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Autotronix supplies electrical ­control and instrumentation ­system for the Lower Thukela Water Scheme
August 2018, System Integration & Control Systems Design

Autotronix has designed, installed and commissioned the electrical and control system that is in use at a large bulk potable water infrastructure project in KwaZulu-Natal, known as the Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme (LTBWSS). The overall project was undertaken by Veolia Water, with Autotronix as its sub-contractor. As part of the project, the plant supplies 55 Ml/day potable water to various towns within the iLembe District.

The scope of the Autotronix contract included the supply of all electrical equipment, control and visualisation products for a control system that will automate the abstraction, treatment and distribution processes of the plant.

The plant abstracts water from the Thukela River through a low-lift pumpstation and, following pre-screening for the removal of coarse grit (as well as aquatic life), diverts it to a water treatment process that includes filtration, flocculation, clarification, disinfection and sludge dewatering.

Design description

Consultants Aurecon specified the initial technical documentation from which Autotronix developed the final designs in cooperation with Aurecon, the Veolia Water technical team and the client, Umgeni Water.

Detailed design for the electrical section, including MV and LV, control and instrumentation, was undertaken by Autotronix, with approvals by all participating stakeholders. Once approved, the MV switchgear, LV switchgear and automation equipment was manufactured and assembled locally. All testing and factory acceptance testing was carried out in the local Durban facility prior to installation at the plant.

The scada software is hosted on a system of servers, providing complete redundancy of both hardware and software and incorporating the latest virtualisation technology. New graphics were developed using the Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk View package to display plant status and facilitate easier control of the plant. Additional software includes FactoryTalk Historian, which logs plant parameters and collects critical time-series data to provide a performance database that can be used for a range of statistical and predictive functions.

An industrial fibre-optic Ethernet network was installed for the PLC and scada communications and the field instruments were integrated into the Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley ControlLogix PLCs via Ethernet network. Autotronix also supplied and commissioned three 355-kW PowerFlex AC drives; Dynamix 1444 integrated condition monitoring modules; and E300 electronic overload relays as part of the motor protection.

“Ground-breaking techniques were introduced, and new standards have been set with reusable objects that have been tried and tested,” explains Autotronix’s Haroon Bassa. “The system has proven reliable and user friendly,”

The automation design of the plant has resulted in only a few staff required to operate the plant, clearly illustrating Autotronix’s expertise in providing a quality control system to the end user.

For more information contact Haroon Bassa, Autotronix, +27 31 705 0400,,

Supplied By: Autotronix
Tel: +27 31 705 0400
Fax: +27 31 705 8905
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