Challenge:

The Adelanto Public Utility Authority needed to implement an automated demand response system for water utility assets. The utility operates three reservoirs and 22 pumps. The Authority is enrolled in a clean power plan (CPP) that incentivizes the reduction of energy usage during periods of high grid demand. Unfortunately, the authority did not have a system-wide SCADA system and was unable to provide automated response. The objective of the project was to connect all sites to a central SCADA and provide controls at all sites to automatically load-shed during CPP events.

 

Solution:

Vertech worked in cooperation with Power & Process Engineers to design and install a wireless network using a combination of Ubiquiti 5MHz AirFiber broadband radios as a network backbone and Ubiquiti NanoBeam radios connected at each site. Some sites were also connected using VPN connections hosted by local internet providers. Rockwell Automation ControlLogix PLCs were installed at each site for monitoring and control, and an Inductive Automation Ignition SCADA system was installed to provide visualization, alarming, and data collection. Ignition also provided the interface to a Cal-Edison GridLink appliance that provided the request to shut equipment down. Upon receiving the request from the utility, Ignition notified operators via alarm message and graphical notification on the dedicated ADR Event screen before sending the command to shut down equipment out to each site. The utility request arrives 24 hours prior to the event to provide advance notice of an upcoming event.

 

Benefits Received by Client:

Testing over a three-month period demonstrated the ability of the system to reduce power consumption an average of about 50% during CPP events. Authority operators retain the ability to override shut-downs to ensure delivery of water to residents. During one test in particular where water demand was not critical, the system shed 99% of load, and more than half of the events showed reductions greater than 80%. The SCADA system provides the Authority with the ability to centrally monitor all sites, and the equipment and software installed provides a platform for the Authority to add additional functionality as budget allows in the coming years.

Project Stats

50%

Energy Reduction

17

sites connected by SCADA

13

PLC Panels

“I give highest marks to Vertech for going beyond the call of duty with the project’s hurdles, frustrations, and very long timeline. The design and workmanship of their SCADA installation are exemplary.”

— John Howard, PE

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