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SCADA in Thermal Power Plant

Project report

SCADA in Thermal Power Plant

Chapter 1


This chapter provides an introduction about the SCADA based system, the
significance of the SCADA implementation in thermal power plant. It provides
application in real time and configuration, control and managing the SCADA system
to improve the efficiency and reducing the cost of the power plant.


What is SCADA?

SCADA is used for monitoring and controlling of the industrial processes.

SCADA stands for supervisory control and data acquisition. The processes which can
control using SCADA can be industrial, Infrastructural or Public Utilities. SCADA is
used around the world to control all kind of industrial processes. Industrial processes
include manufacturing, Production, Developments, and Fabrication. Infrastructural

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processes include gas and oil distribution, Electrical power and water distribution.
Public utilities include light rail, airport, bus transit systems, Shopping malls.

SCADA application has two major components.

1. The system or process you want to control/monitor. It can be electrical power

distribution, manufacturing plant, power plant or production plant.
2. A group of the intelligent devices which control the system or process. These
devices include sensors and control input/output to monitor and control the system
or processes.

1.2 Overview of the SCADA based Thermal Power Plant

The SCADA based thermal power plant which uses minimal of

hardware/software interfaces and provide the higher efficiency. It also provides low
cost solution and reducing the number of loses during process flow. SCADA
implementation helps to provide higher efficiency as well as monitoring and
controlling of the process parameters like generated power, turbine speed and quality
of the generated power. SCADA implementation provides the higher controllability
due to sensors, valves and meters incorporated within the path of the process flow.
The same techniques can also applicable for various other processing flows like water
purification, Oil purification and manufacturing of the products.

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Chapter 2


This chapter describes basic applications and uses of SCADA system. This
also covers basic design aspects of the SCADA system. It clearly explains how to
select the particular SCADA system for specific requirements. It also gives details on
the monitoring and control of the Real time systems.


SCADA as a System

SCADA is one kind of application which collects data from the factory
through various sensors and sends this information to the computer system or remote
locations. SCADA is control and management solutions for the most of the industries.
SCADA is a central control system which consists of controllers, Network interfaces,
Input/Output, communication equipments and software. All together SCADA system
collects important information and sends it to the computer or remote locations. The
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most important part of the SCADA is remote terminal unit which is also known as
RTU. RTU consist of programmable logic converter which can be set to specific
requirements or it can also allow human intervention during the operation. For
example, in thermal power plant the water flow can be set to specific value or it can
be change according to the requirements. RTU also displays the error or any critical
warnings at control station so user may be aware of the developments. SCADA
system takes the reading of the meters and checks the status of the sensors in a regular
interval so that it requires minimal interference of human. SCADA system made of
many data points which include monitor points or software/hardware points. SCADA
system creates the log of the all necessary events and save the history for future


SCADA Applications

SCADA is used for all kind of complex system where human interaction is
impractical. SCADA is used in the applications where there are more control factors
difficult to mange with the short time frame.
1. Power generation, transmission and distribution
Power stations use SCADA system to monitor the current flow, voltage level,
checking the status of the transmission line and circuit breakers. Also, sometimes it is
used to power off or shutdown particular sections.
2. Water distribution and Reservoir system

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SCADA is used for municipal water distribution system to monitor the flow of
the water during the distribution. Also, reservoir water level and pressure can be
measure using the SCADA system.

Generators and Turbines Monitor and control the temperature and flow in
heat exchanger unit and heat recovery unit.


Human Machine Interface (HMI)

SCADA system uses interface which is known as human machine interface

(HMI). HMI is the place where the information is displayed and monitored to process
by human. The interface provides the controls so human can interface with the
system. HMI provides the access of multiple control units which can be PLCs
(programmable logic unit) or RTUs. Usually RTU and PLC is pre program according
to the requirements but monitoring of them is difficult for the users. SCADA system
communicates with the PLCs throughout the system and provides the information to
the user using network interfaces.
The HMI provides the graphical presentation of the system. For example, it
provides the graphics picture of the pump connected to the tank. User can see the flow
of the water and pressure of the water. Also, User can on/off the supply of the water
within the particular pipes. HMI also provides the multiple displays so user can
control more equipment at a time. The important part of the HMI is an alarm system
which is activated according to the predefined values. For example, the tank water

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level alarm is set to 80% and 90% values. If the water level reaches above the 80%
the alarm gives normal warning and if water level reaches 90% the alarm gives
critical warnings. According to the warning user can control the flow of the water
from reservoir to the tank.


