Control rooms have been around for about a century now and can be described as a facility where the production of goods is monitored in some way. The definition of “goods” is quite widespread and ranges from physical goods produced in factories to spatial missions. Production of energy sits somewhere in between these two extremes.
A control room is a common space where, in addition to checking operational data coming from configured power plants, operators can also remotely act on devices and send commands to start, stop and fine-tune the production level. A control room is a sensitive installation and for this reason it is usually manned 24x7x365.
With a control room, the owner company invests on continuous surveillance in order to minimize, to the greatest extent that it is possible, the reaction time in case of events that affect the working state of a remote device.
Conveying data from power plants in one place is crucial for efficiency. The canonical software that runs in a control room is essentially a HMI system capable of visualizing live data flows as they are received from power plants. Sophisticated software applications also automatically analyse data to recognize recurring patterns and detect alarm conditions, trends, classify events and produce forecasts for production, prices and maintenance of physical devices such as turbines, inverters, substations, met masts and more.
The first two sections of the whitepaper give a deep walkthrough about control room layouts and hardware equipment. The third part goes through the activities lead by the operators.