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Technology

Technology Standardization of network technologies The Alstom control system AL- SPA Controplant is designed for energy
Technology Standardization of network technologies The Alstom control system AL- SPA Controplant is designed for energy
Technology Standardization of network technologies The Alstom control system AL- SPA Controplant is designed for energy
Technology Standardization of network technologies The Alstom control system AL- SPA Controplant is designed for energy
Technology Standardization of network technologies The Alstom control system AL- SPA Controplant is designed for energy
Technology Standardization of network technologies The Alstom control system AL- SPA Controplant is designed for energy
Technology Standardization of network technologies The Alstom control system AL- SPA Controplant is designed for energy
Technology Standardization of network technologies The Alstom control system AL- SPA Controplant is designed for energy
Technology Standardization of network technologies The Alstom control system AL- SPA Controplant is designed for energy

Standardization of network technologies

The Alstom control system AL- SPA Controplant is designed for energy applications. In this in- dustrial sector, technologies with the highest level of reliability and availability are required. Alstom's decision to use a highly distribut- ed structure for its control system makes the network a central part of the system.

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In addition to modbus tCp, Alstom se- lected Ethernet POWERLINK as fieldbus for its control system. Before complete implementation in the control system, it was necessary for Alstom to integrate the main characteristics of the pOWeR- LINK technology. the most important characteristic is redundancy, which Al- stom implemented as system standard. this redundancy, together with this de- terministic network, provides the nec- essary level of availability for open and closed loop control of the power plant processes.

the operation management network and the system network have been us- ing ethernet technology for many years. With the POWERLINK fieldbus, the entire network architecture is now based on the proven and standardized ethernet technology. there are many advantages to a network that is based completely on ethernet: Standardization of the network devices and protocols, reduced costs,

simplified maintenance, high perfor- mance and the reduced risk of self-made solutions becoming obsolete.

Alstom and EMB

Alstom is a global leader in equipment and services for power generation and rail transport. In the field of power gen- eration, Alstom is the world leader in integrated power plants, in power pro- duction services and air quality control systems. The company supplies 27% of the global capacity for power generation and covers all energy sources (gas, coal, renewable and nuclear). Alstom power comprises five businesses: plant, turbo machinery, energy and environment sys- tems, hydro and the new energy man- agement business (emB). emB improves the efficiency of energy infrastructures from fuel supply to electricity produc- tion and consumption. Complementing Alstom’s portfolio, emB is in line with its clean power and plant Integratortm strategies. Current developments will

further strengthen Alstom’s position for clean power generation, via the intro- duction of new technologies to moni- tor and control air quality in real-time in conventional plants and new clean coal plants that may be equipped with carbon capture and storage. With the develop- ment of carbon trading schemes, plant management solutions will require flex- ible integration with carbon registries and markets.

plant availability increasing plant oper- ational flexibility to provide the proper amount of power at the right time to the grid. this means providing the ability to ramp power up and down several times a day. Power quality enabling customers to deliver the desired power quality, whether related to grid frequency (ac- tive power) or voltage management (reactive power).

Technology

Boiler control and protection and burner management system: Contro- flame

Steam turbine controller: Controsteam

gas turbine controller: Controgas

generator controller, AVR and excita- tion: Automatic voltage regulator:

dedicated to the excitation regulation of AC generator: Controgen.

the control system is built around three major components:

emB focuses its expertise on four key areas of technology:

Within emB, Alstom has designed a complete product line for control sys-

ALSPA

the control room HmI with its soft- ware and hardware,

Automation - including -- plant DCS, machine control & instrumentation

tems called ALSpA. Alstom’s ALSpA CONtROpLANt DCS system is dedi-

the engineering tool manages a consistent engineering design of the

perform the control and protection

plant management - including plant & dispatch optimization, asset condition monitoring and simulation

cated to the power generation market.

complete power plant including: DCS, machine control and simulator with single point of entry and a unique da-

grid connection & substation engi- neering - including isolated phased

power electronics - including excita-

The ALSPA system consists of a flexible and open distributed architecture and is

tabase.

bus ducts

tion, automated voltage regulation and reactive power control.

based on specific hardware components and standard communication networks. ALSpA products support core functions for plant operation, and thus benefit from

functions and are connected to the process. the multifunction controllers and field controllers offer a number of advantages e.g. reduction of field

emB offers turnkey energy management

multiple safety and availability features such as self-testing, redundancy in con-

cabling, tolerance to failures and easy expansion of the system.

solutions to optimize energy efficiency across the entire energy value chain, such as in the following areas:

trollers and communications, synchroni- zation and time stamping to 1 ms, fault tolerance, and continued autonomous

All these elements are connected by fast ethernet networks (Figure 1).

