Water level monitoring solution for Blue Planet Ecosystems
Blue Planet Ecosystems has devised a revolutionary self-contained fish farm that doesn’t rely on artificial fish feed. LARA (Land-based Automated Recirculating Agriculture System) is a modular aquaculture system, which will eventually be housed across three levels in 40 foot shipping containers. In the first level the system uses sunlight to grow algae. In the second level the algae transforms into zooplankton. The third level houses the growing fish that are automatically fed by the system’s zooplankton.
The innovative concept has been designed to release the pressure on natural ecosystems. The aquacultures are self contained and fully automated, which means they can be built in areas where land cannot be used for traditional agriculture, such as deserts and cities. Countries including Dubai and Singapore, which are committed to being more self sufficient, have already expressed a keen interest.
Level sensors for water level monitoring
Amongst other variables that are being closely monitored and measured, the need to control the water level within the fish tank is critical. An aeration pump system ensures oxygen flows into the tank and CO2 is evacuated. If the water levels within the tank change, Blue Planet Ecosytems needs to be immediately alerted, as this could indicate that the pipes are blocked and the fish could be in danger.
The company had been trialing an ultrasound sensor to monitor water levels in its prototype system, but ran into a couple of challenges. Ultrasound is unreliable due to the sound signal bouncing off the hard surfaces of the tank. But more problematic was the fact that the temperature of the tank is 28°, which proved too humid for the ultrasound sensor. Further research revealed that Terabee’s Evo Mini works in high temperatures, and trials on the current prototype have proved that our sensor can handle the humidity and delivers reliable output from a 3 cm range.
The Evo Mini in action
The Evo Mini is ideal for Blue Planet Ecosystems’ requirements. The sensor is fully enclosed in an ABS housing, which protects it from dust and water splashes. It offers versatile performance with a range from 3 cm to 3.3 m, and is one of the most accurate sensor modules in Terabee’s range. The sensor measures the prototype’s water levels to detect changes every minute. A shift in water levels of more than 2cm would be a cause for concern.
“The Evo Mini gives precision readings for a 2 cm shift and has performed very well for us. We will certainly be using Terabee’s sensors in our future prototypes. We have also valued the support we have received from the Terabee team. Going forward we’d like to explore the use of Terabee’s Time-of-Flight sensors to help us monitor the growth of fish as we need sensors that measure distance with good resolution and accuracy.” Cecile Deterre, Data Scientist, Blue Planet Ecosystems.
Terabee has been delighted to support Blue Planet Ecosystems with its prototypes. We look forward to continuing to support the next iteration of the project as larger scale prototypes and systems are tested.