Engie Brasil Energia is Brazil’s largest private power company, with 7,069 MW of installed capacity. The company needed to centralize the operation of its assets, seeking not only to operate its plants remotely, but also to coordinate and monitor their activities.
The process began with the creation of the System Operations Center (SOC) and later the Generation Operations Center (GOC). Although their purposes are very similar and they are operated from the same location, the systems have different focuses and teams.
The SOC was created to address the need to centralize scheduling interventions, plant dispatch, coordination of operational aspects (unit synchronization, generator/compensator conversion, automatic generation control, daily schedule execution, active/reactive voltage control and switch of generating units), management of the relationship between the plants and the Operator of the National Electricity System (Operador Nacional do Sistema Elétrico, ONS), and to monitor the plants’ performance.
For the SOC, an Elipse E3 was used as the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, with the application developed by scadaHUB Technology. The SOC has a gateway (also developed with Elipse) in a demilitarized zone (DMZ), where data from the plants are collected. From the gateway, the information goes to the SCADA system’s main servers, which allow operators to monitor all of Engie Brasil Energia’s assets at its headquarters in Florianópolis. The application has about 180,000 I/O points and uses the IEC 60870-5-104 and DNP 3.0 protocols (in addition to the protocol Remote Domains from Elipse Software) in secure networks without external access or through the company’s corporate network.
For the GOC, the focus was the remote control of the plants, aiming to centralize their operation in Engie’s Operations Center. The work began in 2016 with the Ponte de Pedra hydroelectric power plant (HPP), which has an installed capacity of 176 MW; and the José Gelázio da Rocha and Rondonópolis small hydroelectric plants (SHPs), which were already operated remotely from the Ponte de Pedra HPP control room. Similar to the work that was done with the SOC, Engie prepared a DMZ to collect data from the units. The same level of security was also applied in the field.
With work coordinated by the company’s operations department, the project was attended by the IT team, field operators and the scadaHUB development team. This work involved not only the creation of the new monitoring system, but also the substitution of the local SCADA for the new system. Remote and local SCADA systems have the same displays and logic of operation, plus a protection mechanism that prevents both levels from sending commands at the same time. As with the SOC system, the displays were designed together with scadaHUB. We adopted best practices for high-performance human-machine interface (HMI), looking for pleasing and objective screens without causing confusion.
In addition to the initial units, the system is now operating Engie’s Cana Brava (450 MW) and São Salvador (243 MW) hydro plants. The GOC has about 250,000 I/O points, distributed in a set of servers that use the protocols IEC 60970-5-104 and DNP 3.0, in addition to the Remote Domains protocol.
Partnership of scadaHUB and Engie
ScadaHUB is Engie’s partner for developing SCADA systems and has worked since the beginning of this project assisting in the description and design of SCADA solutions. This system is designed to provide operational availability and robustness, as well as a standardized high-performance interface according to Engie’s interface guidelines. It allows the assets to be easily identified independently without each having to follow its own design standard.
The set of systems for the SOC and GOC brought a series of benefits that aimed to reach the demand of the company, highlighting greater availability and reliability in resources for monitoring and control of plants; and the improvement of maintenance processes.
Mario Gonsales Ishikawa is business director at scadaHUB Technology, a member of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA). For more information about scadaHUB, visit its profile on the Industrial Automation Exchange.