Cathodic protection and IoT: process monitored with innovative solutions

Control is remote at measuring points

The world of cathodic protection monitoring is moving closer and closer to IoT (Internet of Things) technology, integrating solutions into monitoring products that enable cost reduction and exploitation of the communication standards offered by this new frontier.
Until a few years ago, large batteries or external power sources were required, which made it difficult or prohibitively expensive to install in simple measuring points made from “clamshell” roadside containers.
Effective systems made by Onyax provide a simple and cost-effective answer to cathodic protection monitoring requirements for water, gas and energy distribution and transport networks.

Low-power and NB-IoT

Onyax, thanks to its experience and design skills in the field of electronic engineering, has conducted research activities to adopt new technologies through the implementation of NB-IoT (Narrow Band – Internet of Things) networks in cathodic protection potential measurement products.
This research activity, coupled with precise low-power design techniques, has enabled the realisation of devices such as CUBE-CAT, which are smaller, cheaper and use standard communication protocols.

The CUBE-CAT IoT solution

The first design aspect was to realise the CUBE-CAT device, i.e. an IoT object that allows the acquisition of 4 analogue channels, to detect the measurement of ON, OFF potentials and current density in plate electrodes and to monitor voltage and current in power supplies and drains. CUBE-CAT also has two digital inputs useful for identifying alarms and events such as door opening or power failure.
The second task was to integrate a communication solution that can operate with both standard GSM/GPRS (traditional mobile network) and NB-IoT CAT M1 or NB1 (mobile IoT network).
The last aspect is the integration of standard protocols, i.e. the use of JSON semantics on HTTPS or MQTTS support to allow the easy integration of CUBE-CAT with commercial and commercially available servers or HUB-IoTs.

Better performance and 60% lower operating costs

CUBE-CAT makes it possible to deploy an IoT solution for cathodic protection monitoring, exploiting this new standard in feeders or drains as well as at characteristic measuring points.
In addition, the new technology makes it possible to acquire information more efficiently, improving, for example, the LOG discharge processes required by current regulations for railway crossings or the battery life of the device.
The significant cost savings achieved by reducing the overall dimensions and batteries (both in number and in useful life) and by exploiting less expensive networks, has led to a significant reduction in both investment costs (to the tune of 40%) and operating costs (up to 60%) compared to current competing products.

A response to industry needs

The introduction of IoT technology has finally made it possible to respond to all current technical and economic demands in the field of cathodic protection monitoring.
Finally, there are considerable advantages in new installations due to the standardisation of connections and the ease of configuration and management via smartphone.
With CUBE-CAT, Onyax has added another piece to its innovative offer for monitoring water, gas and energy distribution and transport networks.


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