42 Technology dives deep for high pressure electronics!42 Technology has teamed up with a local expert in marine wildlife photography to devise a novel way of protecting the sophisticated electronic circuitry and sensors used within a new range of residential and commercial water meters.
The new meters are designed to withstand water pressures up to 60 atmospheres [60 kg per square centimetre] at temperatures from zero to 60 degrees C and to have expected lifetimes of more than 20 years. The approach relies on filling the housing for the electronics unit with resin and under vacuum to ensure that any entrapped air is carefully removed: a technique used to protect the electronics in underwater cameras and other monitoring equipment used for studying the behaviour of turtles, dolphins, whales and Antarctic fur seals in the wild. Ollie Cox from Wild Insight was brought in by 42 Technology as an associate to help the consultancy’s design team design a new type of meter with high pressure water resistance and an extended lifetime. The consultancy already works with an extensive network of associates allowing it to quickly assemble the ideal team but protecting electronics for use in high pressure underwater environments is a very specialised area. The meters need to withstand constant exposure to high pressure water at 15 atmospheres but 42 Technology’s product is designed to survive four times that for a protracted lifetime “Ollie is an expert in developing highly automated, ruggedised underwater cameras making him the perfect addition to our project team. His cameras and other monitoring equipment are routinely used to capture still or video images at depths of up to 2000 meters, where pressures are 200 atmospheres or more, so our requirement was just routine to him. Ollie’s technical knowledge and engineering experience in protecting sensitive electronics were exactly what we needed,” said David Wilson, director at 42 Technology. The packaging solution devised by 42 Technology and Wild Insight is simple, low cost and highly effective: making it perfect for encasing increasingly sophisticated electronics in a range of demanding environments including utility metering and industrial instrumentation.