In 2016, RWE decided to install automated hydrology stations, with the goal of getting valuable, precise, up-to-date information on conditions without needing to send people into the field. These installations would constantly monitor water levels, precipitation, air and water temperatures, and relative humidity, enabling the company to prevent water wastage, and maximise the amount of renewable energy it supplies to the grid.
RWE faced multiple challenges in this endeavour: firstly, the solution needed to be unobtrusive, and not impair the beauty of this landscape. Secondly, there’s no terrestrial power to these areas. Finally, there’s no land- or mobile-based communication network; to successfully gather and send the necessary data, RWE needed a solution that resolved all of these issues.
Ground Control worked with our satellite connectivity partner Inmarsat, sensor provider OTT Hydromet, and ASTECH Engineering Services to design, develop and deploy four energy efficient, solar powered, IoT-enabled hydrological stations.
We used Hughes 9502 BGAN M2M terminals to transmit data every three hours, but data is collected every 15 minutes. Edge computing allows the frequency of transmission to be increased if data falls outside of normal parameters, which in turn alerts the RWE engineers, and allows them to respond. Once water levels drop within normal parameters, the transmissions slow down again. As a result of this efficient process, monthly data usage at each site does not exceed 2MB.
It’s a very flexible, modular system which allows the configuration to be changed, or new features added, as needed.
Built with Ground Control
If you'd like to get in touch with the team either to discuss a challenge similar to that of the one above, or something completely different our team of experts will be happy to provide objective advice.