A digital twin is an exact digital reproduction of a real plant that provides great advantages. Among them, the remote management of a plant, to analyse and optimise productivity and avoid failures before start-up.
A digital twin has two elements, one related to the engineering design and the other to the control system. It combines a variety of technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, the Internet of Things or Machine Learning.
Creating the digital twin of a desalination plant is a complex operation that requires the integration of different disciplines with know-how about the process, mechanical equipment, electrical equipment, instrumentation, control system and simulation platform.
Thanks to its joint work with Siemens ACCIONA has been able to use SIMIT software, which allows real-time simulations ranging from devices in the field to processes in a water treatment plant.
This creates a collaborative environment in which carrying out a virtual start-up and having a training station for operators can be done in a safe and secure manner.
It also allows the comparison of the data created in the digital twin with those contained in the control system. This facilitates the validation of operations, as well as the exploration of operational possibilities in the system and potential optimisation measures.
The digital twin is been integrated into ACCIONA’s Water Control Centre (CECOA) with the same standards of cybersecurity and communications channel availability as those applied in connections with other plants. This means that access to all functionalities is made in a fast and flexible manner.
The creation of digital twins responds to a growing need in the water sector: the systems should reach plants as efficiently as possible and with the availability to set them up in the shortest possible timescale.