The Yellow River is a major source of water to 100 million people in nine Chinese provinces, making it essential that the river continues to flow for many years to come.
Regulating the Yellow River’s awesome power is the responsibility of the Yellow River Conservancy Commission, an agency of the Ministry of Water Resources of the People’s Republic of China.
The objective of the project was to create a large-scale operating system, including a central database as well as realtime information transference and processing, and provide decision support distributed over 700 kilometres of the Yellow River. The system had to effectively regulate water quantity and prevent flow stoppages, particularly during droughts. It was also designed to help staff forecast floods and create proactive flood progressing models.
To assist in this monumental task, the commission implemented a plant intelligence and supervisory control system from Wonderware. This system features the Wonderware Industrial Application Server, InTouch human machine interface (HMI) software and SuiteVoyager portal software. With the help of Utitech Technology, the Wonderware distributor in Beijing, the entire system implementation took only three months.
The Wonderware Industrial Application Server, central to this particular solution, provided the ability to deploy multiple instances of plants and objects over different applications, thus decreasing the engineering time involved in designing the pipeline system.
The system is ideal for the water regulation centre because it provides an integrated development environment (IDE), the benefits of which include:
* The ability to create a logical model in the control system based on the physical location of plant equipment.
* Object-based development.
* Integrated and centralised security down to the data level.
* Flexible data connectivity.
* Application run-time management.
* Centralised diagnostic utilities and tight integration with other Wonderware and third-party products.
Also, the ability to easily create and reproduce ArchestrA Objects greatly simplifies the Yellow River staff’s ability to quickly deploy applications across the control system, which spans several thousand kilometres yet consists of identical equipment per pipeline control station.
This efficient method of object propagation markedly increased the speed of system deployment and significantly decreased the engineering costs associated with building the new system.
“The advanced functionalities of the ArchestrA technology, such as re-usable objects, modular technology and remote deployment, made it possible for us to complete the first phase of this system in three months,” said Mr Zhu Chenhua, director of the Yellow River Conservancy Commission’s information centre.
This engineering approach meant that the commission did not have to invest in the many hours of system programming that this project would have otherwise required. Furthermore, the re-usable nature of the application objects created during the system’s development will save the plant additional hours and expenses in ongoing system maintenance and expansion.
The SuiteVoyager portal software made it possible for the Yellow River’s plant personnel to securely share information over the Internet, regardless of their locations along the lengthy river. They can access the latest upstream, downstream, statistical and field-related reports in realtime. In addition, designated staff members can create reports and fine-tune access to each of them.
The SuiteVoyager software can also send important alarm information related to water levels, system issues, insufficient water flow, high sediment levels, unauthorised water diversion, etc, and enable the commission staff to take the appropriate corrective actions without leaving the centre or even using the telephone. Plant operators can remotely adjust sluices to bring water flow back within margins.
Pure, flowing water
The Wonderware plant intelligence and control system helps the commission continuously purify the river water by removing sediment and other contaminants, increasing water availability and reducing the likelihood of floods with the use of stream banks and aquifers.
“With the help of this modern monitoring system, we have improved the Yellow River’s water regulations,” said Liu Xiaoyan, director of the Water Regulation Bureau of the Yellow River Conservancy Commission. “With the expansion of this system, we can ensure that the river will not dry up. We can make The Yellow River more beautiful, younger and bring more benefit to Chinese people along its banks.”
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