The converter extends the time between battery replacements from 10 months with the sensor being powered by batteries alone, to five years.
In Japan, efforts are being made to reduce the damage from rain and flash floods. Recently, Fujitsu rolled out its Sewer System Flood Detection Solution, which uses a sensor attached within a sewer manhole to collect water-level data, and wireless communications that transmit this data to the cloud every five minutes.
The sensor is powered by a thermoelectric converter that turns energy from temperature differentials into electricity. The converter, developed by Fujitsu Kyushu Network Technologies, extends the time between battery replacements from 10 months with the sensor being powered by batteries alone, to five years. This means that in addition to making it possible to achieve dramatic operating efficiencies, deployment costs are also kept in check as power supply installation is unnecessary. This solution can quickly detect sudden rises in the water level in drainage pipes, enabling rapid measures to limit damage resulting from flooding accompanying locally concentrated downpours. In addition, accumulated water-level data can be useful in evaluating sewer drainage plans and setting system-renovation plans.
The solution's hardware was commercialised by Fujitsu Kyushu Network Technologies, based on R&D by Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., and a fiscal 2015 field trial with the city of Koriyama in Fukushima prefecture. This solution limits systems deployment and operations management costs, and contributes to reductions in damage caused by flooding of drainage systems.