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Case Study: Renewable Wind Power, Turkey

Using DataHub to connect wind farms, and WebView to monitor their aggregated data

The country of Turkey is emerging as a growing economic and industrial power, with an estimated 6% annual increase in demand for electricity over the next 20 years, according to the Turkish Electricity Transmission Company. Investments in the energy sector will be well above 100 billion USD during that same period. Meriting special attention is wind power. Turkey has the highest growth rate of installed systems worldwide, expected to leap from 1,700 MW in 2010 to 20,000 MW by 2023.

Riding this wave, a prominent electrical power production company in Istanbul is investing heavily in renewable and alternative sources for power generation. They recently erected two new wind farms, with a third one and a thermal energy power plant on the way. Six months ago, as the construction phase neared completion, the company began looking at ways to monitor their wind farms and display the live data in their central Istanbul office, using a single web-based application.

“We needed a way to quickly view the energy production status in each of our two wind farms,” said the Director of Operations. “We also wanted to see a summary of the total count of turbines in operation, in maintenance, and in failure status, along with detailed data from each turbine.”

nsc-logoA challenge for the data integration was that each of the two remote wind farms is controlled by a SCADA system that cannot be connected directly to the Internet. NSC Teknoloji, Skkynet’s partner for the Turkish market, proposed a solution using DataHub® WebView™.

At each remote location NSC Teknoloji installed the DataHub® and connected it to the company’s SCADA system. Then they connected both of those sites to WebView running at their central office. Once the data connection was made, NSC staff created special web pages to display summary and detailed data of the system and the wind turbines.

“The system is performing very well, transmitting more than 30,000 data points over the Internet, with 1-second refresh time,” said Mr. Ibrahim Serhan Arslan, Director of NSC Teknoloji. “It is incredible that we can carry this huge amount of data over the tightly restricted bandwidth of our Internet connection.”

nsc-wind-system

The Web HMI screens and controls were created easily through the WebView browser interface, with no programming. From his office, the Director of Operations can now view online megawatt production, wind speeds, temperatures, and total turbine count and operational status for each wind farm, all on a single page.

“In the near future we will add the third wind farm data to the system,” said Mr. Arslan. “Before they were only able to access this data for each wind farm one by one using the SCADA vendor’s web connect tool, and they had no way to view data from the whole system in one screen. Now they have a summary screen for all power plants, and the details for each plant are just one click away.”

“This is very efficient way to review the status of our wind farms,” said the Director of Operations. “We want to thank NSC Teknoloji and Skkynet for making this system work for us.”

Case Study: Biomass Biotechnology Bio, Japan

Monitoring Nature’s Wonder Workers
Biomass Biotechnology Bio logo

Finally, someone has found a good use for pesky flies—let them eat manure! The BBB company (Biomass Biotechnology Bio) in the Chiba prefecture near Tokyo, Japan, has developed a technology that uses fly larvae to convert manure from pigs and other farm animals into organic fertilizer and high-protein fish food. And they are using the Cogent DataHub running on a cloud server to provide real-time monitoring of their production powerhouse—swarms of flies.

The process is quite simple. BBB keeps thousands of specially bred flies in captivity, collects their eggs, and sells them to local pork farmers. The farmers put the fly eggs on their pig manure, and when they hatch, the fly larvae feed off the manure. Enzymes in the larvae saliva break down the manure into rich, organic fertilizer, doing the job in one week that normally takes up to four months using conventional composting techniques. When the larvae are finished, they don’t need to be separated from the finished fertilizer—they crawl out by themselves, seeking a dry environment. At this point, before they can turn into flies, the larvae are collected, dried, and processed as fish food.

There is an English-language video of the whole BBB process which was produced by the Japanese news agency NHK and is available for viewing on the Internet.

The benefits of producing fertilizer from waste material this way are substantial, but until recently costs have been high. The company plans to expand their services to large numbers of farms, and to do so they need an inexpensive, automated way to monitor their production environment. Unlike most of us who use window screens to keep flies out, BBB has special screened rooms to keep flies in. To ensure the flies stay healthy and lay large numbers of eggs, the air temperature and humidity in these rooms must be maintained at optimal levels, and monitored around the clock.

To automate the monitoring, Cogent and their partner, Nissin Systems Co. Ltd of Kyoto Japan, provided a real-time, cloud-based system using the Cogent DataHub® and WebView™. At the BBB facility they installed a Wi-Fi-enabled environmental sensor module from TOA Musendenki to measure the temperature and humidity, and connected it directly to a Cogent DataHub running on a cloud server. Using WebView, they then created a monitoring page to track key environmental variables such as temperature and humidity in the flies’ living quarters.

“Monitoring our system on the web is very convenient,” said Mr. Yamaguchi, President of BBB. “We have been able to reduce our costs significantly, which will be even more important as we expand our operation.”

Case Study: RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Closed-Loop Control of Weaving Machines using the Cogent DataHub

From ancient times people have been using looms to weave cloth, canvas, and carpets. As the centuries passed, weaving became one of the first tasks to be mechanized in the industrial revolution. The various repetitive tasks such as raising and lowering rows of threads (the warp), and passing a shuttle with the cross-thread (the weft) back and forth between them, were a good fit for simple machines. Today, high-speed air-jet weaving machines are fully automated, and capable of sending a warp thread between weft strands at a rate of 2000 times per minute.

One of the challenges of automating a weaving machine is maintaining proper tension on the threads. With each pass of the weft, a certain amount of tautness must be applied to the warp to keep the woven fabric uniform at all times. Early looms used the weaver’s body weight or hanging stones to keep the warp taut, but an air-jet machine needs a more sophisticated technology.

This challenge has been addressed by the students and faculty of the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) der RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany, who are investigating how to optimize the tension of warp threads in an air-jet weaving machine.

“Our main research goal is self-optimization of the warp tension,” said Dr. Ing. Yves-Simon Gloy, Research Manager at ITA, “to enable the loom to set the warp tension automatically at a minimum level without reducing the process stability.” Keeping the proper tension maximizes the speed of the process, while yielding the highest possible quality of fabric.

“We started by creating an automated sequence routine, with the help of regression models for a model-based setting of the loom, and implemented in the weaving process,” said Dr. Gloy. “The automated sequence routine was implemented using the ibaPADU-S-IT as a fast, stand-alone control system and the software ibalogic from iba AG in Fürth, Germany.”

Once the necessary hardware was in place, the team needed to choose a way to monitor and control the loom. They got in touch with Logic Park, in Heimberg, Switzerland, who recommended the Cogent DataHub® as the ideal solution. Connecting the DataHub to the iba System OPC server, Dr. Gloy and his team were able to use WebView™ to quickly build a web HMI.

“The DataHub was the perfect tool to develop the new HMI – easy to install, easy to handle. I got very fast results and the control of the loom via the web browsers is totally stable,” said Dr. Gloy. “Our students are very impressed by the DataHub and its functionality. We can even view the HMI on a tablet, which is beyond state-of-the-art for a textile machine. Now we are investigating new applications for other textile machines in our Institute.”