Control News from Europe March 2008

Read Andrew Bond’s Industrial Automation Insider, a monthly newsletter covering the important industrial automation news and issues as seen from the U.K.

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HA PI monitors major U.S. energy market

The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (Midwest ISO) has implemented OSIsoft’s PI System enterprise data historian to monitor and manage the Midwest Energy Market, one of the world’s largest power markets. Midwest ISO is also responsible for nearly 94,000 miles of interconnected high-voltage power lines transmitting more than 129,000MW in 15 US states and the Canadian province of Manitoba.

PI provides Midwest ISO with real-time data management to enhance grid reliability and scalability and minimize risk. “We rely on real-time data to deliver a reliable power system to our customers, so it is critical that our data historian provides us with the utmost performance,” said Midwest ISO CIO Jim Schinski. . “… the OSIsoft PI System provides us with the high availability and scalability that we need to operate in this competitive marketplace.”

Half a million tags

The PI System implementation will interface with Midwest ISO’s Areva SCADA System to monitor 500,000 PI tags in a High Availability (HA) configuration. A further upgrade to 600,000 data streams is planned when Midwest ISO’s Ancillary Services Market (ASM) begins operation in mid-2008, enabling power producers to sell additional services such as regulation and spinning and non-spinning reserves.

Introduced in early 2007, the HA version of PI enables large-scale ISO implementations to gather, store and make available information across the organization, even during unplanned maintenance or downtime. Data is protected by a redundant system and fault tolerant software that delivers interface failover, buffering and PI Server replication.

ZigBee completes public application profile

The ZigBee Alliance has completed development of its ZigBee Smart Energy public application profile. ZigBee Smart Energy is being offered to utility companies and device manufacturers as a potential open standard for implementing secure wireless home area networks for energy management. It enables wireless communication between utility companies and common household devices, such as smart thermostats and appliances.

Consumers will be able to choose interoperable products from different manufacturers in order to manage their energy consumption while utility companies will be able to implement advanced metering and demand response programs. ZigBee Smart Energy provides communication and control for devices such as in-home displays, programmable communicating thermostats, water heaters, lighting, smart appliances and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, together with energy service portals and energy management systems. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory showed that households with digital tools controlling temperature and price preferences saved on average 10% on their utility bills and that, if households have such tools, peak loads on utility grids can be cut by up to 15%, translating into $70bn savings on new plant and infrastructure in the US over a 20 year period.

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