Posted on June 25, 2011

When you see an ingenious idea, they always look very simple and essential. Professor Daniele Trinchero, Professor at Politecnico and Head of iXem Labs in Italy, and his team are implementing in Qatar one of these ideas, carrying out a water leakage research project at Qatar Science and Technology Park.

The project involves creating a water saving device that will allow Qatar to reduce water leakage to the minimum. Water wastage is a worldwide problem: 50 percent of the water in the world gets wasted in transportation. Singapore has reduced its water leakage to 4 percent, but in some countries like Italy the percentage is even higher than the global average touching 60-70 percent. Qatar has a good record. It wastes only 30 percent of its water. This device will help the country bring down this percentage, as water leakage means a waste of natural resources, energy and money.

With a million dollar project and a 3 year research that started in 2009, Professor Trinchero is developing this device that records the sound that water makes when flowing in the pipes. If there is a leakage or damage, the sound emitted by the water will change, giving different sound frequencies. By recording the sounds and detecting the location of this difference in tunes, engineers will be able to locate the water leakage and solve the problem.

“With this device, Qatar would be able to reduce its water leakage to about 20 to 25 percent,” Abdullah Kadri, Research Scientist working on the project told The Peninsula. But of course the application strategy of water companies, maintenance operations and the commercial spread of the device could make it more effective later.

“I wanted to develop a low cost device that could be used worldwide. We are developing in Qatar a device that has an important functional use not only in Qatar but also throughout the world especially in the Gulf region, Algeria, Morocco, Italy, North America,” said Professor Trinchero.

As Adnan Abu-Dayya, Executive Director at QU Wireless Innovation Center, said: 80 percent of their projects are translated into services to the public, getting from the laboratories to the people. The water leakage device could be on the market in about one year.

Professor Trinchero’s team consists of 20 percent Qatari scientists besides other principal investigators, PhD students, research engineers, scientists operating both in Italy and Qatar. The laboratories where they work has an international milieu with Qataris, Canadians, Italians, working together on the project. Professor Trinchero along with Qatar University’s staff and the Italian Business Council Qatar will also hold three seminars in Doha on Home Automation that has social, security, energy saving and health dimensions.

Why Qatar?

“As I work in Turin Politecnico in Italy, I first tried to submit the water leakage project to Italian institutions as Italy has a huge water leakage problem, but they didn’t show any interest. When I presented the project to Qatar, they were very excited about it. Just after having developed the project in Qatar, I have started receiving calls from Italy asking about this water leakage device. Qatar instead understood immediately that water is a strategic item that has to be preserved. And I have to say that it’s very nice to work in a country that believes in research,” said Professor Trinchero.

source: The Peninsula