SCADA Animation

SCADA animation consists of different color bars, text, rotating/sliding parts,

level indicator and position of the parts using different colors. Basic animation
of the SCADA system is shown below.

Figure 2.1 Standard SCADA Animation

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Chapter 3


The SCADA system mainly performs the following functions.


Data Acquisitions


Data Communication


Information/Data Presentation


These functions are performed by sensors, RTUs, Master Units and

Communication networks. Sensors are used to collect the important information and
RTUs uses this information to display the status of the system at the control
equipments. According to the status of the system user can give command to the other
system components. The operations send the important command through the
communication network.

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Data Acquisitions

The Real time system consists of thousand of components and sensors. It is

very important to measure the status of the particular components. For example, some
sensors measure the water flow from the reservoir to the tank which is input to the
system. Some sensors measure the valve pressure as the water is release from the
Some sensors indicate the normal event of the system. For example, in
production environment sensor counts the number of produced product or the number
of defected products. Some sensors indicate the condition (on/off) of the particular
system components. Furthermore, some sensors provide very critical information
which should give the accurate results. For instance, it is important to measure the
temperature of the system as it can damage the system. Temperature values are
predefined in the system so that it sounds alarm when system reaches above the
threshold value.


Data Communication

Simple electronic control system uses wired network to communicate between

user and devices but in Real time application there are lots of sensors and components
which should be control remotely. It is important to have strong network between all
the components and user. Early, SCADA network used to communicate through radio
and modem. Today, SCADA uses internet as a communication medium. All

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information is transmitted through internet using specific protocols. Sensors and

relays are not able to communicate with the network interface so RTU (Remote
Telemetry Unit) is needed to establish the communication between sensors and
network interface. The RTU converts the input from the sensors into specific protocol
and send it to the masters. According to the masters feedback RTU received the
protocol formatted command and apply the electrical signal to the relays.


Information/Data Presentation

Normal circuit network have some indicator which can be visible to the
operator but in Real time SCADA system there are thousands of sensors and alarm
which are nearly impossible to handle simultaneously. SCADA system uses Human
system interface to provide the all information gathered from the various sensors.
SCADA master works as a human interface. It has many different functions. Master
collect the information from the different sensor also process the accumulated
information and provide the necessary suggestion to improve the efficiency as well as
indication of the alarms.



SCADA system provides the different switches and displays at the control
center. Any part of the process can be turned on/off from the control station using
these switches.

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For example, if the part following the water distribution system broke up or
malfunctioning then water control can be stopped or slowing down directly from the
control station. Mostly, SCADA system is implemented to work automatically
without human intervention but it is also possible to override the automatic control
from the control station. Most of the monitoring and control operations are performed
by RTUs or PLCs. As we can see from the figure that SCADA system RTU Reads
the flow level and flow control form the sensors and sends the set points to the PLCs.
PLC1 compared the flow with the set point and according to that it manages the speed
pump. PLC2 observes the flow and compare it with the set points and according to
that it manages the flow.

Figure 3.1 Schematic Diagram of SCADA System

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Chapter 4



Functionality of SCADA Based Thermal Power Plant

Thermal power plant uses steam as a primary requirement to move the wings
of the turbine. After the passing through the turbine this steam is condense in a
condenser. Steam is generated by different type of fuel depends on the availability and
requirements. Different types of thermal power plant are classified according to the
type of fuel and the primary mover in the plant. The functionality of the thermal
power plant can be understood by the following diagram.
The overall efficiency of the power plant can be measured by the ratio of the
temperature of the steam input and output. Higher efficiency requires the higher
pressure and higher temperature. The overheated steam is rotates the wings of the
turbine and then return back to the MP body and BP body of the turbine. Most of the
thermal power plants can automatically operate but it still allows the access to human

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intervention to take some critical decision. Most of the power plant have alert and
monitor system which can be easily operated from the control room.

