Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Sigfox brings connectivity to Talis fire hydrants

Steve Rogerson
April 21, 2015
Talis is to use the Sigfox network in its smart-city fire hydrant monitoring system. Called Copernic, it lets water utility officials and companies monitor the status of thousands of fire hydrants round the clock to assure proper functioning and protect against water theft.
The system provides real-time alerts when the fire hydrants are being used, along with estimates of volume drawn, data on hydrant functioning and other information that supports network efficiency. 
Real-time monitoring of fire hydrants is achieved by time-stamping all data related to hydrant functioning. An electronic module installed on the hydrant sends SMS or email alerts via the Sigfox network when the hydrant is being opened, closed, tampered with or is not functioning properly. In addition, all data are instantly available on a web portal, and a mobile app for smartphones and tablets is available to read data and receive alerts in the field.
Copernic was developed by the Talis Group unit Bayard in Meyzieu, France, which specialises in fire and pipe-protection systems, gates, water treatment and butterfly valves, fluid control, joint connectors for pipelines and pipe connections. Bayard has applied for a patent for Copernic.
“Copernic illustrates our commitment to providing innovative and cost-effective solutions that enable cities and municipal water suppliers to easily implement smart programmes that reduce costs and improve services,” said Hervé Dumont, head of marketing at Talis. “The Sigfox network is the obvious choice to connect thousands of hydrants to the internet of things, because there is no network infrastructure to be deployed during installation of the fire hydrants. In addition, the network offers low energy consumption, reduced costs, easy integration and, most of all, comprehensive coverage in France.”
Sigfox’s cellular, ultra-narrowband (UNB) network has been designed for small messages that should meet the needs of most objects connected to the IoT. By providing economical, energy-efficienttwo-waytransmission of data, Sigfox hopes to lower barriers towide implementation of IoT and M2M, and extending the batteryand servicelifeofconnecteddevices. Copernic runs on lithium batteries that have an estimated lifetime of ten years.
“The Sigfox network, with its plug-and-play connectivity, low cost and low power consumption will enable Copernic to efficiently deliver a wide range of essential data to water-management officials in real time,” said Stuart Lodge, Sigfox executive vice president for global sales. “Talis’ choice of the Sigfox network is another demonstration of the key role Sigfox is playing in the development of smart cities today, while other proposed networks are still in the development stage.”
Talis is a German group with a strong European footprint, having 12 production units and 16 sales offices in 16 countries employing around 1400 people. In 2014, the group has worldwide net sales of €237m.
Sigfox is headquartered in Labège, France,and has offices in Mountain View, California, and Madrid,Spain.