An energy-self-sufficient drainage monitoring system for critical event detection
Rapid flooding of drainage systems is a well-known but hard to predict consequence of heavy rain that occurs in many climates around the world. The resulting high flow rate and pressure in the duct system can lead to considerable damage to the substance or even worse to detached manhole covers which pose a danger to pedestrians and traffic participants.
Only with a holistic sensor system an accurate picture of the events in the canal is generated and damage to infrastructure and people can be prevented. By recording the water level, flow rate and pressure, conclusions can be drawn in real time about events in the drainage system. We also record the position of the manhole cover and the presence of harmful gases such as H2S to protect people in the vicinity. The sensor is completely energy self-sufficient and wireless. The communication uses the latest LPWAN technologies. All data is stored by our cloud services and visualized for the customer.
In the implementation of our product, we benefit especially from the partners provided to us via FED4SAE. Our energy self-sufficient sensors require low-power microcontrollers which nevertheless possess a certain performance. For this we use the STM32L4. With its extremely low power consumption in sleep modes it is predestined for our application. Via FED4SAE we have direct contact to ST-Microelectronics and can access this resource and expertise first hand. With the Fraunhofer IISB as test bed, we simulate the harsh environmental conditions prevailing in a sewer system and analyze its effects in a unique way. Being able to fall back on such practical tests during product development accelerates time-to-market extremely and increases the quality of our final product.
Our system affects two different areas. On the one hand, there are hardly any possibilities for planning offices and municipal civil engineering departments to evaluate how their sewer system works. With our system, data is continuously recorded over many years and processed to provide information about changes and anomalies. This opens up a completely new perspective on the planning phase, implementation and, above all, maintenance of the sewer systems.
The second point is increased safety for pedestrians and traffic participants. Injuries and even fatal accidents due to missing manhole covers occur more frequently than they should. Accidents or even drowning due to the tremendous suction of the backflowing water during heavy rain events. With our sensor system, depositioned manhole covers are instantly detected and warnings are transmitted to the relevant authorities, by voice call, sms or email. With this information, communities can act quickly and avoid resulting threats to people and the environment.