This part of the study discusses all of the instruments; procedures, equipment and testing
that were conducted by the researchers.
Research Design
Seen at Figure 4 is the system block diagram. The system’s inputs are the multiple flow
meter sensors attached to each unit accordingly. A flow meter is used to measure the flow of
water and total water consumption. These flow meters are connected to the microcontroller. The
microcontroller is to read the measured values from the flow meters, then store these values in a
definite time in which each value correspond to meter readings and will have assigned unique
serial corresponding to each household in the unit. The microcontroller is interfaced with a
Global Packet Radio Service (GPRS) used to send the meter readings to the water company
wirelessly, and that these meter readings are sent daily. After transmission of data, the stored
values in the microcontroller will reset to 0 to conserve memory space.
At the receiver end, the meter readings will reach the water company after transmission
via GPRS. These data will be stored to the company’s database and used for consumer bill
computation and processing. Consumer water bill reports are then sent via SMS to respective
customer’s mobile phone. Water bill reports are sent monthly, similar to the standard water
company billing system on distributing bill reports. In addition, the company’s website is
updated with the latest water bill of each customer. This website also contains the customer’s
water consumption records and other relevant information to the service inquired wherein each
customer is entitled to a web account.
Flow Meter Sensor. In measuring the amount of water flowing, a ¾” BSP thread flow
sensor will be used. Datasheet from a semiconductor company Futurlec (n.d.) shows that the
flow sensor has an integrated Hall Effect sensor that is used to obtain the digital output of the
measurement. This type of sensor detects the presence of a magnet in which they are activated
with the presence of magnetic fields (ElectronicsTutorials, n.d).
Microcontroller. Two sets of Gizduino (Arduino-based) microcontroller will be used and
a GPRS Shield will be utilized with it. The first will act as the databank and transmitter for the
output obtained from the flow sensor. The other will be used as the receiver to transfer data to the
database and as transmitter for the bill notification system.
Database System. MySQL, which is an open source database, will be used in creating
the database of the system. The language to be used in the creation and configuration of the
database and website will be PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor). A desktop will serve as the server
via the Apache HTTP Server. Globe Telecommunications (GPRS provider) is chosen by the
researchers to serve as the network used in transmitting data via SMS to mobile phones.
Battery. In case of power interferences, the microcontroller is backed up by a
rechargeable battery rated 9V 500mAh. The ampere-hour rating is sufficient enough to provide
the rated current for the microcontroller.
Sources of Data
Monitoring sheets will be used in determining the transmission capability of the system,
receiving capability of the system using both single and dual input, and the system’s database
update capability. Each variable will undergo 30 trials which will be recorded to test if
transmission, reception, update, and website access are successful or not. Thirty trials were set to
provide statistical accuracy and at the same time prevent any chance of possible hardware failure
due to repeated trials.
For the accuracy of the meter reading, the measured values of the analog water meter will
be compared to that of the prototype. The measured values from the analog meter and the
prototype will undergo comparison for 30 trials.


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