How Maximizing an Automation System Minimized Water Consumption

August 30, 2021
Richard Theron

In the dry, desert lands of the Middle East, water is in extremely high demand but in very short supply. Though scarce, water is a crucial resource for the health and well-being of people, food production, and economic development – and that means irrigation is a must for agricultural, municipal, and industrial purposes.

Irrigation, of course, must be done with water management and conservation practices in mind.

That’s where Hunter Industries comes in. As a leader in irrigation systems that are designed to use as little water as possible, Hunter’s high-capacity, commercial irrigation controllers are ideal for optimizing the health and beauty of a landscape while minimizing water consumption.

CHALLENGE: SEAMLESS BAS INTEGRATION

Hunter’s solution is far more robust than a simple irrigation “on” and “off” control. Though their high-capacity ACC and ACC2 controllers provide scalable state-of-the-art irrigation control, leak detection, on-board flow monitoring, local weather adjustment, and other features, they cannot do what they need to do without first being integrated into the SCADA or industrial automation system using standard protocols.

The irrigation system needs to work seamlessly with an existing, well-integrated building automation system (BAS) and its many third-party devices.

In the Middle East, Hunter irrigation solutions also need to be capable of connecting via LAN, Wi-Fi, or Cellular with full international approval of Hunter-designed internal communication modules, so that they can synchronize with other management applications.

SOLUTION: FIELDSERVER GATEWAY

For their integration solution, Hunter turned to Chipkin Automation and the MSA FieldServer gateway. Thanks to FieldServer and Chipkin, a close partner, Hunter can provide customers with multi-protocol gateways and drivers that seamlessly integrate into BACnet, Modbus, KNX, and nearly 200 other automation protocols.

In addition to approved and certified FieldServer gateways, Hunter’s integration solution also includes a protocol library, as well as pre-packaged command and query objects. Customers can operate their irrigation systems within their own self-contained network.

A FieldServer-enabled Hunter irrigation system gives users the ability to:

  • Integrate third-party devices and enable data sharing
  • Monitor faults and operational data
  • Command the system to stop, start, pause, increase, or decrease irrigation
  • Use pre-defined usage limits to switch to other water sources or stop irrigation
  • Monitor, detect and report low- and high-flow conditions
  • Auto-adjust irrigation within the BAS based on local rainfall

RESULTS: BETTER CONTROL FROM A CENTRALIZED SYSTEM

“Getting data into the BMS (building management system) for irrigation control is especially important in the Middle East where water is just at the right-hand side of gold,” says FieldServer product manager, Richard Theron. “Our FieldServer protocol gateway combined with industry-leading Hunter controllers means that irrigation is no longer just an add-on function. Rather, it’s an integral part of a single automation system.”

Here are just a few of the many benefits of the FieldServer solution:

  • Certified interoperability
  • Allows for full control and integration of supervisory data into BMS
  • Easy to install and configure
  • Includes remote access for troubleshooting the FieldServer

Ready for seamless integration and better control from your automation system?

Talk with an MSA Sales rep today.

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Richard Theron
Richard Theron is the product line manager for Fieldserver and cloud at Sierra Monitor, where he works intimately with companies in the building automation, industrial automation, energy management and life safety markets to help them cloud-enable their equipment.

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