Control-command: making good choices

A number of precautions need to be taken with the acquisition of a new control-command, which is essentially the nervous system of a hydroelectric power plant.

The control-command is essentially the nervous system of a hydroelectric power plant. It ensures its control and guarantees the safety of the machines. However, it will not operate optimally unless it is properly integrated with the plant and its operating system.

Working closely with operations, HYDRO Exploitation’s main line of work, our engineers have specific knowledge for creating customised solutions, and overcoming the operational constraints of each site. 

That is why they pay attention to a number of points when acquiring and implementing a new control-command, such as:

  • The life cycle of the proposed automated systems.
  • Security, in terms of operational technology (OT) (configurable switch, cabinet with lock, type of communication procedures, firewall, type of remote connection for remote maintenance, locking systems, encryption).
  • The uniformity of the control modes and the human-machine interfaces with those already installed in the plant. It is best not to change the current way the system is managed.
  • The uniformity of the equipment with the systems already installed, so as to avoid too many spare parts.
  • The delivery times of components and a definitive list of spare parts.
  • The definition of the alarm types and their severity levels.
  • Interfaces with supervision systems, data archiving or any other data acquisitions systems.
  • In the specifications: ownership of the programming code and all final software, and all passwords. It is essential to be in control of the software that manages the systems and to avoid black boxes. Also, specify your names for the components or the standards required. Do not forget the required documentation.
  • Training of the operating staff.
  • Involvement in the commissioning.

HYDRO Exploitation is happy to analyse your needs in this area, whether in the role of a consulting engineer or that of a designer.

HYDRO Exploitation SA
Rue de l’Industrie 10
CP 315 - CH-1951 Sion
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HYDRO Exploitation SA
Rue de l’Industrie 10 CP 750 - CH-1951 Sion +41 (0)27 328 44 11
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