Visualisation of Technologies
The operator must always have up-to-date and accurate information about the status of the relevant technology, regardless of whether this concerns a boiler room, a network of heat exchangers, an individual room control system in an ofﬁce building or hotel, a photovoltaic plant or an energy source system which makes up a virtual power plant.
This information is provided by visualisation. Data are available in the form of tables and schemas offering current values, graphs, emergency and event over- views as well as other information. SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) can have various forms which largely depend on the scope of the monitored technology:
- easy web access directly at a substation, used for the simplest autonomous equipment and household automation systems
- a personal computer with visualisation software which is also used as a server to store historical data – used for medium scope projects such as ofﬁce buildings, hospitals, etc.
- several redundant control centres monitoring larger technologies, such as centralized heat distribution network management or photovoltaic power plant management
- a powerful web server providing access for dozens of users – used for user remote access in residential buildings
- a combination of two or more of the systems mentioned above and based on user needs and requirements.
Thanks to the fact that we not only supply visualisation and control systems to system integrators but also use them in our own projects, we are able to make use of feedback coming directly from users, which allows us to add additional modules to the system as needed.
A graphic station is able to visualise and collect data not only from Domat control systems. As far as larger projects and installations are concerned (where technology is gradually refurbished or expanded based on the investment abilities of the operator), we are able to integrate visualisation with other control systems such as process substations, photovoltaic inverters, cooling equipment, boiler control systems or energy meters. For this purpose, Domat system offers a wide range of software components and drivers which allow communication with control systems produced by other manufacturers, either via standard protocols such as Modbus, BACnet, M-Bus or OPC, or via company – speciﬁc protocols developed by other manufacturers. This allows us to display values at joint control/dis- patch centres which we would not otherwise be able to compare or analyse.
When the relevant technology breaks down or is in an emergency status, it is necessary to get such information to the responsible person as soon as possible using a reliable communication channel. Alarm management is processed at the process stations or via the SCADA computer – based on the system size, and alarm forwarding and routing requirements. Alarms may be reported/displayed on a screen, via SMS, e-mail, an audio signal or through other methods. Alarm server is used for larger applications. This application collects events from several dispatch stations and sends them to users based on predeﬁned criteria as well as on priorities, the technological unit, equipment placement, the time plan and preferred communication channel. This allows the system, for example, to report/display all alarms during working hours on a computer screen, and once the shift is over (based on the time plan or on information from the integrated attendance system) the system can send the user only critical alarms in the form of an SMS message which requires conﬁrmation.
To store historical data (sampled values), own system resources (data ﬁles) are used in simpler installations. For very demanding requirements such as the storage of tens of thousands of values every minute, Do- mat uses either the SQL database (MySQL, MS SQL, PostgreSQL), or its own very powerful binary database optimized for value storage obtained from industrial processes, the Merbon DB. This database is capable of handling hundreds of thousands of values per minute. The database has an open interface (API), so data may also be read and used in other systems such as accounting and ERP software.
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