Have you already heard about SCADA system? We know, in general terms, software may sound like something that’s a bit hard to understand; especially if you are not very familiar with it. That is why we will try to provide a first approach to the concepts of software in Energy Management in this post.
Basically, software operates the energy system’s data collection, data visualization, analytics and some process management. There are many layers of software. Each of them is applied to different parts of the energy process since they all work with different purposes.
The first of these layers is the SCADA system.
SCADA stands for Supervisory control and data acquisition. It works well in different types of enterprises. Virtually anywhere you look in today’s world, there is some type of SCADA system running behind the scenes, whether at your local supermarket, refinery, waste water treatment plant, or even your own home.
SCADA software and it’s two essential roles
- Collecting data
In order to achieve more efficiency in buildings, different types of hardware (such as sensors and meters) are implemented. Hardware’s performance produces useful data which needs to be recorded. SCADA is what takes care of this.
For example, it’d be useful to know the specific time the lights are switched on and off within buildings.
- Remote management of equipment
We are able to make adjustments like setting the temperature in all buildings from one central location.
Hardware is connected to a communication device which has an internal memory. This software connects the system to field devices using Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
We can set this device to do metering and collect data from hardware for certain periods of time. It normally does it every 1 – 5 minutes, but this lapse can vary according to what we need to know. Measured data is collected from field devices and sent to computers with SCADA software.
The data gets to the central station and from there we can manage settings for many buildings. This process is beautifully done from one main computer instead of having a computer per building.
You can access to SCADA from anywhere
Modern SCADA systems allow real-time data from the plant floor to be accessed from anywhere in the world.
SCADA software analyses and displays the data in order to help operators and other workers to reduce waste and improve efficiency.
This server is quite complicated to work with since it’s a robust system. It demands technical knowledge precisely because it’s not intended for any user. But here’s the advantage: for this same reason, hardly any data can get lost.
If you want to know more about big data and other types of software, take a look at our other posts.
What is SCADA? Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. (2016). Inductiveautomation.com. Retrieved from https://inductiveautomation.com/what-is-scada