Na­ture ben­e­fits from boom­ing sen­sor in­dus­try

China Daily (USA) - - IOT@ WUXI - By CANG WEI

With the help of 1,800 sen­sors, the Wuxi En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Bureau man­ages to mon­i­tor 30,800 fac­to­ries across the city that pro­duce pol­lu­tion.

More than 30,000 pieces of in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing about 100 kinds of pol­lu­tants are sent from the sen­sors to the bureau on a daily ba­sis, which en­ables it to learn about changes in the city’s air, wa­ter and soil qual­ity.

The sen­sors, in­stalled af­ter the bureau ini­ti­ated an in­ter­net of things pro­gram, en­able mon­i­tor­ing from afar.

“Spe­cial soft­ware has been de­signed for an­a­lyz­ing the col­lected data,” said Tang Hao, gen­eral man­ager of Wuxi High-Tech IoT De­vel­op­ment Co. “The data anal­y­sis can show emis­sions of pol­lu­tants, man­age­ment con­di­tions and en­vi­ron­men­tal qual­ity clearly.”

“One type of soft­ware can re­lease the re­sults of the anal­y­sis to the pub­lic on the in­ter­net im­me­di­ately and en­ables in­ter­ac­tion with peo­ple,” Tang said.

“Other soft­ware al­lows en­vi­ron­men­tal work­ers to deal with the pol­lu­tion di­rectly, and en­ables users to ac­quire the whole pic­ture of the city’s pol­lu­tion,” Tang said.

Through the pro­gram, the air qual­ity of every area of the city, from any time of day, can be seen. It can also of­fer air qual­ity fore­casts for up to 72 hours to the pub­lic.

Ac­cord­ing to the en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion bureau, the pro­gram can pre­dict air qual­ity for the next five days, but to en­sure ac­cu­racy, only the next 72 hours’ fore­casts are re­leased to the pub­lic.

“Ex­perts can rely on the data col­lected by the pro­gram to draw con­clu­sions and make de­ci­sions,” said Tang. “As peo­ple are pay­ing more and more at­ten­tion to air pol­lu­tion, the pro­gram will play an im­por­tant role in their lives.”

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, one of the prob­lems in deal­ing with air qual­ity is that sources of pol­lu­tants can

The data anal­y­sis can show emis­sions of pol­lu­tants, man­age­ment con­di­tions and en­vi­ron­men­tal qual­ity clearly.” Tang Hao, gen­eral man­ager of Wuxi High-Tech IoT De­vel­op­ment Co

hardly be traced. But with the pro­gram’s help, pro­fes­sion­als can tell what kinds of pol­lu­tants come from which fac­to­ries, and then lo­cate the com­pa­nies dis­charg­ing the pol­lu­tion.

The pro­gram also mon­i­tors the wa­ter qual­ity of Taihu Lake, one of the five largest fresh­wa­ter lakes in China, and the growth of cyanobac­te­ria, also known as blue-green al­gae.

Since May 2007, when a se­vere out­break of al­gae broke out in the city’s wa­ter sup­ply, the toxic al­gae has be­come the main prob­lem for the lake that pro­vides wa­ter to more than 6.5 mil­lion peo­ple.

Now en­vi­ron­men­tal work­ers can com­pare the data col­lected from dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the lake at dif­fer­ent times, and view all the data on the same screen for ref­er­ence.

Fi­nanced by the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, the pro­gram can be pro­moted to other cities. It has been rec­om­mended by the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion and the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion.

LU YI / FOR CHINA DAILY

One of the buoys pow­ered by so­lar en­ergy on Taihu Lake in Wuxi. With seven sen­sors, it can send the en­vi­ron­men­tal data it col­lects, in­clud­ing al­gae in­ten­sity, back to lo­cal au­thor­i­ties for anal­y­sis.

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