Gas Metering Upgrade hero image

Gastropod

Reducing the cost of collecting gas meter readings and more accurately monitoring natural gas consumption

Team Lead: Luz Lule Camargo
UCSC has a single point of entry for Natural Gas from PG&E’s grid to the main campus. There are about 400 gas meters that are owned and maintained by the UCSC Energy Department. The UCSC Energy Department is also responsible for reading the meters and creating invoices for each of the departments that consume natural gas. In order to accurately distribute the cost among the different departments, student interns must collect meter readings manually on a monthly basis.  Due to the size of the UCSC campus and the number of meters, this process is very time consuming and costly. Manually reading and recording data also increases the chance that data may be mistakenly copied or lost.

The main component of this project would be to build a wireless device with the associated microcontroller which could store the current gas meter readout data and then transmit this data to a receiver located in a nearby building. From here the receiver would configure this data and then send it over a hardwired ethernet cable to the UCSC Energy Department. Our goal is to build a system which can be implemented for far less money than the existing system which only works for water meters. This system would also help reduce the cost of collecting gas meter readings and more accurately monitor natural gas consumption. It is important to note that this system would increase the safety of the current gas infrastructure because the UCSC Energy Department would be able to detect leaks and other problems faster than is currently possible.