Making Cities Smarter: Connected Municipal Services
Smart Cities leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) and invest in technology to maximize efficiency and reduce operating expenses while improving service delivery to citizens and businesses. By implementing connected solutions comprised of low-cost sensors and Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs), governments and municipalities can greatly enhance economic development and urban sustainability.
Easily Deploy and Expand Smart City Applications Today
LoRaWAN®-based smart city solutions are delivering value-based economic and environmental improvements through networks, applications and solutions aligned with a variety of connected building and smart city initiatives.
- Reduce carbon footprint – New tools for energy-efficient buildings, air quality monitoring and waste management reduce ecological impact.
- Efficient public utilities – Real-time monitoring and predictive analytics identify infrastructure issues that need to be fixed before there is a failure..
- Safer communities – Connected safety solutions ensure citizen welfare and allow law enforcement and businesses to collaborate more effectively.
- Data-driven decision making – The ability to access and analyze massive amounts of information enables actionable insights and intelligent decision making across municipal organizations.
Smart Cities Use Cases
Smart City technology presents an enormous opportunity for municipalities to achieve social, economic and environmental benefits. Senet’s experience establishing secure, public LoRaWAN connectivity allows municipalities to expedite smart city initiatives without the cost and burden of managing multiple disparate IoT networks.
Securely tracking the location and condition of valuable assets and inventory is critical to municipality operations. Managing assets and reducing lifecycle costs becomes much easier with IoT-enabled solutions. Integrating data from intelligent technologies improve decision making for planning and operations.
Asset management tools help cities streamline their processes and maximize efficiencies in managing and maintaining all asset types – from fleets to street signs and everything in between. Asset tracking plays a critical role in achieving smart city goals of sustainability and economic development.
Local water districts and municipal health departments ensure that cities provide potable water supplies. Backflow preventer devices are installed on water pipes to allow water to flow in one direction but never in the opposite direction – preventing drinking water from becoming contaminated. The monitoring and proper maintenance of backflow valves is critical for the health and safety of citizens.
All commercial and industrial water customers are required to have backflow protection devices at water service entrances. Undetected relief valve discharges cause contamination and flooding. Connected backflow preventers include a wireless monitor that senses when a backflow condition exists and sends an immediate text or email alert. Monitoring solutions ensure safety, reduce liability and offer peace of mind.
Unnoticed leaks and other waste events eventually become expensive and dangerous problems. Water leaks in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements are primary causes. Within 24 hours of a moisture leak, mold can start to form subjecting residents to respiratory problems, asthma and allergies.
Connected sensors communicate data to cloud platforms through Senet’s Low Power Wide Area Network. If a malfunction occurs or an anomaly is detected, the system pinpoints and sends alerts with actionable information to facility managers to guide quick response and resolution.
Research has shown that ongoing cruising for available parking spaces increases traffic congestion and carbon emissions, frustrates drivers, stifles economic opportunities for businesses, and adversely affects other municipal services.
In-ground or surface-mounted sensors provide accurate vehicle detection in parking spaces and vehicle counts for parking lot entrances and exits, up to 10 years of battery life, and is stable over temperature fluctuations. Incorporating real-time parking data into a parking management strategy can improve urban mobility and increase municipal parking revenue.
Ever-increasing population densities are creating perfect conditions for rats and other rodents to thrive. Pest control programs are necessary to need protect residents and facilities from rodent disease, contamination and damage. Yet, manual inspections are costly and time consuming.
Connected pest management solutions enable a new level of visibility and can be monitored anywhere and in real-time. The rugged, water-resistant traps deliver quick, high-voltage shock offering a humane and safe alternative to rodenticides. Easy web and mobile application pairing, multi-year trap battery life and real-time alerts when service is required improve efficiencies and reduce costs for indoor and outdoor rodent control programs.
Many coastal cities experience chronic flood during moderate to heavy rains and high tides leaving thoroughfares and neighborhood roads with impassable standing water and stalled vehicles. Monitoring environmental factors such as air quality and precipitation help create smarter, safer and more resilient communities.
