Distribution System Monitoring: How To Collect Data In Remote Locations

Source: Telog, A Trimble Company
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Consistent and reliable data acquisition (the “DA” portion of SCADA) is recognized as essential to efficient operations and asset management. But collecting data outside the plant can be difficult, especially when no power is available. That’s where Telog, A Trimble Company comes in.

“SCADA was originally put in the plant to control things, turn things on and off, and also gather information,” explains Kerry Hoffman of Telog. “We go outside of the plant and actually monitor points where it’s hard to get SCADA. We have a whole line of RTUs, or recording telemetry units, [that] go out to all the areas where you don’t necessarily have power. For example, there’s no power on a fire hydrant, but Telog has a wireless cellular-enabled unit that you hook right up to the fire hydrant, collect pressure data down to a sub-one-second resolution, and transfer that data back as often as the customer wants — whether it’s once a day, once an hour, or on exception whenever an alarm happens.”

In addition to fire hydrants, Hoffman mentions PRV vaults, water quality instruments, mag meters, and rainfall monitoring as typical applications.

“The real power of it is that it doesn’t need power — the external power, that is,” says Hoffman. “Our units have up to a five-year battery life. Essentially, you deploy a unit … and the user doesn’t ever have to visit the field unless there’s an issue they have to fix or [to] change that battery.”

As heard in this Water Online Radio interview, Hoffman also offers an explanation of water hammer and the infrastructure-saving benefits of distribution/collection system monitoring. Click the Radio Player below to learn more.

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