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NZ-developed world first universal environmet monitor buoy

From: ENVCO Global

Date: 28 November 2012

Kiwi Ingenuity

World first universal environmental monitoring buoy developed in New Zealand

A fruitless worldwide search for a low cost multipurpose environmental monitoring buoy platform was behind the development of the recently launched ENVBuoy in New Zealand – a world first universal buoy.

Unlike standard monitoring buoys, the ENVBuoy adapts to whatever task is required of it, from weather and wind monitoring to solar and fishing stock applications, including:

• Shell fish farms to measure conductivity of seawater when monitoring for contaminants
• Aquaculture operations to measure oxygen levels when monitoring for contaminants
• Port Authorities wanting to monitor currents, ocean water quality
• Wastewater treatment plants for dispersion monitoring
• University and other researchers, as well as council authorities, doing research in ocean outfall, lakes and estuaries
• Dredging operations for monitoring water clarity

After years of working monitoring lakes reservoirs and estuaries for environmental studies in New Zealand and Australia, the team at ENVCO Global found shortcomings in the market for a low cost buoy.

Development Manager, Mr Murphy O’Neil, said the company scoured the globe looking for an affordable environmental monitoring buoy, but solutions were vague, expensive and aligned to specific environmental sensor groups or brands.

“Obstacles that our Australian and New Zealand clients were encountering came down to price and a system of conformity as opposed to diversity. No matter where we looked, nothing worked unless you poured vast amounts of money into it – not to mention that current market models are to big for a lot of practical uses.

“For example, customers wanted something that was sized for a 20kg payload for a lake or estuary, but could only find oversized buoys practical for harbour work and not much else.

“You couldn’t add what you wanted and it would end up costing you between $US40,000 and $US60,000 to buy and outfit the buoy, whereas the ENVBuoy can be put together for under $US20,000,” Mr Murphy said.

A device that can be adapted to any purpose, the ENVbuoy will take any brand or type of sensor and can be used for multiple applications.

The ENVBuoy promises to be easy to use and transport by a single person:

• Lightweight
• Removable instrument bucket for dry work
• Wet connector
• Self-righting design


• Lakes
• Harbours
• Marinas
• Estuaries
• Streams and rivers
• Ponds and reservoirs

“We’ve stripped back all the options so that clients can configure the buoy to meet their specific need, rather than being burned with options they’ll never use,” said Mr O’Neal.

The buoy provides:

• Power (10Watt) and bulkhead fittings for power
• A generous watertight 22-litre bucket (330mm opening) large enough for 40ah batteries with all marine grade materials.
• A hollow Polyethylene float which can be filled with foam (as an option) at time of order or later on.


• AIRMAR SDI-12 Weather Station with GPS, wind speed and direction, compass and pitch roll
• Clear bucket Lid
• Full instrument packages
• Buoy to bottom depth sensor
• Buoy bottom surface frames and cages for sensors and moorings

Connectors can be specified at time of order or in association with instrument needs.


• Weight <25kg
• Materials – 316 Stainless Steel, Marine Grade Aluminium, PVC, Polyethylene
• Colour – Orange Standard (Custom Colour Available)
• Solar Power – 10 Watt (Included)
• Connector – Single 2 pin 90 Subconn for power (Additional Connectors optional)
• Seals – Single buna o-ring with secondary grease seal
• Vent – Gorevent

Size: Complete Buoy

• Height - 370.5mm
• Diameter – Ø 840mm

Ordering Information

ENVBuoy: Envco medium sized buoy, standard

• Connector options
• 2 Pin-9 Pin options
• Wetconnect Ethernet Plugs



ENVCO supplies environmental, agricultural and scientific equipment to monitor air, soil and water worldwide, with a range of equipment that caters for everyone from the hobbyist all the way to the Nobel Scientist.

At ENVCO we believe that by making a comprehensive range of environmental equipment more accessible, and affordable, we are able to exponentially improve the sustainable management of our natural environment and thereby create a strong legacy for future generations.

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