Support for the renewable integrated control center

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Control rooms are essential for the safety and correct operation of any electric power plant. They monitor and analyze everything related to the process, detect incidents that occur during generation and take the necessary actions in accordance with operating procedures.

It happens that, unlike conventional generation plants such as thermal or nuclear power plants, in new renewable technologies such as photovoltaic or wind energy, the number of actions carried out by operators is considerably lower. This characteristic makes it unnecessary to maintain a control room and an operating group for each solar or wind farm.

For this reason, many utilities are choosing to integrate the operation of different wind farms in a single centralized control center.

For the commissioning of a control room, Tecnatom identifies as priorities the need to organize the control room personnel to act as a plantoperating group, guaranteeing complete operation from the control room, the safety of people and installations, maximum availability and efficiency and the diagnostics for the early detection of problems. In order to achieve these main objectives, we work on the following key points:

-The optimal sizing of the control center to guarantee the correct development of all processes and continuous improvement.

– The training of the operation personnel, defining a training itinerary for the control center operators and also for the new incorporations that guarantees the optimal development of all the processes.

Control rooms are essential for the safety and correct operation of any electric power plant. They monitor and analyze everything related to the process, detect incidents that occur during generation and take the necessary actions in accordance with operating procedures.

It happens that, unlike conventional generation plants such as thermal or nuclear power plants, in new renewable technologies such as photovoltaic or wind energy, the number of actions carried out by operators is considerably lower. This characteristic makes it unnecessary to maintain a control room and an operating group for each solar or wind farm.

For this reason, many utilities are choosing to integrate the operation of different wind farms in a single centralized control center.

For the commissioning of a control room, Tecnatom identifies as priorities the need to organize the control room personnel to act as a plantoperating group, guaranteeing complete operation from the control room, the safety of people and installations, maximum availability and efficiency and the diagnostics for the early detection of problems. In order to achieve these main objectives, we work on the following key points:

– The optimal sizing of the control center to guarantee the correct development of all processes and continuous improvement.

– The training of the operation personnel, defining a training itinerary for the control center operators and also for the new incorporations that guarantees the optimal development of all the processes.

– The evaluation and definition of the alarm system integrated in the control room platform according to ISA 18.2 Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries.

– And finally, the homogenization of the operation, unifying the operating criteria for the different processes and tasks that are performed from the control room, based on the use of operating procedures and a strict initial organization of the tasks.

It is common to have monitoring rooms that take data from different plants and support the local operators of each wind farm. However, converting these monitoring centers into remote control rooms that perform the total operation of the plants, with technically prepared operators and with the appropriate work methodologies is an important step to achieve the maximum efficiency of renewable technologies and it is something that more and more companies with renewable generation assets have to face.

The evaluation and definition of the alarm system integrated in the control room platform according to ISA 18.2 Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries.

– And finally, the homogenization of the operation, unifying the operating criteria for the different processes and tasks that are performed from the control room, based on the use of operating procedures and a strict initial organization of the tasks.

It is common to have monitoring rooms that take data from different plants and support the local operators of each wind farm. However, converting these monitoring centers into remote control rooms that perform the total operation of the plants, with technically prepared operators and with the appropriate work methodologies is an important step to achieve the maximum efficiency of renewable technologies and it is something that more and more companies with renewable generation assets have to face.

Tecnatom has recently collaborated with the company Enel Green Power Mexico (EGPM) providing support in the execution of this transition. EGPM has 19 renewable energy plants, including hydroelectric, wind and photovoltaic plants with 2.9 GW of installed power. Its centralized control center was used since its commissioning in July 2019 to carry out the monitoring and part of the operation of these plants. The objective pursued was that, in 2022, the operation of the plants would be carried out entirely from the control center. Last month EGPM successfully presented its remote operation center for its renewable energy plants in Mexico.

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