CASE STUDY

Software for managing decentralized water systems

Explore how custom software let developing countries’ population access safe drinking water.

Tech stack/tools we used: Python, Django, Django RestFramework, ReactJS, MySQL, GitLab, Jira, Docker, Modbus, IOLink, Nginx, Redis, Redis Queue

Charts
Our workSoftware for managing decentralized water systems

Client

Startup aims to eliminate the lack of clean water access

A startup with the ambitious goal of creating decentralized water systems in developing countries approached Syberry to engineer software that could effectively manage these systems. Their vision was to provide uncontaminated water supplies in third-wold countries, but that was easier dreamed up than achieved. To function properly, the water management systems needed reliable computer technology and remote administration. With backing from one of the world’s biggest NGOs, the startup collaborated with Syberry to transform this vision into reality and establish the first water management systems in Liberia, Africa.

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Problem

Affordable hardware limited software functionality

The decision to utilize Raspberry Pi single-board computers for the decentralized water system presented a challenge. While the small and cost-effective Raspberry Pi was widely available in the region, its original purpose—teaching programming at schools—demanded less operational power than the client’s prospective water management system.

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Solution

Advanced desktop software applied across water, solar power, and fuel management industries

Despite the Raspberry Pi's low-power limitations, we optimized its functionality and developed maximum features using just two gigabytes of computer memory.

Leveraging the client's expertise in decentralized water systems, Syberry developed software capable of managing these systems comprehensively—from metrics control to infrastructure prototyping.

The Raspberry PI computer on the site collects data from several digital and analog sensors built into the water delivery infrastructure. It then uses cable Internet, Wi-Fi, or satellite connection to send this data to the system administrator’s web application, which allows for continuous water quality monitoring to prevent residential water contamination.

The system's functionality extended beyond its initial scope, catering to solar panel and fuel management companies that now benefit from its features along with water management companies.

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Challenges

Microcomputer the size of a credit card powering 1000-square-foot water management systems

The custom software we designed had to operate on a small piece of hardware, a microcomputer called Raspberry Pi. The size of a credit card, this device was initially used as a hobby item for amateur programmers. For our project, we utilized 100% of Raspberry PI capabilities to support up to 1000 square feet of water delivery infrastructure with dozens of sensors. To do that, we continuously optimized each system’s feature to ensure it used as little memory and operational power as possible.

Key features

  • Off-the-grid functionality

    Recognizing the challenges of limited internet access in regions with contaminated water supplies, we deployed all the necessary services directly onto Raspberry Pi, transforming it into a self-sustained server. To facilitate system settings transfer between decentralized water systems, administrators can use a special Export feature and a USB drive.

  • Adaptability to various sensors

    Despite the modest specifications of the Raspberry Pi, we optimized its capabilities to integrate data from dozens of digital and analog sensors within water systems. The system can integrate with most digital and analog sensors available in the region, transforming data into any format suitable for the user.

  • Real-time prototyping

    The system offers a unique feature allowing users to design decentralized water system prototypes in a real-time modeler. Users can import custom components or choose from an internal list, providing administrators with increased autonomy in planning future infrastructure construction.

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