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Reliable Field Control

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DC 24 V in Power Plants

Energy’s Great Potential
Energy, efficiency and sustainability – these are intensely discussed topics which we encounter daily. Is the glass half full, or half empty? The energy supply challenge ahead of us may be unsettling, but then again it is the driving force for fast paced investment into new power generation technologies.  In addition to sustainability and energy efficiency, highest safety and plant availability yielding higher cost-effectiveness are at the top of the list of our immediate aims.

Let the Big Challenge be Our Big Chance
High demands on safety and system availability in power plants require leadingedge instrumentation and control systems. The backbone of these I & C systems, however, is a reliable signal processing and data communication scheme across all platforms and levels of the hierarchical plant automation architecture.  Consistent plant information, therefore, depends on absolutely reliable communication capabilities of all devices connected to the system and on unfailing vertical information paths - from the field level close to the process across the automation and functional platform right up to the supervisory plant operation level. 

The Field Level’s Importance
Coherent plant data acquisition, logging and reporting as well as precise and selective actuator control at the process level call for a well-structured 24 V DC sensor/actuator field that is available without fail (like clock-work). After all, the I/O field, apart from executing vital actuating commands in the process, must provide comprehensive measurement data and process information on the basis of which the entire plant is run.  Hence, the so-called lowest level of the plant automation hierarchy is of extreme importance as the number of field devices to be connected to the automation platform can be quite substantial.  Typically, a few thousands of I/O points, such as sensors, transducers, actuator drives, setpoint generators, solenoid valves, distributed operator panels and PLCs, have to communicate with the power plant unit’s I & C system.

New Demands on Circuit Protection
Methodical system integration and answerving protection and control of thousands of field devices widely distributed in the plant prove quite a challenge to the electrical design engineer.  Systematic and cost-effective, yet safe and reliable – such are the requirements.
Even allegedly less important components, such as switching relays and protective circuit breakers, require increased wiring for their growing number of signal lines as the functional range of protective components is no longer restricted to circuit protection. Today, these “auxiliary” devices are also expected to be capable of transmitting error and diagnostics information and allowing remote acknowledgement and operation from the supervisory system in the control room.

E-T-A - Your Competent Partner
The growing complexity of switching and data acquisition cabinets calls for a systematic design approach. Only a “holistic” method considers all of the essential factors for reliable distribution, control and protection:
● Precise actuator control
● Selective overcurrent protection
● Integrated diagnostics and alarm handling
● Efficient installation and power distribution
For these design tasks we are your competent partner. As an internationally operating solution provider with decades of experience in the field of switching, monitoring and protection of equipment we offer highly innovative components as well as design consultancy and development partnerships.

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