Process Instrumentation and Digital Technology

Process Instrumentation and Digital Technology
Technology measures liquid level changes

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Technology measures liquid level changes

Problem
After starting up a brackish water reverse osmosis drinking water treatment plant, the South Coast Water District in Dana Point, Calif., realized that process discharges would not meet ocean discharge limits. Operators installed a polyethylene discharge equalization tank to convey the brine and backwash to the wastewater treatment plant. The challenge was how to measure the liquid level changes in tank conditions that produced heavy coating on the level-measuring probes.

Solution
The district bought the RCT system from AMETEK Drexelbrook. It has an RF admittance level transmitter with electronic Cote-Shield technology and a flexible sensor with an integrated ground reference. The technology differentiates between the actual level of the measurement and the capacitance of a conductive coating. It automatically subtracts the capacitance with no reduction in response time inside the transmitter, ensuring accurate level measurements.

Result: Operators do not worry about probe buildup interfering with the level measurement. 215/674-1234; www.drexelbrook.com.

Software manages pumps and flow

Problem
Multiple lift stations pumping into a single force main created excessive pump run times and pressure spikes for the city of Winter Park, Fla.

Solution
The city implemented Symphony - Harmonious Pump & Flow Management from Data Flow Systems. Minute by minute, the program synchronizes pumping from multiple lift stations to reduce force main pressures and equalize flow to the treatment plant or master pump station. Head pressures are reduced and pumps operate more effectively and efficiently.

Result: Initially, average run times were reduced 24 percent at almost every station, and energy costs were reduced 39 percent. Recent algorithm improvements lowered run times by 34 percent and energy usage by 42 percent. 321/259-5009; www.dataflowsys.com.

SCADA system simpler to use

Problem
Regulations required Northern Arapahoe (Wyo.) Utilities to install a SCADA system, but communities on the Wind River Reservation had neither the funds to purchase it nor the expertise to maintain it.

Solution
The tribe installed Webview from Munro Companies. The system was simpler to use than standard SCADA systems, yet provided secure, remote monitoring. Hardware and software are in one unit. No programming is required due to built-in reporting, and the data is viewable to anyone with Internet access.

Result: The tribe saved $100,000 in up-front costs and saved more by not needing computer server updating and maintenance. The tribe installed units at its casino, wastewater treatment facility, and all schools. 800/942-4270; www.munrocompanies.com.



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