LoRa and LoRaWAN Enabled Secure Digital Twin

Water Treatment System

Water utilities in North America are confronting difficulties that didn’t exist a decade ago.
Facing increasing demand from growing metropolitan populaces, potential scarcity due to environmental change, a maturing foundation, administrative tension, and budgetary limitations, water utilities need an advanced, paradigm-shifting solution.

A digital transformation can help water utilities become more energy-efficient, less labor-intensive, more compliant with regulatory directives, and allow for streamlined communication among departments. Every water utility striving to achieve digital transformation should consider these three areas:

Digital Transformation Roadmap

1st Step – Selecting Secure Digital Transformation Architecture

Water treatment facilities are critical public infrastructure. A surge in frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks on public infrastructure in recent years has raised widespread concern about the vulnerability of our infrastructure to hackers, as well as its disastrous implications on civic life. Cyber-security has thus become a top priority for industry leaders.

This prioritization of cyber-security is reflected withing the administration as well. According to the cyber-security standards and government initiatives in US and Canada, digital transformation must be initiated by first making considerations for embedding cyber-security measures in the design architecture.

Why Zero Trust?

Historically, companies used virtual private networks and other middleware-driven security practices wherein one of the centralized bodies issues a TLS certificate for asset and user authentication. However, these have been compromised in many recent cyber-attacks. The concept of zero trust cyber-security in which all devices, hardware, and users are activated on the network using decentralized cryptographic authentication offers a more secure alternative. Our blockchain-based zero trust solution ensures the following:

⦁ End to End Cryptographic Data Encryption
⦁ Cryptographic remote endpoint management
⦁ Cryptographic remote firewall management
⦁ Realtime Intrusion Detection
⦁ Realtime Fire Integrity Management
⦁ Realtime Cyber-Security Audit
⦁ Alerts

2nd Step – Water Treatment Process Plant Monitoring & Simulation

Our secure digital twin can be deployed to remotely monitor process performance by collecting and analyzing data. Machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms purposed for anomaly detection are used for data analytics. The digital twin can be deployed for the following processes:

⦁ Bar Screening
⦁ Grit Removal
⦁ Primary Clarifier
⦁ Aeration
⦁ Secondary Clarifier
⦁ Chlorination
⦁ Water Analysis & Testing
⦁ Effluent Disposal
⦁ Biogas Digester
⦁ Biogas Upgrading

3rd Step – Value Identification

The digital twin ensures that data acquisition is secure. It also analyzes the data to optimize energy consumption and equipment performance, thus reducing monitoring and digital transformation cost.

Energy consumption losses:

⦁ Inefficient process operation
⦁ Degradation of the transmission system
⦁ Equipment decay
⦁ Subsystem inefficient performance

Enhance equipment performance:

⦁ Speed loss
⦁ Equipment operation performance validation
⦁ Protect equipment from degeneration

The digital twin simplifies the digital transformation journey and can be started from one simple process deployed within 2 weeks to entire plant digital transformation achieved within 10 – 12 weeks.

⦁ Realtime Secure Data Acquisition
⦁ Chemical Injection Control
⦁ Cost Savings

4th Step – Data Integration

All data collected from process facilities can be integrated with SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, and other 3rd party applications to recreate value out of the data for other business decisions.

A new dashboard with respect to requirements can be created within days to find hidden value inside the data to support business decisions and avoid losses.

For instance, for upcoming projects, existing plant data can be used to help in equipment selection. In the case of a pump, we can use collected data to identify the following:

⦁ Which brand pump delivered highest head vs power consumption?
⦁ Which brand pump consumed low power?
⦁ Which brand pump had a leak or other issues?

Conclusion:

Realtime data integration allows companies to have the real-time monitoring of key parameters (KPI), so that cost savings in maintenance and operation budget, equipment longevity, and environmental impact can be matured.

Recent digital twin demonstration on the City of Hamilton wastewater pump facility helped the city realize potential savings of $2 Million Dollar for operation and maintenance cost, thus ensuring high return on investment.

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