New technology funded through the City of Greater Geelong’s Clean Technology Grant is helping to reduce the risk of fires in local garden organics facilities. 

A pilot program at the City of Greater Geelong’s Garden Organics Processing Facility in Anakie is using a fleet of new 4G, weather-proof, solar-powered temperature sensors.  

The $26,000 grant was awarded in 2019 through Cleantech Innovations Geelong, a business and industry support program funded by the City of Greater Geelong, the Victorian Government, and the Geelong Manufacturing Council.

The new devices, which were developed by Sequence Digital, will monitor 10,000m3 of garden organics – the equivalent of four Olympic-sized swimming pools – collected from household green bins across Greater Geelong.

City of Greater Geelong Mayor and Chair of the Innovative Solutions portfolio, Peter Murrihy, said the grant was used to develop the device, which can remotely measure and log the temperature of organic material.

“Compost can get really hot and ignite, so using remote, round-the-clock monitoring means we can improve safety on site and process organics more efficiently,” Mayor Murrihy said.

“The data is available in real time, so our staff know straight away if there’s an issue with higher temperatures and they can take action quickly to cool down the material.

“This initiative is an example of the clever and creative ways we are deploying smart technology to support better outcomes for our environment and community.”

Innovative Solutions Deputy Chair, Councillor Sarah Mansfield, said the new Geelong Garden Organics Composting Facility between Anakie and Lovely Banks processes up to 35,000t per year of green organics collected from garden waste bins.

“Around 50 per cent of the rubbish Australians put in the garbage bin could be put to better use as compost and mulch,” Cr Mansfield said.

“The temperature monitoring means we can safely and efficiently process organics while reducing our impact on the environment.”

Co-director of Sequence Digital, Patrick Blampied, said the industrial temperature sensor has a ground-breaking design with the ability to operate in remote areas where the internet signal is weak, and the weather conditions are extreme.

“These devices are tough as nails and send critical temperature data to the cloud in real-time, rain, hail or shine, even in areas with patchy rural internet connectivity,” Mr Blampied said.

“The Cleantech Innovations grant made it possible to redesign our earlier prototype from the ground-up to make sure it could be used in the most remote outdoor organics facilities across Australia.”

For more information visit Cleantech Innovations Geelong.

Featured image: City of Greater Geelong Mayor, Peter Murrihy, with Geelong Manufacturing Council CEO, Jennifer Conley, and Co-Directors of Sequence Digital, Patrick Blampied and Raj Pandita. Image: Reg Ryan. 

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