Skip to main content

Development of a Solar-Powered IoT-Based Instrument for Automatic Measurement of Water Clarity


Tuan Ngoc Pham, Anh Pham Huy Ho, Tuong Van Nguyen, Ha Minh Nguyen, Nhu Huynh Truong, Nguyen Duc Huynh, Tung Huy Nguyen, Le The Dung*

Source title: 
Sensors 2020, 20(7): 2051, 2020 (ISI)
Academic year of acceptance: 

Water clarity is the most common indicator of water quality. The purpose of the study was to develop an instrument which can automatically measure water clarity in place of manual measurement by Secchi disk. The instrument is suspended by buoys at the water surface and uses solar energy to measure the light intensity of LED bulbs after passing through a water column; the result is then converted to Secchi depth by using a regression function. Measurement data are stored in a cloud server so that mobile users can access via an Internet connection. Three experiments were conducted to examine the instrument performance: (i) to ensure light intensity of the LED bulbs is strong enough to pass through the water column; (ii) to determine the regression relationship between the measured light intensity of the instrument and Secchi depth; and (iii) to evaluate the coefficient of variation (CV) of the measured water clarity when using our instrument and a conventional Secchi disk. Experiment results show that the measured values of light intensity are stable with the average CV = 5.25%. Moreover, although there are slight differences between the Secchi depth measured by our instrument and those measured by Secchi disk, the measurements by our instrument can efficiently replace the measurements by conventional Secchi disk, which can be affected by weather conditions as well as by human subjectivity.