Water Quality Data Logger for Monitoring Coal Mine Runoff
Water Quality Monitoring Solutions from dataTaker
CAS DataLoggers provided an intelligent water quality data logging solution for an open-cut coal mine to monitor high salinity water runoff into local retaining ponds with a Water Quality Data Logger. The water from these retention ponds could only be released into the local river system when it was of sufficient quality to have no effect on the irrigation supplies for the surrounding farming district. Therefore it was necessary to closely monitor water quality in the lagoons for several key parameters including pH, salinity, and turbidity.
Mine management searched for a data logging system with the versatility to connect to a wide range of sensors that was capable of remote communications to allow convenient access to real-time and stored data. The data logger also had to offer low power operation with the ability to operate off a solar panel since mains power was not available at the remote sites.
The coal mine choose a dataTaker DT80 Universal Input Data Logger to monitor the quality of the coal mine water discharge. The data logger was mounted in a weatherproof enclosure suitable for outdoor exposure at the monitoring site. The DT80 was connected to a variety of sensors to allow measurement of conductivity (salinity), turbidity, pH, and water levels as well as thermocouples for water and air temperature.
For example, the turbidity meter used to monitor the cleanliness of the water output a 4-20 mA current signal proportional to the turbidity. This current was passed through a simple shunt resistor to generate a voltage which was then measured and automatically scaled by the DT80. For powering the data logger, a small solar panel, charge controller and battery providing 12 VDC were connected directly to the data logger providing uninterrupted operation without external AC power.
The DT80 data logger is a very cost-effective device that can function as a Water Quality Data Logger for Monitoring Coal Mine Runoff for water quality and environmental monitoring. It offers expandability to 100 channels or 300 single-ended analog inputs, and also features digital channels, high-speed counter inputs, SDI-12 and serial sensor channels for connection to almost any type of analog or smart sensor.
The stand-alone data logger features a built-in display and keypad, high accuracy 18-bit measurement resolution, and dataTaker’s renowned robustness and durability providing reliable low-power operation even under extreme conditions. The dataTaker data logger can store as many as 10 million data points in internal memory, offering control of allocation and storage mode allowing users to record exactly what and how much as needed.
The DT80’s extensive communications capabilities include 2 RS232 ports with modem support, USB, Ethernet and USB memory stick ports so users could connect to the datalogger locally, remotely or over the Internet. The serial and Ethernet ports also support Modbus slave and master functionality allowing connection to Modbus sensors and devices and to SCADA systems for advanced control capabilities.
The DT80’s built-in web and FTP server enable remote access to logged data, configuration and diagnostics. Additionally, the dataTaker DT80 comes with built-in dEX web-based software featuring an intuitive graphical interface enabling operators to configure the data logger, view real-time data in dashboards, create trend charts and tables, and retrieve historical data for analysis. dEX runs in any standard web browser and could be accessed locally or remotely, anywhere that a TCP/IP connection was available including globally over the Internet.
In this water quality monitoring application, remote telemetry via Freewave spread spectrum radio modems was used to create a wireless link from the logger to central PC in the mine’s office. This connection allowed personnel to remotely observe changes in water quality in real-time during water management operations such as mixing water from different sources. For on-going operations, periodic connections were made to the dataTaker for mine water discharge monitoring. At these same intervals, the data was downloaded and saved to a database, allowing for data backup and long-term environmental monitoring. Finally, the wireless connection also enabled users to remotely adjust calibration parameters in the data logger in the event of a sensor replacement or to make program modification required by authorities.
The coal mine’s water discharge monitoring operation benefitted significantly following installation of the dataTaker DT80 intelligent data logger, primarily by enabling measurement of all the different types of water quality parameters–all this data was made available through a single device. Personnel were also able to keep a constant watch on the data using the data logger’s remote access capabilities and rely on the logger to send the data to their company database for storage. The dataTaker’s included dEX software made configuration simple and was easy to navigate for both novice and experienced users.
For more info on the dataTaker DT80 Universal Input Data Logger, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Specialist at (800) 956-4437 or request more information.