Polycarbonate Proving the Answer For Water and Wastewater Applications

Polycarbonate is the go-to material for electronics enclosures in the water distribution and wastewater treatment industries- particularly since Integra introduced its largest polycarbonate enclosure, Genesis 24 X 24 X 10, to the industry.

Perfect for Remote Sites

A leading control systems integrator and maker of remote terminal, or telemetry, units (RTUs) for the water and wastewater industries has adopted Integra’s Genesis 24X24X10 as its “go-to” enclosure. “That’s not only because the box is spacious but more important, the durable, easy-to-work-with properties of polycarbonate,” says Steve Anderson, Vice President, and Eastern Regional Sales Manager of Integra Enclosures.

The RTUs—some located outdoors, others in sheds and other structures—consist of programmable logic controllers (PLCs), which control and monitor equipment at remote sites. They monitor tank levels and pump flow of water distribution systems, as well as lift stations, which move wastewater to treatment plants, from lower to higher elevations.

The units gather data from the equipment and transmit it back to a facility’s central supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. Facility operators and personnel then retrieve the data via office computers, laptops, cell phones or tablets. Additionally, they receive emails or phone alerts when equipment malfunctions, which allows them to correct problems promptly.

The Advantages of Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate, comparable in price to fiberglass, resists UV exceptionally well. When it comes to drilling holes to accommodate wires, polycarbonate also beats fiberglass. “One of the beauties of polycarbonate is that it’s easy and safe to drill and you can modify the enclosures out in the field,” explains Anderson. When drilled, fiberglass splinters, irritates skin, and creates dust that is harmful to breathe.

Lightweight, But Sturdy and Ample

Polycarbonate-enclosed RTUs are lightweight, which allows for easy one-man installation. Anderson adds that Integra’s Genesis 24x24x10 model is ideal for the application—large enough for the PLC as well as a backup battery, which some units include. It has extra space to house the system’s antenna, which is transmittable through polycarbonate. The antenna housed inside the enclosure is about a fifth the cost of external antennas and eliminates the need for an additional hole to be drilled—making the RTU less vulnerable to the elements.

Additionally, it makes the RTUs less attractive to thieves and vandals. “When you have an antenna on the outside of a box, you’re advertising that there’s something expensive inside that they might want to take,” says Anderson. Polycarbonate enclosures, like those at Integra, are the perfect match for those in the water and wastewater industry.

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