Network Control Solution
By automatically coordinating a sequence of FlumeGates™ in an irrigation conveyance or distribution channel system, delivery of water can be optimised to maintain high and consistent flow rates to farmers and simultaneously eliminate outfalls at the end of the channel.
To reliably deliver water on-demand, with high flow rates to all farmers equally is a real challenge. Without accurate and real-time measurement of flow or the ability to make frequent changes to manual regulating gates, it’s just plain hard. And then add unknown leakage and seepage, unexpected weather, long channel networks, other stakeholders like hydro-electric generation or the environment and simple human error. It’s more of an art than a science.
Rubicon’s solution is simple to install and quick to get up and running. The solution includes replacing regulating gates along the channel with FlumeGates, installing a radio network to enable gate-to-gate communication, deploying a remote management and telemetry system called SCADAConnect™ and using the channel network control software called NeuroFlo™.
All of the regulating gates along the length and breadth of a channel system are coordinated so that water levels remain stable while just the amount of water needed by farmers is supplied from the dam or river. The channel system behaves with nearly the same responsiveness and efficiency as a pipe but without the high cost of piping.
Unpredictable water levels and potential shortages of water in the channel become a thing of the past, even at the far downstream end of the distribution network where control problems are usually magnified. Gone too is the unnecessary spilling of water in excess of that used by farmers through the tail escape, or the unnecessary expense of balancing storage to recirculate water.
Features and Benefits
By eliminating the outfalls that are common in channel operation, more water remains available in the river or in storage for irrigation at another time.
Less energy cost
If water is pumped into the channel instead of coming from storage, eliminating outfalls can substantially reduce energy costs.
Instead of rigid irrigation schedules like rotations, water can be delivered when a farmer needs it because water is automatically transferred from the section of channel just upstream of the farmer instead of from the distant head-works of the channel system.
All farmers receive the same quality of service: high, consistent flows on request, regardless of whether they are towards the beginning or end of the channel system.
It is easier to detect seepage occurring in the network with precise real-time data on water levels. Costs can thereby be reduced with targeted remediation. And leakage that can occur through the crown of the channel when operating the network above design level is also reduced.
The Network Control solution could help if you:
- have problems controlling levels and flows in your network
- want to only release water from storage that closely matches actual irrigator usage
- need to reduce extraction pumping costs
- need to improve the consistency and reliability of supply to farms
- want to reduce relining costs with targeted remediation
- want to improve field operator productivity and safety
Rubicon’s Network Control solution brings together FlumeGates, a radio network to enable gate-to-gate communication, a remote management and telemetry system called SCADAConnect and channel network control software called NeuroFlo.
These components operate together, passing level and flow information along the length of the channel ensuring a coordinated response right up to the dam or pumping station. Any increase in water extraction anywhere in the system (including leaks and evaporation) can be supplied by all the FlumeGates opening the right amount. Any reduction in extraction (including local rainfall and irrigation rejections) results in FlumeGates closing along the channel, effectively storing the water for later use.
Precise flow measurement and control
Rubicon’s flow control products are installed at regulating structures in series along the channel. Accurate flow measurement and precision motor control precisely regulates the flow through each regulating structure. Explore Rubicon’s range of control products here.
Rubicon’s integrated telemetry enables each site management device to share information with upstream and downstream control sites, providing redundant distributed control capability for safe autonomous operations.
When a FlumeGate receives flow and level information from its neighbour or from an offtake, the NeuroFlo software determines the response. NeuroFlo determines by how much the FlumeGate should open or close, by how much it should increase or decrease flow to supply water flowing out and to keep water levels at the desired level.
The SCADAConnect software constantly monitors channel operation to alert human operators to any potential abnormal behaviour. Detailed visualisation, navigation and dynamic analysis of channel flows and levels in real time and intuitive configurable alarms ensure that operators have all the information they need.
The Network Control solution is made up of modular TCC™ technology:
SCADAConnect is Rubicon’s SCADA software designed specifically for irrigation. It provides the ability to monitor and manage all field devices, with comprehensive alarm management and the ability to do sophisticated trend analysis.
Rubicon’s engineers will design and install a communication system that will enable the inter-communication between FlumeGates along the length of the channel and the remote monitoring of all field equipment from the control centre.
NeuroFlo Network Control is the software that determines the response of each FlumeGate, and coordinates the propagation of flow information up (or down) the channel.
The Network Visualisation software function pack provides a visual, schematic representation of the irrigation network making it easy to navigate the network and provides a dynamic summary analysis of the operating behaviour.
Flow Measurement and Control Devices
A combined overshot flow measurement and control gate used to automatically regulate flow or water level in an open channel.
An all-in-one undershot flow measurement and control gate designed for farm entry points and channel offtakes.