canal monitoring

100,000 IoT Sensors Monitor A 1,400-Kilometer Canal

The massive Internet-of-things (IoT) network that quietly monitors the middle road is impressive in itself. More than 100,000 individual sensors are located on the 1,400-kilometer waterway linking the Danjiangkou Reservoir to Beijing and Tianjin. During the past year, he has swept the canal to detect structural damage, monitor water quality and flows, and monitor intruders, whether they are humans or animals.

IoT network planning dates back to 2014. Team, including Dr. Wuxiong Zhang, associate professor at SIMIT, Chinese Academy of Sciences spent two weeks traveling through the canal, assessing his needs.

They saw a lot of challenges as listed:

  • The water traversed regions prone to earthquakes, making infrastructure vulnerable to damage.
  • The water’s flow would need to be controlled so that none of it would go to waste.
  • Its quality would also need to be checked periodically to ensure no pollutants or toxins made their way into city drinking water supplies.
  • In some places, local villagers scaled the fence to fish or swim in the water. That created safety risks.

Team grouped the challenges they saw into three broad categories—infrastructure, water, and security—and, after some discussions, settled on more than 130 different kinds of internet-connected sensors to install along the canal. Infrastructure sensors measuring stress, strain, vibration, displacement, earth pressure, and water seepage, were embedded in the ground adjacent to the canal and in the concrete banks and bridges as well as the 50 dams built to control the water’s flow.

Probes that measure water quality and flow rate were attached to the steel support columns that hold up the bridges. Video cameras were spaced every 500 meters along the entire structure.

SenseGrow IoT cloud platform to Monitor the Canal

Canal Monitoring was too challenging, Our platform ioEYE serve well! providing the IoT monitoring to get the data from the sensor, devices and bringing it to real-time dashboard.

The best part of monitoring the canal "There are many sensors around the canal collecting an enormous amount of data. "We want to leverage that data. Our Team think it should be easy to incorporate information such as the waiting time at the locks and locking times -- the time it takes to fill a lock".

"Now a particular lock can fill at a particular rate, but the water pressure is often variable, so the fill rate may change over time. Now, bearing in mind that the canal is doing around 60 lockages a day, per lock, a slight difference could add 120 minutes to the time. Thanks to the IoT we can now take those variables into account."

These efficiencies over time mean the number of vessels transiting the canal has increased. It is all part of the overall plan, which is to operate the canal on a just-in-time basis.