Figure 4.1 Functionality of Thermal Power Plant


Architecture of SCADA Based Thermal Power Plant

The architecture of the SCADA based thermal power plant is shown in the
following figure. The power plant is connected using the network Ethernet. The
network Ethernet allows the file transfer between the different stations. Also, it avoids
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the burden of the node bus network. There are three levels in SCADA system:
acquisition, processing and monitoring. The SCADA system is made of different
components which transfer information using the interface.

Figure 4.2 Architecture of SCADA System

I/A: Intelligent / Automation
FBM: Field bus modules
FCM: Field bus Communication module
AW: Application work station
WP: work station processor

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Chapter 5




The coal is used to generate the steam and through this steam it can generate
the electricity. As the population increases the requirement of the power also
increases. Nuclear power plant is also a solution to this demand but it is not safe as
thermal power plant. Thermal power plant uses water as a primary resource and water
is heated to generate steam. This steam is used to spin the turbine and generate the
electricity. The steam which passed through the turbine is condensed using condenser.

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Figure 5.1 General Layout of Thermal Power Plant


Coal Fired Thermal Power Plant

More than half of the energy is generated using the coal based thermal power
plant. The basic concept is to produce the electricity from the energy stored in the
coal. The energy stored within the coal is used to generate the electricity and this
electricity is used in industrial, commercial and residential.


Basic Layout of a Thermal Power Plant

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Thermal power plants are mostly used to generate the electricity. Thermal
power plant releases large amount of green house gases in our atmosphere. The
general layout of the thermal power plant includes the following main components.

Coal and Ash circuit

Coal and ash circuit is used to supplying the coal to the boiler and collecting
the ash that is produced after burning of the coal. This includes the
components used to transfer and storage of the coal and ash.

Air and Gas Circuit

Air is the most important factor for combustion of the coal. Hence, it is
required to supply the sufficient amount of air for the combustion of the coal.
The exhausted gases used to heat the air before releasing to the environment.

Feed water and steam circuit

These components are used to supply the generated steam to the turbine and
also for cooling the steam which is passed through the turbine. This steam is
condensed to form the water. This water is used again for the same process.

Cooling water circuit

This part is used to condense the steam using water. It requires large amount
of water for cooling the heated steam. The water is generally taken from the
river or reservoir.

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Figure 5.2 Basic Layout of Thermal Power Plant


Working of Thermal Power Plant

Thermal power plant uses coal or natural gases to generate the heat which is
used to boil the water. This boiled water generates the steam, which feeds to the
turbines. The turbine is connected to the generator. This generator provides the
electricity to the consumers.

The following are the steps for the process of generating electricity
1. Water Intake

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The water is feed to the boiler for generating the steam. The water is driven
from the river, pond or reservoir. If the water is not pure then it is filtered
using various techniques. Also, this water can be used again and again for the
next cycle.

2. Boiler heating
The boiler is heated using the coal or natural gases. The high temperature
causes the water to transform in to the steam. This steam is feed to the next
stage for the generation of electricity.

3. Steam turbine
The steam generated using boiler is feed to the steam turbine. The pressure of
the steam applied on the blades of the turbine. Hence, the wings of the turbine
rotate according to the pressure of the steam.

4. Generator
The generator is normally connected with the turbine and it produces the
electricity. This produced electricity is passed to the consumers using other

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Chapter 6


There are few steps which is necessary for proper implementation of the power plant.


Important Steps for SCADA Modeling

The water from the reservoir, river or lake is not 100 percent pure. Water
includes impurities like rocks, sand, wood and many other particles which
need to remove before using this water for the plant. These materials are sent
to landfill.

Mostly waste water treatment plants are located below the level of the power
plant. So it is required to send this water to the plant using motors. The plant is
mostly above the level of the river or lake therefore the water needs to pumped
up to the reservoir tank.

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The water treatment plant shake up the mess and expose it to air. This step is
necessary to remove dissolved gases from the water. Water is passed through
the series of tanks. First tank feeds the air into the water. Due to organic
matter decays, it uses up oxygen. Bubble passed through the oxygen allows
the organic particles to settle.

