About the Project
An existing MacroView customer approached Sentient and asked us to provide an Internet of Things (IoT) based solution for the monitoring of their bore holes. We integrated a non-LoRa bore sensor into an existing LoRa network which we had previously set up for the client, and visualised the data on MacroView SCADA.
Sentient came up with a solution which would not only integrate this device into LoRa but also provide a platform to integrate a range of different devices, sensors and dataloggers supporting Modbus RS485 in a LoRa network.
- To integrate a third-party sensor data logging device with existing LoRa network and visualize data on SCADA.
- To gather data for pH, Conductivity, Temperature and Nitrate levels as well as battery levels for both the sensor and the LoRa node.
- To integrate the data logger, a Non-LoRa compliant device, with the existing system by developing a LoRa node which can be interfaced with the data logger.
- To determine the interfacing requirements and selection of suitable protocol.
- To create a solution which is flexible enough so it can be quickly modified if any of the sensors are replaced with different types.
- To ensure a battery powered solution.
- To determine the optimal payload size in relation to data encoding/decoding requirements.
Sentient created a solution to integrate the Modbus RS485 device with a LoRa node, developed in-house, which would send data to the LoRa gateway operating at AU915 MHz frequency. This data can be visualized and trended in MacroView (SCADA/HMI).
- LoRa has been used to provide wireless communication.
- A LoRaWAN compliant Class A node was developed and used as base LoRa device.
- Modbus RTU was implemented to interface with the data logger.
- An update rate of 50 minutes was set up to suit the application.
- A solar charger was installed on the LoRa node to keep the battery charged.
- An IP67 compliant box was used to enclose the node protecting it from direct sun light exposure and rain water.
- Data sent from the node has been integrated into the MacroView SCADA system to enable data visualisation and trending along with rest of the process data on site.
- The developed LoRa node was tested at Sentient’s lab prior to installation on site. Adjustments were made to optimise the update rate at 50 minutes and ensure effective payload extraction based on test results.
- Authenticity of the received data was a vital point to be verified. This verification was successfully completed in the lab by comparing received data with live data being displayed on the datalogger hosting the sensors.
- The node has been programmed to switch to sleep mode after sending a successful packet. A solar charger further increases power efficiency within the system.
- Both the sensor and the developed LoRa node were successfully installed on site. Sunlight and rain water exposure have been minimised through appropriate packaging.
- The node sends data as expected on an interval of 50 minutes, a configurable parameter on the node.
- MacroView trends the live data received from the sensors.