Saturday, January 15, 2011

PLC Implementation in Canal Automation Work

The ITRC (Irrigation Training and Research Center) of has been involved in canal automation training, assistance, technical and research since 1980’s by the California Polytechnic State University. ITRC believes in the rule and continues to recommend simple solutions such as hydraulic gates, long crested weirs, regulating reservoirs, and remote monitoring where appropriate. But there is an increased need for tighter and more flexible control that often can not be accomplished with those simple techniques. Therefore, ITRC has actively participated in PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) based irrigation district automation implementation.

ITRC has attempted to work with excellent companies with PLC based control and has tried to incorporate the best simulation models, control algorithms, equipment, Human Machine Interface (HMI) software, and training that s available. There so many challenges to successful implementation of PLC based control that it would be fool hardy for ITRC to work with anything the best in cooperators, software, and hardware.

The iTRC roles as below:
1. Select the control to be used for a particular project
2. Select, develop and tune the control algorithm that dictates the gate movement
3. Assist the irrigation district in specifying the supervisory control and data acquisition system characteristic
4. Work with the district in locating a good supervisory control and data acquisition integrator.
The ultimate objective is to make the technology much more user friendly, robust and simple to implement. So that commercial companies can implement it effectively and rapidly in irrigation districts.

Working in this way with the USBR and individual irrigation districts, we have helped to implement the following types of PLC based canal automation:
1. Upstream control
• With overshot gates in series
• With radial gates in series
2. Flow rate control
• With replogle flumes
• With acoustic Doppler flow meters (ADFM)
3. Downstream control with the control points at the heads of the pools
• With overshot gates in series
• With pumps in series
• For a single pool
4. Downstream control with the control points at an intermediate location within the pools, with pumps in series.

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