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CIT Researchers take the drudge out of sludge

CIT Researchers take the drudge out of sludge

Published on: Friday, 20 December 2013

Enterprise Ireland has awarded a grant of €263,000 to CIT’s Nimbus Centre to commercialise a water-network maintenance business idea. FOGMON monitors grease traps using smart systems, providing preventative diagnosis, and informing the owner when action is required to maintain trouble-free operation.

Grease traps are a frequent source of trouble for businesses in the catering industry, costly to repair and difficult to diagnose. Unknown to the general public, there are tens of thousands of such traps in the country, regularly blocking up, overflowing, and causing potential issues for water supplies in our cities. Without grease traps the water system we take for granted would clog up in weeks.

The international opportunity for this technology is enormous with in excess of 10 million such traps in the USA alone. The system will be retrofittable to existing systems. Maintenance contractors can avoid unnecessary journeys, while ensuring they get to a trouble-spot in time to prevent pipe blockages.

This is another example of the application of Nimbus Centre smart technology to solve issues with ageing infrastructure and develop an elegant practical solution which saves time, hassle and money while, in tandem, providing employment through technology development and exports.

The major benefit will be avoiding a full grease trap creating a major problem in a pipe, which might then have to be dug up and completely replaced. The project will be carried out over the next 18 months; field trials will take place to prove the concept and the equipment that will be created by Nimbus for the project. Contractors can then roll out the new equipment and monitoring system to businesses like hotels and restaurants, generating new jobs and exports.

Nimbus is an expert centre for embedded systems, where they develop sensors, data transmission and computer systems for everyday products and situations. It employs over 60 highly skilled technical staff, and has a strong track record of engaging with industry – over 400 companies to date – to create new ideas and start-up businesses.

The Water Systems and Services Innovation Centre (WSSIC) is a joint venture between Cork City Council, Cork County Council and the Nimbus Centre at Cork Institute of Technology.

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