Saving Costs by Monitoring and Controlling Groundwater Pumps without a PLC or SCADA
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The City of Karratha is one of the four local government areas in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It covers an area of 15,882 square kilometres and had a population of about 21,500 as at the 2016 Census, most of which is located in its seat of government, the city of Karratha, and the major towns.
The City needed to create a new water treatment facility for their landfill leachate. The facilities requirements included the requirement to remotely monitor and control aspects of the water treatment facility. The initial proposal included a simple SCADA.
RunEnergy partnered with Minnovation to propose a private LoRaWAN based monitoring and control alternative. The solution included flow metering, pump control and pressure monitoring elements. The onsite generator had requirements for energy monitoring and remote control. The entire solution is powered using solar and renewable energy sources.
The site established a private X-Mesh LoRaWAN network. The network consisted of a gateway and 2 gateway repeater stations. this topology provided redundancy and additional range/capacity for the network.
The flow meters were equipped with Modbus to LoRaWAN adapters to transform the meters into smart meters, providing instantaneous and cumulative flows. Data is transferred in intervals to the AlphaX Cloud platform via private LoRaWAN. These flow meters are hooked back into smart control valves that are controlled by the AlphaX Cloud platform, again via LoRaWAN.
Pump monitoring and control is achieved in a similar manner. The pump is fitted with a pulse meter to determine total flows and operation. Smart switches have been installed to provide the ability to switch pumps on and off. At each of the pumping station process pressure and temperature is also monitored. All data is aggregated locally and transmitted back the the AlphaX Cloud platform.
The compressor and generator station is monitored by current transformers linked back into an current meter. The control of these items is controlled through smart switches. Pressure of the compressor is also monitored by the same unit.
Data generated by the sensors is forwarded to RunEnergys LandfillDAT monitoring system for advanced analytics
The total solution was preferred and RunEnergy implemented the monitoring and control solution. The total budget for the project was effectively reduced by almost 25-50% as well as eliminating a large portion of complexity and recurring cost that comes with SCADA.
Plans for the site include a 3 stage expansion to increase capacity as the City grows.
This solution was installed by RunEnergy – a Platinum integrator of Minnovation Technologies.
The system consists of monitoring and control for air displacement pumps, air supply and control, as well as liquid discharge monitoring and control.
By using Minnovation products, the required system could be implemented for a fraction of the cost by taking a smart cities approach rather then installing a full SCADA system.
The devices communicate over a mesh network with a 4G base station, allowing for full functionality as conditions on site change.
This gives the council monitoring and control capabilities from anywhere in the world through AlphaX, M-innovations cloud based software, and also gives the system automation capabilities.
This allowed for straight forward installation of the equipment, exceeding the customers exceptions in delivery, ease of use and cost.
With the combination of real time data logging and leading indicators, issues with any of the equipment can be detected and rectified before they become a compliance issue.
For more information about the project, its implementation, or the potential application of similar solutions to your operations, please feel free to reach out to us. Our team would be more than happy to discuss the project’s intricacies, the benefits realised, and how these modern technologies could be adapted to enhance your operational efficiency, reliability, safety, and sustainability. We look forward to hearing from you.