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Emerson Smart Wireless technology is helping E.ON UK to accurately monitor and measure treated water usage, allowing trending and analysis to formulate target values at its dual-fired power station.

Using Emerson Rosemount wireless transmitters, E.ON is now able to collect flow measurement data from flowmeters installed throughout the turbine hall.

The self-organising wireless network delivers the data for trending in an OSIsoft PI historian, which helps personnel monitor water usage within the system.

E.on Kingsnorth, a 1940MW generating facility located on the Medway Estuary in Kent, UK, needed a solution to monitor and measure water usage within its main plant.

They decided to install non-intrusive ultrasonic flowmeters to carry out this task.

The high cost of wiring associated with a conventional cabled solution and a desire to embrace the latest networking technology led E.ON to evaluate wireless technologies that could meet its needs.

Having initially undertaken extensive trials of Emerson Smart Wireless technology, E.ON selected the Emerson solution because it offered high levels of reliability and long transmitting distance, as well as the ability to add additional devices to the network without the need for additional infrastructure.

The turbine hall at Kingsnorth is around 500m long and presents a difficult working environment for wireless as it houses large turbines, vast amounts of metal piping and a number of metal walkways that could interfere with the wireless signal.

Such an environment would not be suitable for a line of sight wireless solution, but Emerson Smart Wireless technology encountered no problems in terms of routing data back to the gateway or reliability of connection.

The self-organising network provides redundant routes for the data to pass back to the gateway.

Each wireless device can act as a router for other nearby devices, passing messages along until they reach their destination.

If there is an obstruction, transmissions are simply re-routed along the network until a clear path to the Smart Wireless Gateway is found.

As conditions change or new obstacles are encountered in a plant, such as temporary scaffolding, new equipment, or a parked lorry, these wireless networks simply reorganise and find a way to get their signals through.

All of this happens automatically, without any involvement by the user.

This technology optimises data reliability while minimising power consumption.

It also reduces the effort and infrastructure necessary to set up a successful wireless network.

Fourteen Rosemount wireless transmitters have been installed to provide access to flow percentage readings from the non-intrusive ultrasonic flow meters monitoring different sections of the turbine hall.

The Rosemount wireless transmitters are transmitting flow measurement data every 15 seconds to an Emerson Smart Wireless Gateway situated in the main administration building on the other side of the road from the turbine hall.

‘The gateway is situated in a windowless room within the main building,’ said Simon Lark, engineer, E.ON UK.

‘Despite being totally surrounded by brick walls, when switched on, the wireless transmitters were all clearly visible and immediately connected to the gateway.’ Using Ethernet the data is sent from the gateway to the Emerson AMS Suite predictive maintenance software, which manages the wireless transmitters and uses its OPC server to import the flow data into the PI data historian.

From here operators view trends and pinpoint where any loss of flow takes place.

The 14 transmitters took around two hours to configure and then less than six hours to install within the plant.

In contrast, a wired solution would have taken between one and two weeks to complete.

Emerson Process Management – Wireless

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