Removing sludge & Scum

Heavy particles from the water are settled down at the bottom of the tank and
these particles are removed in a step called thickening and then the sludge is
processed in large tank known as digesters. Also, some impurities are light
weight. For example, oil, plastic and grease which can easily float on the
surface of the water. These impurities are removed by slow moving rakes.
Some plant also uses filtration in sewage treatment. Water is passed through
the sand which can remove the bacteria, unpleasant odors and reduces the
amount of iron. Sometime water is also passed through the carbon particles to
remove organic particles. This filtered water is still have some gases like
oxygen which forms oxides .These oxides rust and cracks the boilers along
with the time so whole boiler system needs to be replaced after some period of
time. This can lead to very high amount of cost to the company. To avoid this
extra cost this water send to the electro dialysis unit where the gases are
removed using some sort of techniques.

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Components of the Plant



A valve is used to control the flow of the fluid or water. It can be operated
manually or automatically. A valve can be operated manually using wheel, paddle or
handle. An automatic valve operates based on the pressure changes. The Change in
the pressure operates the piston and activates the valve. Also, some highly controlled
system uses actuator for controlling the valve. Depending on the controlled input
valve can be positioned accurately according to the requirement.
Generally two types of valves are used in thermal power plant
1. One port valves
One port valves used to allow or obstruct the flow of the fluid, water or
gases. It can allow fluid to flow along the pipes or It can stop moving the fluid.
2. Two port valves
Two port valves are also known as regulating valves because they can
be open, close or partially open. Some valves are designed to regulate the
certain amount of flow.
Here are some operations of the valves

Control : force or flow speed

closing at over speed run

over pressure prevention

back flow protection

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Generally sensors are used for following purpose

measure the water height

measure the pressure

measure the temperature

Measure the flow speed

These sensors directly give output to the control station or it can supply the
information to the next stage. Also, sensors can be analog or digital depend on
the plant design.



Motors are used to supply the water from one stage to the next stage. For
example, Water needs to be transferred from mesh tank to the nest tank. These heavy
duty motors needs proper supervision to avoid any mishap.


Step by Step Functionality of Thermal Power Plant

First step of the power plant is to select the proper source of the water. The
water should be easily available. The plant should be near the river or lake so it
requires less effort to move water to the plant. Also, water should be continuously
available to gain more advantage out of the plant.

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Next step is the proper storage of the water. Water can be stored in a tank or
reservoir. The water is kept for some amount of time at this stage to settle down most
off the impurities. Now the water is moved to the tank using motors and valves. The
water is also kept here for some amount of time to remove small particle present in
the water. These tanks have some set of sensors. These sensors are used to control the
flow of incoming water. For example, if the amount of water in the tank is high then
higher sensor deactivates the valve which in turn stops the water flowing into the
tank. If the water in the tank is too low then lower sensor activates the valve and
allows the water to flow into the tank. Then next step is to remove the impurities from
the water. This step is required to remove the big particles which escape from the
initial tank. These particles can clog in pipe or it can damage the motor in next stage.
The mesh generally has two stages. First stage is used to remove the large particles
and second stage is used to remove the smaller particles.
Motors are used to flow water coming from the mesh. Motors send this water
to the next tank in which is used for removal of the sludge. This tank has two mode of
operation. During normal mode of operation sludge is screened from the tank by an
outlet at the bottom of the tank. During self cleaning mode the incoming and outgoing
of the water is shut down and the water inside the tank is moved with full speed to
remove the sludge which can be clog over the wall of the tank. This water is now sent
to the scum removal tank. This tank also has two modes of operation. In normal
mode, the scum is screened from the tank by an outlet at the bottom. This water is
now sent to the electro dialysis unit using motors. In self cleaning mode, the normal
supply of water is shutdown and another high speed supply of water is fed into the

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tank. The water being supplied is mixed with some chemicals to kill the micro
organism in the tank.

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Chapter 7


The SCADA for thermal power plant allows the owner of the plant not only to
control and supervise the plant which is its features but also operates the plant in the
economical way.
SCADA for thermal power plant overrides all the drawbacks of the conventional DCS
based thermal power plant. It does not entertain more manual operations instead
operates automatically hence overriding the human errors and minimizing the errors
in the power plant operation.

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[2] pioneering web SCADA
[3] Sandia National Laboratories
[4] Thermal power station
[5] International Journal of the Physical Sciences Vol. 5(6), pp. 1175-1182, June 2010
Available online at ISSN 1992 - 1950
2010 Academic Journals
[6] International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: (ISSN 2250-2459, Volume 2, Issue 5, May 2012)

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