Published: 08th July 2019
Smart water conservation: Erode college to use IoT technology to monitor and control overhead tanks
The technology would be ideal for multi-storey buildings, apartments, government offices, local bodies, given that they are likely to have multiple overhead tanks to keep track of
When the Internet of Things (IoT) is still a concept of the future in many parts of the country, Kongu Engineering College (KEC) in Perundurai will soon be using this technology to monitor and control its overhead tanks. Thanks to the effort of one entrepreneur - T Kumar. He has taken up the responsibility of introducing this feature as a pilot project at the technology business incubator (TBI) at the college.
While now operators have to personally handle the motors to fill the tanks and stick around to ensure that the motor is turned off when the tank overflows, this system will allow the operator to do all this through a mobile application. Sensors placed in the tanks would keep a tab on the water level. When being filled, the sensors would send out an alert at the 25 per cent mark. From there, the operator would be able to track the increase in water level. When the tank is filled to the brim, the system will automatically shut down the motor. This would not only check unnecessary manual labour but also prevent any wastage of water, explained Kumar.
This would be of great use for the college that host as many as 51 overhead tanks. The college buys eight lakh litres of water at the cost of six paise per litre (around `48,000 per day) under the Tirupur Water Supply Scheme every day. This water is being pumped from the sumps to the 51 tanks. On average, 2,000 litres of water could be waster from each of the tanks. With the iTank technology, the college will be able to check the wastage of over one lakh litres of water every day. This translates to a saving of `1.18 lakh a month. While the system has been installed in the college's tanks at a cost of `14.22 lakhs, the entire amount could be recovered within a year, he reasoned.
The technology would be ideal for multi-storey buildings, apartments, government offices, local bodies, given that they are likely to have multiple overhead tanks to keep track of. At a time when people across the State are having to save every drop of water they can, this technology gains further importance. What more, Tirupur water supply project is set to increase the cost of water to seven paise per litre, Kumar pointed out.
Not the first smart water system
Kumar is the man behind a mobile-based farm pump operation system that is now being used by over 15,000 farmers in the State. Another product of Kongu college's technology business incubator, the system allows farmers to operate the pump sets in their field with just a click of a button.
Farmlands are supplied with electricity for a few hours every day. The system installed in the pumps would send an alert when it detects power supply. The farmer can then give operate the motor and fill water using just the mobile app.
This is a great advantage for farmers, who otherwise have to venture out into their fields during odd hours of the night. This is all the more useful during monsoon season or if the farmer is simply caught up in other work.