by Roy Martin Emmerich, South Africa (PPRE 2008/09)
Infinite Fingers GmbH and Membran-Filtrations-Technik GmbH have partnered to develop a prototype renewable energy powered, micro reverse osmosis water desalination plant, called the RO-SEA 100, for initial implementation in rural Columbia. Membran-Filtrations-Technik brings the expertise in the field of water desalination while Infinite Fingers built the custom off-grid energy supply system and developed an innovative platform, consisting of hard and software components, for the monitoring and control of the remotely installed system. The Infinite Fingers hardware controller provides round-the-clock monitoring of the operational status of both the energy supply and desalination components of the system, regardless of equipment manufacturer. The cloud based visualisation of the data retrieved from the remote system is presented in an easily interpreted graphical format, enabling decision-makers to initiate proactive maintenance steps when required. The software embedded in the Infinite Fingers controller will automatically shut down or alter settings in response to trigger signals sent from the devices being monitored (e.g. lithium battery state of charge). The remote monitoring of this prototype and the data logged from its operation will be key evidence to prove the long term sustainable operation of the reverse osmosis system, so that the project may be expanded to implement and proactively maintain a fleet of these systems, starting in Columbia and expanding to other parts of the world.
Both Infinite Fingers and Membran-Filtrations-Technik are committed to ensuring the long-term operation of the RO-SEA desalination units as their innovative business model relies on profit from water sales and not the sale of systems. This highly technical solution will ultimately provide a social solution, namely delivery of clean drinking water to remote communities, but the two companies see even more potential for further services arising from this project, such as electricity sales or a water bottling plant to enable water distribution to even more remote locations. For Infinite Fingers, this project represents just one application among many for their manufacturer agnostic off-grid monitoring and control platform in the field of fleet management of off-grid systems.
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