New sensor provides better leak protection in buildings


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A new, battery-free sensor can detect water leaks in buildings at a fraction of the cost of existing systems.

The tiny device, developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo, uses nanotechnology to power itself and send an alert to smartphones when exposed to moisture.
By eliminating a battery and related circuitry, researchers estimate their sensor could be commercially produced for $5 each, about a tenth of the cost of current leak detection devices on the market.
“One of the big issues related to water damage in buildings is that owners don’t install enough sensors because they are too expensive,” said George Shaker, an engineering professor at Waterloo. “The much lower cost of our sensor enables the deployment of many, many more to greatly improve protection.”
Water leaks are the leading cause of property losses in apartments, offices…



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