Plant efficiency increased through ef-

operation in the event of the loss of con-

Networking

inside

the

ALSPA

fective automation and control of the

trol room equipment. ALSPA products

product

plants as well as new suites of power

can be used for the DCS (thermal, hydro,

the site network being mainly located in

plant management software applica- tions to manage plant scheduling, plant asset management as well as

nuclear, etc.) and for machine control. For machine control, ALSpA includes the following controls:

the control room, has limited industrial constraints. It is generally based on a standard Fast ethernet switched net-

real-time plant simulation.

ALSPA field controller

work.

>>

Figure 1: Combined cycle power plant - Example architecture. Web Video Wall EMS, PPS, Condition
Figure 1: Combined cycle power plant - Example architecture.
Web
Video Wall
EMS, PPS,
Condition
Thin Clients
IMS Reports
Monitoring
WAN
Firewall
Historian
Site Network
Operator
Core RT
& IMS
Engineering
Stations
Servers
Servers
workstation
Unit Network
Automation cell
Multi-Function
Controllers
OLC
OLC
ALSPA
Field Networks
CLC
CLC
Protections
Protections
I/O Controllers
HRSG & WSC
Controller
BOP & Electrical
Controller
Steam Turbine
Gas Turbine
Controller
Controller

automotion 07/2009 27

Technology

Site network Fast Ethernet Technology HMI & Historian Engineering Unit network Fast Ethernet Technology
Site network
Fast Ethernet Technology
HMI & Historian
Engineering
Unit network
Fast Ethernet Technology
Automation Cell
Cell network
Deterministic Fast
Ethernet Technology
Figure 2: ALSPA control architecture

the unit network links the three levels of the DCS. It is based on proven indus- trial ethernet solutions. A fault tolerant ring topology ensures high availability. Determinism is not needed, as standard ethernet is used with Ip protocol (tCp/ Ip and uDp/Ip). the unit network has a speed of 100 mbits/s or 1 gbits/s and is made of fiber or copper.

The field networks are located at the field level and have the highest constraints. The equipment connected on the field networks usually has high availability re- quirements and thus shall be redundant and connected via a highly available net- work (Figure 2).

Evolution of field network to Ether- net-based solution

the new applications for the power market require increasing network per- formance. To fulfill these new market demands, the need for a new technol- ogy based on high-speed ethernet arose naturally.

Among the offers for industrial ethernet technologies, Alstom had to select two technologies, one without any determin- istic constraints and one with high real- time determinism requirements.

For its non-deterministic field network, Alstom came to the decision to select modbus tCp after an intensive selection process. modbus tCp was selected for its wide openness to third party devices.

Real-time deterministic field networks allow for the use of distributed I/Os. thus, real-time ethernet networks allow for simplifying architecture, concentrat- ing regulation processes inside the Cell Controller and reducing the cost of in-

stallation, maintenance and engineering. Furthermore, the use of real-time and deterministic networks allows for time synchronization and time stamping via the network. there is no more need for external specific wire to send the syn- chronization information and signal to field controllers.

Real-time deterministic network:

The reason for choosing POWER- LINK for the field network

While the choice was quite easy and nat- ural for the non-deterministic network, the choice for the hard real-time deter- ministic network was more complex. A large study has been done on existing

hard real-time technologies. the tech- nology was expected to fulfill the follow- ing requirements:

Open and independent standard, based on standard components

A standard solution preferred by the market

The use of standard equipment and components reduces costs

Based on standard ethernet

To benefit from worldwide evolution on networking technology

universal solution on which all new protocols are based

No specific hardware required

proven and robust technology with safety protocol available

power plant control system shall ben- efit from a proven solution based on a robust protocol

High-performance safety protocol available (up to SIL3)

Highly deterministic performance and real-time network

100 mbits/s becomes a standard for networking communications

the network should be deterministic and should ensure that real-time con- straints are fulfilled

possibility to have a fast cycle time within the ms range for deterministic data exchange

the long-term availability of the tech- nology was a key criterion. With power plants being operated for decades, the solution should have a long lifespan. the most secure way to achieve this target was selecting a standard technol- ogy based on standard hardware. And of course, it was not envisioned depend- ing on a single source provider or to be linked to a technology that would be obsolete within the first decade. After a long study, simulation and prototyping phase, pOWeRLINK was selected for the field network of its control system.

