Peat Energy Production
Vapo Ltd. is Europe's largest energy peat producer. The production process of peat, like agricultural activities, releases nutrients into the surrounding environment. High levels of nutrients in rivers and lakes can lead to eutrophication causing excessive growth of certain plants and algae. This makes the natural environment less habitable for other plants and aquatic life. Vapo uses specially constructed catchment areas as natural filters to capture excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous to prevent overloading of the surrounding environment. This process allows peat production to remain environmentally sustainable.
Masinotek automated measurement systems monitor surface water flow of the environmental protection system at 250 sites in 12 Finnish provinces. Continuous water flow data combined with laboratory analysis of water content provide information to peat producers on the effectiveness of their environmental protection systems. Sensors collect data every 15-30 minutes measurements, which is sent via battery operated 3G GSM modems every 6-12 hours. Data is collated and summarized for the customer in Masinotek's Emmi software, which automatically calculates runoff flow with built in algorithms based on the sensor measurements from peat production sites. Automatic alerts inform peat production managers when flow measurements exceed standard values. EMMI also integrates flow and water content data from previous years for a more holistic view of data.
In a recent additional feature, Masinotek added a water flow pump sensor measuring the amount of water pumped into the catchment area and a weather station for monitoring local rainfall levels. Knowing the amount of rainfall and the amount of water dispensed by the pumping system helps managers further improve the effectiveness of catchment systems. This system will help optimize the effectiveness of the catchment area by maintaining steady water flow. Masinotek sensor systems and software are a key part of maintaining the environmental sustainability of the peat production at Vapo.