PowerMag – The case for advanced analytics and remote diagnostics: During the last 25 years significant advancements have been made in remote monitoring capabilities for power plants. A number of operations and maintenance (O&M) functions can routinely be managed remotely, and it is also becoming more common for peaking and renewable energy plants to be remotely operated reliably and safely.
Operating and maintaining a full-scale power plant remotely presents challenges that require sophisticated systems, reliable sensor and diagnostic equipment, stable high-bandwidth communication, and advanced security protocols. Even with progress made in each of these areas, some plant managers don’t foresee a scenario where remote operations will become the norm. But even in cases where there are no plans to run a generating station from a remote location, there is still a solid case for adopting remote technology.
Here are five reasons why the case for remote technology is stronger today than ever before.
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There are numerous cyber threats and vulnerabilities announced almost daily with warnings across this country directed at our energy and critical infrastructure sectors from various organizations, such as: FBI, DHS, NSA, DOD, DOE, FERC, NERC, CISA, USCYBERCOM, and many more… These warnings have been directed specifically towards the power utility sector as being very vulnerable towards future cyber threats.
For the electric power industry and other service sectors, Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA) has performed a crucial role by allowing better decision making through operating, controlling, monitoring and maintaining critical control systems.
With Smart Grid (SG) and Distributed Generation (DG) gaining more popularity results in more 3rd party stakeholders demanding access to utilities’ SCADA system. Some utility SCADA systems are older legacy systems that are in dire need of replacing in order to have: a more secure system, access to the latest vendor security patch updates, and to allow for better functionality, etc.