A Real-time and Remote Monitoring Solution for Gas Engine

Introduction:
A growing number of governments are turning to renewable energy such as solar, wind, biomass and hydropower as a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while using as a hedge against price fluctuations of fossil fuels. However, the dismal economy and the high dependence on petroleum have slowed alternative energy development. As a result, by utilizing a variety of gases like coal gas, biogas, landfill gas or natural gas instead of petrol or diesel is of vital importance to pave the way to a sustainable energy future. In order to make the best use of such flammability resources, the control and monitoring system for gas engine which is an internal-combustion engine similar to a gasoline engine but using gas fuels plays a critical role to achieve effective management. Combining with software and hardware, Advantech's total solution makes user to monitor the gas powered generators scattered around everywhere in real time as well as providing the remote management to ease maintenance operations.
 
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System Requirements:
According to China's policy of promoting the development of renewable energy, there is a plan to introduce a total of 50GW natural gas-fired distributed generation systems by 2020. Since the market is expected to greet sharp expansion in demand going forward, a Chinese System Integrator was developing a new gas-fired electricity generation and intended to leverage the advantages of Internet and management software so as to provide the best product for customers. Therefore, new gas engine not only required various I/O modules to control on-site device and panel computer as a friendly HMI but also needed Ethernet switch to deliver data to control center. But more importantly, it has to equip with Web-based SCADA Software to display the status of field promptly and import data into the database so that manager can easily monitor the gas engines and can get equipment management reports via Internet.

System Description:
By adopting a variety of Advantech's products installed in the electrical control cabinet, the complete solution provides an optimized management approach to monitor the equipments and control gas-fired generator operations. First at all, a RISC-based Programmable Automation Controller - APAX5620 equipped with APAX and ADAM serial modules are responsible for collecting numerous signals such as switching, power, loading, water temperature, hydraulic and speed. Featuring with PLC's reliability and robustness, high performance CPU, rich memory and powerful software functionality, APAX5620 allows PC-based developers to effortlessly design their own applications for CPU-heavy control tasks.

Secondly, a fanless and slim design terminal, TPC-1550H is embedded in the cabinet as a HMI to record all of the on-site data while sending those data to control center through EKI-2528 which is an 8-port Unmanaged Industrial Ethernet Switch with a double protection mechanism to ensure stable network connectivity. Moreover, its built-in SCADA software, Advantech WebAccess offers animated graphics displays, real-time data and detail reports for local management. In addition, WebAccess is able to provide the web based accessible reports enabling manager to remotely control and manage those generators anytime and anywhere because gas engines might be installed at many places. With Advantech's specially designed database (WAHistorian), a large number of data can be stored for many years, and users can retrieve the required information according to their query conditions

Project Implementation:

Product Description
APAX5620 PAC with Marvel XScale CPU, CAN, WinCE
APAX5013 8-ch RTD Module
APAX5040 24-ch Digital Input Module
APAX5045 24-ch Digital Input/Output Module
APAX5017 12-ch Analog Input Module
APAX5018 12-ch Thermocouple Module
ADAM-6015 7-ch Isolated RTD Input Modbus TCP Module
ADAM-6017 8-ch Isolated Analog Input Modbus TCP Module with 2-ch DO
TPC-1550H 15" XGA TFT LED LCD Intel Atom Thin Client Terminals
Advantech WebAccess Browser-based HMI / SCADA Software
EKI-2528 8-port Unmanaged Industrial Ethernet Switch

System Diagram:
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Conclusions:
The energy-efficient and low emission trends are boosting the gas-fired application in China. Many domestic and foreign companies are seeking further penetration of their gas engines to local market. Advantech's comprehensive product lines helps System Integrator to rapidly upgrade its system to integration solution by one stop shopping, and the real-time and remote features also improve the level of automation equipment. Besides, through online access, user can have a much easier way to always monitor the generators. Until now, the new gas engines with Advantech's solution have been used in several landfills to provide cleaner power and the stable operations also bring a good reputation for System Integrator.