Sensor system for wastewater monitoring
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.