Congratulations to Elvis Nzekwe, Filip Gajda, and Harold Ibarlin for their prize of second place in the senior technology category at the BT Young Scientist 2018. Their project was entitled “An Economical Sensor That Leads To The Conservation of Water, Using Sound Frequency”.
The project involved the development of a water meter that can be fitted on the surface of the pipe. Existing types can require a degree of maintenance and installation that can exasperate costs and manhours which can lead to extra costs and an inconvenience for the user.
The students project consisted of a processor and a microphone. These were housed in a simple clamping mechanism that then is attached to the surface of the pipe. As a result, there aren’t any moving parts and maintenance is kept to a minimum.
A key feature of the project was the implementation of a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). This algorithm can detect prominent sound frequencies and it was used to measure the sound generated in the pipe during water flow. The students observed from the scientific literature that there was a correlation between this sound frequency and the volume of water flow. Thus this necessitated a series of measurements and it was found that there was a linear relationship between water volume and the sound emitted from the pipe.
The students learned a lot about how to conduct scientific research, the design of experiments and the third level mathematics required to understand the significance of their results under the supervision of Mr. Murphy. The students are now developing the idea and are keen to turn it into a product which is a true reflection of their entrepreneurial spirit.