Whale of an application: 25 mi. of control wiring

What you do get when you mix 6.2 million gallons of water, 1.8-million-lb of "Instant Ocean," 3,106 I/O points, 62 control panels, and motors, drives, and pumps? Answer: An inland home for whale sharks, dozens of cow nose rays, and scores of other inhabitants of the Ocean Voyager exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium.

05/01/2006


What you do get when you mix 6.2 million gallons of water, 1.8-million-lb of "Instant Ocean," 3,106 I/O points, 62 control panels, and motors, drives, and pumps? Answer: An inland home for whale sharks, dozens of cow nose rays, and scores of other inhabitants of the Ocean Voyager exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium. The aquarium is the largest in the world in size (550,000 sq ft) and water volume (just over 8 million total gallons) and has more than 100,000 fish from 500 species, using some 25 miles of control wiring and about 40 miles of piping.

RCK Controls Inc. did the automation system integration for the aquarium. Largest pipe in the system is 56-in.; two 250,000-gal. tanks store pre-mixed water, ready for use as needed. Opto 22 supplied the I/O connections, 2,523 digital and 583 analog, with 10 PC-based controllers. The system has two human-machine interfaces, two laptops with wireless connections, a ruggedized handheld unit with Web-based interface, a dedicated T1 line with remote VPN, email, and Wireless Communication Transfer Protocol (WCTP)-based alarm data, a firewall and router, six fiber-optic media converters, and nine wireless routers. Other automation includes Ashcroft gauges, GF Signet Flowmonitors, Neptune mixers, Siemens switch boxes, U.S. Filters, many valves, and Westinghouse motors. It all serves a triple-filtration system designed to preserve water.






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