Abstract

In the project IoT for Supervision and Control of Water Systems (IoT.H2O) the potential of the Internet of Things concept for operating pump systems is investigated. As a result of the project, a pump test rig which can be controlled by an open source IoT platform was developed. Because of COVID 19 students are currently not able to access the test rig in their laboratory class. In the paper, a virtual pump test rig is presented. The model of the test rig is based on the physical IoT pump test rig and consists of models for pump, control valve, piping system and electric motor. By modeling the electric motor, the operating behavior of the pump becomes much more realistic since effects of inertia can be included. The communication of the IoT platform with the model is based on the MQTT protocol and is identical to the real rig. The test rig can be operated with any web browser through a dashboard. On the dashboard, the operating frequency of the electric motor, the control valve position, the static head of the system and the tank pressure before the pump can be set with predefined control widgets which are already available in the IoT platform. Also, through buttons, measurements of speed, static pressure and torque are possible. The data can be downloaded after the measurements are taken.

In different assignments, the students, can measure the head and efficiency curves and system curves and compare speed control and throttle control. Also, different types of pumps can be assessed easily by exchanging the pump curves in the model.

A big advantage of the virtual lab tests is that the students can run the tests by themselves and obtain their own data. Before, the tests were only run in groups because of time constraints. Based on the laboratory class, they are able to assess the behavior of pumps in systems and to design pump systems efficiently. Also, they are introduced to the concept of IoT.

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