Remote - Special SCADA issue 2012 - (Page 12)

FEATURE Reducing Labor Costs and Increasing Investor Confidence With Real-Time Monitoring of Photovoltaic Energy Network site check-up. Through the use of SCADA’s alarm notification system, operations personnel can now be notified immediately when a problem occurs. Details of a fault or error are recorded by the inverter and transmitted to the The recent trend towards greener energy and reduced greenhouse gas central SCADA system. With the availability of online access and specific emissions has resulted in a surge in renewable energy installations with details as to the kind of problem that has occurred, mobile technicians are many companies finding themselves with multiple unmonitored generation able to trouble-shoot the problem remotely. This results in a significant resites often located with large distances between them. duction in downtime between system error and problem rectification. In the Managing these often remote, unstaffed locations has provided unique event that a site visit is required to mitigate the problem, the detailed fault challenges to installing and maintaining a profitable and efficient operation. information provides important information on the individual fault. Remote Whether it was due to faults that went undetected, equipment operating diagnostics are particularly effective during weekends and holidays when below optimum levels or the difficulty of compiling manually collected increased labour costs are in effect. data, these operations often operated below optimum levels with opportuniLabor costs are also reduced ties for improved efficiency and during installation at multiple productivity lost. sites through the use of a stanThe partnering of telemetry dard, integrated solution. Each with SCADA systems has prolocation is provided with comvided solutions to many of the ponents pre-configured with an issues that have plagued these IP address prior to being shipped remote generating sites. Photo the site. Installation persontovoltaic installations, an area nel provide power and Ethernet that has had particularly rapid connections on location enabling growth recently, is an area that the final configuration to be perhas benefitted substantially from formed remotely by experienced the application of telemetry and staff. Remote configuration SCADA systems to its generatremoves the need for techniing capabilities. cal personnel to travel to each To get a clear overall picture location during the installation of solar site operation operators leaving their time and knowledge need access to data that includes available for other projects. the status of the inverters, the An additional benefit of comindividual strings attached to bining the ease of telemetry with them, solar radiation, generated Renewable energy installations are offering unqiue opportunities for SCADA and remote monitoring systems. the power of centralized SCADA power, key high voltage composystem is the availability of nents, circuit breakers and the real-time data both for operations personnel and for investors. Knowing individual current, voltage and frequency readings from individual power how much and how well energy is being produced at a photovoltaic site meters among others. In a combined telemetry/SCADA system, the collected data is transmitted by a remote terminal unit (RTU) either through the or at a number of photovoltaic sites, allows for a degree of optimizing and understanding not previously seen in the industry. use of long range data radios and wireless instrumentation, or over a GPRS Through the use of the same online access that mobile technicians used network using a DNP 3.0 protocol to a central SCADA control system. to trouble shoot problems, though through a different interface, investors With the volume of data being collected and with staff operating potentially and management have a full view of how much is being generated at any hundreds of sites the reliability and security of data is essential. given time, and also permits real-time efficiency analysis to gauge how a To ensure accurate and secure data in either system, in the event of an certain site or the overall project is performing. A drop in efficiency can unstable communications network, the RTU’s DNP3 buffer is used as a often indicate a larger issue and can act as an alarm for service staff that a local data storage until the time that transmission capability returns. The solar string is not operating effectively or its power output compared to its SCADA system handles all supervisory and control tasks such as data colreceived solar radiation is below standard. lection, analysis, reporting and graphic visualization. With the data located With multiple photovoltaic sites, large scale solar generation a relatively in the MS SQL database interfaced with the SCADA Host software, the new field, the collected data also provides important input on performance data can be accessed online through a web-based monitoring and control for future installations. Since the MS SQL database is interfaced with the environment by operations staff and through a development and display SCADA system, all compiled data is available for efficiency analysis, ROI environment by management personnel. One of the strongest features of the combined system is in the reduction of and feasibility calculations through online access or via the local WAN. human resources both in the initial installation and for on-going maintenance. Built in reporting capabilities can ensure that interested personnel, including investors who want to see how their investment is performing, receive Since all data is transmitted wirelessly, projects that were once cost timely and accurate performance updates. With the rapid improvements in prohibitive are now able to be connected into an overall monitoring system solar technology it is also likely that more efficient replacements will be through the wireless communication network. Deployment costs can be available in upcoming years. Logged data can provide important measurereduced by up to 75 percent compared to the similar wired alternative. Even ments for comparison purposes. systems that are installed in hazardous or hard-to-reach locations can be The final feature that is inherent in the system and critical when dealing integrated into the overall system as easily as if they were located in the with unique locations over large distances is flexibility. From the initial use next field. Hard-to-reach locations have long been a challenge when it comes to on- of a standard solution at each site to allow for fast implementation in often tight construction schedules, to the ability to access the system online from going maintenance with labor costs accumulating rapidly each time mainteanywhere at any time, and to be able to add future installations within the nance personnel had a problem on-site, or simply had to perform a routine 12 Erik van de Wetering, Manager, Application Support Schneider Electric, Telemetry & Remote SCADA Solutions’ Europe

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Remote - Special SCADA issue 2012

Remote - Special SCADA issue 2012
Re-Inventing SCADA for the Next Generation Enterprise
Securing Automation within Critical Infrastructures for SCADA Security
As the Brain, So the Body: The PLC Market and Automation
Reducing Labor Costs and Increasing Investor Confidence With Real-Time Monitoring of Photovoltaic Energy Network
Advantages of the DNP3 Communications Protocol in Water & Wastewater Telemetry Systems
Hardwire vs. Wireless Failsafe Control Systems
Advantech Introduces IEC 61850-3/IEEE 1613 Compliant Substation Automation Platform
CalAmp Launches Fusion-LTE 4G Broadband Router Platform for Smart Grid Applications
El Paso Water Utilities Implements Trimble Fieldport Mobile Software to Streamline Customer Field Service

Remote - Special SCADA issue 2012