Endress Hauser Australia were selected to be one of three key members of the main automation alliance to engineer and supply all general instrumentation to the desalination plant at Kurnell. When complete, the plant will provide Sydney-siders with 250 million litres of water a day, satisfying 15% of the city’s daily consumption. Conceived with the future in mind, the plant is designed to have minimal environmental impact and the option to be expanded to a capacity of 500 million litres in the future.
Endress+Hauser supplied 1400 instruments to be deployed from the intake of sea water at the start of the process to the final dispatch of fresh water at the end. Critical process measurements included:
- Water level instruments
- Pressure instrumentation
- pH measuring instruments
- Instruments that monitor and measure turbidity
- Instruments that measure the concentration of minerals such as nitrates
Working closely with Bluewater and the control system supplier, Schneider Electric, Endress+Hauser were able to prove the compatibility of all of their instruments with the Profibus networks during the bidding process. Knowing that the communication would work from the start, Charles Markotter, Instruments & Control Manager for Bluewater’s Electrical said “That just took a lot of stress off everyone from the beginning, knowing that we weren’t going to have everything connected up only to find incompatible communication protocols and needing to start changing out comms cards and modules and things.” Another vital factor for the plant was the correct installation of the field bus networks and the connection of all instrumentation to them. Applying their expertise in this area, Endress+Hauser worked with electrical contracting firm, Heyday Electrical to ensure the correct installation of these important system components.
Once the plant is operational, it will be run by just 8 permanent operators. This will be supported by key service providers who will be able to diagnose problems on site via secure web interfaces. Using real time data from the instruments and other assets in the plant collected by Endress+Hauser’s asset management software, Fieldcare, Sydney Water’s IBM Maxio ERP system will schedule maintenance and even manage spare part inventories, thus keeping maintenance costs to a minimum.