Projects // KLS


Sensors for above and/or underground monitoring of, for example, storage facilities or waste disposal sites partially require long-term availability, which is currently not possible because of the inadequacy of available battery systems. For this reason, the Westphalian Energy Institute is developing a power supply unit based on long-term stable fuel cells.

Continuous monitoring for repositories, active mines, groundwater reservoirs and the production of geothermal energy is extremely complex. Data collection is very difficult because site conditions make for extreme inaccessibility, and the costs are enormously high. For his reason, it is in the public’s interest to find ways to make possible the long-term, autarkic monitoring of geotechnical, geochemical, hydraulic and geologic processes.

In the project “Wireless long-term monitoring system for autarkic environmental monitoring above and underground powered by a fuel cell” the Westphalian Energy Institute has partnered with IBeWa (Engineering consulting for mining, water and landfill technology) to develop a small-caliber sensor (≤ 70 mm in diameter) that can function for decades after installation, gathering, analysing and wirelessly transmitting environmental data in-situ. The sensor must work seamlessly in the long term, in temperature up to 100 °C, pressures up to 20 MPa and in highly acid and/or alkali environments. Primary batteries do not work in these conditions, and thus an extremely durable, carbon-free fuel cell will be used, which can provide energy to the sensor for decades.

Information on funding and further project participants

Funding code: KF2697004ZG4