New architecture

thanks to the implementation of pOW- ERLINK inside the field network, the overall network architecture of the sys- tem is completely based on proven and standard ethernet technologies. this unique full Ethernet network structure has several advantages. First of all; it en- ables users to standardise the network equipments and protocols (TCP&UDP/ Ip). Secondly, even though the network itself is more expen- sive in certain cases because of the need

is more expen- sive in certain cases because of the need The simple and intuitive design
The simple and intuitive design of the three- part X20 System I/O modules offers excel-
The simple and intuitive
design of the three-
part X20 System I/O
modules offers excel-
lent component den-
sity and helps the user
quickly create solutions
for challenging automa-
tion tasks.

28 automotion 07/2009

of active network devices (switches and hubs), the overall cost is reduced thanks to the

of active network devices (switches and hubs), the overall cost is reduced thanks to the decentralised architecture, the standardised equipments and protocols, the reduced cabling (only ethernet, bus topology) and the network synchro- nisation of devices. thirdly, the fully ethernet-based network increases op- erational and maintenance facilities and the performance is higher. At last, the use of standard ethernet technologies will make it possible to follow ethernet evolution without additional R&D cost thanks to the benefit from R&D invest- ments of the entire ethernet community.

pOWeRLINK being a pure software solu- tion based on standard ethernet compo- nents, it has the great advantage to be fully compatible with standard ethernet devices. For example, one advantage is that it allows for the use of fibre technol- ogy to access distant equipment (several kilometres). The use of fibre also has the huge advantage of permitting networks to be located in electromagnetically dis- turbed areas.

Evolution by Alstom in POWER- LINK: High availability

Alstom has contributed to the pOWeR- LINK evolution by including the “High Availability” feature in the standard. thanks to the openness of the ethernet pOWeRLINK Standardisation group

Redundancy demo
Redundancy demo

(epSg), Alstom was able to share its long-time expertise on highly available control systems. The “High Availabil- ity” technical work- ing group headed by Alstom has been set up with the objective to release High Avail- ability features. One of the most important requirements was to avoid modifying the current pOWeRLINK

specification and maintaining full com- patibility with existing devices. the tech- nical working group achieved this target and introduced High Availability features

as an add-on of the existing pOWeRLINK

standard.

thus, Alstom was able to implement a

pOWeRLINK network that reaches the necessary level of availability to control the processes of a power plant. Indeed, critical applications must be secured in

a way that prevents functional disrup-

tions in case of control hardware failures or cable damage. If one IpC with control functions breaks down, a second unit needs to immediately “notice” the mal- function and assume the tasks of the failing unit, preventing risk-entailing de- lays in operation. the cable redundancy implemented by Alstom allows easy localisation detection of the failure and avoids any loss of data (no cycle loss, no reconfiguration time).

the High Availability feature of pOWeR- LINK has been validated by a state-of- the-art model-checking approach. After completing all models and technical de- velopments, Alstom went into an intense simulation phase in order to confirm calculations. the simulation was also an opportunity to test the functionality of the system in a range of critical sce- narios. the system was put into opera-

Technology

tion after a long and intensive validation phase to verify that the High Availability

of the system was ensured.

Conclusion

With the integration of pOWeRLINK in the field networks, Alstom has demon- strated the industrial advantages of us- ing ethernet technologies in power con- trol systems. Alstom is confident in the emergence of the pOWeRLINK standard and very enthusiastic about the results as it has all the required qualities for criti- cal process control.

With the recent announcement of the release of an open-source pOWeRLINK solution (openpOWeRLINK), Alstom is

also convinced that it will push more and more third party device manufacturers

to adopt this technology.

the highly distributed architecture of control system sets the network as the heart of the system. that is why using

a high-performance ethernet network,

based on standard ethernet devices, is a fundamental choice. moreover, Alstom

offers a system which is standard, prov-

en and reliable.

By improving the technology, Alstom has gained more expertise and can push for further developments if neces- sary. thanks to this development, the whole community can profit from it, as the new functionalities have been be standardised within the epSg and are open to everyone. using ethernet tech- nologies is not only a technology break- through for the present, it also ensures investment for future evolutions.

present, it also ensures investment for future evolutions. Alstom: Founded: 1928 Employees: more than 80,000
Alstom:
Alstom:
it also ensures investment for future evolutions. Alstom: Founded: 1928 Employees: more than 80,000 Turnover:

Founded: 1928 Employees: more than 80,000 Turnover: 18.7 b euR Locations: In more than 70 countries Products & Services: Alstom is a world leader in the transport and energy infrastructure industry

www.alstom.com

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