Moana is the largest Maori owned Fisheries Company in New Zealand and operates a commercial Pāua farm on the East Coast of Northland. The Pāua grown at this facility are some of the highest quality farmed Pāua (also known internationally as Blue Abalone) in the world.
In order to grow well, Pāua require a water temperature range between 17.5˚ and 18˚C. They are especially susceptible to water that is too warm.
In the summer of 2016, a heatwave caused Moana to lose a significant amount of stock at their Northland Pāua farm - It was essential that this did not happen again.
Moana contracted Auckland Company, Hot Water Heatpumps to provide heat and chill pump units, and maintain water temperature at a steady 17.5˚C.
However, monitoring the operation of these pumps historically meant connecting to an expensive satellite system. In many cases, the lack of a suitable power source made even this type of connection impossible.
The applications of IoT are virtually limitless and monitoring temperature plus equipment operation is one of the more straightforward use cases.
Industrial IoT solutions company, Motiv Ltd, were contracted to develop sensors and set up low power SigFox network connectivity to the Pāua farm.
With this connection in place, Moana was then able to constantly monitor water temperature, and both monitor and control the pump equipment. Through this connection, Moana always knows the status of their critical equipment and the health of their Pāua.
The combination of new pumps and SigFox monitoring has been successful.
“Since the industrial heat pumps were installed we have not lost one Pāua, and we are seeing increased rates of conditioning and growth which will only increase our productivity.” explains Team Leader Joss Birss.
As a separate outcome, Kevin Trigg, of Hot Water Heat Pumps has implemented SigFox monitoring in other cases where reliable connectivity is needed (Wifi is unreliable, and 3G systems complicated and expensive), and now plans to make SigFox monitoring an option on all commercial heat pumps leaving the factory.