Water everywhere: Understanding & Preventing Frozen Pipe Bursts with Modern IoT

Faculty Advisor: Alessandra Ferzoco

Sponsor: Semtech

Recent winter storms in Texas highlight how extreme weather events can result in devastating consequences for homeowners. In 2021, pipes freezing and bursting due to a combination of unprecedented cold temperatures and widespread power outages caused untold residential water damage in the Southern US states. As climate change makes similar extreme weather events increasingly common, we expect that the need to develop smart and adaptable infrastructure will only become more urgent. Our SCOPE project aims to solve the pipe-freezing problem by upgrading existing plumbing systems with intelligent sensing and action-taking. Specifically, we will explore how LoRa®, modern low-power IoT (Internet of Things) technology from Semtech, can let us predict potential pipe bursts and take action to mitigate the problem. We will prototype systems with various sensing and actuation capabilities to better understand why pipe burst events occur and how we can detect and prevent them. Deploying these systems on representative plumbing setups will let us refine our prototype and evaluate our ability to reliably solve the pipe-bursting problem in the real world.

Faculty Advisor:

  • Alessandra Ferzoco

Team Members:

  • Aaron Blust
  • Jack Levitsky
  • Andrew Phillips
  • Luke Raus