The largest agricultural biomass power station in Italy was commissioned recently, with supervisory control and monitoring provided by Progea Movicon 11 SCADA. Paul Hurst, MD of Products4Automation, Movicon’s UK distributor, describes the new system and outlines the benefits of using Movicon SCADA in sustainable energy generation projects.
“The new Bondeno power plant is built on area covering nine hectares, and has four 1 MWe power stations, providing an overall 4 MWe of installed power to supply around 10,000 households each year. It runs on biogas, which is produced by biological fermentation of products such as maize, sorghum and wheat. The biogas is 55% part Methane, which is sufficient to feed the four SINCRO 1000 cogeneration motors installed at the station.
In many ways biogas is the ideal fuel, due to its neutral CO2 effect on the atmosphere. This is because the amount of CO2 emitted by the biogas is equal to the amount absorbed by plants (or consumed by animals indirectly when feeding on plant vegetation). The use of biogas therefore becomes part of the plant carbon cycle, without adding to the greenhouse warming effect, unlike other types of fossil fuels.
The complexity of the biogas production process meant that choice of plant automation system was crucial. The system is essential for monitoring, efficient management and maintenance, as well as analysing historical performance system data. The choice of system was made by CPL Concordia, project engineers for the Bondeno plant. CPL Concordia is a multi-utility co-operative group, which has over 30-years experience in the renewable energy sector.
Alessio Vaccari, the head of the CPL’s Congeneration software department, was tasked with finding the best system. He carried out a technical survey to evaluate the most suitable software platform to use. Finally, he chose Movicon 11 Scada/HMI technology, which was judged as being ideal for achieving CPL Concordia’s set objectives.
CPL Concordia has provided each of the four cogeneration motors at the Bondeno plant with a local Movicon supervisory workstation. These interface to the main centralised supervisory system housed in the onsite technical building, which serves as the control centre for running the entire plant complex.
The four local workstations – touch screen PCs, communicate with PLCs on the cogeneration motors, to collect the status of all operating parameters, alarms and alerts, together with measures for electric power, heating and process variables, including data on the amount of gas produced by the anaerobic digestors. All of this data is stored in the SQL Server database locally, for analysing electricity yield performance trends (power, voltage, current), and also motor working parameters (alternator and cylinder temperatures, water and oil temperatures and pressures).
Thanks to the Movicon Data Analysis tools, the recorded measures can be instantly extracted from the database archives and effectively represented, by applying filters, zoom tools, and by using curve overlapping tools, together with a variety of additional built-in analysis functions.
Purposely designed reports have been provided within the Movicon Report Designer to represent data summaries, by exploiting a wide selection of charts and tables that can then be previewed and printed as required. Another particularly useful tool is the Movicon Web Browser that can be used in screen pages to connect and display dynamic HTML pages. These pages have been provided by the motor builders to display different parameters, showing essential functional motor details for maintenance staff to analyse.
In addition to statistical information, there is also an alarm management function, which has been designed for easy use and consultation, with options to send notification automatically via SMS using GSM modems enabled for each motor, together with the Movicon Alarm Dispatcher.
The Main Movicon Supervisor, housed in the technical control centre, offers centralisation of data deriving from each local workstation. Control centre engineers can view all information on individual motors separately, or together, in one display with overall parameter aggregations. Data is also stored in the control centre on a relational DB based on SQL Server in the main supervisory workstation. As the power plant site covers quite a large area of ground (1.2 square Kms), each cogeneration motor is connected to a public ADSL network using a Static IP address. This allows access to the supervision system via internet using the built-in Movicon Web Client.
Web access to the system not only allows CPL Concordia, but other staff or clients to connect to the power plant system – anywhere, anytime – to check data and working statuses. In addition, CPL Concordia technicians have exclusive permission to remote access the supervisory PC for maintenance purposes and intervention, using the Team Viewer tool.”