Alternative energy sources, such as solar farms and wind farms, are becoming more important as they are integrated and their power is synchronized into the conventional energy grid. These energy farms are large scale, sophisticated and a significant capital investment. As they become a significant power source, the market demands that they exhibit high reliability and maximize output throughout the operational life of the equipment. Grantek has the experience to help improve system reliability by providing enhanced monitoring capabilities to support staff responsible for energy site operations and maintenance.
Grantek understands that data alone does not equal information. While most integrators can install site control and reporting systems, Grantek goes several steps further to provide a complete solution that ensures not only proper equipment configuration, but also optimum reporting capability to provide maximum utility for most users, especially across the enterprise. We have the experience to evaluate the needs of energy companies and understand their operations, so that we can design a system that integrates everything, from the PLCs and SCADA systems that are onsite, through the company network infrastructure, and into the business management systems.
For example, we can use Rockwell Automations’ ControlLogix equipment, which provides a solid foundation on which to build alternative energy monitoring and control systems. It provides an advanced architecture that meets today’s control and reporting needs. Due to the inherent scalability and flexibility of ControlLogix, each controller at a site can be configured and programmed to meet the customer’s specific needs and design. The site controllers are connected to an open platform communication server that provides connectivity to the customer’s network. A wide selection of Communication Modules provides the capability to use a number of protocols, such as Modbus TCP, Modbus serial, DNP3 Ethernet and DNP3 serial, allowing Grantek to interconnect the remote energy sites with the energy company’s network. ControlLogix HistorianME modules are deployed for sites where a local Historian is required to archive critical data for regulatory and billing purposes.
The low-level site and device data can now be evaluated and presented to inform all support team members; from the support technician who must perform repairs at sites if needed to the engineer balancing power output to the commercial power grid.
We use industry standard software FactoryTalk View SE to control and gather operational information about your system. The FactoryTalk Suite provides a variety of software components that allow each of your system’s users to access the information needed to maintain the system and to reduce downtime.
Engineering a highly reliable system is especially important at unmanned solar collection sites. Grantek has experience creating a monitoring platform that provides visualization for multiple sites from a single monitoring location. We can add data concentrators to improve the efficiency of data collection, we can make use of MESH networks to provide robust connectivity, even from distant sites, all of which maximize the output of solar energy systems throughout the equipment’s lifespan. We follow industry standards and best practices. We have a wide variety of project experience at renewable energy sites, including designing an observation-based system that allows a single onsite operator to rapidly shut down and restart groups of wind turbines depending on conditions – including for the protection of birds.
Security is of course of utmost concern within the energy sector. Grantek conforms to NERC-CIP compliance to help protect the national energy grid from malicious attack, and we have more than 4 years of experience implementing such security standards while working with renewable energy monitoring systems.
In addition to renewable energy, Grantek also has experience integrating power plant controllers to manage power output to the grid for power plants producing in excess of 10 megawatts. We have worked at regulated and unregulated power generation sites.
Another aspect of our work with energy is to manage the energy usage for our customers in other business verticals. We can provide energy visualization and management to help our customers understand and utilize data about their energy consumption.
Grantek is well-suited to develop and integrate innovative solutions for the energy sector.