Done in partnership with:
Croatian organic collection service, situated in the vicinity of Zagreb wanted to introduce a new way of dealing with compost overheating. In order to keep the right balance when these materials would be breaking down, they would need to manually check and constantly mix the compost heap to keep the temperature below 75 °C. If the temperature rose above this threshold they would be risking killing the beneficial microbes, which impacts the quality of the compost and drives prices down. In addition, composts produced at higher temperatures produce excess ammonia that spreads an unpleasant smell into residential areas which is also dangerous for human health.
Temperature plays a key role in the compost management process.
- Workers at organic waste collection services have to manually check the temperature of compost.
- Unpleasant smell spreading and health risk
- Lower price of low-quality compost produced at high temperature
Our development team designed a specialized sensor, called the KOU10 made specifically for composts. It measures temperature up to 1,5m deep in the compost. When the temperature rises to 75 °C the dashboard notifies workers and they can initiate the compost heap turning. With KOU10 sensors we easily predict when certain piles will reach this threshold sooner, meaning workers can already be prepared for the turning process in advance.
- One full-time employer was previously needed to manually measure compost
- Predicting and planning compost heap turning
- No unpleasant smell of ammonia.
- 10-months ROI
KOU10 is a cost-effective compost temperature probe.
Comparing different types of compost temperature checking solutions brings up an obvious advantage to the automated readings provided by IoT smart sensors. A simple calculation shows that labor costs over a 5 year period, result in extremely high expenditures. While temperature readings seem simple, it still takes a lot of time for a worker to go around the compost area and stuff the temperature probes into compost piles. Because the temperature changes during the day, I presumed it takes about half a person to do that constantly (having the other half for other activities). IoT sensors provide automatic readings, but there are other costs that have to be taken into account. The probes themselves are more expensive, there has to be some kind of software or middleware installed in the base computer to provide the readings. Then there is also battery life. If we compare WiFi or cellular to LoRaWAN, there is also a noticeable edge on the side of high performance, low power, and affordable connectivity. LoRaWAN networks provide long-range, low-energy use readings which result in almost maintenance-free operation over a 7-year battery lifetime. They also have a significantly longer range (up to 50km) which means there can be only one gateway installed over a large compost management area.
It operates on LoRaWAN technology and lasts up to 7 years on one set of batteries.