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Benefits of Having an Enterprise SCADA System

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An enterprise SCADA system collects data from all the solar PV sites in a portfolio and pulls it into one platform. This is different from a site-level SCADA system, which pulls data from an individual solar PV plant.

Let's explore the benefits of enterprise SCADA systems and how they work.

 

What benefits can an enterprise SCADA system offer?

An enterprise SCADA system allows plant operators and owners to see everything that's happening across their portfolio, all in one place. Owners can check the performance of their entire fleet at a glance. Operators can focus on the portfolio as a whole without having to go into each site platform to address issues. Using an enterprise SCADA system makes it far more seamless to monitor and control a large number of sites.

 

Are there any specific protocol requirements for an enterprise SCADA system?

To collect data from a remote solar PV plant, the enterprise SCADA system must connect to the plant's site-level SCADA system. This is typically done using one of three protocols: OPC-UA, DNP3, or Modbus TCP/IP. OPC-UA interoperability protocol is the most common, as it is built for secure LAN to WAN connections. It allows for the use of a security certificate and has other helpful features, such as timestamps and the ability to check data quality.

 

Learn more about connecting local SCADA systems to third parties here.

 

Is there any special hardware or software required for an enterprise SCADA system?

On the hardware side, you need a server or platform to host the enterprise SCADA software. This can be a server at the operations center or hosted in the cloud. You also need to have firewalls in place, both at the enterprise level and at each site. Firewalls enable a secure site-to-site connection via a VPN tunnel, and block unwanted traffic and attacks from the Web.

 

There are several available enterprise SCADA software platforms. Ignition and GE CIMPLICITY SCADA software are commonly used as they readily support OPC-UA protocol.

 

Are there any network security concerns when setting up an enterprise SCADA system?

Network security is of utmost importance to protect the energy infrastructure. The connections from remote sites to an enterprise SCADA system must be set up in a way to limit their vulnerability. NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) sets requirements for the secure transmission of network traffic between power plants. These standards should be followed by the IT department that sets up the enterprise system.

 

Read more about NERC requirements here.

 

Learn more about efficient portfolio management.

Enterprise SCADA systems help streamline operations across an entire solar plant portfolio. Fleet standardization also offers several operational benefits. Learn more and read a case study with our article: Why You Should Consider Standardizing Your Fleet Wide SCADA.

 

 Schedule a call with us today to discuss the operational benefits of an Enterprise SCADA System.

 

Troy Morlan

Written by Troy Morlan