Technology helps 'Het Zilvermeer in Mol' to transform manual processes into smart, digital solutions
“Het Zilvermeer’ a recreation domain in Belgium was looking for smart solutions to manage their electricity on the campsite and control the level pumps in the lake. Together with Citymesh, Microsoft, Nedap and Phoenix Contact we work this out.
‘Het zilvermeer’ has two lakes. When the large lake has reached a certain water level, the pump in the lake has to transfer the surplus of water into the smaller lake. Until shortly this was still done manually, but this could be done differently. Cooling the water for pumping up to the other lake has to meet two requirements: The temperature has to be at least 17° and the water level has to be high enough.
We used two PT100 temperature sensors, which we placed at 10cm and 1 meter depth. To monitor the water level we used an ultrasonic sensor from SICK. The ultrasonic sensor emits sound waves and these waves collide with the water's surface. The value is read out via RS485 and transmitted wirelessly to the PLC at the pump via the radio line modules of Phoenix contact. Thanks to these radio modules we can supply our RS485 wirelessly up to 20km away! (in unobstructed view). The PLC will use the measurement data to determine when the pump should be active and offers this data via Azure.
Why 868Mhz? We chose 868Mhz because this frequency cannot be disturbed. Through wifi, you can easily get interference. Think at home, your modem is set up in the storage room on the ground floor. Chances are that the signal does not reach your desk upstairs. Of course, we want to avoid this and frequency 868Mhz is ideal for this!
In addition to the lake and recreational facilities, ‘Het Zilvermeer’ also has a camping site. In order to supply your caravan or mobile home you need a power socket. The intention was for the visitor to be able to activate/deactivate his socket completely independently and the consumption of this socket will be charged automatically.
Solution: For this case, we developed a kiosk. Through this kiosk, the visitor can place money on his personal badge. Then he can select the socket he wants to use and link it to his badge. The number of kilowatts consumed is then deducted from his balance.
We've also provided security. This deactivates the socket automatically and immediately when the plug is literally pulled out. This way, no one can secretly draw energy from your socket while you are sleeping, for example. You then have to go to the kiosk again and activate the desired socket.
The technology we use is mainly PLCnext technology combined with Azure IoT Central for management and visualization. This is also the first project in which we collaborate with our three partners.
We use Azure IoT Central for management and visualization. Via IoT Edge, we communicate with the sockets and the ultrasonic sensor. We then obtain data and can visualize it in IoT Central. This gives us the opportunity to monitor the data from the power sockets in real-time. Which socket is currently used, and which has the largest consumption, we can closely monitor the water level, is the pump still active, and much more. It offers very interesting observations.
From them, we use the PLCnext. This PLC series is based on a Linux operating system that also has real-time capabilities. The Phoenix ecosystem has sufficient interfacing possibilities for us to read or control different sensors or peripheral devices. In our case, the Real-time part of the PLC will determine when the pump should be activated or deactivated.
At Nedap we use a smart card reader, the NVITE reader. This reader is used in the kiosk when you want to scan your badge.