Sensor system for wastewater monitoring


© Fraunhofer IZM / Volker Mai

The modular system allows the sensor system to be adapted to individual requirements.

As part of the microMole project, Fraunhofer  IZM is working on a system for comprehensive  monitoring of wastewater systems.

The system independently measures environmental  parameters such as pH value,  electrical conductivity, and temperature.  The various functions – from sensors to energy  storage – are distributed among single,  individually configurable modules.  These are mounted on a steel ring, which  also provides the mechanical fixation in the  pipe system. Radio modules allow communication  between several rings in the wastewater  pipe.

Together with Fraunhofer IIS, a thermoelectric  energy harvester was developed to ensure  self-sufficient and maintenance-free  operation of the system. Optimized circuits  and a sampling algorithm that only activates  individual sensor functions in previously  determined conditions minimize energy  consumption. Specially developed  housings protect the sensor system from  the wastewater flowing through the pipes  without restricting the contact necessary for  the measurements. Clogging is largely precluded.  The functionality of the sensor system  has already proved itself in the first laboratory  and field tests. The next step is to  further optimize the individual elements.

The microMole project is being funded  by the European Union as part of the  Horizon 2020 program.