Some automation could help run composting facilities faster with better performance (i.e. shorten residence time for compost and assure sterilization of pathogens). The trick is to assist compost managers in making better decisions while recognizing that some data collection can't be automated.
Our ideal automation:
place CO2 sensors in the center of the compost and at the fan’s inlet, measuring the exchange of gasses between plants and compost. Blowing air into the compost delivers O2 while removing heat and CO2.
A controller will cycle the fan based on sensor readouts, keeping O2 between 9-18% without letting temperatures at the corners of the compost drop below 55o C (131o F).
Temperature measurements, oxygen levels, and fan cycles are sent via text message to a web-based monitor. Monitoring verifies outcomes and allows for operators to be notified when parameters move outside normal ranges or pathogen-killing temperatures aren’t being reached, and allows remote adjustment of the aeration cycle.
temperature sensors are placed to measure the far corners of the compost pile and verify pathogen abatement. Verifying the corners means compost doesn’t need to be turned, a process that can exposes workers to hazardous mold spores.