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Wireless Piezometer Monitoring

Wireless piezometer monitoring systems are the most efficient choice in all types of mines.

Wireless Piezometer MonitoringMonitoring water pressure in open bodies of water in surface mines, underground closed bodies (e.g. in caverns), and the pore pressure of groundwater held within rock masses or soil deposits is a very important activity for mine engineering staff. A sudden change in water pressure can be an indicator of an impending threat to productivity and safety within the mine and needs to be investigated and reacted to where necessary.

Vibrating wire piezometers are commonly used within both surface and underground mines to monitor water pressure. Unlike in the past, when data was read manually, almost all modern piezometers have digital readout devices such as data loggers attached. One way to read this data is by moving from piezometer to piezometer, connecting a laptop to each in turn. The data gathered is then transferred to a server or desktop PC, usually via a plug-in cable. However, this process is quite slow and inefficient. Manpower resources are tied up for long periods of time, and there are often lengthy intervals between data retrieval from each piezometer.

Making use of a wireless piezometer monitoring system is a far more effective way to gather data from a network of piezometers located in various parts of the mine. Wireless data nodes, like the MDT VW-RTU, gather data from piezometers and send it to a central point – from where it is made easily accessible to mine engineers and management.

Aside from more frequent data retrieval, wireless piezometer monitoring also offers other advantages over a hand-held datalogger approach, including making it easier to utilize piezometers in inaccessible areas where reading with a datalogger would be difficult and a significant reduction in the amount of cabling required within the mine (and the costs and risks associated with cabling).

The MDT VW-RTU is a robust, wireless node that is easy to install and use. This unit can simultaneously read data from up to four vibrating wire piezometers (any common type from various manufacturers) and wirelessly send this data to a central data collection point, making it ideal for use in wireless piezometer monitoring systems.

Click here to find out more about the VW-RTU.