For many Americans, the events of September 11, 2001 will remain in their memories forever. It was the day terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners and flew them into twin 110-story towers of New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.
To commemorate those who died at the World Trade Center, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation was set up in 2005 to oversee construction of a Memorial on the site of the twin towers.
Sept 11th Memorial: The Search for the Perfect Partner
The foundation opened a worldwide design competition for the Memorial and received more than 5,000 submissions from 63 nations. The winning design, entitled “Reflecting Absence,” is an eight-acre plaza with 400 trees that surround two enormous recessed reflecting pools. Each pool is almost an acre in size and covers the former physical footprint of one of the two towers.
The foundation ultimately chose Delta Fountains of Jacksonville, Fla., a 22-year-old firm specializing in architectural and floating fountains. The company’s portfolio features some of the largest and most spectacular municipal, corporate and private fountains in the nation. But the Memorial project was different from all the others: It would be the company’s largest ever and ultimately the largest man-made waterfall in North America.
Because of the challenges associated with the project, Joe Petry and Scott Johnson, co-owners of Delta Fountains, knew they needed partners that could deliver the best technology and resources to overcome the challenges.
September 11th memorial: A task requiring a totally integrated automation solution
The 1-acre fountains required massive plumbing, pumps, filters, water chemistry tanks and precision controls to keep it running smoothly 24×7 all year round. Keeping the water sparkling clean and its acoustic and visual counterpoints minute-to-minute was no small feat. With each pool holding 600,000 gallons of water pumped at up to 30,000 gallons per minute (gpm) and filtered at a rate of 6,000 gpm, Delta Fountains needed a partner that they could trust to bring the very best from its portfolio and people to ensure success.
A TIA Solution: A comprehensive Siemens SIMATIC S7-300 programmable controller solution, featuring a G120 Variable Frequency Drive for Distributed and Remote Control, Plus Redundancy.
At the time, S7-300 controller was one of the best-in-class performance PLCs on the market. Even during the project, Siemens’ Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) solution was second-to-none in terms of performance, engineering efficiency and scalability.
Delta Fountains President, Joe Petry, went on to estimate that the Siemens solution is so comprehensive that it saves the labor of two technicians, or about $150,000 to $200,000 a year including benefits. What’s more because day-to-day operations can be controlled remotely from Jacksonville, New York’s high living costs can be avoided, too.
The Memorial Plaza’s fountains posed many technical challenges. Some of these were more difficult than others, but the Siemens team worked well with our staff to diminish the automation issues
The Memorial Plaza’s fountains posed many technical challenges. Some of these were more difficult than others, but the Siemens team worked well with our staff to diminish the automation issues,” said Petry. “Since we were using some first generation technology, Siemens provided us with some of their top field staff, not only to educate us, but also make us look good in front of our client. We look forward to finishing this and many more projects with this great group of people.”
This day will remain as one of the most defining moments in American History. The memories of September 11, 2001 bring about many emotions even today. Many Americans feel that the events that took place also brought a “rebirth” of strength, patriotism and togetherness in America.
Regardless of the advanced technology and partners used to make the memorial come to life, we must never forget the true meaning of the memorial and what it stands for today. Siemens is proud to have been a part of this project and a trusted technology partner in the both the public and private sector in the USA for over 160 years.
To learn more about the September 11th memorial project and Siemens involvement in US projects, check out the the following links: