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People benefitting policy is imminent: full-scale service launched for smart water management monitoring system

2/4/2021

Unlimited pure water is contributed from urban water supply systems!

When we open the faucet to access water in our daily life, do we even think about the systems and the manpower that have been working silently for supplying this pure, stable and sufficient water resources? And how these water resources are transported to us from nature? Water treatment is a key step in the supply process. In the complicated working framework, the urban supply of treated clean water is nearest to our lives in our communities.

Xi’an, China is well-prepared: every drop of water is efficiently consumed, through IoT technology

As urban water supply systems age, failures become more and precious water resources are wasted through invisible losses and leaks. Occasionally, equipment failure even leads to water supply suspensions, which cause inconvenience to citizens in their daily lives. To improve the consuming efficiency and the water supply service quality for the water resources, a people-friendly policy was initiated by Xi’an City in China, by changing the fundamentals of the tap water supply platform for all of Xi’an. In this way, the operation status of the equipment at every single water supply platform in the city will be monitored in real-time through IoT technology. After selecting the first group of testing areas, the water company was commissioned to oversee the entire program and to solicit excellently performing vendors throughout the country to turn the government’s policy into reality through the joint efforts of these vendors. In this process, Advantech was selected as a consortium member organized for the people-friendly policy as a provider of “communication technology” services for the new platform.


The “3-high” challenge in industrial environments: high temperature, high humidity and high interference

Each water supply platform is composed of lots of large-sized pumps, motors and control cabinets. The water resource plants are usually extremely humid. Meanwhile, electromagnetic interference will occur to the high-power motors when operated for a longer time. Besides, the control cabinets are designed as enclosed units that do not dissipate heat easily. High temperature, high humidity and high interference constitute the harsh “3-high” environment of typical industrial sites. To overcome this “3-high” challenge, we need to know the real-time status of each individual piece of equipment in order to achieve efficient operation management for water resources. Preventive monitoring will locate system leakages and help repair or reinforce defects in a timely manner. For this purpose, lots of sensors, meters, network communication devices and a cloud platform are added to the water management design program to ensure that the system will be able to monitor the equipment operating status in real-time.

Two aces for communication: Advantech EKI Ethernet switches & ECU IoT smart gateways

Advantech’s communication set includes the EKI-7000 series managed Ethernet switch in combination with the ECU-1251 series of smart gateway. Collected data will be analyzed and transmitted to the communication Security AIO (All-In-One) PC for uploading to the cloud platform managed by the tap water company. This way, the conditions of the water supply platform for the entire city will be controlled.

EKI-7000 series managed Ethernet switch: secure and stabilized network transmission

In practice, the EKI-7000 managed Ethernet switch developed by Advantech serves the communication role for interlinking the PLC controllers and the communication meters deployed at the site. As the site is humid and houses high-power motors, the EKI-7000 series managed Ethernet switch is designed according to industry-grade standards. As far as the hardware is concerned, there will be 8 gigabit Ethernet ports and 4 SFP optical fiber ports for coping with wider operating temperatures ranging between -40~75°C, plus stronger electromagnetic interference immunity.

ECU-1251 Smart Gateway: Multi-layer protocol resolution and integration

As devices from different brands are installed in the water plant, a variety of communication protocols are involved. For this purpose, Advantech recommends the ECU-1251 smart gateway that is designed to work with industrial hardware. It can be used with Advantech’s EdgeLink and custom-made water management software for resolving different types of protocols effectively. The ECU-1251 has two network ports that are connected with EKI-7000 series managed Ethernet switch and network security AIO PC for transmitting the processed data to the security AIO PC.


IoT helps with full-scale launching of water supply monitoring solutions

After the first lot of items are fully installed at the test points, over 200 water supply platform monitoring systems will be launched in succession. IoT technology will ensure that accessible and clean water resources will be available for the citizens in Xi’an without interruption. We will also share successful experiences from such test points with the competent water resource authorities of other cities. With the professional experiences accumulated over the past 30-plus years, Advantech will work with more partners concerned with environmental energy to help create a smart and green global society.


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