Grundfos & Myriota case study: Solar pump remote monitoring a smart work tool on a remote outback cattle station

Grundfos

Originally featured by Grundfos

Kalala Station is situated in prime cattle country, 280 kilometres south of Katherine in the Northern Territory of Australia, with the Stuart highway running through the middle. The property runs a herd of more than 13 thousand brahman breeders livestock and is a mix of large areas of very highly productive black soil. Eliza Pearson has a big job on her hands managing 67 bores on an outback station that spans almost one million acres.

The Problem

It’s Eliza’s job to manage the water on this remote property, and make sure none of the bores run dry and the cattle always have access to fresh water. On a station this size, a bore runner is a full-time job. Without the bores, Eliza says they couldn’t operate.

Being a bore runner involves driving huge distances across the station, checking troughs, tanks, and turkey nests, and fixing anything that’s broken. The job of a bore runner is much more than just managing the water supply and the condition of the watering points.
Eliza must also keep an eye on the fences, roads and most importantly the cattle. She’s the eyes and the ears of the station.

Conditions can also be challenging in this part of the Northern Territory. The wet season brings with it high humidity and extreme temperatures, often above 40 degrees. But it’s the dramatic monsoonal weather that delivers the biggest challenge with Kalala station receiving around 960 millimetres of rain. This means parts of property can be cut off for days.

Kalala Station is situated 590km south of the nearest capital city, Darwin

The Solution

For Eliza, working smarter and getting ahead of any problems is key. That is why she has installed a Grundfos Solar Connect Pump Monitor, enabling her to remotely monitor and manage the bore and water levels using her mobile phone.

“I obviously can’t get to every bore on the property every day. There are huge distances to travel to check all the bores, so having this app makes it easier. If you have a leaking trough, the solar connect app will identify that the tank levels are dropping and you need to head out there, sooner rather than later. Especially when it’s really hot, the sooner you know if there’s any kind of drama with the bore, the better”.

Eliza Pearson
Eliza checks the Kalala Station system using the Solar Connect App

Being able to manage the bores remotely and better organise the time travelling has a huge upside. She can now see how much water the bore has been pumping that day thanks to a satellite pump monitoring system which sends and receives information without the need for cellular networks.

A reliable water supply is crucial for a property this size and for the health of the cattle. Regular updates show tank levels, as well as the status of the pump. She says it’s this level of detail which makes the kit so effective and her life a lot easier.

The Grundfos Solar Connect tank and pump solution, and companion app

“On the app, I can see what the voltage is doing, that is the voltage peak for the day. I can see the volume of water pumped and then I can see the temperature of the pump down the hole. If the water level in the borehole drops, it’ll send you a notification saying that the pump has a dry run, so you know there’s an issue straight away”.

The Outcome

Kalala station has a positive history with Grundfos pump products. Eliza says Grundfos pumps work well on this outback property, and she plans to install more Grundfos Solar Pumps with Solar Connect monitors which will not only lighten her workload, but it’ll make her job as a full time bore runner much more efficient.

To help the station staff understand the benefits of the Grundfos products, Eliza was given hands-on help when she participated in a training session in Katherine. She says the ongoing guidance and support from Grundfos staff and local representatives gave her a head start in understanding and utilising the benefits of the Solar Connect.

Beyond operational benefits, Eliza values the positive environmental impact of Grundfos Solar Pumping technologies, especially when paired with Grundfos Solar Connect. Utilising solar energy and remote monitoring not only enhances operational efficiency but also significantly reduces CO2 emissions. This aligns with her satisfaction in working with a forward-thinking company like Grundfos, committed to positive environmental solutions.

About Solar Connect

Introduced in 2023, Grundfos Solar Connect incorporates low Earth orbit satellite technology supplied by the Australian IoT firm Myriota, delivering remote monitoring systems for comprehensive coverage of water infrastructure, encompassing both pumps and tanks.

When used with the Grundfos Solar Connect app, this plug-and-play solution offers near real-time oversight of SQ Flex pump operations, providing data on pump status, estimated flow, temperature, and solar array performance (Volts and Wattage). The Solar Connect Pump Module connects seamlessly to the CIU 903 SQ Flex controller.

Additionally, the Solar Connect solution includes tank modules for monitoring tank levels and volume, featuring a 5-meter ceramic tip hydrostatic sensor designed for harsh environments. Available for purchase as part of a complete Solar Pumping system or for retrofitting existing installations, Grundfos Solar Connect sets new standard in water infrastructure management, providing full-system monitoring (pump and tank) and ensuring precision and efficiency in monitoring and control.

Discover the Solar Connect Solution

About Grundfos
We pioneer solutions to the world’s water and climate challenges and improve quality of life for people. As a global pump and water solutions company we provide expertise in energy- and water efficient solutions and systems for a wide range of applications, including water utility, water treatment, industries, and buildings.

About Grundfos Australia
Established in 1980, Grundfos Pumps Pty Ltd is Australia’s part of the global network. With a Head Office in Adelaide and regional sales offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, we are able to provide comprehensive technical advice, product availability and dealer support across the country. Every Australian-assembled Grundfos pump is quality and performance tested at the specialised test facility in Adelaide.

Take a look at an unboxing of the Solar Connect and hear from Grundfos’ Sam Ryder as he talks about our partnership below, or discover Myriota’s wide ecosystem of Partner Products

Myriota’s Regional Sales Director for APAC Tom Boot unboxes the Grundfos Solar Connect
Sam Ryder, Area Managing Director WU (Water Utility) at Grundfos Australia talks about this revolutionary solution closing the loop for primary producers managing their water infrastructure in remote, hard-to-reach locations.

For the Grundfos Solar Connect Myriota supplied:

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