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Mountain View, CA, United States, 2010/10/08 - A combination of factors, ranging from water scarcity, terrorism, and environmental concerns, has necessitated the implementation of new water sensing technologies.
With increasing prices of water and the risk of poisoning, water management has assumed critical proportions globally. Industrial companies have started to deploy water treatment plants and cities have begun implementing detailed on-line monitoring of drinking water distribution channels.
Analysis from Frost & Sullivan (technicalinsights.frost.com), Water Quality and Industrial Fluid Diagnostic Sensors, finds that the water industry and related technologies are attracting huge attention and water quality sensors will be one of the key beneficiaries of this advancing technology transition.
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"Water sensors, unlike other sensor technologies, are exposed to chemically aggressive environments, making the roll out of novel technologies a major challenge," notes Technical Insights Research Analyst Igor Derylo. "However, developers are exploring methods to deal with this issue and new technological replacements are expected in water related sectors such as drinking water distribution, and waste water."
Lab-on-a-chip and MEMS-based systems, featuring industrial connectivity options, will shift the paradigm of water or fluid testing. In the traditional method, samples are taken to the laboratory for analysis and the process is both time consuming and costly. However, the new technologies enable on-line monitoring of fluid quality; ensuring close to real-time responses to water quality changes and quick reaction.
In order to effectively manage both drinkable and processed water, it is necessary to install reliable sensors. Developers are striving to provide sensors that are reagent-less, miniaturized, and measure multiple parameters. Although the task is challenging, early successes have been observed.
Going forward, mega trends, such as water price increase as well as the growing risk of sabotage and terrorism in developed countries, will finally retire current technology and accelerate the adoption of new water quality measurement approaches. In Seoul, South Korea, advanced water quality monitoring gives almost real-time data on water parameters in intake installations and distribution channels, and the data is available online. The proximity of an unfriendly country was perhaps one of the factors driving advanced installation.
"On the commercial side the problem of water management is being considered to ensure lower energy consumption and environmental protection," says Derylo. "Thus, advanced sensors will be needed just as much as energy efficient devices and processes, as companies scout around for novel sensing technologies to take their solutions to the next level."
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