A research group from a Spanish University, with a R&D stream on automation and tele-control, is developing an integral automatisation and tele-control system. This system is originally intended for desalination plants management, but is has also multiple industrial applications. The main innovative element of this system is its remote control console that allows to adapt the level of automation/control of the plant to the manager´s needs. The research group is looking for financial agreements.
Based on the experience developed over a period of 15 years in the different prototypes of desalination plants in which the automatisation and tele-control system was tested, the Spanish research group aims to adapt it and to update its hardware so that they are no longer integrated elements in a machine, but modules that can be offered independently in the market to industrial desalination system manufacturers. This system is composed by different hardware and software elements as briefly detailed bellow: - A console with a powerful microprocessor and an industrial use touch screen, - Software for the full plant management, - Slave peripherals (hardware/software), such as valves, pressure sensors, pH, temperature, flow, dilution system and automatic chemicals dosing. The console only needs a power supply of 24 V DC and manages the slave peripherals by wireless. It may also be connected (by Ethernet, TCP/IP) to the manufacturer server to update the software, receiving failures alarms and remote diagnose for possible failures. In this way, the plant manager can have remote information in real time about the functioning and control it with several automations level according to their needs and/or choices. All of this is made possible by the powerful microprocessor included in the console and its touch screen. It is easily manageable and intuitive operation. In addition to allowing the remote control of desalination plants, the integral automation and tele-control system can be applied to other industrial activities involving automatable processes in very different areas (fluid treatments, gas, chemicals, foods manufacturing, etc.) The research group is looking for a financial agreement in order to obtain the resources needed to improve and update the hardware and software of this integral automation and tele-control system, to ensure its future viability and to launch it in the market. The company expects to reach a mutually beneficial long-term cooperation with the financial partner.
Innovations and advantages
The main innovative element of this integral automation and tele-control system is the remote control console. Thanks to its powerful microprocessor, the automation/control level of the plant can be adapted to the manager’s needs. Thus, this system offers five automation levels (from least to most): 1. The first automation level enables the start and controlled stop of the plant, which means opening and closing the input and brine output valves, turning on the water pumps and the control of the normal use of the plant (filling the permeate water deposit and switching to production), including membrane filling with permeate water in the stopping procedure. The console screen will show operating and failure status indicators, which constitutes an innovation for plants with minimum automation. 2. The second automation level also permits the measuring of the flow and an output to the high-pressure pump speed variator, an essential element for an appropriate flow regulation. 3. The third automation level enables pressure measurement through the installation of pressure sensors (for example in the input and output of pumps, membranes and filters…). 4. The fourth automation level enables the valves control, for their on-site operation as well as their remote control through an SCADA via Ethernet. This is especially useful with the regulation valves. 5. The fifth automation level is the maximum provided and it includes the features of all the previous levels as well as control/automation of the additive dosing system. This level could also include an order measurement, such as temperature, conductivity and pH.
Current stage of development
The automation levels 1 and 2 provide a product that could feasibly be produced for the market. This would make it possible to develop marketing actions to publicize the advantages of the product, build trust in the potential customers and beginning a loyalty process.
10004 Water Management
10004001 Industrial Water Treatment
10004008 Water Resourses Management
Market application codes
08002002 Industrial measurement and sensing equipment
08002003 Process control equipment and systems
08002007 Other industrial automation
09008002 Water, sewerage, chemical and solid waste treatment plants
09008003 Gas transmission and distribution
Intellectual property rights
Type of partner sought
The research group is looking for a silent partner –firms or natural persons– interested in investing in the development of this integral automation and tele-control system, and with the capacity of marketing it for industrial desalination plants and other industrial activities.. In order to achieve an agreement it would be a decisive advantage if the partner can prove they have right economic and professional solvency as well as connections with the potential clients for this product. Therefore, the group is looking for a partner that can be involved in the development of the product, contributing with ideas and proposals for a better marketing strategy and subsequent developments in the product’s improvement process.