Rugged, weather-proof solar powered units placed on top of light poles and bridges utilize ultrasonic sensors and LoRa-enabled gateways to remotely measure water levels above dry land or a body of water. The autonomous end-to-end devices do not require external power or wired connection. Real-time environmental monitoring systems measure air quality, hyperlocal weather and precipitation levels to predict flooding and notify citizens of hazardous conditions.
The unfortunate reality is that crime exists in the world, and every day citizens are confronted with random acts of violence in public spaces. Demand for comprehensive safety and security solutions is on the rise. IoT provides first responders with innovative technology that can help them mitigate risk and enhance the safety of individuals.
New geo-locating technology is being incorporated into personal wearable devices. For instance, ID badge or key cards equipped with a panic button to send an instant SOS with the user’s location information are being deployed across corporate and college campuses to address the gap of one second to attack vs. seven seconds to dial 911 with cell phone based solutions.
Water is a precious resource for municipalities, yet the EPA estimates more than 60% of irrigation goes to waste. Conventional irrigation methods for city-owned and managed facilities can be difficult to justify – especially when sub-surface water supplies are strained.
Remotely operated sprinkler heads and nozzles can be customized with watering schedules based on soil moisture and weather conditions – reducing unnecessary water use and enhancing sustainability. Cities using smart irrigation control systems are able to make every drop of water count and still have beautiful parks, medians and gardens for citizens.
Steam is used in a wide range of industries. Common applications include steam heated processes in factories and steam driven turbines in electric power plants. Steam traps are a type of automatic valve that filters out condensed steam and non-condensable gases such as air without letting steam escape. Steam traps fail at an average rate of 10 – 30% each year creating waste and costly inefficiencies. Testing steam traps is a labor-intensive process typically done manually once per year.
Ultrasonic steam trap monitoring systems allow municipalities to interrogate their steam trap population every minute in real-time to detect failures using spectral analysis. Data is securely sent to an online building management system providing dashboard visibility and reports as to which traps are functioning normally and the ability to automatically schedule service orders for those in need of repair.
With the large number of propane and fuel oil tanks being used to heat residential, commercial and municipal properties, a reliable system to monitor fuel levels is essential. Fuel delivery companies are a critical partner in Smart City supply chain operations where run-outs can have detrimental effects. Without the means to remotely measure fuel levels, trucks are often being dispatched inefficiently – driving up operational costs and complicating customer service delivery.
By placing low-cost, low-power sensors on fuel tanks, fill level and other valuable data can be sent over the Senet network to tank monitoring solutions used by supply companies to optimize their delivery process. In addition, municipalities can accurately forecast fuel usage to reduce truck rolls thereby reducing their carbon footprint.
IoT technology is transforming the waste and recycling industry by providing increased efficiencies and decreased operating costs. Being able to automatically sense and monitor bin fill level, location and pick-up frequency allows city waste departments and contracted waste haulers to track performance, manage the status of work orders in real-time and decrease labor costs.
Smart waste monitoring solutions reduce both collection times and expenses. Automatic notification alerts when bins are reaching pre-defined thresholds provide intelligent route planning for collection service providers and eliminates unnecessary visits and overflowing garbage bins for end users.
Water-intensive businesses including supermarkets, hotels, car washes, food & beverage processors and commercial buildings experience water waste from damaged equipment, spills and leaks. Rapid notification and response are key to eliminating waste, cutting cost and reducing compliance risk.
A water management solution comprised of sensors to measure flow and pressure through piping networks, facilities and equipment provides municipalities with detailed insight into their total water footprint. Water management applications monitor pH and chlorine ranges and provide the ability to detect mechanical malfunctions and failure points instantly.
Water utility companies can stay responsive, lean and resourceful by deploying IoT metering systems to replace outdated, labor-intensive processes. Advanced metering infrastructure solutions help utility customers and municipalities boost efficiencies and accelerate sustainability efforts at the best possible total cost of ownership.
Mounted radio frequency units allow meter reading in any mode – walk-by, mobile or fixed network without the need for on-site visits. Smart water metering solutions provide the ability to acquire usage data and bill accounts remotely at the push of a button, increasing operational efficiencies and enhancing revenue.