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Water Conservation Monitoring with Advantech WebAccess Automation
Press release
Wednesday 27 February 2013

Huangpu River is the biggest and most important river in Shanghai. To avoid disaster, flood prevention walls were built along the riverbanks.The height of most channel gates is preset and they are designed to lower when water levels rise, but if the gates cannot be lowered quickly enough there could be serious water leakage which not only affects flood control but could also fail to block tidal intrusion leading to even more serious flooding. Because of this, real-time monitoring of the flood prevention walls and the status of the tidal gates is of the upmost importance.

Having said that, the Huangpu River is 113 km in length with more than 1500 flood prevention walls and tidal gates. Even with the injection of huge resources in manpower and time, efficient monitoring cannot be fully implemented. So in 2005, Shanghai authority planned the construction of an automated river flood management system using Advantech's Human Machine Interface and image control WebAccess software to monitor the status of the river's flood walls and tidal gates

Automated Monitoring Systems Reduce Water Costs and Time Management

Senior engineer of Gao Cheng Shanghai GC Technology, Duan Shi-Min pointed out that the purpose of building an automatic flood control system for the Huangpu River is to monitor real-time water level changes of the river and the main river estuaries. The status of the tide gates and the coastal flood prevention walls along the riverbanks trigger automatic warning alerts of rising water levels or of damaged flood prevention walls. The system performs several other functions such as external communication and information exchange, database and data recording, day-to-day management, operation reports, and system maintenance notices.

Management organization is divided into a subcontrol station and a control center located in the center of Shanghai to collect and compile information from the various monitoring points. Under this, 5 to 6 subcontrol stations link with the WebAccess back office software in the control center, and setup is based on each administrative region's monitoring information and

Mr. Duan Shi-Min further described the system, "First, sensors on the scene are responsible for collecting information such as water levels, gate level altitude, climate, distribution, rainfall, and auxiliary control equipment.Information is then transmitted to the back-end WebAccess management platform through the Internet. Managers in the control center can notify site engineers to assess and decide whether to open or close the gates according to the received monitoring data. Usually, monitoring inquiries will be done once a day to confirm whether the data is within normal ranges. But during flood season, the frequency of the monitoring will be more intensive such as 1 to 2 times a day because of the increased risk. Using Advantech's WebAccess human-machine interface and image control software, the automatic monitoring of the Huangpu river flood prevention system is achieved with the important benefit of higher reliability and lower labor costs to Shanghai GC Technology. In the past, people in each sub-control station had to collect onsite information. Now, all that can be centralized to the control center and the information from various sub-control stations can be aggregated and utilized. Field engineers will be on hand and be responsible for any problems should they arise.

Advantech WebAccess Remote Internet Monitoring

This WebAccess water conservation project is not only limited to the Huangpu River. Duan Shi-Ming mentioned that WebAccess was implemented in a project to connect Taihu lake and Tai Po river basin segments of the Huangpu river as early as 2001 to automatically monitor the realtime status of the 26 flood prevention wall tide gates along the Tai Po river coast. Management was divided into remote monitoring and control centers. Because of the project's successful results, the scope of the project was expanded to the Huangpu river basin in 2009.

At the beginning, different manufacturers of manmachine interface products and image control softwares were compared during the planning stage and Advantech WebAccess was ultimately chosen. Duan Shi-Min said that this was mainly down to the following features:
1. Flexible control management conf igurat ion: Administrators can set the permission for the users of Master Control Center or Sub-Control Station to view the SCADA interface which demanded.
2. With the web interface, information can be remotely monitored and viewed: Some SCADA sof tware was developed with C/S framework, and it only can be viewed in the local areas, but with WebAccess all monitoring information can be viewed from anywhere. This greatly enhances management flexibility.
3. Friendly interface design: monitoring information displayed by the GUI was very clear and easy to understand and it allowed us to master it quickly.

Furthermore, Advantech is a company with a great reputation and has a high degree of brand awareness in mainland China, and their trustworthiness was also one of the factors we considered. In addition to Webaccess, the industrial host and conversion modules used in this automatic monitoring system are made by Advantech.This means there will be less integration issues since the hardware and software are supplied by the same manufacturer.

In addition to their hardware products, Advantech provided a considerable amount of support during the entire project. Their engineers provided excellent technical assistance in a timely fashion.

Since Shanghai has to manage more than 1,000 km of river embankments and ancillary facilities, the burden of flood control is enormous regardless of the manpower and time management. Through automation, real-time monitoring and control of thousands of flood gates and tide gates along the Huangpu River can be safely managed and all information can be uploaded to Advantech WebAcess management platform to allow managers to take instant and appropriate action. The "Mother River" is now well looked after in its old age.

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