Products 4 Automation in the UK is highlighting how its Progea Movicon 11 SCADA can provide complete across- the- board remote control of integrated water facilities over large areas, with real time visualisation, access and control, via Movicon’s WEB client. The project that illustrates these features was recently undertaken by the Acque S.p.A. Group, which manages integrated water services for the Valdarno Basso region in the heart of Tuscany, Italy. Comprising five provinces, the Valdarno Basso region is home to 720,000 inhabitants served by 57 local councils: it has 2,500 km of waterways and 150 water purifying plants.
The remote control and monitoring project was undertaken by Acque S.p.A. as part of a twenty‐year‐long investment plan with three key aims. 1) To provide all areas in the region with efficient sewage and water purifying systems. 2) To guarantee and maintain all aqueducts in the region up to the required quality health and safety standards. 3) At the same time as undertaking 1) and 2), to protect the environment and local inhabitants from pollution and other possible health hazards.
The Movicon 11-based control and monitoring system was initially developed, tested and proven with the most well known water boards in the region. It was setup with 26 remote workstations, supported by hosting stations and data refining operations to guarantee supervision and working of the whole system in all conditions at all times, allowing the monitoring and immediate intervention of any suspect event for complete analysis and rectification.
Communication within the Acque S.p.A.project is structured on local networks and an intranet network using PCs with multi-client‐server configurations. Each controlled area is connected to field RTUs via radio or GPRS, and data is stored locally in MySQL databases in two hot- backup redundant servers. The process is controlled both locally and remotely from a General Remote Control Centre where data is gathered from all areas and stored in the redundant servers and displayed externally in a controlled access area. This functionality is replicated in the field to guarantee process continuity, and also in the control room to maintain information accuracy across the whole infrastructure.
The redundancy management in Movicon is completely integrated and guarantees automatic secondary system intervention. The system has PC workstations connected in a network, based on TCP/IP, with Primary and Secondary Server functions. The Primary Server manages the plant under normal working conditions, maintaining complete control by communicating and gathering data from the plant. Any anomaly, malfunction or error in the correct running of this station causes the secondary station to automatically take over control.
The Secondary Server manages the plant in redundancy mode under normal working conditions, through the shared variable memory areas. This station is capable of interacting with plant independently and has the same identical data storing system found in the Primary Server: it is always on standby to take over from the Primary to automatically manage the plant whenever any anomaly occurs.
When restored into operation, the Primary immediately synchronises and restores all current historical log statuses and alarm situations with its own data, so no data is lost. By exploiting this type of technology, data recorded during the emergency period can be sent to the Primary by transferring it in binary mode, without the need for any database infrastructure. This technology greatly reduces synchronisation times – to less than a second – even for very large amounts of data. Data synchronisation is performed by the integrated redundancy manager automatically and the secondary returns to its initial stand‐by condition, when terminated.
Thanks to Movicon’s integrated Web Client technology, Acque S.p.A personnel can access the plant at anytime, anywhere, using a standard Internet browser to display technological information, and interact when and where necessary. The server residing in the General Remote Control Centre allows access to 30 web clients simultaneously, and can be extended to accept more.
The server is connected to a public network and is protected by a firewall and Log- On access. Users who have this access are managers, network administrators and on- call duty maintenance staff. Each user has access to display pages according to their accredited user level, independently of any other users logged on at the same time. The system can, therefore, be accessed with remote control whenever needed to quickly analyse acquired data, check the status of charts and graphs according to day, month or year for all process parameters, such as water load levels, pressures, chlorine, oxygen percentages, and many others.
The Movicon alarm management function provides notification of the most important events to on‐call duty personnel by telephone. These personnel are equipped with portable PCs for accessing the remote control system via the Web Client to monitor system information. This includes tank or basin levels, and relative level behaviour at different times, as well as the viewing of graphical pages showing the status of pumps and valves, especially at depots inaccessible by personnel. Thanks to this system, the managerial staff can get a clear and immediate picture of all situations at all times, in order to react immediately when necessary, reducing breakdown times to a minimum while greatly improving services.