Flooding is one of the major disasters occurring in various parts of the world. It can wipe away property, trees and even lives. The system for real-time flood monitoring: water level and precipitation level, was developed to be employed in a flood-prone area of Austria.
The Chorinsky-Klause is a historic dam located in the Weißenbach Valley in Austria. It has protected the local town from floods since its construction in the early 19th century. However, the location is too remote and difficult to reach to maintain, especially in Winter. Hartl Consulting and Milesight partnered to bring real-time data and management together. With LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) technology, an efficient flood monitoring solution was deployed, collecting water level data and generating reports for better management.
Limited Network Coverage
There was little network coverage and no electricity supply available in the project area. Besides, wired network deployment is often quite expensive and takes a long time to complete.
Time & Labour
Flooding would occur when water overflows from the river after heavy rainfall or snowmelt and it can happen at any time of the year. Frequent checks and management were necessary. However, in this case, it was difficult given the Chorinsky-Klause is located in a very remote valley in the Austrian Alps and there is only a small dirt road leading to it.
The water conditions can be monitored remotely by utilising wireless sensors and gateways connected to LoRaWAN to transmit the measured data to the applications.
The flood monitoring system has demonstrated the applicability of the sensors to wirelessly monitor real-time water conditions. The project owners are glad to finally have data on this torrent. In the past, it wasn’t possible to check the water level of the dam without visiting the site to measure it manually.
Several sensors were installed around the dam for measuring the water level and weather data in the dam basin. The team installed an EM500-UDL Ultrasonic Distance/Level Sensor and an EM500-SWL Submersible Water Level Sensor next to the dam to measure the upstream water level every 10 minutes. Further downstream there is another EM500-UDL Ultrasonic Distance/Level Sensor to measure the water level after the dam every 10 minutes.
To collect and transmit data, the team installed two Gateways to cover the project area, UG67 Outdoor LoRaWAN® Gateway and UG85 LoRaWAN® Gateway.
UG67 Outdoor LoRaWAN® Gateway is located at the beginning of the valley where there is a small town. The Gateway is placed on a small tower of the local fire brigade and is connected to the electricity grid.
The second gateway, UG85 Outdoor LoRaWAN® Gateway is located right next to the dam and is connected to a solar panel and an external GSM antenna. The data is sent to The Things Network and then via MQTT to a PostgreSQL database and visualised with Grafana.
Time & Cost Saving
The LoRaWAN® technology is suited to equip and monitor remote areas with sensors, the solution saves lots of time wasted by heading back and forth. On top of that, it reduces labour costs, as staff do not need to make the trip as often as before for inspection.
Low Power & Low Cost
The great advantage of the system is the high energy efficiency of the sensors. With only one battery charge, sensors can provide data for several years. The system is very easily expandable and scalable, as a single gateway can communicate with several hundred sensors. Since the system operates in the allocation-free frequency range around 868 MHz, no license costs or SIM cards are necessary.
Robust Long-Range Coverage
The sensors are compatible with industry standard LoRaWAN® gateways that have a range of up to 15 km in rural areas. This is especially useful in the alpine region, the system can collect data from remote areas where there is no cell phone network coverage, such as in the area of the Chorinsky-Klause.
Real-Time Data & Alerts
Before it wasn’t possible to check the water level of the dam without going there. Now the staff can gather detailed data on the dam, as well as alert the local town of upcoming floods in advance.
Data-Based Insights & Management
With the new data available, staff can document any floods and analyse past events for better management. Planning for the future is made easier since a lot of data is made available, such as water levels, precipitation, temperature, etc.
The new flood monitoring system makes it easier to forecast upcoming floods, send out warnings and analyse past events. Users can now view real-time synced data of the water conditions, directly from the web or via applications. In addition, both gateways can be accessed and reviewed via our ‘Device Hub’ web/application interfaces, which makes it handier for device management.