Holding System Uses Renewable Energy for Remote Operation

Energy self-sufficient stormwater holding tank from Festo.
Holding System Uses Renewable  Energy for Remote Operation
Festo solarstation with combined cpx electrical and vtsa valve type terminal provides diagnostic functions

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The energy self-sufficient stormwater holding tank from Festo uses solar and wind energy to power a control unit and operate pneumatic actuators, controlling excess water from the sewer system during heavy rains and relieving pressure on treatment plants. When treatment capacity returns, gate valves on the tank can be remotely opened to drain the water. The pneumatic drives are corrosion resistant and can be used in explosive atmospheres.

The use of sustainable energy enables collection tanks to be located in areas without utility power supply and saves on the cost of grid connection. The system also stores energy. Should the power supply from one or both sources fail, a battery ensures operation for a defined period. Compressed air storage adds a failsafe function in case of total power supply failure.

Holding systems are site-specific and can be designed to fit local conditions, says company spokesperson Marc Roos. Using a remote access unit (mobile data network), systems can be controlled and monitored from a central location. Communication to the control unit is via a virtual private network (VPN).

Operators use a laptop computer to open and close the gate valves and monitor the system or integrate it to an existing control system. State values given by the charge controller are transmitted to the control unit every minute, including current in, current out, current load, current photovoltaic, system voltage, state of charge, pressure, temperature, compressor on/off and valve position.

The charge controller protects the battery from overcharging or depth discharging. Compressed air production times also are monitored. Data is transmitted to the control center, enabling leaks, power supply problems and other faults to be detected and rectified. The system requires minimal maintenance. Filters and the air dryer should be checked or replaced each year, and the compressor checked every 500 hours of operating time, Roos says. 631/435-0800; www.festo.com


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