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An Introduction To SCADA For Electrical Engineers Beginners

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An Introduction To SCADA (Supe rvis ory Control And Data Acquis ition) For Be ginne rs // On photo Monitor iFIX By Se rviTe cno via FlickR

Control and Supervision


It is impossible to keep control and supervision on all industrial activities manually. Some automated tool is required which can control, supervise, collect data, analyses data and generate reports. A unique solution is introduced to meet all this demand is SCADA system. SCADA stands for supervisory control and data acquisition. It is an industrial control system where a computer system monitoring and controlling a process. Another term is there, Distributed Control System (DCS). Usually there is a confusion between the concept of these two. A SCADA system usually refers to a system that coordinates , but does not control processes in real time, but DCS do that. SCADA systems often have Distributed Control System (DCS) components.

Components of SCADA 1. Human Machine Interface (HMI)


It is an interface which presents process data to a human operator, and through this, the human operator monitors and controls the process.

2. Supervisory (computer) system


It gathers data on the process and sending commands (or control) to the process.

3. Remote T erminal Units (RT Us)


It connect to sensors in the process, converting sensor signals to digital data and sending digital data to the supervisory system.

4. Programmable Logic Controller (PLCs)


It is used as eld devices because they are more economical, versatile, exible, and congurable than special-purpose RTUs.

5. Communication infrastructure
It provides connectivity to the supervisory system to the Remote Terminal Units.

SCADA System Concept


The term SCADA usually refers to centralized systems which monitor and control entire sites, or complexes of systems spread out over large areas (anything between an industrial plant and a country). Most control actions are performed automatically by Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) or by programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Host control functions are usually restricted to basic overriding or supervisory level intervention. For example, a PLC may control the ow of cooling water through part of an industrial process, but the SCADA system may allow operators to change the set points for the ow, and enable alarm conditions, such as loss of ow and high temperature, to be displayed and recorded. The feedback control loop passes through the RTU or PLC, while the SCADA system monitors the overall performance of the loop.

A s imple SCADA s ys te m with s ingle compute r