Network Control Solution

By automatically coordinating a sequence of FlumeGates™ in an irrigation conveyance or distribution canal system, delivery of water can be optimized to maintain high and consistent flow rates to farmers and simultaneously eliminate spills at the end of the canal.

Overview

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 canal 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 check gates along the canal with FlumeGates, installing a radio network to enable gate-to-gate communication, deploying a remote management and telemetry system called SCADAConnect™ and using the canal network control software called NeuroFlo™.

All of the regulating gates along the length and breadth of a canal 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 canal 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 canal 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

More water

By eliminating the spills that are common in canal 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 canal instead of coming from storage, eliminating spills can substantially reduce energy costs.

More flexible

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 canal just upstream of the farmer instead of from the distant head-works of the canal system.

Fairer

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 canal system.

Less leakage

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 canal 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

Detail

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 canal network control software called NeuroFlo.

These components operate together, passing level and flow information along the length of the canal 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 canal, 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 canal. Accurate flow measurement and precision motor control precisely regulates the flow through each regulating structure. Explore Rubicon’s range of control products here.

Radio communications

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.

NeuroFlo™

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.

SCADAConnect™ & Network Visualization

The SCADAConnect software constantly monitors canal operation to alert human operators to any potential abnormal behavior. Detailed visualization, navigation and dynamic analysis of canal flows and levels in real time and clever alarms ensure that human operators have all the information they need.

Components

The Network Control solution is made up of modular TCC technology:

SCADAConnect Icon

SCADAConnect™

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.

Irrigation Radio Communication Network Icon

Radio Network

Rubicon’s engineers will design and install a communication system that will enable the inter-communication between FlumeGates along the length of the canal and the remote monitoring of all field equipment from the control centre.

NeuroFlo Icon

NeuroFlo™

NeuroFlo Network Control is the software that determines the response of each FlumeGate, and coordinates the propagation of flow information up (or down) the canal.

Network Visualization Icon

Network Visualization

The Network Visualization 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 behavior.

Flow Measurement and Control Devices

FlumeGate icon, overshot integrated gate and flow meter

FlumeGate™

A combined overshot flow measurement and control gate used to automatically regulate flow or water level in an open canal.

SlipMeter Undershot integrated control gate and flow measurement icon

SlipMeter™

An all-in-one undershot flow measurement and control gate designed for farm turnouts and canal offtakes.

SlipGate undershot control gate icon

SlipGate™

A new generation of precision sluice/slide gate to accurately control the flow of water to farms and in open canals.

FlumeMeter Undershot Meter Icon

FlumeMeter™

An all-in-one undershot flow meter designed for open canals, providing real-time and accurate flow measurement.

PikoMeter Undershot Flow Meter Icon

PikoMeter™

An integrated turnout gate and meter that enables the delivery of precisely-measured quantities of water.

BladeMeter Pipe Meter for high flow gravity irrigation

BladeMeter™

A farm turnout control valve and meter that measures and controls flow at gravity pipeline outlets.