Cloud solution manages water control remotely

Cloud solution manages water control remotely

A company looks to HYDAC to assist with automated operation of its self-cleaning intake screens and gets much more than it bargained for …


AWMA Water Control Solutions, specialising in water control infrastructure, required hydraulic assistance with its intake screens (fish exclusion screens), HYDAC Motion Control Engineer Eduardo Prieto says.

Mr Prieto explains that the company designs systems to extract and manager water flow from rivers for big farm irrigation.

Approximately a year ago it approached HYDAC for a “hydraulic power pump to operate fish-friendly intake screens.

“Initially it was really just about operating a screen that had to circulate automated dual brush systems four or five times a day,” Mr Prieto says.

AWMA Water Control Solutions Research and Development Manager Craig Ross highlights that the water control solutions company is “motivated to protect fish from getting lost or drowning in muddy waterways or getting sucked into pumps, etc.”


HYDAC’s solution

Mr Prieto says HYDAC proposed a hydraulic system with an electrical control panel and a cloud solution that manages the intake screens placed on the river remotely.

“We figured out what the customer needed in addition to the hydraulic side: a self-operating cloud system that would ensure uninterrupted flows to the irrigation systems,” he says.

“Part of our challenge was ensuring the hydraulic system could be operated through the cloud.

“After approval we designed the system in its entirety all the while supporting the customer through the process and implementation points.

“And already the system’s been live since September 2020.”

Mr Ross says AWMA had changes made to the software on a few occasions from HYDAC’s Melbourne office, which was “advantageous”.

He adds that with COVID and border restrictions it would’ve been impossible to get to site.

“But we didn’t have to because we’ve been able to monitor and diagnose problems remotely through cloud monitoring – this has been very helpful,” he says. 

“And to date I regularly take a look at the cloud system to check out performance.”

Massive manpower intervention erased

Automating irrigation system operations saves time, money, and resources. AWMA adds that HYDAC exceeded this by providing real-time and immediate access to HYDAC’s technical support to assist manage the site remotely when required.

“Without this solution we’d be looking at a nine-hour drive to site,” underscores Mr Ross.  

Contented customer

Mr Ross says AWMA has been “very happy with the solution and the screen time increase”.

In view of this, it has requested that screen operation times be increased remotely from twice a day to three to four times a day.

Cloud solution manages water control remotely

New ‘solar’ interest

In addition, Mr Prieto says he has just received a request for two more units from AWMA.

“The unit currently fits in a mains power unit, but the new ones are remote, with no power available,” Mr Ross explains.

This didn’t deter HYDAC, which immediately came up with a solar system solution.

“So once again we will be able to monitor remotely and make changes to software remotely, without having to drive to site. And keep in mind these potential future sites are a five hours’ drive away – a big factor to take into account,” Mr Ross says.

Mr Prieto points out that the units, connected to the cloud, will be self-operated and self-powered.

“This means that a technician will no longer even be required in the event of a power outage as was the case previously,” he concludes.

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