Algae Lab Systems’ AlgaeConnect 2.0
August 25, 2016
lgae Lab Systems has announced their new line of algae pond and PBR monitoring and control systems. AlgaeConnect 2.0 incorporates rugged outdoor ready monitoring modules within a fully autonomous wireless network, with simple tablet and phone access on site.
Individual SPARC boxes are installed on each pond or PBR to interface with sensors and control devices. The SPARC boxes communicate wirelessly with the central server over a mesh network, wherein each SPARC unit can act as a wireless repeater to its neighbors extending the total range. The SPARC boxes are lightweight, low power, water proof and heat resistant, and can be interfaced with a single solar panel for autonomous power. They run autonomously, so that even if the central server is turned off, they maintain their control duties with regards to pH levels, temperature, lights or other devices.
On site with WiFi, tablets and phones can connect directly to the AlgaeConnect software running on the central server, the “HubBox.” This allows technicians to roam the site with the ability to read all sensor and control status values in the farm from their phones. Off site, remote access can be enabled with port forwarding.
The AlgaeConnect software has been rebuilt from the ground up using the latest HTML5 and JS tools, with rich responsive charting, new control algorithms specific to algae growth, logging of all calibrations and control events, user permission levels, and many added features. All configuration tasks are now performed directly in the software with the easy to use dashboard. A full-featured 10-pond system can be configured in about 15 minutes by non-experts. True one-click retrieval of the database to an Excel ready file has been added. Help manuals are now embedded into the software, with Getting Started, Software Manual, and Sensor Use and Care documents included.
As before, the AlgaeConnect software can export real time values of all sensor and control values to external software packages over Ethernet, so that users can embed the monitoring and control features of AlgaeConnect directly into their own software packages such as SCADA or others.
The AlgaeConnect 2.0 line has been in deployment since May 2016, with customers on four continents, and for existing customers, the software improvements have addressed most of the limitations of the previous generation. For new customers, the ability to communicate wirelessly with ponds over longer distances and the convenient tablet access has been a real differentiator.
According to Jeremy Weir of Commercial Algae Professionals, “AlgaeConnect was developed specifically for the algae industry. It has evolved over the years and is now one of the best products available for controlling your algae culture. The equipment takes full advantage of the current wireless technology to send sensor data from the SPARC unit directly to the controller. You can even monitor the units from your tablet or phone! The algae industry is evolving and it is great to have products evolve with it!”