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Tokyo, Japan – April 20, 2017

2017 Topics - April 20, 2017

Yokogawa and Microsoft to Exhibit a Hot Spring Monitoring System at the Hannover Messe
A solution based on Yokogawa's IIoT architecture

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that a hot spring monitoring system solution based on its Industrial IoT (IIoT) architecture and which works on Microsoft's Azure IoT Suite will be jointly exhibited at the Microsoft Corporation booth at this year's Hannover Messe by Yokogawa, JMC Geothermal Engineering Co., Ltd. (a geothermal development company), and an owner of a hot spring. The Hannover Messe will be held April 24-28 in Hannover, Germany.

Japan, lying on the Pacific Ring of Fire, holds the world's third largest geothermal energy reserves, estimated at 23 gigawatts. However, using this resource requires great care so as not to have an adverse impact on Japanese hot springs, whose use has a history going back more than 1,000 years. Accordingly, it is mandatory in Japan to reach a consensus with the local community before undertaking any geothermal development project. The collection and scientific analysis of data can clarify the impact that geothermal development will have on a hot spring and is considered to be one of the tools for reaching consensus. Although the scientific approach is useful for this purpose, conventional monitoring systems pose challenges for developers such as the bulkiness of the equipment and other factors that make them difficult to install, and the need to cover their operating costs. Yokogawa's hot spring monitoring system can solve these problems.

To obtain the data and conduct the scientific analysis needed to reach a consensus with local communities, Yokogawa has developed an integrated monitoring system. The system is just one-tenth the weight of a conventional combined system consisting of individual flowmeter, thermometer, and conductivity meter components. It requires less wiring, is easier to install, and automatically connects with the cloud.

Using a cloud-based IIoT architecture that Yokogawa continues to refine, this system will be able to visualize sensor data on the flow rate, temperature, and conductivity of the water discharged from a hot spring. Users will have anytime/anywhere access to the measurement data using a PC or tablet. In addition, the system will be able to store data collected over periods of ten years or more, which is expected to prove an indispensable asset in geothermal development. Many countries continue to develop their geothermal energy resources, and the steam and hot water from these sources is being used for such purposes as power generation and heating. Yokogawa's system can also be used in such applications. It will be able to monitor the steam wells used to produce geothermal energy, and will also be suitable for small-scale measurement applications such as floor heating and greenhouses.

Using our IIoT architecture based on Microsoft's Azure IoT Suite, we will be able to offer end-to-end solutions, from the automatic registration of devices with a low power wide area network (LPWAN) such as LoRaWAN*1 to the use of mobile phones for data transfer, remote control, and alarm notification. Based on our architecture, this hot spring monitoring system will make it easier for geothermal developers and hot spring owners to exploit new hot spring sources, and will greatly reduce the amount of work required for device procurement, installation, and maintenance.

This monitoring system development project was commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).*2 The development of this monitoring solution was a collaborative effort of Yokogawa Electric Corporation, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), and JMC Geothermal Engineering Co., Ltd. (Geo-E).

With the aim of quickly developing commercial applications for its IIoT architecture and products such as this hot spring monitoring system, Yokogawa will accelerate the development of related products and businesses.

a Hot Spring Monitoring System

*1 A wireless communications standard proposed by the LoRa Alliance

*2 Theme: The research and development of a simple remote monitoring solution needed to assess whether geothermal power development projects are compatible with the need to protect hot spring sources. The goal of this undertaking was to develop an inexpensive measuring instrument that can continuously and remotely monitor items such as the hot groundwater discharge rate.

Yokogawa Electric's booth at Hannover Messe 2017
C40 Stand in Hall 7 (co-exhibition with Microsoft Corporation)

The names of the companies, organizations, and brands in this text are the trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective holders.

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