More Information on Safe and Reliable Power Automation
Power and electricity generation, transmission and distribution are highly demanding industries requiring automation systems for safe and reliable operation. As power generation - and nuclear power generation in particular - poses a high risk to humans and to the environment, power automation needs to be controlled and monitored by safety-critical electronic equipment.
The sector power and energy includes all types of power generation from fossil-fuel power stations (coal, natural gas and petroleum) to nuclear plants up to renewable energies (wind power, solar energy, hydro power, etc.). Transmitting the generated power over long distances and distributing it to the end user are further steps which need control and supervision by automated electronic devices. Even the exploration, extraction and refining of oil and gas have to be equipped with automated functions like electronic recording of rig data, remote communications via satellite and auto drilling.
Mission-Critical Control Functions
Typical power automation applications are, for example, data acquisition, plant supervision and control functions. Nuclear reactor control, for example, is a safety-critical application, which means it must guarantee safety for humans and for the environment. A machine can be stopped when the control system fails, i.e. the "fail-safe" system is turned off and the machine is in a safe state. For a passively safe nuclear reactor that is not possible. Its "fail-operational" systems continue to operate when an error occurs.
Power and energy applications typically require long-term availability of the computer systems, redundant architectures and suitability for harsh environmental conditions like extreme temperatures, dust and humidity. MEN offers rugged and safe embedded electronics, which are produced in-house and tested in an environmental test laboratory.
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Application Examples for Power & Energy
Oilfield Server Platform & Router
Installed directly on drilling sites, this robust CompactPCI-based IoT system communicates with the operator's data processing center in real time via GSM.
Nuclear and Elementary Beam Monitoring
Digital data processing, analysis and transfer to the control system is accomplished by a 6U VMEbus board as a common digital processing and communication platform.
Nuclear Reactor Control
The computing heart in this nuclear reactor control application is a COTS VMEbus single-board computer in double Eurocard format.
3U CompactPCI systems are used as the computing heart of a station master system on the plant control level.
Intelligent Well System Control
This control platform for intelligent well systems is realized as a pre-validated 3-slot 3U 24HP CompactPCI system with its own rugged power supply unit.