Recently, I involve in one of research project that design bio reactor platform for waste water treatment. The platform is aimed to assist the researcher in experimenting several phases of waste water treatment. For measuring quality and condition of the water, several water quality parameters need to be known. Therefore, the design also includes some sensors that need to be integrated to our system.
The researcher needs to monitor pH, DO, ORP, temperature of their experiment. Based on this request, I have performed some searching and benchmarking among some brands of sensor. It includes YSI, Global Water, Hanna Instrument, Thermoscientific, Vernier, and Horiba. Some considerations in deciding the one that we will use are capability to be interfaced with our developed software (communication and availability of protocol), simplicity, application (field or lab use), possibility to be submerged, and absolutely price.
After some meeting and justification, we decide to use Horiba brand. This brand satisfies some of our considerations. This brand provide clear protocol on how to communicate with over serial interface. It is also simple to be used. Some sensors just need filling solution and some standards storage to keep it on its optimal performance. There is also variety of sensors such as pH, DO, ORP, temperature, Ion, and conductivity. Complete catalogs can be accessed here. Horiba also provides selection of sensor that possible to be used on field or lab use. Some of the sensors are also waterproofed thus it can be submerged. Significantly, among other brands, Horiba offers more competitive price for similar specification of sensor. In addition, physical design of the sensor and controller is also simple but rigid and complies with design of our system that based on automation theme. The following figures show controller and set of sensors that we used.
Our team has developed the system, hardware and software, for the platform. Some study has been done and the platform is almost complete. By the time I make this post, we still do some reliability testings and perform some adjustment. Here are preview of the interface design.
Based on this project, I have been motivated to deal with need of this sensor to be used in more simple experiment. The detail can be read over here.