Yorkshire Water Energy Management System
As one of the ten largest water facilities in the World, Yorkshire Water identified the need for high quality operational information to help it improve business performance. Their existing information solutions were complex to maintain, and the company was mindful of their limitations with regard to the collection and analysis of real-time data. Consequently, concerns about the system’s future sustainability prompted Yorkshire Water to seek a modern, scalable and maintainable alternative. Centred around a telemetry real-time strategy, the proposed solution was to change the ethos of how the company operates – in their words, running Yorkshire Water as a production plant. The theory is simple – by running Yorkshire Water like a production plant, the company will know if it is being run in an optimal way, and if something happens it can model the impact and remotely reconfigure as appropriate.
Yorkshire Water has a vast set of assets, serving in excess of two million bill paying customers. These assets include more than 65,000km of clean and waste water networks, 86 water treatment works, 600 waste water treatment works, 2,250 pumping stations, 2,200 Combined Sewer Overflows, 2,200 distribution management areas, and 650 reservoirs and water storage facilities. A key challenge Yorkshire Water faced moving forwards was the effective management of these assets – a critical challenge in the face of rising energy costs – while servicing growth, increasing productivity with the capability to reduce downtime. The new strategy had three key points to it: broadening the footprint by monitoring anywhere within Yorkshire Water’s asset portfolio, adding intelligence to the data collected via operational dashboards, and applying context to enable automation and the ability to safely control assets remotely.
How we helped
Capula’s solution, utilising the PI System infrastructure from OSIsoft, would allow Yorkshire Water to monitor key parameters from their field assets from anywhere within the territory. The solution was delivered in two phases across a two year period. Phase One was spent implementing the new data servers, getting the PI System infrastructure in place, interfacing with devices, bringing data into the system and understanding how the data can be interpreted. This was crucial to achieve company buy-in for the enterprise-wide roll out in Phase Two.
The Capula solution included a number of OSIsoft PI System infrastructure products, including PI SCADA interface, PI to PI interface, PI Module Database, PI ACE, PI ProcessBook, PI AlarmView and PI ActiveView. Capula created production dashboards which allowed Yorkshire Water to centrally monitor the performance of 23 of the company’s best Sewage Treatment and Water facilities – referred to as Shining Star sites. The central monitoring enabled better targeting of maintenance resource and continuous improvement. In addition, it enabled Yorkshire Water to optimise methane production from the company’s bio-digesters, which was subsequently used to run small generators to produce electricity thereby allowing some assets to be self-powered and reduce bought-in energy costs. In some instances, the methane was used in a small fleet of gas-powered vans. In instances of adverse weather conditions, Yorkshire Water can handle as many as 10,000 alarms from field devices in an average month.
PI AlarmView has been configured to provide an intelligent alarm management system, making it easier to make effective business decisions as a result. The displays, developed jointly by Capula and Yorkshire Water, allow data to be presented concisely at a number of different levels from high level management reporting to detailed site or device-specific root level analysis through a single interface.
These were developed using standard Client server technology, with the results viewable in a web browser. The aim in Phase Two was to post the Phase One dashboards into Microsoft SharePoint, implementing additional Key Performance Indicators and further waste water treatment sites to the same dashboards. Following this, the major element was to roll out the solution to a number of clean water treatment sites, bringing the total to 55 strategic sites. Experience gained from Phase One allowed Capula to make refinements to the underlying structure of the system, meaning that not only was Phase Two delivered ahead of schedule and to the agreed budget, but the effort required for ongoing maintenance and further expansion of the system has been significantly reduced.