Development of a smart monolayer application system for reducing evaporation from farm dams: introductory paper

Brink, G. N. and Symes, T. W. and Hancock, N. H. (2011) Development of a smart monolayer application system for reducing evaporation from farm dams: introductory paper. Australian Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Engineering, 8 (2). pp. 121-130. ISSN 1448-8388

Abstract

Chemical monolayer films are potentially an economical low-impact means of reducing evaporative loss from farm water storages. However, their performance can be highly variable as they are affected by climatic and environmental factors: principally wind, wave action and bio-degradation. Some of this observed variability is associated with the monolayer materials themselves and their interaction with the water-surface physics and biology, but the fact that they are only a few nanometres thick means that a very small amount of material has to be distributed over a very large area. Therefore, appropriate and timely autonomous application of monolayer, with regard to prevailing (and changing) wind conditions on-site, is required. Although a number of autonomous application systems for monolayer already exist, none has proved overly successful. It is argued that while this is in part due to sub-optimal performance of monolayer materials, it is also due in large measure to inaccuracies and/or inappropriate design in both application systems and particularly application strategies, which are not adaptive to the prevailing environmental conditions. Therefore a control system is being developed to adaptively and spatially vary monolayer application rates according to changing conditions monitored on-site. This will form part of an autonomous electromechanical system for the optimal application and spreading of any given chemical monolayer. This paper reports progress towards this objective; firstly by evaluation of the design requirements for automated systems at a range of spatial scales; and secondly via the construction of a first “pre-prototype” to act as an evaluation platform and concept demonstrator.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy. © The Institution of Engineers Australia, 2011.
Depositing User: Assoc Prof Nigel Hancock
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2012 02:39
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2014 23:28
Uncontrolled Keywords: monolayer films; application; farm dams
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 09 Engineering > 0904 Chemical Engineering > 090404 Membrane and Separation Technologies
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099901 Agricultural Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/20884

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