In cereal and grain storage systems, the greatest financial losses are due to two basic reasons. On the one hand, due to a lack of monitoring of the temperature and humidity of the silos, which causes poor storage conditions and, therefore, the total or partial loss of the stored merchandise. And on the other hand, due to the need to know in advance and remotely the level of their content in order to program the most effective route for trucks. However, in the IIoT society, thanks to communication equipment and the correct probes or sensors, it is possible to remotely monitor the conservation characteristics of the stored product and the filling level of the silos without the need to transfer staff to the facilities and being able to receive alerts directly on our computer or even on our mobile phones.
Device: MTX-StarSensor, 4G IoT modem for sensor monitoring, IP67, ULP and battery
Platform: Cervello Stem – IoT Platform
In storage silos there are three variables that need to be monitored periodically. On the one hand, temperature and humidity guarantee the ideal storage conditions, for which the use of a temperature and humidity sensor with industrial features and analog output is proposed. On the other hand, probably the biggest challenge is when measuring the level. Ultrasound sensors commonly used in other environments to measure the level have been shown to be useless in this case study because dusty environments tend to give wrong measurements due to reflections. However, using a radar sensor, which are immune to dust and reflections, we obtain better results and more accurate measurements.
These silos, normally found in rural, agricultural or industrial environments, are usually devoid of all types of power supply, so a self-sufficient solution is essential for years both for the sensors and for the communications equipment that will receive the data and send it to the cloud, where it will be processed. Due to this, the equipment proposed for this case study is the MTX-StarSensor.
The MTX-StarSensor is an IoT modem specially designed for sensor monitoring and control solutions in different fields. Thanks to its special firmware that takes full advantage of the Ultra Low Power features and battery management, the use of the MTX-StarSensor allows to manage analog sensors without the need for an external power source for years. Its configuration allows the device to wake up in the windows that have been configured, power the analog sensor with its own batteries, obtain the measurements, turn it off again and send the data through LTE/4G before turning off again until the next window of monitoring. Thanks to this, it allows years of operation of both the modem and the sensor without the need for an additional power source. This characteristic makes it the ideal solution for monitoring solutions in remote environments such as rural, agricultural or industrial lands.
In addition, the MTX-StarSensor has sufficient data storage capacity to also allow local collection or maintenance of information in cases of lack of coverage or failure. Once the data is collected and stored, it is transformed and sent through MQTTs to the Cervello Stem IoT Platform, where it is analyzed and graphically displayed on a dashboard to suit the final customer. Furthermore, both in Cervello and in the modem’s own firmware, alarms can be configured in the event of temperature or humidity peaks that jeopardize storage conditions.
The IP67 case makes the MTX-StarSensor a robust communication device, shockproof and prepared for harsh environments loaded with heat and humidity, making it an all-terrain equipment specially prepared to provide monitoring solutions in agricultural and industrial environments.