Jan 25, 2017

Shrimp Farms in India Utilize Dissolved Oxygen, pH Sensors

Sensorex provides technology to ‘Smart Village’

shrimp, farming, india, mori village, smart village, sensorex, technology

Shrimp farms in Mori Village, a pioneering “Smart Village” in India, adopted Sensorex dissolved oxygen and pH sensors. Three sets of Sensorex DO6441 dissolved oxygen (DO) and S8000 modular pH sensors have been deployed to measure water quality and key aquaculture parameters to increase the yield and efficiency of shrimp farming in the village.

The Smart Village project is a collaboration of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, and the Andrah Pradesh Government of India. The project seeks to extend the concept of connected “Smart Cities” to rural villages, where more than half of the world’s population resides. Mori Village is the first prototype of the concept. Its objective is to empower the residents in the village, by providing access to the tools and technology to carry on their entrepreneurial activities.

Shrimp farming is one of the five top industries that make up the economic base in the village of 8,000 residents, which is located in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. It has the potential for high margin returns but also can be high risk due to preventable disease. Traditionally, manual samples of the water were taken and sent to a lab, a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. The delay between taking a reading and waiting for the results meant critical time was lost in addressing any imbalances.

Once the villagers identified shrimp-farming variability as a pain point, interested tech firms were brought in to co-innovate with the villagers to develop tech solutions. Participating corporate partners include Google, IBM, and NASA. Sensorex partnered with Appscape Inc., which developed a cloud-based monitoring and control system to be used with the Sensorex probes.

One set of DO and pH sensors is deployed in three separate shrimp ponds, taking water quality readings critical to maintaining the health of the livestock. The probes are equipped with Sensorex’s 4-20mA output modules, which feed into a PLC running AppScape’s app. The app is accessed from a mobile device and displays real-time readings of pH and DO. The app enables control of the pond’s aerators, which can be operated remotely via the app. Additional app features include data logging, trend analysis, and export for reporting and records backup.

Beyond the oxygen needed by the shrimp population to survive, grow and reproduce, dissolved oxygen is essential to the aerobic decomposition of organic solids that ensures a healthy habitat. This is especially important in aquafarming applications, where the high population density can adversely impact this natural process. By monitoring with Sensorex’s DO6441, farmers immediately know if an unhealthy environment is developing. When values fall below the optimal range of 2.5 to 3.5 ppm, the ponds’ aerators can be turned on to bring more oxygen into the water. Once the correct DO level is reached, the aerators can be turned off, lowering energy consumption and overall operating costs.

Like dissolved oxygen levels, pH levels can significantly impact the health of aquaculture livestock. Extremes in pH can lead to fish kills. With monitoring, pH-altering variables like acid rain and agricultural runoff can be remediated with buffers and chemicals to restore pH balance.

Sensorex DO and pH sensors provide accurate measurement over a range of 0 to 20 ppm dissolved oxygen and 0 to 14 pH. Constructed with durable, fully submersible bodies, the probes’ flat measurement surfaces stay clean, ensuring accurate readings with low maintenance and long service life. A range of options is available to customize sensors to application needs.

The Sensorex sensors are deployed and monitoring their first crop of shrimp, with harvest expected in four to six months. The prototype Smart Village concept could potentially be applied to 650,000 Indian villages and eventually around the world. Sensorex monitoring solutions can be applied to a range of aquaculture and industrial processes to improve the quality of life in rural communities.

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