Cloud-Based SCADA Delivers Enhanced Security and Energy Savings with Pump Optimization

Providing clean water to a community is a complex task. Municipal water supply systems involve distribution lines, pumps, and storage facilities. Wastewater treatment plants deal with the challenges of removing impurities through a multi-step process. Maintaining a clean supply involves monitoring and processing a large set of data. Many water systems embrace cloud-based SCADA to simplify this effort.

What Is SCADA Technology?

The manufacturing sector has used system control and data acquisition systems for decades. Sensors take measurements at each step of an automated process, and the system generates information about factors like work rates and temperatures. When problems arise, managers program the software to make automatic adjustments. The SCADA system will also provide historical and real-time performance data so technicians can develop an intentional maintenance schedule.

In the water industry, sensors in supply lines send data about water pressure and volume. A similar setup provides critical information about water quality in treatment plants. Embracing SCADA makes these utilities more efficient and less prone to service interruptions.

Cloud Computing and SCADA Technology

Cloud computing represents the next generation of computer technology. Instead of software and data sitting on in-house computers and servers, the local system connects to remote platforms to store and process information. Organizations pay a regular fee for access rather than purchasing new software every few years. The secure cloud also has stronger privacy and security measures than those employed by local networks.

In smaller facilities, SCADA systems often operate within the local network. Some sensors are hard-wired into the system, and others communicate through the facility’s Wi-Fi. This arrangement is cumbersome in complex systems and not reliable for utilities that cover a wide geographic area. Running communication through the cloud provides consistent, real-time data.

In a cloud-based SCADA system, sensors report information wirelessly using cellular or satellite networks. Operators can access the system from any local using a connected phone or tablet. Cloud SCADA allows employees at a control facility and maintenance crews in the field to view the data they need.

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Control?

The benefits of a cloud-based system start with constant access to real-time data. The ability to monitor and control the equipment from any location means a faster response time to problems. Crews will know about a water main break within moments, and supervisors can reroute the flow if possible.

SCADA in the cloud also comes with cost savings over locally-based models. The utility doesn’t purchase and maintain a dedicated server or software. Instead, the SaaS provider handles implementation and upgrades resulting in lower operating costs and smaller up-front investments.

Pump Optimization and Cloud SCADA

Water distribution systems may rely on several sources. While surface water resources like reservoirs or rivers are the easiest to access, utilities in drought-prone areas may need to pump water from underground wells. Running a pump is an expensive solution, and water systems want to minimize the amount of work these machines perform.

Pump optimization is an ideal SCADA application. Sensors throughout the system will report on current water volume and demand. A central computer calculates the optimum time to run the pumps and how much water they must add to the supply. With well-configured cloud control, these actions will happen without additional human input. The system will do its job 24 hours a day, producing significant energy savings over time.

Control of the system is safer on the secured cloud. Cybercriminals can’t attack local servers for easy access if the utility takes appropriate security measures like two-step authorization, client data, and system oversight to remain safe.

A Partner for Expert Cloud-Based SCADA Services

High Tide Technologies is at the forefront of helping municipal water collection, treatment, and distribution systems implement cloud SCADA. We can help configure SCADA applications throughout your system for optimal performance. Our team will examine your system and determine a configuration that will benefit you and your customers. Contact us to learn how a cloud-based SCADA system can benefit your operation.