A team from National Dong Hwa University (NDHU) has developed a solar-powered infrared “invisible” fencing system to help farmers in Hualien County prevent theft of their crops.
Initiated as a project by the university’s Energy Technology Center, the infrared system establishes a detection fence that is not visible to the naked eye, removing the unsightliness of physical fences. The system sounds an alarm when trespassers are detected, while a mobile app alerts farmers and notifies local police of the intrusion.
Using solar power, the system does not add to energy costs.
Photo courtesy of NDHU via CNA
Pai Yi-hao (白益豪), an associate professor at the university and director of the technology center, said the team began working on the project earlier this year.
Professors and students at the technology center engineered the system’s infrared sensors and the electronic transmitters, along with the waterproof shell that houses the intricate electronics.
The team also ensured that the solar power design was stable, and that farmers could use the Line app to receive alerts and notifications, Pai said.
The project was not without setbacks. In one of its first installations, in a Hualien watermelon field, the system’s signal was weak and unstable due to the area’s geography. Chunghwa Telecom stepped in to help by boosting its signal strength, Pai said.
NDHU’s University Social Responsibility Office, which is in charge of the school’s social outreach program in Hualien, selected several watermelon farms covering about 40 hectares for the technology.
The farms were selected for having sufficient exposure to sunlight, creating optimal conditions for solar power collection, the office said.
Local farmers who were presented with the technology said they were grateful that they would not have to be so anxious about theft from their fields at night, it said.
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