Remote water tanks have, for hundreds of years, been checked by staff riding to or driving to the tank location to check if there is water available for livestock to drink.
With an automated tank monitoring system, the need to visit each tank to check the water level is no longer necessary. When the automated system indicates a fault, staff can visit the specific locations to rectify the problem rather than visiting all of the tank locations.
Water is usually pumped from groundwater bores by either a diesel engine or a windmill and is then stored in a large on site tank. The water is usually gravity fed into concrete stock drinking troughs. The drinking troughs usually have float operated cistern like water input systems, where the lowering float operates a valve to allow more water to enter the troughs.
Simple float switches can also be installed with a switch which operates if the trough has a more than a determined level. Perhaps three float switches can be installed to indicate different levels within the trough, a high level, a medium level and a low level for example. Readings from the trough limit switches will allow the staff to know how much water is in the trough.
Likewise float limit switches can be installed inside the main water storage tank, which will indicate the reserve of water remaining in the tank.
If there is a windmill on site, a small proximity switch can be mounted on the windmill rotating shaft and the rotations can be measured to indicate the speed of the windmill at each hour of the day. The number of pulses per hour indicates the speed of the windmill and the pumping capacity of the windmill per hour / per day / per week.
Each float switch is wired back to the Neon Metering Module which is set up to detect when there is a switch closure. The Neon Metering Module alarm can be activated based on the low level switches and the alarm condition can be sent to the Neon server via cellphone, satellite networks or local WI FI networks. The Neon Server processes the alarm and sends emails and / or text messages to alert operators of that out of limit and potential overflow condition.
The Neon Metering Module would also record locally all the changes to the switches continuously, including the switch changes based on the proximity switch on the windmill mechanism, storing this data locally every 5 minutes. This routine data would then be sent off to the neon Server every few hours / ever day to provide the detailed status of the tank and troughs and the speed of the windmill, or status of a local diesel pump
Consideration should also be given to adding a low resolution camera to the system, pointed towards the tank and troughs and setting up the camera to take a low resolution photo perhaps three times a day to observe stock movement around the troughs.
A power budget should be performed by Unidata engineers to decide the best power method, usually a small solar panel and sealed lead acid battery.
When considering the best telemetry method, it is expected that cell phone technology will be used wherever as this is the most economical method. For very remote locations satellite technology will be needed, and a very low bandwidth system, such as the Inmarsat Regional beam system will most likely be sufficient for this very low bandwidth application
While other water level sensor types could be used, for example a hydrostatic depth gauge inside or attached to the outlet pipe of the water storage tank, the application is so simple that it is more economical to use simple float operates switches which can be purchased for just a few dollars.
When this system is set up, staff can view the water levels using a web browser on a computer connected to the internet. The system can be set up with a schematic Node on Neon which displays a mimic diagram the actual levels in the tank and the speed of the windmill.
The low resolution regular photos can also be displayed using the web browser on the Neon Server interface.
|Options for Neon Telemetry - NRT / RTU / Field Units||Unidata Part Number||Description|
|Cellular RTU 3G||2013F-AB03||Neon Metering Module 3G with Antenna and Li Battery|
|Cellular RTU 4G||2013F-AB04||Neon Metering Module 4G with Antenna and Li Battery|
|Cellular RTU 3G - Industrial||2016F-AB03||Neon Remote Terminal 3G with Antenna and Li Battery|
|Cellular RTU 4G - Industrial||2016F-AB04||Neon Remote Terminal 4G with Antenna and Li Battery|
|Low Earth Orbit Satellite Globalstar||2015E-AB0||Neon Remote Terminal - Satellite Globalstar Modem with Antenna and three Li Batteries|
|Ethernet||2017E-0B0-1 or 3||NRT Ethernet with single or triple Ethernet Ports|
with three Li Batteries
|Equatorial Orbit Satellite - Inmarsat||2018E-AB0-1 or 3||NRT Ethernet with single or triple Ethernet Ports|
with three Li Batteries
|LCD Display||2500E||NRT LCD Display|
|NRT Field Termination Strip||2103F||2015E,2016F,2017E, and 2018E NRT FTS|
|NRT Firmware Option||2303A-8M||8M Extended Memory Option|
|NRT Firmware Option||2303A-8M-CAM||8M Extended Memory & Serial Camera Option|
|NRT Firmware Option||2303A-CAM||Serial Camera Option|
|Options for Neon Application Software - Customer Server||Unidata Part Number||Description|
|Neon Application Software||2302A||Neon Server Software Licence Incl 5 NAL |
|Neon Application Software||2302A-10||Additional 10 NRT Access Licences|
|Neon Application Software||2302A-20||Additional 20 NRT Access Licences|
|Neon Application Software||2302A-50||Additional 50 NRT Access Licences|
|Options for Neon Application Software - Unidata Server||Unidata Part Number||Description|
|Neon Application Software||2301A||Neon Data Initial Subscription Setup Fee|
|Neon Hosting Service||2301A-01||Neon Data Service Fee for 1-50 NRTs|
|Neon Hosting Service||2301A-02||Neon Data Service Fee for 51-100 NRTs|
|Neon Hosting Service||2301A-10||Neon Data Service Fee Metering|
|Options for Conventional Dataloggers / Field Units||Unidata Part Number||Description|
|Standards Starlogger||6004D-11||Red Logger 512K with Alkaline Battery|
|Display Starlogger||6004D-21||Blue Logger 512K with LCD and Alkaline Battery|
|Prologger||7001D-11||Green Logger 1M with LCD and Alkaline Battery|
|Starlogger Field Termination Strip||6103E||6004D FTS|
|Prologger Field Termination Strip||7100E||7001D FTS|
|Starlog V4 Management Software||6308A-AUE||Starlog V4 Full Licence Key|