Powelectrics Demonstrate Their Expertise, Delivering Another Complex Radio Scheme for the Water Industry

Posted on 20 Aug 2018

Powelectrics have just commissioned a large industrial IoT remote control scheme for a major utilities company. The scheme was installed over an area of 30 square miles, in which a water treatment works (WTW) is fed by multiple boreholes.

Occasionally our customer needs to stop the 32 pumps that bring the water from these boreholes to the WTW. This would normally be an urgent requirement, because there was a maintenance issue with some part of the water delivery or treatment infrastructure.

Until the Powelectrics m2m solution was installed, an employee would need to drive around the 32 pumps and stop them manually. The area is rural and hilly, so this could take hours and was particularly inconvenient, as the need to stop the pumps would normally be created by a maintenance ‘incident’. Not only would the problem be continuing unresolved until all the pumps were off, but the person driving around would really be needed elsewhere to fix the problem. 

Powelectrics designed and supplied an intelligent radio data network, which allowed the network to be built up with multiple repeaters and secondary paths to overcome natural obstacles. Low power radio signals go out to the 32 pumps to tell them to stop and the signals coming back from the pumps advise on whether the pumps are running or stopped. The radio at the master station has a MODBUS interface to a Siemens PLC, which in turn communicates with the WTW SCADA system.

Radio telemetry is well-established and it has historically been preferred by the UK water industry as there are no ongoing data costs and no reliance on an external infrastructure. Whilst there are many other technologies available, it can be the most reliable and practical alternative for specific applications.

Powelectrics have worked within the water industry for over 25 years. We have designed, supplied, installed, commissioned and supported systems from Ilkley to Istanbul! Our exemplary track-record in radio projects of this scale and complexity ensured our selection for this scheme.

The pumps can now be remotely switched off with immediate effect, meaning that our customer can respond immediately to maintenance issues, with their full manpower resource .

Powelectrics act as a connection between the world of sensors and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) operating at the centre of the ‘connected sensor’ community. We offer extensive understanding of sensors and manufacture the award-winning Metron range of GSM telemetry. We are approved partners for Sigfox technology, which is fully integrated to Powelectrics MetronView data platform. We are expert in a range of communication technologies and would be delighted to discuss your application in detail.

We invite you to visit our news pages to get a flavour of the broad range of remote monitoring applications and industries in which we operate. If you have any queries or applications that you would like to discuss, please call us on +44 1827 310 666