A turbine device using the flow of water to glow a light to help farmers detect whether they have a water leak, is the latest invention created by students of St Paul’s Collegiate School to win them Fieldays 2020 Young Inventor of the Year.
The system, named Flash Flow, was designed by Year 13 agribusiness students James Barker, Thomas Glenn, William Cowan and Curtly Harper.
“A farmer’s most precious resource is water and large amounts are lost every year through leaks in their underground water system. Flash Flow quickly detects when there is no flow through the system, saving farmers valuable time and money,” says Curtly.
The turbine system attaches to the farm’s underground water pipes, protecting it from stock and machinery, and the glowing LED light connected to the system, sits above the ground in full view. As water flows through the turbine, the light flashes at a constant rate. When the light stops flashing this indicates there is no water flowing through the line and a leak or blockage has occurred. Flash Flow can detect this immediately.
The awards were announced at a live online presentation through Fieldays TV last Friday and judges said the innovation combines different technologies to address the problem of water wastage.
This is the sixth consecutive year students from St Paul’s Collegiate School have won the Fieldays Young Inventor of the Year award.
When asked why students of St Paul’s have been successful at these awards in the past, innovation judge, Andrew Cooke said this is as a result of schools putting focus in this area.
“When schools have agriculture as part of their curriculum, it aides more than just agriculture and more than just people going into farming. It enables a whole new level of thinking and that’s what we are seeing the outcome of here."
"It’s a result of good curriculum and good teachers,” says Andrew.
A second group of St Paul’s students were runners up in the Young Innovator Award category.
Libby Deadman, Lucy Fullerton-Smith, Ellis Watson and Molly Nelson created Ewe-nique Recognition, an app that captures and stores data of sheep using facial recognition.
Judges said they made good use of external expertise to assist their invention and well done on thinking outside the box.
The young inventor award comes with a cash prize of $1000.
For more information about the 2020 Fieldays Innovation Awards, click here