A software company and a safety solutions provider have joined forces to improve the ability for utility companies to monitor and prevent potentially hazardous natural gas incidents.
Senet Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based software and services platforms that enable global connectivity and on-demand network build-outs for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced a new partnership with Lorax Systems Inc., a safety and environmental solutions company on April 13.
Through this technical collaboration, the companies have certified Lorax’s meter and service shut-off valves on Senet’s LoRaWAN network. The resulting integration provides utilities 24/7 monitoring with automatic and remote gas shut-off capabilities when hazardous conditions have been detected at any location using Senet’s Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connectivity.
When a gas leak happens today, utility providers typically become aware of it after a customer reports it. By that point, a significant amount of leaked gas has already created a dangerous situation for anyone in the vicinity, not to mention utility employees who arrive to fix it. By adding state-of-the-art valve shut-off capabilities to sensing and alerting systems, this partnership ensures utilities gain complete awareness and control of their gas distribution systems, including automating the secure shutdown of single or multiple valves before a gas leak becomes a safety issue.
Using Senet’s LoRaWAN network to manage communications between the gas shut-off valves and the cloud maximizes network coverage and communication range while reducing operational costs.
“Our utility customers need a solution that provides situational awareness without requiring constant maintenance or exorbitant costs,” said Mark Bishoff, president and CEO of Lorax Systems. “For many utilities that need to go beyond managing a small number of devices, it quickly becomes evident that a LoRaWAN network is more financially sound than other communications options, especially considering the need for sensor-enabled devices to last for ten years or more in the field. After researching IoT connectivity options, we found Senet’s carrier-grade LoRaWAN network provides the coverage and performance we need without compromising on our customers’ requirements.”
Lorax Systems offers meter and service valves that stop leaks when they happen. The Lorax Meter Valve is a cloud-enabled mechanical gas valve that provides automatic shut-off in the event of methane detection, over pressurization, fire, or flood using IoT connectivity to provide insights and remote operation. The Lorax Service Valve is an underground intelligent safety shutoff device that halts the flow of gas in the event of a breach in the service line, including the aforementioned events. With operation certified by Senet, utilities can easily use Lorax gas valves in combination with gas metering and other infrastructure monitoring solutions on the same network.
“Utilities are constantly evaluating new technologies to improve safety, operational efficiency and customer service,” said Bruce Chatterley, CEO of Senet. “Recently, from a safety standpoint, several major disasters have happened because of gas line failures or breaks, not to mention commonplace leaks that harm the environment. Complementary technologies from Senet and Lorax represent a reliable and cost-effective solution to previously challenging problems. We’re excited to work with Lorax to demonstrate the impact of better IoT connectivity on improving safety, the environment and the bottom line of utilities.”
Through a joint go-to-market strategy, Senet and Lorax are engaged in field trials with large multi-utility service providers centered around improving safety levels and reliability across regional natural gas distribution networks. By progressing its partnership with Lorax and previously announced collaborations with natural gas leak detection solutions and utility providers, Senet aims to continually support the digital transformation of the utility industry with IoT-powered innovation.
For more information on Senet’s carrier-grade network services for critical infrastructure and essential business applications, download Senet’s new whitepaper: “The Value of Carrier-Grade Network Service for the Delivery of LoRaWAN IoT Solutions.”