Company: Data Mech

Industry: Water Management

This project is located in the nearby suburbs of villages near the city of Ioannina which has around 65,000 inhabitants and is located next to lake Ioannina. The project was of great importance to the local area and its inhabitants. It took around one year to complete the functioning project with updates occurring to this very day.

The primary goal of the project was to control and monitor the flow of water remotely. With the use of Horner products, DataMech’s aim was to build a water management system that remotely controlled all the local water pump stations, well pump stations, water tanks. It also needed to support water usage efficiency by ensuring that there a little water wastage as possible. Lastly, the water management system needed to identify any leaks in the system and alert the user of where the leak was and how much water was been lost.

The developed water management system needed to supply water to many villages and suburbs in the northwest of Greece. This meant that the substantial distance between key components of the system was a noticeable barrier to overcome. For example, for the system to function optimally, inputs such as water pumps, well pumps, and water tanks needed to be in constant communication with one another.

This communication issue was primarily overcome with the use of the full communication capabilities of the Horner controllers. These capabilities included a strong ethernet connection and a virtual private network (VPN) with 3G capabilities. The RS-485 standard was used to define the electrical characteristics of the Horner controllers and ensure that communication was possible. Modbus RTU was used for PLC to PLC communication and for energy meters.

The following Horner products were used.

  • XL6e & XL7e to control the local pumps and to communicate with Indusoft Scada for remote control and monitoring. The protocol used was Modbus over TCP/IP.
  • XLe and XL4 controllers to control the chosen pump stations. The pumps are controlled via dry contacts of the pump electric panel.
  • RCC Unit used was HE-RCC972
  • Smartstix Expansion I/O
  • Smartmod Expansion I/O

“We used Horner’s controllers for a number of reasons. These include their compact size, all-in-one solution, and connectivity options. They also offer a Drop-in replacement in case there is a problem with a unit.” – DataMech Engineer

The XL4 facilitated with the communication of pump stations with one another. All the pump stations were also equipped with Xle units that communicated with one another using the RS-485 Network.The XLe and XL4 were chosen due to their compact size I/O options, integrated screen, and their connectivity options such as CsCan, Rs-485, & Rs232. This project used CsCan for Smartstix.

An RCC unit was also used to monitor the water level of water tanks and facilitated the transmission of water using VPN 3G data to communicate with the pump station.  The RCC was the optimal choice due to its how lower consumption needs. This was perfect as electricity was difficult to source. The RCC used little power as it has no screen and only needs an analog input ethernet connection to function.

The pump stations had Xl6e units, SmartMod 4-20mA cards for level sensors. While flow meters were installed using S-485 and multi-functional meter (Abb DMTME-I-485-96) at some pump stations. These flow meters were installed where the project required the use of high-speed counters and SmartStix

XL7e’s were used for the management of the central pump station. The ethernet connections in the XL7e’s used the available ethernet ports to communicate with other stations using VPN 3G and the other local pumps for the Scada server.

Remote control and monitoring for all pump stations, well pump stations, water tanks, less water waste, easy fault notice of pumps, leaks.