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Autonomous wireless sensors driven by harvested vibration energy for leak detection in water mains (ADVOCATE)
Start date: Sep 1, 2013, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Advocate project consortium, led by ULEFOS ESCO AS from Norway, aims to develop smart gate valves which will be used in the detection and management of water leaks through employing autonomous wireless sensor nodes in an underground MESH network powered by a unique, vibration energy harvesting system.The amount of leaked water in Europe, per year, is estimated to cost society approximately €80 billion. To reduce this huge cost burden on society, the ADVOCATE consortium will develop innovative gate valves on water and waste water pipes. Valves will automatically monitor for leaks and overall water/wastewater pressure in the system. A vibration energy harvesting system will generate enough power that these same valves could be monitored in a network of wireless sensors. These new innovative valves, whose intellectual property rights will be owned by the SMEs of this project, will then be sold to water and sewage utilities and municipal authorities, providing consortium members additional € 46.5 million of additional sales during 5 years after the project.The technological challenges that will be overcome with the assistance of the RTOs are:1) MESH network of smart water and waste water valves that can be remotely monitored and controlled;2) Modified pressure sensors for detection of leaks;3) The vibration energy harvesting and power management system that will power the smart gate vales.The individual SMEs, European society and water user worldwide will benefit by:-the increased detection and prevention of water leaks, using ADVOCATE system, leading to € 800 million savings per annum;- municipalities and water utilities will be able to monitor the status of and manage their underground water and waste water assets (i.e. for fire fighting, drinking water, wastewater disposal etc.);- reduced cost of water to society and how much consumer pays for water.

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