Flood Barrier SCADA System

16 November 2017 - 16:02, by , in Case Studies, No comments

Adsyst successfully delivered a critical SCADA system for the operation of the largest flood barrier in the UK.

The Background:

Environment Agency were established in 1996 to protect and improve the environment. They have around 10,600 employees and have offices all across the UK. EA are responsible for a number of flood control barriers in England, including the largest in the UK. Considered a national asset site by the UK Government the flood barrier has extremely strict security policies and requirements when working on the site.

The Challenge:

The Flood Barrier SCADA system, which controls the ten steel gates, was last upgraded between 1994 and 1996. It now contains a number of legacy components which needed to be replaced, to enable the control system to function more efficiently and effectively.  The main objective was to optimise the performance of the system with minimum disruption to the Barrier’s operation and maintenance activities. A number of challenges appeared for Adsyst including the requirement for Adsyst to build, test, install and commission a working SCADA system across the whole Barrier within a strict timescale period and to ensure the security of the site and that security of its systems are not compromised in any way.

The Solution:

Adsyst was able to install a new SCADA system and replace the current serial communications network with an optical fibre network. The new high speed communications network will link each of the eleven local pier control rooms to the existing south control room and also to the auxiliary control room on the north side of the barrier. Adsyst would supply approx. 20 industrial workstations throughout the barrier. They were designed to interface with 52 programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s), multiple control room servers and personal computers for the new control room environments.

The Results:

Adsyst supplied & installed a brand new SCADA system interfacing with all ten gates across the barrier that are controlled remotely at the control tower. The SCADA system consists of 52 PLC’s interfacing with hydraulic motors, valves and sensors to ensure that the EA have the control and visibility they need for daily operations.

The SCADA system has not only allowed the remote operation of the heavy gates that must be lifted up and down to protect from flooding in harsh weather conditions but also the logging and monitoring of the multiple alarms that may be triggered if any one part of the system were to fail. A thorough gate testing procedure agreed and used to commission and test the SCADA system which passed and was completed in 2011.

Adsyst carried out the work to a strict timescale effectively and to the stringent security policies that must be abided by when working at national asset sites. This project utilised our expertise including PLC, SCADA HMI, MES, IT Infrastructure, Data Acquisition, ICA Control Panels, Remote I/O, Copper/fibre Ethernet and Fieldbus networks.

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