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Project Profile

Crocodile Research in North Queensland

Industry: Health and Laboratories


Bonlec Controls have installed a Genesis II Digital Control System to enable the Department of Primary Industries to control and monitor environmental conditions within their crocodile research facility in Townsville, North Queensland.

The facility carries out husbandry and nutritional research relating to the farming of the Estuarine Crocodile - a breed renowned for its high quality leather and meat.


Due to an increasing demand for research, the DPI constructed a new building adjacent to their existing facility.

Installation of a reliable and versatile control system was required in the new building, to facilitate the precise environmental control necessary to maintain this particular species of crocodile.

Site Logistics

The facility's new research building measures eighteen metres by sixteen metres and is constructed of insulated polystyrene sandwich panelling. The building consists of twelve rooms, each measuring six metres by three metres and containing both land and water areas for the habitation of the crocodiles.

The original research building consists of six similar rooms. The environment within these rooms has been controlled for some time by twelve Innotech IMC analogue controllers.


Crocodiles are ectothermic, which means that they are a cold-blooded animal capable of regulating their body temperature largely by exchanging heat with their immediate surroundings. A design criteria of maintaining temperature between 30° and 34° is required for the animals to maintain good health and a suitable growth rate.

If these optimal conditions are maintained at all times, research staff can be confident that their research results are accurate.

To this end, two Genesis II controllers were installed in a mechanical switchboard at the rear of the building. The controllers communicate to each other via the Genesis network, and control the facility's six large electric hot water systems, twelve reverse cycle room air conditioners, and lighting.

With the Genesis II system in place, research staff can accurately monitor and control air temperature, water temperature, and lighting, and can easily adjust the setpoints for air and water temperature as required.

In the event that water temperature should rise or fall beyond setpoint, the Genesis II system is configured to pump either hot or cold water into the tanks as required, and to pump out excess water if necessary.

Fault alarms are in place to notify local research staff if air or water temperatures rise or fall beyond the design criteria, or in the case of a hot water system failure.

Provisions have been made for the Genesis II system to be connected to an on-site computer at a future date.


"The success of our research depends greatly on providing our crocodiles with very precise environmental conditions,", commented Stephen Peucker, the facility's Project Leader. "We are pleased with the performance of the Innotech system, as it maintains conditions reliably and accurately."

Key Functions
  • Control and monitor air temperature, water temperature, and lighting.
  • Monitor hot water systems.
  • Fault alarm in the event of air or water temperature fluctuating beyond design criteria.
  • Fault alarm in the event of hot water system failure.
  • Ability to monitor and control conditions from one central point

For more information about this project or if Innotech can help you please contact us.