Waternomics: Low cost sensors and systems for collecting water usage in three pilots.

Jan Mink, Yingying Lu

Thursday 2 july 2015

8:45 - 9:00h at North America (level 0)

Themes: (T) Special session, (ST) FP7 ICT and water

Parallel session: 10I. Special session: FP7 ICT and water

This paper discusses the technology for a data acquisition system for 3 different types of users to support a water information platform. In order to create a robust sensor system for the pilots, we have started early on the project to gather the requirements for the final pilots and during this process it became apparent that we will need baseline pilots for testing the technology and to acquire baseline information for the final pilots as a reference. These pilot sites are quite diverse in terms of types of water usage. The first one is the airport where, there is an interest from a business point of view for the distributed usage in the main terminal, in specific buildings and the total water balance including the sewage.The second pilot will be conducted in the municipality of Thermi where a number of households are participating, willing to learn more about their water consumption behaviors and information in order to manage their water consumption more efficiently. In these houses the water usage will be measured on detailed level to create information about the usage in the different functional units (toilets, shower, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.) in the houses. Finally, the third pilot is to be conducted on the university building of NUIG where additional sensors will be placed to measure the use of the water at specific locations for water usage reduction and educational purposes. After conducting the analysis of the initial requirements from all pilot sites, we have chosen the appropriate sensors and developed the hardware/software platform for the different pilot locations. The initial testing was executed at our own business center at STRIJP-S in Eindhoven. The hardware / software comprise the complete data acquisition, storage and web presentation functions. By using a Linux based low-cost, community-supported development platform a very cost effective platform has been realized. Communication can be done by WIFI or GPRS using matched modules. In this paper, we present the translation of the requirements into our hardware / software platform and will show results from the initial testing and from the baseline pilots. Discussions also include the benefits and risks that lie ahead of our approach and how the WATERNOMICS platform can use it in the best way.