Earth is called the blue planet for a definite reason –about seventy per cent of it is covered by water.However, just roughly ten percent of it is potable. With cities around the world struggling for fresh potable water, it is impeccable that technology has to play a role if humans can’t.
BIMM Technologies Centre has been innovating in this field for quite some time with one thing in mind, understanding the common man’s requirement of having water at tap all the time. The result is a design that brings about the same feeling that many disruptive products do. It looks so simple that anyone could have done it, yet no one did.
From No Expertise To Full Expertise
The efforts bore fruits and over the years since 2011. The team built a smart radio frequency (RF) based wireless technology for pump control. It’s single pump multi-tank controllers, multi-tank multi-pump controllers came into existence and heard laurels.
The team’s in-depth experience proved that it was time to develop this indigenously built system using new range of sensors, best industrial class printed circuit board(PCB) and low cost assemblytechnique while achieving cheaper inventory cost.
“Having multiple core functional expertise in research and development, testing, mass manufacturing, process automation, quality and quality system gave a great head start to the team, until challenges of creating a product line to help the common man with advanced technologies came up. Now solving issues with water supply was something we could foray into utilising our strengths and expertise “, says Bhoopathy Ramaswamy , Director Technologies.
Challenges Began Pouring In Just As They Started
When the team set out to seek a creative solution, key issues faced by customers became the centre of attention.Some of them were effects of depletion of ground water levels, which causedthe pumpsto rundry. No cost effective technology was available to optimally utilise the ground water in the best possible way. At that point of time,what was considered cutting edge was someone or something regularly switching on and switching off the pump for a specified time without dry run.
The use of costly flow switches for dry run protection had pushed the customer to opt for unreliable metallic sensors, which are failure prone. Back then, even trying to increase the bore well depth coupled with high capacity pumps to pull water from deeper sourcesended up being very costly.
Identifying a Truly Effective Solution
Time is money,likewise saving time is saving money too. Striking a balance between these two aspects is very important to achieve efficiency milestones.
Achieving True Efficiency
For example, a tank capacity of about thousand litres would require about an hour to fill up, extracting water from a depth of 20 feet. The motor has to work for almost an hour continuously in order to achieve this target.
Like every other electro- mechanical machine, when a motor runs for too long, the fatigue kicks in. This is when inefficient pumping starts.
There is a drastic difference between its performances in the initial stages of the motor, which points out to the fact that the motor needs to be run on specific intervals depending upon its pumping capacity in order to be more efficient; which is smart.
“The tank which took up an hour’s time to fill up now takes about five to ten minutes or less to fill up,” says Bhoopathy Ramaswamy.
Maximising Efficiency With Smarter Automation
Iterating through solutions, the team realised that a timely intervention using a time-based controller coupled with overflow control is the key solution to water management.A fully automated automatic water level controller (AWLC) energy saver integrated system was soon designed. Now this upgrade had a timer control function with on-time and off-time as per customer’s requirement to factor in local conditions, plus a level controller function with low-level and high-level sensors.
Simple. Yet Extremely Effective
The major pain-point that an innovation such as this solves is intelligently controlling the pump’s run time. The luxury of having water at tap all the time comes with cost of motor wear out and overflow. Now, this automated system enables water pumps to run on shorter stretches while powered with smart early start function and detection system during faster consumption period. Dry run protection leads to longer pump life.