Smart industrial water system wins Analog Devices’ hackathon

ADI Hackathon 2018
ADI Hackathon 2018 winners Brian Condell, Grace Flynn, Keiran Bryce, David Ryan with Ruairí Nealon, Analog Devices

Winning entry goes forward to commercialisation stage

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9 November 2018 | 0

A smart industrial water system won the third annual Analog Devices Hackathon which set out to examine how the company’s technology could be used to conserve and make better use of Ireland’s natural resources.

During the two-day Hackathon in Thomond Park saw 60 people from across Analog Devices International (ADI) gathered to collaborate, research and design proposals on how ADI technology and business models could be used to address real world environmental problems and benefit future generations.

The team of Brian Condell, Grace Flynn, Kieran Bryce, David Ryan and Ruairí Nealon presented a full solution to conserve water at an industrial level.

Explaining the context for their proposal, team member Nealon said: “Typically, water is seen as a single use raw material. Fresh water is brought into a plant and used in various processes like cooling systems, or sanitation. It is then disposed of, regardless of quality, at twice the cost of getting it in.”

Flynn added: “Our proposal showed how sensors could monitor and grade the quality of water supply throughout the plant. Using the grading system you can then determine other uses for the water. Designed as a closed system, the cost of bringing water in and out is dramatically reduced which we know in Limerick costs €1.75 to bring in and €2.25 to discard.”

The winning team’s proposal went beyond the technology solution, it also set out a business model that removes one of the obstacles that plant owners face: large capital investment.

Ten teams, made up of representatives froma wide variety of functions and skill-sets within ADI, pitched their ideas to six judges on the second afternoon of the Hackathon.

Other concepts included a methane emission sensor for cattle, bins that can identify contaminated recycling waste, and plant sensors to help monitor and control temperature of the soil, moisture, heat and sunlight to reduce plant deterioration and increase sustainability.

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, John Liddy, general manager manufacturing Ireland, Analog Devices, said: “What has been achieved in two days is remarkable. We were particularly struck by the passion, creativity and lateral thinking from all participants. Designing technology solutions is one thing, bringing them to market is another so it was impressive to see the focus on changing attitudes as they devised their complete solutions.”

Analog will now examine the feasibility of developing the winning concept into a saleable product.

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