Water reservoirs are often situated in geographically dispersed areas and can be difficult to access. This means that asset managers must rely on remote monitoring and control systems to monitor water levels and turn pumps on and off at each reservoir from a centralised control station. Because installing control cables is extremely expensive, more costly than any of the equipment itself, the utilities industry relies on wireless monitoring and control systems to keep costs down.
Wireless monitoring of all reservoirs from a centralised control system allows asset managers to know what the water levels are at each site, at a glance. If combined with a pump control system, this allows them to control water levels to suit demand without the need for costly, disruptive site visits.
Traditionally, asset managers used radio telemetry systems, operating in license band frequencies. However, administration costs to own and maintain license band radio frequencies often outweighed the cost of the equipment itself, making the networks much more expensive to operate.
New globally defined, license-free ISM band radio telemetry equipment, industrial, scientific and medical band radio frequency spectrum (ISM) has proved to be a game changer, helping equipment owners avoid unnecessary licensing and admin costs. Combine this with Omniflex’s plug-and-play technology and you have a system that can be easily installed and up-and-running in minutes.
The wireless units can be directly interfaced to an existing supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system using the on-board ethernet ports, or can function as a stand-alone programmable controller independent of SCADA using wireless networking to monitor remote I/O for control implementation. This makes installation quick and simple, allowing asset managers to save on any additional hardware or engineering requirements. Most applications require little or no programming due to the rich functionality of the Omniflex telemetry devices. For example, remote tank/reservoir level set points can be mapped via the telemetry system to the pump controller, triggering pump on and off control.
Furthermore, Omniflex’s cloud-based Data2Desktop platform allows asset managers to monitor systems 24/7 using a tablet or phone, rather than having to use a fixed desktop in the plants control room.