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Ultrasonic water metering chip consumes less power

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Acam? water metering chip? MCU?

Acam Messelectronic has highlighted the improvements in its ultrasonic water metering chips, reduced power consumption and increased measurement rates.

The GP30 integrates the digital signal processing of a 32bit?controller and provides a legal-for-trade output signal over a UART, PWM or SPI interface. While data acquisition and device management are two independent functions, the chip's connected standard MCU focuses on device management and handling of external interfaces such as radio communication.

The chip provides temperature sensor connectivity and processing functionality for heat meters like the GP22. Its 4-wire connection for temperature sensors allows the deployment of the chip in heat meters.

Ultrasonic water meters for flow metering operate typically at a sampling rate of 8Hz. With this sampling rate including all necessary calculations and mathematical corrections, the chip consumes as little as 7?A, translating into a battery lifetime of 20 years or more. Acam claims that such a low value is not achievable by a stand-alone low-power standard MCU. The final chip will provide further power optimisations and further improvements through intelligent firmware.

Another benefit is inherent to the measurement principle used in this chip. Since ultrasonic measuring causes much lower wear than conventional mechanical measurement, such meters can be used over two calibration periods instead of just one, which halves the services efforts. In addition, mechanical counters wear out over time and measurement results get less accurate. This wear does not apply to the ultrasound measurement principle.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
??EE Times Europe

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