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Enabling the continuous monitoring of drinking water with an all-in-one sensor

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - CENSE (Enabling the continuous monitoring of drinking water with an all-in-one sensor)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2021-11-01 do 2022-08-31

The CENSE Integral probe combines several water quality monitoring sensors in one: temperature, turbidity, pressure, conductivity, chlorine and more. The chlorine sensor developed by the CENSE team is a brand-new technology based on a microfluidic lab-on-chip. This new technology is far more affordable than the more standard colorimetric and amperometric methods; it is also much less hazardous to handle and can withstand high pressures and challenging conditions. Installation costs are low and time to replace an existing competitor probe (with amperometric sensor) by the Integral Probe is minimal. EFS listened to and answered the needs of its customers – there has been a lot of demand for a high-performance low-cost chlorine sensor within the drinking water sector. The feasibility studies have shown that uptake the adoption of the new probe will be large, and its release to the market is much anticipated. EFS has already gained trust within the drinking water sector, thanks to the good quality of their previous water probes. Sales will be made via direct sales and indirect sales, through EFS’ extensive distributor network. The team working on CENSE is experienced and has brought multiple water probes and water sensing technologies from lab to market already. The new technology will be rolled out initially in France and Europe and finally over the world. France was chosen to be the kick-off point for several reasons: first of all EFS is based in France and has a strong network there, and secondly France is home to several global market leaders in drinking water provision: SUEZ, VEOLIA and SAUR to name a few.
The main works performed from the beginning of the project were:
- definition of the product specifications based on customers’ feedbacks
- finalization of critical components development, test and validation
- Integral Probe prototype development and validation
- 12 representative prototypes manufactured
- Prototype production line created
- In-lab tests
- Ongoing improvement (defects improvement)
- Improved lab-on chip
- Project management, quality and budget follow-up
- Coaching activities in DFMA (Design For Manufacturing and Assembly
- Marketing and Commercial activities structuring and start-up
o Dedicated marketing and commercial manager hiring
o Coaching done
o Web site update
o Video presentation of the product
o Commercial documentation (brochures)
o Commercialisation plan
o Exhibitions (Pollutec)
- In-situ-tests
o 4 probes installed and tested on 3 sites
- Dessign validation and freeze
- Marketing and Commercial
o Selling price and product costs updated
The reference solution for measuring chlorine is known as the colorimetric method. It is a standardized method (ISO7393) but is expensive and requires monthly maintenance checks, involving staff for manipulation of dangerous chemicals.
The second solution is electrochemical (or amperometric) technology which measures only one species (HOCl). It uses a set of electrodes of different materials and specific membranes. The total amount of free chlorine needs additional accurate pH and temperature measurement to be determined.
The advantages of EFS IntegralProbe compared to both the colorimetric and the electrochemical technology are showed in Tab. 1.
The IntegralProbe is more cost-effective, safer to handle and requires much less maintenance than other solutions:
- CENSE’s IntegralProbe beats on price both the electrochemical solutions.
- The IntegralProbe is more environmentally-friendly (?) than amperometric solutions and is not influenced by pH, flow or temperature variation.
- Unlike its main amperometric competitors it transfers collected data directly to the user’s server and not on a private one. Since most water companies use their own software for water management, metering and other functions, this feature is particularly interesting for the sector.
- The device is battery powered and lasts longer than one year including periodic data transmission.
- For chlorine measurement, the amperometric method is not the industry standard, therefore all sensors must be calibrated and compared with the colorimetric ISO 7393 method. This is not necessary with the IntegralProbe.
There is a clear gap in the market for a chlorine sensor that passes data directly to the company’s server, is safe to handle, priced competitively and is integrated with other sensors for temperature, pressure, turbidity and conductivity. CENSE’s IntegralProbe intends to be the solution to this problem, providing a low-cost, low-maintenance and high-performing system for measuring chlorine to water supply service providers.
CENSE IntegralProbe+ is the only low-cost, high quality, smart probe which addresses the market dema
I-CENSE is the only low-cost, high quality, smart probe and all-in-one sensor solution
EFS booth at POLLUTEC 2021 tradeshow