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Process Modeling Integrated with SCADA Software Simulation

Stark Engineering has developed novel modelling approaches for high risk projects to reduce risk and drive process efficiency. Stark combines simulated physical systems with industrial automation to provide robust simulated testing for these projects.

Prospect Outlet Works - Anti Surge Project

Up to 90% of Sydney's drinking water is supplied by two 27km pipelines that deliver water from Warragamba Dam to the Prospect Water Filtration.


At the discharge of these pipelines, the Prospect Outlet Works, exists a system of fixed cone dispersion valves and a mini hydro for energy recovery. Stark Engineering created a simulated environment where PLC changes could be tested for operational and failure mode compliance, without putting Sydney's drinking water at risk.

This high profile, high risk system is a unique installation for Sydney Water, with a non-standard control system and complex operation. The complex nature of the system had resulted in the operator highly restricting the running of the mini-hydro due to water quality risks from unexpected surging.

Stark's solution

Stark were engaged to analyse, model, design, test and implement a controls solution that removed this surging, allowing the mini hydro to operate over its design range.

We integrated a hydrostatic model of the outlet works at Prospect, with an Ignition SCADA simulator and a test PLC running the existing and modified versions of the code. The output from the model and simulator were validated with existing data, ensuring a high quality output.

Using this simulator, we were able to demonstrate how the unwanted behaviours occured, design a solution, and demontrate its effectiveness.

This approach allowed the hydro to operate throughout its full flow range, significantly reduced the risk of its operation, and provided a mechanism to test future controls changes, reducing the risk on this non-standard installation.

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