consumption of water, gas, renewables and electricity. The web application functions as an automated meter reading (AMR) system that calculates the consumption of utilities.
Key functions of Utilities Manager include:
- Presenting interactive graphs and charts of utilities' consumption (quantity and cost)
- Informing the clients and administrators about unusual events, e.g. sudden drops or increases of consumption
- Forecasting estimation utility costs
Utilities Manager is a unique and challenging project due to its complexity, which stems from the combination of hardware (such as metres and loggers that are synchronised with the initial systems and send consumption data to an authorised supplier) and software. Pushing the boundaries of hardware and software capabilities makes the development of this product a complex task, requiring the resolution of a number of difficulties.
During the development of the Single Page Application (SAP), we created an alarm system to notify all users of unusual utility consumption data. The Utilities Manager web app both monitors and notifies the amount of gas, water and electricity. Due to this mechanism everyone who uses the application and manages, for example, a chain of buildings, perfectly knows where and when any excessive drop or increase of utility consumption happens.
Measuring data in real time
eEngine Software House supports the owners of Utilities Manager by developing new methods of collecting data as new problems are encountered or hardware is introduced to the market. The only certainty in the Automated Meter Reading (AMR) industry is that change is constant as hardware manufacturers continuously compete to provide better solutions at a lower cost.
In 2016, Utilities Manager Limited – the owner of the software - was asked to provide real-time water data monitoring for a very large sports venue, with the added complication of the unavailability of the mobile phone network. Utilities Manager identified exclusively local licensed radio frequency data logging hardware, and then, we had to develop scripts to collect real-time data from the hardware using an API. The system was developed, and a solution provided to ensure the safety of the event . In previous years, the venue had employed staff to sit and watch the water metres.
Geolocation of devices
We also enriched the application with the possibility to locate specific water metres on a map, based on metadata in images uploaded to the system by users. We implemented this in such a way that after taking a photo with a GPS-enabled mobile phone, the application automatically extracts the location data of the data logger attached to the utility metre from the graphic file and then displays the location site on the map.
Responsive client panel
Within the scope of our work, in addition to developing new functionalities and taking care of the scalability of the tool itself, there is also a part of the service dedicated to Utilities Manager customers. As a result, some time ago this piece of software was equipped with a fully responsive layout, allowing for comfortable access to the information with the use of a smartphone or tablet.
Now, we are preparing an application for international markets. As a result, we are upgrading the system to make it a more universal tool than just the one dedicated to the UK market. Numerical and date formats for all charts and language packs for additional text can be added to the Utilities Manager web application. Additional international markets will bring new hardware that will require integration into Utilities Manager.