Optimizing SCADA systems for High-Reliability Electricity Transmission and Distribution

Increasing revenue and improving SCADA system stability

Client: A global energy business that offers technological solutions for high-reliability electricity transmission and distribution

Industry: Energy

Project Type: End-to-end solution implementation and testing

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Overview

1

Challenge:

As the power system deals with power generation, transmission and distribution sectors, monitoring it all is essential. Thus, implementing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) improves the overall efficiency of the system.

 

However, our client’s expanding customer base led to a significant increase in using equipment from different vendors in the field, with many different industrial protocols.

 

Our client needed to develop a SCADA simulator to support 23 integration protocols, to allow for smooth SCADA integration for customers.

2

Approach:

Our team has been involved in developing SCADA systems, which are part of Distribution Management Systems (DMSs), for top-ranked vendors in power, oil and gas, and electricity distribution. Thus, Luxoft was able to provide experts that have business knowledge combined with deep industry expertise with a number of SCADA systems.

 

Luxoft’s expertise in SCADA system integration, application security, automated testing and cloud migration also helped steer this project down the path to success.

3

Solution:

We designed control algorithms and SCADA programming logic for Siemens, ABB, Schneider Electric, GE, Emerson, VIPA, ICP DAS hardware – all used by our client’s customers – and provided manual and automated testing.

 

SCADA development activities included all components of modern SCADA systems, such as implementing communication protocols, a real-time database for data from electrical equipment, control devices and remote stations, advanced GUI to support automation, real-time data acquisition and processing engine, historical data access and real-time integration into the DMS system.

4

Result:

Our solution delivered the following benefits:

  • Increased the SCADA product’s revenue
  • Improved efficiency by handling power grid issues automatically
  • Offers SCADA system stability, including uninterrupted work of the power grid and resolving outages in the shortest time possible
  • Our client can now offer and easily implement SCADA software for its customers, because it now supports more protocols

Solution Dashboard

Challenge

Adjusting for different vendors and new protocols

As the power system deals with power generation, transmission and distribution sectors, monitoring it all is essential. Thus, implementing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) improves the overall efficiency of the system for optimizing, supervising and controlling the generation and transmission systems. SCADA’s function in the power system network improves system reliability and stability for integrated grid operation.

 

However, our client’s expanding customer base led to a significant increase in using equipment from different vendors in the field, as well as a growth in the number of different industrial protocols. A conducted analysis showed that the amount of SCADA-related defects had increased due to a low coverage of protocols.

 

Our client was in need of SCADA development and testing, as their customers now require more customized development and testing in order to integrate with their equipment. SCADA is a highly complex core system that controls the distribution network, both monitoring its status and adjusting parameters when needed. Our client needed to develop a SCADA simulator to support 23 integration protocols, including Modbus, DNP3, IEC60870-5-101/104, EWISP, EWISP+, OPC and others, in order to ultimately allow for smooth SCADA integration for customers.

Approach

The right experts for the job

Our team has been involved in developing SCADA systems, which are part of Distribution Management Systems (DMSs), for top-ranked vendors in power, oil and gas, and electricity distribution. Thus, Luxoft was able to provide experts that have business knowledge combined with deep industry expertise with a number of SCADA systems, including: MicroSCADA by ABB, DS Agile by Alstom, Ovation by Emerson, E-terraPlatform by Areva, TraceMode by Adastra, Genesis32 by Iconics, IGSS by 7-Technologies and Simatic WinCC by Siemens.

 

Luxoft’s expertise in system integration and cloud migration also gave us an edge. While our team includes specialists in SCADA itself, we also have individuals who specialize in related services, such as developing a technical solution to simplify SCADA system integration, enabling other applications to consume SCADA data, and making sure interactions with such data are secure.

 

For this project, we designed control algorithms and SCADA programming logic for Siemens, ABB, Schneider Electric, GE, Emerson, VIPA, ICP DAS hardware – all used by our client’s customers – and provided manual and automated testing.

Solution

Developing top-tier SCADA systems

SCADA development activities included all components of modern SCADA systems, such as:

 

  • Implementation of communication protocols: Realization of new protocols, and the support and improvement of existing protocols for communication of SCADA software with third-party RTU devices
  • Real-time database: Supported and improved RT API on Linux, providing a fast in-memory database for storing the data from all measured signals, including electrical equipment, control devices and remote stations
  • Advanced GUI: Implemented new and improved existing features for our Windows-based client. Areas covered include SCADA-related configurational tools, apps for design of automation programs and a wide range of tools for daily automation
  • Real-time data acquisition, calculation and data processing engine: Support and improvement of the existing engine which performs data analysis and processing in real time
  • Historical data access: Support and improvement of existing API for accessing different databases with historical data (Cassandra, OSI, PI, etc.)
  • DMS: Integration of real-time SCADA measurements into an advanced DMS system

 

Our team tested the SCADA simulator in two ways:

 

  • Manually

     

    We covered the most common user cases with the TMW simulator. Our solution includes test plans and test strategies for DNP3, IEC101, and IEC104 protocols, covering the initialization of end stations, data exchange for digital and analog points, and digital and analog controls with integer and floating point values. The testing setup for all cases is automatically created using self-designed Python scripts.

  • Automatically

     

    We integrated the TMW simulator into our client’s existing testing framework, including the TMW API and a self-designed TMW Remote Interface application for remote execution of the above-mentioned scenarios.

“Our client was in need of SCADA development and testing, as our client’s customers now require more customized development and testing in order to integrate with their equipment. With deep domain expertise and previous experience, Luxoft was the right fit for the job.”

Result

Improving revenue and SCADA system stability

Our solution delivered the following benefits:

 

  • Increased SCADA product revenue: From our client’s existing customers and new customers
  • Improved efficiency: The system requires minimum attention from engineers and handles power grid issues automatically
  • System stability: Offers SCADA system stability, including uninterrupted work of the power grid and taking the minimum amount of time to resolve outages
  • Time to market: Our client can now offer and easily implement SCADA software for its customers, as it now supports more protocols

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