Time-of-Flight level monitoring for silos, waste and more

Time of flight level monitoring

Solutions for level monitoring in silos, waste containers and other applications have existed, but always with technical constraints. Terabee client, GreenSysTech has created a contactless, wireless and battery-powered solution using Terabee’s optical Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor technology. The solution overcomes many of the previous constraints and is easy to install and use.

Out with the old. In with the ToF.

In silo level monitoring, sensors have tended to be mechanical or overly simplistic, failing to give the full amount of information needed for proactive level monitoring and inventory management. Whilst ultrasound sensors overcome some of these constraints, they leave others; typically signal absorption by the silo contents, bouncing sound signals within the silo, inadequate range, and higher power consumption. All of this results in inaccurate data and more complex and expensive installations.

Mohamed Fall, GreenSysTech CEO explains, “Having grappled with the constraints of more traditional sensors we were pleased to discover Terabee and their TeraRanger Evo distance sensors. We conducted some initial tests and quickly realized the potential of their technology. For the first time, we could accurately measure fill-levels in silos of 11 meters depth, with good accuracy and with power consumption levels that make battery power a viable option.” GreenSysTech chose to use the TeraRanger Evo 60m sensor, integrating this into their dust and water protected (IP65 rated), plug and play level monitoring device. Fall goes on to explain, “Unlike other optical devices, we found the TeraRanger Evo sensor to be less sensitive to dust and other deposits. We also preferred the fact it uses LED emitters rather than a laser. This means the sensor measures distance over a small area, rather than the pin-point of a laser and for our application provides a more accurate measurement. It also means that our device is eye-safe without having to consider laser Class 1 certification.”

Whilst initially built for deep silo level monitoring, the device can be applied to numerous applications where level-monitoring is important, including smart waste management, water level management, inventory level tracking, and replenishment and some oil industry applications.

As well as fill-level data, the GreenSysTech device provides other vital statistics (temperature, humidity etc), communicates over LoraWan, runs on two 3V lithium manganese batteries and can achieve battery autonomy between 4 and 8 years! (4 years is based on 1 measurement and transmission every 6 hours. 8 years is for 1 measurement every 12 hours and 1 transmission every 24 hours). Measurement frequencies can be changed with simple Over The Air (OTA) commands and interfaces for other comms standards, such as Sigfox are possible.

About Terabee

Terabee designs, develops and manufactures the TeraRanger brand of 2D and 3D distance sensors, but also provides broader expertise in sensors, positioning systems and control systems to bring new ideas and unique solutions to complex automation, monitoring and IoT challenges. Terabee is a CERN Technology partner.

About GreenSysTech

GreenSysTech (GST) specialize in self-powered and low-energy solutions and the development of IoT devices. They have created devices and solutions for smart waste management, silo level monitoring and other IoT enabled applications.