After more than 100 years of operation, the locks of the Kiel North Sea-Baltic Sea canal are to receive new inverted siphons for water supply. The time-consuming work is to be performed in parallel to the lock operation at a depth of approx. 30 meters.
During the construction work, high-quality sensors will measure all the key points of the lock structure, whereby the Radioline wireless systems from Phoenix Contact will connect remote measuring stations with a central control and alarm system.
The Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration operates several locks in Germany, including the locks of the North Sea-Baltic Sea canal in Kiel. The system, which consists of a large and a small group of locks, each with two chambers, is in constant use. After over a hundred years of operation, the tunnels beneath the lock groups no longer represent the latest state of technology. These tunnels are known as inverted siphons and house the lines for energy supply, water, and wastewater, as well as communication.
For economical reasons and to maintain the operational reliability of the lock groups, those responsible at the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration decided on a new construction. While the locks remain in operation, state-of-the-art technology will be used to drill a 400 meter long and 2 meter wide tunnel beneath the entire system at a depth of approximately 30 meters. Several new shafts between the chambers will be used to connect the supply lines. This part of the work will be done in preparation for the further modernization of the lock system.
Components from Glötzl Gesellschaft für Baumesstechnik mbH, located in Rheinstetten near Karlsruhe, will be used to supervise the construction and evaluate measurement results. In the lock system in Kiel-Holtenau, measurements are taken in four areas by distributed measuring elements - so-called MCC (Measurement Communication Control) systems.
The challenge here is that the four isolated stations have to transmit their data to the central MCC master station, which is located in the control center on the central island. Between the individual stations and the control center lie not only several hundred meters, but also the lock chambers. The laying of cables is therefore not feasible from either a technical or economical perspective.
“With this in mind, we opted for the Radioline wireless system from Phoenix Contact, as it is extremely flexible”, explains Joachim Haberland, Project Manager at Glötzl Baumesstechnik responsible for supervising the construction of the lock system. “The Radioline modules enable both I/O signals and serial data to be transmitted, without extra cost.”
Alternative transmission paths if the connection is interrupted
The sensors mounted in the lock system scan the surface with a high degree of precision and thereby record any gradients or movement in the chamber walls. The groundwater level is also recorded in ten locations by level sensors. The sensors emit these signals via a serial RS-485 interface.
The Radioline wireless system is connected directly to the RS-485 output of the measuring element and transmits the values wirelessly to the control center. Here the MCC master stores and evaluates the data.
“All measured values can now be continuously recorded, which means that faults can be identified in good time and countermeasures implemented immediately”, says Jürgen Glötzl, Executive Vice President at Glötzl Baumesstechnik.
Serial and I/O data can be transmitted
The new Trusted Wireless 2.0 wireless technology forms the basis for the Radioline system, which is geared toward the special requirements of industrial infrastructure applications. It closes the gap between WirelessHART as a solution for sensor networks in process technology and the Bluetooth and Wireless LAN wireless standards, which are widely used in factory automation.
Depending on application requirements, the Radioline modules offer various setting options. From a simple point-to-point connection to self-healing mesh networks, all types of network structure can be configured.
By using the Radioline wireless system, the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration has saved a lot of time and money.
“The wireless modules have now been transmitting the recorded measured values to the control center for several months without interruption, which has far exceeded my expectations in terms of the stability of the wireless connection”, concludes Jürgen Glötzl. “Based on this positive experience we will no doubt be using wireless solutions from Phoenix Contact in the future.”