Remote monitoring of closed water systems

October 18, 2021 Comments Off on Remote monitoring of closed water systems Blog Posts

Remote monitoring of closed water systems

ph Water & Air Technologies can provide an innovative approach to monitoring closed water systems. Using smart alternatives to traditional instrumentation we can offer a complete water quality monitoring and control system which can be used to further enhance traditional monitoring methods.

Applications

  • Pre-commission cleaning
  • Temporary installation – Either post PCC Exercise or as part of an investigation to perform system health checks.
  • Permanent installation for continuous system health checks.

The Problem

The treatment of water in modern closed heating and cooling systems is essential for the avoidance of microbiological fouling (biofouling), corrosion and scale. Failure to do so can result in energy wastage, poor system performance, and the need for early replacement of plant and components. The consequences of inappropriate or non-existent water treatment can sometimes be disastrous © BSRIA BG 50/2013. Financial losses can run into 100s of thousands of pounds in both downtime and repairs. 

The advice from BSRIA is that maintenance should involve Chemistry & Bacteriological sampling at a maximum interval of 3 months. Samples should be taken at a sufficient number at representative locations to provide an overall view of the system condition and to allow for assessment of the significance of the results. The BS8552 Sampling and monitoring of water from building services closed systems offers advice on frequency of sampling and locations.

Inhibitor reserves need to be maintained and bacteriological conditions controlled in order to maximise protection against future scaling/corrosion.

Benefits of Remote Monitoring

By continuously analysing key water parameters we can identify potential conditions that lead to corrosion and subsequent system failure well in advance. By using water monitoring technology we can ensure that those responsible for maintaining a system can identify a problem and remediate before it becomes more serious & significantly reduce maintenance costs.

Remote monitoring will allow automatic alarms to flag up changes in condition as they occur rather than be identified when the next sampling is carried out which is often far too late and damage has already occurred.

For designers and property owners, it is essential to closely monitor water quality within a closed system throughout the life of the building to ensures design life is achieved, operating efficiencies are maintained and costly downtime is avoided.

Measure and record:

  • Pressure
  • Flow
  • pH
  • Temperature
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Conductivity
  • Turbidity
  • Biolfouling

By monitoring key parameters you can quickly identify:

  • Leaks / Water Loss
  • Inhibitor depletion
  • Oxygen ingress (In oxygenated waters, the uniform corrosion rate will generally increase)
  • Poor circulation (Stagnation will allow the sedimentation of suspended solids and promote the formation of biofilms, increasing the risk of microbial influenced corrosion)
  • Operating temperatures that encourage the growth of bacteria.
  • pH (pH drift)

Delivery to start up in minutes

The ATI SiteBox (pictured) is quick to install, with delivery to start up in minutes, and typically generates live data within 30 minutes, dramatically reducing the overall cost of the instrumentation package.

It has a small footprint and can easily be moved to monitor other areas of concern and its rugged nature makes it suitable for use in a maintenance environment or on construction sites.

Power Options

Power consumption requirements of traditional water quality monitors prevent their use in locations where AC power is not available. The low power design of the SiteBox system allows these monitors to operate on 12-24 VDC power, as well as battery power, without sacrificing reliability. To further improve power consumption, the system allows users to operate in either continuous or cycle modes. 

Remote Data Collection & Web Dashboard

By incorporating the Cello 4S remote telemetry outstation we are able to monitor multiple site parameters, record and transmit over 2G (SMS/GPRS), 3G, NB-IoT and LTE Cat M1 networks. The logged data is accessible via a highly stable and configurable web based platform which is fully compatible with all modern web browsers.  

The Dashboard provides links to all current alarms and site warnings. Site Alarms can automatically forwarded to one or more mobile devices or email addresses based on criteria as defined by the administrator.

Recipients of an alarm on a mobile device may request further site information by sending an SMS message to the server. Site data may be manually or automatically exported into other formats, including CSV, for further manipulation in spreadsheet packages.

WHAT DOES BSRIA SAY ABOUT CORROSION MONITORING EQUIPMENT?

 

© BG29 2021 – Pre-Commission Cleaning of Pipework Systems

Specialist corrosion monitoring equipment is available to measure and record specific corrosion influencing  parameters. As a permanent feature of the system, the data recorded can give the maintenance team an early warning of conditions likely to promote internal corrosion. This technology allows remote diagnostics so that site visits are minimised.

Typical parameters that can be measured and recorded at pre-set time intervals include.

  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Conductivity (as an indicator of cleaner or inhibitor concentration).
  • pH
  • Water make-up volumes,
  • System pressures,
  • Flow rates
  • Metallica corrosion rates.

If installed prior to the initial system fill corrosion monitoring equipment can be used by the installing contractor and cleaning specialists to monitor the various filling and cleaning stages. The recorded results can be used to demonstrate that the cleaning process was carried out correctly and that the water quality was properly maintained in the period leading to practical completion.

© BSRIA BG 50/2013 Water treatment for closed heating and cooling systems

The system designer should also consider the installation of permanent monitoring equipment such as corrosion coupon racks and on-line sensors. It is preferable to design and install monitoring equipment at the same time as pipework rather when the system is in operation. This will also provide a full history of the corrosion environment.

Corrosion in closed heating and cooling systems is governed primarily by the concentration of dissolved oxygen, the presence of microorganisms and how these factors are mediated by the use of water treatment, i.e. corrosion inhibitors and biocides. Periodic water analysis can measure the concentration of inhibitors and pick up signs of metal corrosion. LPR probes and corrosion coupons can give an accurate assessment of corrosion rates. However, to understand how the whole system is performing and pre-empt damage due to loss of control, continuous monitoring can be useful.

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Imagery of the ATI SiteBox, just one of the remote monitoring solutions that ph Water & Air Technologies Ltd can offer.

For more information regarding remote monitoring solutions please  contact a member of our sales team 01252 543668

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