If you listen you can hear warblers and flycatchers in the undeveloped wilderness of northern Ontario, near the small town of Elliot Lake. As your ears become attuned to the solitude of this beautiful area of Canada, you will also hear another sound…rushing water, in the Mississagi Power Wells Generating station.
Wells generating station is a 250MW hydropower facility that provides power to northern Ontario. It is one of the largest facilities in Canada. Early last year Mississagi Power approached AVAD Industrial Sales for help in upgrading their SCADA system. The old GE Harris system, communicating to a remote (Ranger 10) control room, was very limited in its capabilities. It could not track alarms and give operators the information required to run the new generators. AVAD Industrial proposed implementing a Schneider Electric Quantum controller which was easily able to monitor all the points of the system and log data to the Vijeo HMI. However, in order to communicate with the new generators via the DNP 3.0 protocol, the Quantum controller needed a cost-effective connectivity option.
ProSoft Technology, Inc., a California-based automation solution provider, developed an in-rack module allowing the Quantum controller direct connectivity to the DNP3 network.
“ProSoft’s protocol module for the Quantum processor was the only in-rack solution available,” said Joe Coccimiglio of AVAD Industrial. “It was this type of quality solution, provided by ProSoft Technology, which helped eliminate the need for a third-party “black box” converter, thus eliminating a potential point of failure. It also allowed AVAD to provide local service and support for all of the equipment.”
With this new system, control operators receive all the information they need regardless of whether they are located on site or in the remote control room. As a result, the financial benefits will be represented in ‘Total Cost of Ownership.’ Mississagi Power will no longer have to rely on outside assistance. This new system allows the plant to run more efficient and the maintenance crew can handle any issues should they arise.
“This solution has improved every aspect of the plant, i.e. functionality, speed and convenience. We are looking at the possibility of converting three neighboring plants to this solution. This would standardize the facilities and make the ProSoft Technology interface module a very important part of the Canadian hydro electricity market,” said Coccimiglio.
The DNP3 module is one of many in-rack solutions that ProSoft Technology provides for the Schneider Electric Quantum platform. Other protocol interfaces include IEC 60870-5-104, PROFIBUS DP, HART Multidrop and an in-chassis liquid and gas flow computer.