Self-powering water leak sensor invented at Waterloo

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Researchers at Waterloo Engineering have developed a tiny, battery-free, self-powering sensor that could dramatically reduce the cost of protecting buildings from damaging water leaks.

The new device, housed in a box just three centimetres square, is the product of a collaboration between professors Norman Zhou and George Shaker.

Norman Zhou

Norman Zhou is a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering.

By eliminating a battery and related circuitry, they estimate the sensor - which sends an alert to smartphones via a wireless radio - could be commercially produced for less than $1 each.

“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 Shaker. “The much lower cost of our sensor enables the deployment of many, many more to greatly improve protection.”

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