Red Lion Wind Energy

An application brief from Red Lion

Customer
A leading Power Company with 10,000 employees and annual revenues $15 billion that supplies over 40,000 megawatts of energy to millions of users across the USA and Canada.

Project Scope
With over 7,500 megawatts of renewable energy being generated from 9,000 wind turbines located at 75 sites across North America, the Power Company needed a more optimal networking communication solution to improve wind farm operations and avoid costly downtime. Its current SCADA system was utilizing a serial multi-drop string network that not only had data limitations, but was also experiencing reliability issues during temperature fluctuations.

redlion-system-diagram-wind-energySolutions
The Power Company’s mission was to update its wind farm communication system, which included fiber optics, serial servers and Ethernet switch. After evaluating a number of different options, Red Lions’ Sixnet SLX series of industrial Ethernet switch was selected for its rugged reliability.  The project was completed in two phases with new hardware being installed followed by the transition for old equipment to the new communication system.  Deployed at the cored of the wind turbine-to -SCADA communication system, the Red Lion’s Sixnet Ethernet switches manage and process control signaling, condition-based monitoring and data collections. The industrial switches also allow IP-enable devices to be used throughout the turbine with fiber optic network providing noise suppression.

Benefits
Located in environments subject to extreme temperatures, humidity, vibration, dust and electromagnetic interference from rotating generators and radio transmitters, wind turbines require industrial-grade equipment. Sixnet switches – tested to comply with the most demanding industrial standards – provide the rugged reliability and high performance vital to meeting wind farm conditions. Designed for fault tolerance, the switches use dual-independent power supplies and are fully compatible with fiber optic ring network topologies. Built-in redundancy ensures wind farm data automatically gets rerouted should equipment fail.  In fact, switch performance under electrical transient fault conditions makes it one of the most reliable elements in the wind turbines. Compatible with both multimode and single-mode fiber, the switches offer plug-and play simplicity when interfacing between the ring network and a SCADA system. The use of ring technology also enables turbine maintenance to be performed without communication loss. Additionally, new turbines can be seamlessly networked without downtime. This scalability coupled with ease of use enables the Power Company to benefit from real-time deterministic performance and around-the-clock security without downtime. This scalability coupled with ease of use enables the Power Company to benefit from real-time deterministic performance and around-the-clock security.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Red Lion products in Wisconsin.