Vodovody a kanalizace Havlíčkův Brod, a.s. (VaKHB) is a potable water and waste water utility company in Czech Republic that has responsibility for providing potable water services to over 71,000 people. VaKHB owns and operates 3 drinking water plants and some 888 km of water mains. In addition, VaKHB manages waste water disposal for 55,000 people using 325km of sewage pipes and 11 waste water treatment plants. The entire water supply and disposal systems are currently managed from one control centre.
Since 2003 VaKHB has used RACOM MR25 and MR400 radio modems to manage its resources using two independent radio data networks. The legacy telemetry devices were connected to radio modems via RS232 and used legacy serial protocols.
The 17 year old radio network is still highly reliable but its capacity is not good enough for ever-increasing demands on the amount of data to be transferred. VaKHB decided to migrate its legacy communication system to the latest technology that will also allow implementation of security features to meet current and future needs for data communication in mission-critical SCADA networks.
Comparisons between RipEX2 and market competitors coupled with the close relationship developed over the years between VaKHB and RACOM, quickly brought the realisation that RACOM would provide the best state-of-the-art, future-proofed hardware and network solution.
Design and implementation of the project was prepared and completed by the RACOM team, engineers from VaKHB’s SCADA network department and the team at Tele Data Control, all working in close cooperation. TDC is a System integrator and long term partner of RACOM.
Migration to the new network is taking place over an extended period of time and uses a third new frequency that utilizes a 25 kHz channel. All (legacy) remote RTU’s are now connected via COM ports and the centre is using polling type of communication. However, the new network is already ready for future upgrade to TCP/IP communication and report-by-exception. Some remotes require up to four repeaters to allow them to communicate with the control centre, so Flexible protocol is a must. When migration is complete, the number of networks will be reduced to two or even one. VaKHB is also planning to create a second control centre with full access to the radio network.
The new solution uses 16DEQAM modulation and has twice the capacity of the legacy network, offers the latest IP ready technology and future-proofed features making it an excellent investment toward future upgrades to modern RTU’s.
During a recent conversation, Vratislav Straka from VaKHB SCADA department stated:
“RipEX2 helped us solve the problem with data capacity in our radio network. It is also the first step toward migration of the entire network to a modern IP solution meeting the latest demands on data communication in mission-critical SCADA networks.”