One of the first projects involved the design of a burner to burn wet bark, a residue that was previously disposed in landfills. Our solution generated 1MW of thermal energy and reduced greenhouse gases 95% respect to the landfill solution, transforming a costly problem into a revenue source.
We continued working on biomass systems and designed a system to handle wood logs and cut them mechanically, a dryer and a carbonizing unit, capable of separating gases from charcoal. The complete system is highly efficient, as it uses the inflammable gases to dry the wood and produced 90% Carbon charcoal with the mechanical and chemical conditions to be used in steel production. Brazil has a very big steel industry and utilizes charcoal produced under very inefficient conditions using non-sustainable Amazonia wood.
In 2013, we founded b3Agro in partnership with an aerial imagery company and developed expertise in Precision Agriculture, focusing on the processing of data collected from drones and/or agro machinery and transforming it in recommendations for improvement. We implemented computational algorithms and software to count young trees from drone images, and developed a novel system of inventory which is now been implemented at the Finnish company UPM, which has the largest in forestry activity in the country.
Our most recent project is the design and construction of a small scale hydroponic system “miniponics”, a complete experimental setup with a controlled greenhouse with the hydroponic systems inside, sensors and automatic control and database visualization from the web. This project combines mechanical, industrial, electrical, agronomical and computer systems engineering and is funded through a grant from the State ́s University (UdelaR) Foundation for innovation.
Data measured and analyzed further will provide fundamental data to understand the process.
Most recently they have been working with a client on the application of solar panel inspection using a quadricopter mounted with a thermographic camera. Given the low resolution of the cameras able to fit on a drone, the key element is being able to program the flight to take automatically the images from low altitudes. Field tests are currently underway.