Smart-Grid Intelligence Facility for Taipower’s Tashan Power Plant in Kinmen
Yet, the operation of a power system—generating and transmitting electricity, changing the voltage level, and then delivering it to distribution lines that connect to individual customers—make it too sophisticated to be turned into a smart grid overnight. A more realistic way is through leveraging IEC 61850, an international standard for smart grids, to address the lack of interoperability of devices used by individual subsystems of a grid and the difficulties with integrating these devices.
Such a possibility has been put into practice by Intelligent Cloud Plus (ICP), who leveraged Advantech’s easy-to-learn and use SCADA graphics control program and an Advantech-branded hardware product that is compatible with power systems to build a smart-grid intelligence facility that converts a variety of closed communication protocols into IEC 61850 for Taiwan’s public power utility in Kinmen. In this intelligence facility, the operator can view power data on a display and assess the feasibility of new standards through remote monitoring and protocol conversion.
This project, which entailed the construction of an intelligence facility to manage an IEC 61850-based smart grid, was kicked off at the Tashan Power Plant on Kinmen. ICP won the tender to undertake this project because the company is a system integrator specializing in intelligent energy applications and has a broad range of experience with successful industry-academy collaboration.
As requested by Taipower, ICP developed a demo smart-grid system based on IEC 61850. The system was installed at an intelligence facility to present information on the plant’s power consumption, generation, and fuel usage in the form of a straightforward chart on a 75-inch display. The system consisted of hardware and software products developed by Advantech:
- a gateway that conformed to the standards of electricity use and converted data into a format specified to IEC 61850;
- a redundancy mechanism that ensured the system’s stability and data accuracy;
- a computer host that was powerful and robust enough to process massive volumes of data;
- And the SCADA graphics control program and secondary development tools, which were used to capture data and manage it in a centralized way.
HPC-7242, a secure, reliable, and robust server-grade computer, operated normally 24/7—even in harsh environments. Featuring high-performance specs, it also provided vast number computing and storage resources that could be expanded through industrial automation, power monitoring, or intelligent energy applications.
The smart-grid project involved three software programs: WISE-PaaS/EnSaaS and WISE-PaaS/WISE.M+ at the cloud level, and WebAccess/SCADA at the edge level. Together, they achieved seamless integration from the edge to the cloud. Moreover, this software combination included a dashboard that allowed system integrators to visually display data captured from physical devices. The dashboard offered a variety of handy tools and image banks—equipping developers to produce colorful and straightforward operation screens. Engineers from ICP spoke highly of this convenience, stating that with just a few minutes of drag-and-drop operation and configuration on the dashboard, they could create elements which would otherwise take several days to complete, starting with artistic design and ending with development. WebAccess/SCADA made the project considerably easier to implement and maintain. This Web-based monitoring program allowed the developer to diagnose and upgrade the smart-grid system remotely on a typical browser.
Such unwanted outcomes are precluded by ICP’s solution to building intelligence facilities for smart-grid power monitoring. Designed with ICP’s software products and Advantech’s ECU-4784 computers, it is the only solution for smart-grid power monitoring in Taiwan that is certified under IEC 61850 by the UCA International Users Group—a certification that testifies to its reliability. Equipped with a redundancy mechanism, the solution prevents system shut-down, data loss, and other consequences that would arise if no redundancy were in place.
By using this smart-grid intelligence facility, Taipower adopted IEC 61850 and can now present real-time data on well-designed charts. The company is testing the relevancy of new standards and developing a practical plan for the deployment of systems and terminal devices used in a smart grid. As this happens, Advantech and ICP will continue working together to craft more smart-grid solutions that meet the needs of our customers.