Articles & Case Studies

ABB cuts water bills for Glastonbury organisers

Posted: Tuesday 4th October 2011

Organisers of the Somerset based Glastonbury festival are now able to accurately monitor their water consumption and solar energy thanks to the installation of ABB instruments, including a SM500F and SM3000 videographic recorders and ABB WaterMaster flowmeters.

The annual Pilton music festival which sees the local population increase by around 175,000 people, requires more than 1 million gallons of water over a period of five days. Spanning over eight miles, the site has around 700 hand basins and 100 standpipes located at various points to provide fresh water for drinking, washing and showers.

As the festival has grown, so has the demand for water, resulting in Pilton’s mains water supply struggling to cope with the increased demand. Initially, the local authorities had tried to address this issue in 1997 by laying a water mains from the main A361 down to Worthy Farm. Although this helped it was still insufficient in dealing with peak demand between 10am and midday.

To compensate for the shortfall, the festival organisers imported water from a local authority some seven miles away. Just one day’s supply for festival goers is 240,000 gallons of drinking water requiring 200-300 tanks of water per day. Festival infrastructure manager Phil Miller says, “At £500 per tank, haulage expenses were proving very costly and we were looking for a new a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solution.”

To address the supply issue, a second £400,000 reservoir was constructed on the site for this year’s Glastonbury Festival. However, organisers required an indication and logging device to monitor the level, potable water feed supply and power used by the feed pumps. To achieve this, the Glastonbury site team approached local ABB Alliance partner, AM Sensors, who worked closely with organisers to supply two SM500F and electromagnetic flowmeter systems, to display and log the required parameters specified.

The SM500F is an electronic data recorder that can be installed anywhere, taking recording out of the control room and offering users localised access to operational data.

The recorder enables Glastonbury to correlate the water supply against the supply company billing, also providing a ‘footprint’ of consumption rates at any time period during the festival for future planning. The display system means that the reservoir levels can be monitored to provide an early warning of supply requirements and ensure dosing routes are in compliance and validate pump rates. The SM3000 data recorder is key and to record energy generated from the new £1m solar panel system installed this year on the roof of the ‘mootel’.

AM Sensors supplied the WaterMaster to accurately measure the flowrate of water being pumped into the onsite reservoirs and pipework system which is used for the feed pump speed control system. ABB’s WaterMaster flowmeters set the standard for water, wastewater, sewage and effluent flow measurement and management. WaterMaster has the world’s first on board verification system, providing users with the ability to perform in-situ verification across the complete range. The flowmeter is proven to be robust and reliable, with unmatched diagnostic capabilities providing the right information to keep the process up and running.

By measuring the reservoir levels and total flow out, this is the first time in 35 years that Glastonbury organisers have been able to analyse water movement and gauge a pattern of water usage. “The aim of the project was to reduce the amount of water brought in. Not only has this been achieved but the investment has easily paid for itself,” says Miller. “The information collected is used for bill evaluation, giving us an accurate and easy to understand record of our usage. This ensures we don’t pay for any more water than we actually use and the reservoir is more environmentally-friendly, with fewer lorries coming onto the site.” The data is also communicated back to the main control centre for monitoring and backed up using medium card for post festival analysis.

The SM500F is ideal for any installation where local indication and recording of process conditions is needed. Typical applications for the device include cold storage, temperature and humidity monitoring, effluent monitoring, borehole abstraction and building management systems. Its fully-sealed IP66 and NEMA 4X enclosure provides full protection against water and dust ingress making it ideal for hosedown and dirty applications.

“A key benefit of the SM series is its ease of use”, says Martin Binney, R&C Product Manager. “The SM500F includes four gland links, offering easy connection of the recorder to other instruments whilst a user-friendly display and interface means that setting up and using the SM500F can quickly be mastered.”

Front-mounted pushbuttons allow simple selection of data, which is presented in a familiar Windows™ environment. Set-up and commissioning is also straightforward, with menus presenting options for setting and fine-tuning operating parameters. Added support is provided by an extensive context sensitive online help feature. As with other members of the SM recorder series, the SM500F and SM3000 can send email notifications whenever an alarm occurs to ensure that any potential problems are promptly addressed. Free DataManager software package means users can manipulate the logged and archived data within an excel spreadsheet.

The communications facilities built into the SM500F will be used in future events by Glastonbury to send data to remote locations via wireless networks and email.

“Being a local company meant that AM sensors could offer hands-on support and service”, says Miller. “We need were guaranteed a high level of support backed up by proven technology.”

For more information on how ABB can help you to measure and monitor your flow profile email or call 0870 600 6122 ref. ‘Glastonbury’

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