Through the installation of a smart pressure management device, an Irish water company was able to reduce their pump usage by more than 90%; practically, for 22 hours each day.
Charleville is a small town located in Munster, the most southerly of Ireland’s four provinces. The Charleville water supply scheme that delivers water to the town and surrounding area includes a covered distribution reservoir, similar to thousands across the British Isles. However, the reservoir is the location chosen by a major water supply company to install and trial a smart PMD (Pressure Management Device).
Plug and Play
The PMD is a ‘plug and play device’ that is capable of measuring pressure, flow and level; it can be fitted to a wide variety of different valve types. In the case of reservoir, an AVK Series 879 dual-solenoid control valve is installed below ground. It is linked, via a ducted hydraulic drive, to the associated PMD and valve controls housed above ground in a stone-built booth some 20m away. The PMD was installed at the end of 2019, and has now been running successfully for about two years (December 2021).
Prior to the installation of the PMD, the pumps at the Charleville reservoir had worked continuously 24/7 to maintain the reservoir at full capacity. Now, the reservoir inlet (the location of the control valve and PMD) is closed off to allow the water level in the reservoir to drop before the pumps are activated.
This has brought two major benefits:
- Water quality has improved due to increased water turnover, and
- There have been huge energy savings as the pump’s activity has been reduced by 22 hours per day.
Also, it is projected that this will have a major impact on the longevity of the pumps, which means less maintenance/replacement costs.
Internet of Things
Whilst the reservoir is a closed-loop installation, the full benefit of smart water devices like the PMD are realised when they are distributed across the water network. The ability of smart water devices to send and receive data and instructions via the Internet of Things (IoT) enables water companies to respond to network events in real time. It is envisaged that the PMD will be integrated into the water company’s SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system.
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