Monitoring Waste Containers and Silos Using Time-of-Flight (ToF) Level Monitoring

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

Out With the Old. In With the Tof.

Sensors used in silo level monitoring have usually been overly simplistic or mechanical, failing to generate the full amount of information required for proactive level monitoring and inventory management.

Whilst ultrasound sensors do combat some of these challenges, they leave others; usually inadequate range, bouncing sound signals within the silo, signal absorption by the silo contents, and higher power consumption. These constraints result in inaccurate data and installations which are more expensive and complex.

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.

Mohamed Fall, GreenSysTech CEO

GreenSysTech decided to utilize the TeraRanger Evo 60m sensor, integrating this into their water and dust protected (IP65 rated), plug and play level monitoring device.

Fall continues, “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.”

It was initially created for deep silo level monitoring, but the device can be applied to a number of applications where level-monitoring is vital, including water level management, inventory level tracking, smart waste management, replenishment and some oil industry applications.

In addition to fill-level data, the GreenSysTech device supplies other crucial statistics (humidity, temperature, etc.), communicates over LoraWan, runs on two 3V lithium manganese batteries and can achieve battery autonomy between four and eight years. Four years is based on one measurement and transmission every six hours.

Eight years is for one measurement every 12 hours and one transmission every 24 hours. Measurement frequencies can be altered with simple Over The Air (OTA) commands and interfaces for other comms standards, like Sigfox are possible.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Terabee.

For more information on this source, please visit Terabee.

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