Your Air and Water Deserve a Chance

Can we learn from the Industrial Internet of Things for air and water monitoring?
By Edward Pultar
Apr 17, 2017

Perhaps you figure that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is all about monitoring industrial equipment like pumps, generators, motors, gauges, switches and other gadgets classically considered to be industrial. Think again!

Well, you're right that the IIoT helps your organization monitor industrial assets. And yet, so there's so much more. How about measuring air quality and pollution? Or monitoring water? Our world needs more effective solutions for remote monitoring. The IIoT has plenty of knowledge to share that helps us perform environmental monitoring.

Air and water deserve a fair chance, too. They need to be monitored with sensors and the IIoT in ways similar to how industrial equipment is managed. Alerts need to be sent when something goes awry—for example, if the health of aquifers or water levels go too low, or if air pollution and particulates go too high. This is critical for operations to run smoothly. And for your health—and for the health of your family and others you care about.

Your health and your family's health are directly affected by air quality and pollution. Did you know that every year, millions of people die from issues caused by air quality and pollution? Clean water becomes more of a global issue with each passing day. Your air and water are becoming ever-increasing challenges as each second of your life goes by.

You need air and water to survive every day of your life. What would you do without it? How many days could you live without air or water? What would you do if they were contaminated and polluted?

Robust, reliable IIoT technologies provide an opportunity for effective air and water monitoring, via rugged, proven-in-the-field sensors and technology, like industry-standard sensor protocols and languages (4-20mA, 0-10V, RS-232), as well as adaptable power sources. For example, solar panels receive power from the Sun to power remote monitoring systems, or the IIoT can be powered by standard mains power, like 110- or 220-volt, to monitor air and water for our safety.

Going into the danger zone of a hydrogen sulfide or industrial refinery leak in your neighborhood? Or is the danger zone coming to your community in the form of flash flooding? IIoT technologies offer organizations situational awareness for better productivity. This helps protect your health, safety and bottom line, since IIoT connectivity options are so flexible. Between global cell networks like GSM, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and new networking technologies like Sigfox, Ingenu and LoRa, your organization picks the Internet cloud gateway connectivity that's most appropriate for each deployment.

Having the options of pretty much any power and Internet connectivity makes remotely monitoring air and water make sense. There's no need for risking human lives or using your time to drive for hours to the field to measure water wells, pressure transducer level sensors and flow meters logging data on water usage.

These days, IIoT Web-based dashboards let organizations gain intelligence from the comfort of any device, like your tablet or smartphone, from anywhere in the world, and be quickly alerted in case an automatic response needs to be generated if an environmental sensor threshold has been crossed. For example, work orders, inspection requests and other triggers can be fired off in cityworks and other business-intelligence and analytics systems like Esri ArcGIS. This triggers real-world responses to immediately help fix any problems or issues.

By now, you probably realize the power of the IIoT, especially when it's applied to monitoring air quality, pollution, fluids and water. This applies specifically to you, as well as to organizations and environmental consultancies like Blue Tomorrow, private businesses, public entities, government agencies responsible for compliance such as California's Air Quality Management District (www.aqmd.gov), cities and communities, and everyone else in your world.

Monitoring our air and water becomes more critical each and every day. We need to bring in all of the techniques we can, like the Industrial Internet of Things, to effectively monitor our environment. It's a gigantic challenge—but one we'll stick with if we, and our future generations, want to survive.

With his brother Lorenzo, Dr. Edward Pultar, Ph.D., founded Valarm, an Industrial Internet of Things company. Valarm provides rapid, effective deployment of geo-enabled, real-time, mobile and stationary sensor networks. The company connects any sensor (existing in the field or brand-new) to Valarm Tools Cloud, and delivers your information in your dashboards and business intelligence and analytics systems. Valarm specializes in providing ready-to-go packages for you and your teams to easily monitor your assets (water, air quality, pollution and fluids) for any number of factors (flow rate, volume and quality).

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