STRIZH: We want to digitalize the resource consumption in each apartment
According to the PwC audit company, a common effect from the integration of IoT technologies will reach 2.8 trillion RUB by 2025. Smart solutions are being rapidly integrated into housing and public utilities and power industry right now. It is primarily encouraged by the operation of IOT pioneers such as STRIJ on the CIS market. The company provides wireless solutions based on the energy-efficient technology called LPWAN allowing to reduce the energy consumption.
How did company operations related to the Internet of Things start? What challenges did it face? These issues are revealed by Yury Shemchuk, Marketing Director at STRIJ. He shares the history of the firm growth and talks about the core principles of its operations, which have made STRIJ a leader in this sector.
It was important to become a pioneer on the new market
STRIJ was founded in 2014. When we began to work with telemetry systems, we understood that existing technologies were insufficient for major projects.
Specific radio conditions, including urban environment, basements, thick walls, and long distances, could prevent signals. It became clear that one required a protocol optimized for such conditions and we developed it.
Besides, we narrowed the radio channel width of a transmission device. The noise level has become as low as possible, while information is transferred in a small volume but with minimum energy consumption and for long distances of dozens of kilometers.
It was important to become one of the pioneers on the emerging market. We saw a strong potential in the automation of housing and public utilities. This sector provides GDP with around 6-7%, which is a huge space for development.
Besides, we offer a multi-purpose product able to simplify human and company life by saving their time and money. Managing companies will cut energy supply losses; there will be no need for patrol personnel; inhabitants will be released from metering.
The key area today is overall resource accounting in housing and public utilities
To check primary hypotheses, we were working in three areas: housing and public utilities, security, and agriculture. For example, agriculture was not ready for smart technologies. On the other hand, housing and public utilities showed positive results: early adopters, such as certain prudent managing companies, became interested in metering automation. Meanwhile, the government started creating a beneficial regulatory environment, encouraging market participants to take into account consumable resources.
There were several pilot projects focusing on the parameter checkout of industrial facilities. Some of them are already on scaling stages. Therefore, the key area today is the overall resource accounting in housing and public utilities as well as monitoring systems at industrial plants.
An immature market is a huge space for development
An immature market always limits innovative projects: no sufficient infrastructure, no understanding of the product, no forecasting base. At the same time, this is the advantage: a huge space for development.
With the market being new, it does not have a lot of competitors. There are about 20 companies automating resource accounting. Approximately 10 of them are developing their solutions based on LPWAN technologies, including LoRa. However, it is solid experience in major projects and adaptation to Russian radio frequency realia that make our protocol the market leader.
We started working with Moscow and its region. Nowadays, we cover the whole of Russia and several CIS countries. We also have projects in other regions. For instance, we are currently developing automation systems in the Middle East.
The company reduced energy losses from 55% to 20%
STRIJ has implemented one of its most complicated and largest projects in Perm Krai. We have created the Automated System for Commercial Accounting of Power Consumption (ASCAPC) engaging 1500 smart meters in 8 local settlements.
The problem is that their road network is poorly developed and distances between villages are huge. One can reach certain settlements only during dry weather. For example, a one-way distance from Perm to one of the villages we have worked in is 240 km.
Severe frost also complicated assembling. Nevertheless, equipment (base stations and meters) operates during snowstorms and low temperature (up to -45°С).
We had several tasks at once: to provide stable operation of the energy accounting system; to integrate a cloud app into customer’s software; and to organize data transfer with specified intervals.
The tasks are completed: the network company has reduced energy losses from 55% to 20% and can save resources on inspections and trips to remote places.
We developed our own LPWAN radio protocol
We have our own narrowband LPWAN radio protocol: XNB (Extended NarrowBand). It operates at a frequency of 868.8 MHz within an unlicensed ISM band. Its special features include a narrow signal band and high energy production per each bit of transferred information. It provides a perfect link budget – up to 174 dB – and high noise immunity.
The protocol has a high penetrating power and allows to transfer signals up to 10-50 km, depending on the land form.
Besides, the STRIJ system is a completely vertical solution: from a smart device to a cloud app. We use solutions developed by our engineers and programmers, which allows us to adapt to customer needs and create new product lines. Our technical staff consists of 60 high-skilled professionals.
We constantly aim to advance the technology and products. For example, our base stations are divided into several generations. Currently, we use ARM general-purpose processors for the fast protocol modification. However, our ultimate goal is to return to the FPGA basis.
LPWAN technology is perfect for housing and public utilities and power sector
Primarily, we work with housing and public utilities and power sector. These areas most need large-scale solutions for collecting metered values. LPWAN technology is perfect for such cases. Its advantages and economic benefit are obvious in the above-mentioned solutions.
We also have a range of projects at industrial facilities as well as in security and transportation sectors.
We aim to digitalize the resource consumption in each apartment. Smart accounting is profitable for developers, managing companies, and resource-supplying organizations. Besides, smart systems reduce the impact of a human factor, protecting inhabitants from the complicated system of housing and public utilities.
Another aspect is how to expand the activity area. We are already advancing equipment lines for housing and public utilities: small size electric meters, devices for industrial telemetry and security systems.
This year, we are participating in the Internet of Things forum for the third time. I believe that the event will be a perfect opportunity for networking and concluding new partner agreements.
STRIJ will be involved in the exhibition area at the Internet of Things forum to be held in Moscow on September 25. At the event, the firm will present its wireless devices for utility metering and show their advantages. Register and attend the event in order to examine STRIJ products and talk to company representatives.