What is SCADA? & What is the use of it?

Today, we are going to see a type of computer automation technology that was using in electrical power systems. And also, it has various types of applications. Let’s see what it is and what are its applications are…

SCADA definition :

SCADA stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition. SCADA is a system of software and hardware elements. Effective uses of SCADA systems can result in a significant saving of time and money. Before SCADA, industrial organisations were entirely controlled by PLC and microcontrollers.

SCADA is not dedicated to anyone type of application or industry. It works like a supervisor who supervises the plant area, if needed it also controls the process as well as it converts the data segments for storing process values i.e., pressure, switch positions, density, temperature etc…

Introduction to SCADA :

From a distance place if we want to run the process i.e., starting, stopping, opening and closing of field instruments. SCADA can do it for you.

SCADA is not a 100% controller, it is just a software which has to be linked with controllers.

Hazardous areas, unhygienic places, hilly areas and sea beds where a person can’t be sent regularly, but the process has to be watched continuously or it should be controlled then it can be done by SCADA .

SCADA systems are used by industrial organisations and multinational companies in the public and private sectors to control and maintain efficiency , collect and distribute data to reduce manual power, and finally communicate system issues to help mitigate downtime.

Virtually anywhere you look in today’s world, there is some type of SCADA system running behind the scenes. For example, maintaining the refrigeration systems at the local supermarket and also ensuring production and safety at a refinery.

The systems work well in many types of enterprises because they can range from simple configurations to large SCADA systems are the backbone of many modern industries like:

  • Energy 
  • Power
  • Water 
  • Recycling
  • Oil and gas
  • Manufacturing
  • And many more

Invention of SCADA

Before the concept of SCADA was introduced in the mid-20th century, many manufacturing companies, industrial plants and remote sites relied on personnel to manually control and monitor equipment via push buttons and analog dials.

Industrial floors and remote site areas needed solutions to control equipment over long distances. Industrial organisations started to utilize relays and timers to provide some level of control without having to send people to remote locations to interact with each device.

Relays and timers solved many problems by providing limited automation functionality more issues began to arise. Relays and timers were difficult to reconfigure, fault to find, and the control panels took up racks on racks of space. A more efficient and fully automated system of control and monitoring was needed.

Modern SCADA

Modern SCADA systems allow real-time data from the plant floor to be accessed from anywhere in the world. This access allows governments, businesses, and individuals to make data-driven decisions about how to improve their progression. without SCADA software, it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to gather sufficient data for consistent performances.

SQL(Structured Query Language) databases provide huge advantages over antiquated SCADA software. One major advantage of using SQL database with a SCADA system makes it easier to allow data to flow seamlessly through an entire organisation.

Problems with SCADA :

SCADA is a very important technology for industrial organisations. SCADA based on technology largely from the 90s and technology has come a long way since then. The technology is very slow when compared to previous and one more problem is it is not very IT friendly.

SCADA in Electrical Distribution

Electrical utilities must meet increasing demand for reliable power distribution fortunately , many areas of the existing electrical distribution system can be improved through automation.

Actually, SCADA is typically a PC based software package. It collects the data from all the substations and if any faults occur, then the alarm will alert the field workers.

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