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Method for Distributing Real-time Data in Control Centers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199033D
Published in the IP.com Journal: Volume 10 Issue 9A (2010-09-09)
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2010-Sep-09
Document File: 3 page(s) / 232K

Publishing Venue

Siemens

Related People

Juergen Carstens: CONTACT

Abstract

Most systems for controlling and managing electrical, gas or water networks are software based. The software solutions deliver a set of system services which provide basic and fundamental functionality such as communication interfaces, security components, APIs for shared memory access (API: Application Interface). One of the main tasks of the system services is to distribute real-time data send by field devices to the consumers, e.g. software consumers, in the entire Control Center System. (CCS). Usually, different types of data change events coming from the field devices are transmitted to a real-time server for further processing. The distribution of the real-time data is performed by the so-called Data Distributor module (see Figure 1). The Data Distributor module provides the following service application:

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Method for Distributing Real-time Data in Control Centers

Idea: Bernd Steiner, DE-Nürnberg

Most systems for controlling and managing electrical, gas or water networks are software based. The software solutions deliver a set of system services which provide basic and fundamental functionality such as communication interfaces, security components, APIs for shared memory access (API: Application Interface). One of the main tasks of the system services is to distribute real-time data send by field devices to the consumers, e.g. software consumers, in the entire Control Center System. (CCS). Usually, different types of data change events coming from the field devices are transmitted to a real-time server for further processing. The distribution of the real-time data is performed by the so- called Data Distributor module (see Figure 1). The Data Distributor module provides the following service application:

• Consumers are allowed to subscribe for types of data change events

• An internal list is maintained in which the type of subscription of each customer is stored.

• The realtime data is converted into a Control Center internal protocol.

• The entries of the internal list can be looked up in order to get the information to which consumer the data change is to be sent.

• The data change event is sent to the subscribed consumer.

In cases of outages and other disturbances, a flood of data change events such as disturbance data and alarm messages can be generated by the field devices, the Remote Terminal Units and other involved components. The transmitted data change events arrive then within a short time frame and are processed by the Data Distributor. The Data Distributor processes every single data change event, converts the data change event into the control center internal protocol, matches the consumers interested in the respective type of data change event and sends the data change event to the correct consumers. However, this leads to a high CPU load on the real-time server. The high CPU load can cause a delay of the processing. Real-time data is critical data and therefore should be distributed as fast as possible. Delays can only be accepted within a very limited range.

Up to now, there are several solutions to the described problem. One solution uses multiple real-time servers. Different types of data change events are processed by the Data Distributor on different real- time servers that reduces the load on each single real-time server. However, customers with low budget try to save costs by reducing the costs for hardware. Thus, real-time servers are often installed as single machine or clusters. Another solution uses multithreaded processing instead of single threaded processing. However, the total processing time stays the same. Another solution provides modern hardware in the field in order to reduce the probability of outages and other types of disturbances. However, such disturbances can not be totally avoid...