Configuration of the hard- and software interfaces of the DCS finished

A new HYBUILD report led by our partner AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology – has just been released. It presents research outcomes from HYBUILD related to the Distributed Control System (DCS).

Executive Summary of the report

This report provides a comprehensive description of the hard- and software communication interfaces between all actors, sensors, built-in controllers of the components and modules of the hybrid thermal and electrical sub-systems, and the existing automation systems used in the laboratory infrastructure at ITAE, NTUA, CSEM and AIT. The report gives detailed information on their configuration, developed human machine interfaces and interfaces to software for advanced control and simulation.

The established communication and automation is the pre-requisite for the conduction of extensive experimental performance tests of the Mediterranean and Continental sub-systems modules, basic control schemes and their interaction. The report is also useful for all activities related to the planning and integration of the automation systems for the sub-systems at the demo sites.

The report provides detailed information, mostly based on lists/tables, textual descriptions and schemes on hardware modules, communication interfaces of on-board Programmable Logical Controllers (PLC) from DAIK, OCHS, FAHR, CSEM, existing and extensions to laboratory process control systems (PCS) from ITAE, NTUA and AIT, additional control systems such as the DC bus maintenance PC, developed graphical user interfaces, and additional sensors and actors used at specific modules, and finally a complete report on all data points, corresponding protocols and parameters for sub-systems automation and data acquisition.

Methodology: The hybrid sub-system for the Mediterranean climate consists of the following modules and control systems:

  • the sorption storage module manufactured by FAHR, MIK and AKG, equipped with Fahrenheit’s internal controller and a Modbus TCP/IP communication interface;
  • the vapour compression chiller (DAIK), converter and internal controller with MODBUS/RTU communication interface;
  • the low temperature RPW-HEX module manufactured by AKG, equipped with additional sensors and actors connected to Advantech’s Input/Output (I/O) modules and interfaced with LabVIEW controller;
  • the electrical storage module with the DC controller delivered by CSEM and ITAE, and different DC bus components with different communication interfaces, as are the grid converter with CAN interface, the battery converter with CANopen, the power-meters with Modbus RTU, the battery management system (BMS) with Modbus RTU interface.

Communication between all components and modules was established and, if necessary, dedicated converters and gateways were used. Databases are set up or data is fed to existing databases, and graphical user interfaces are developed for sub-system supervision and control. Communications tests with read/write operations were successfully performed with the LabVIEW automation system at CNR-ITAE’s and NTUA’s thermal laboratory, and a maintenance PC at CSEM’s laboratory, see Figure below left. 

The hybrid sub-system for the Continental climate consists of the following modules and control systems:

  • the DC powered air-source compression HP from OCHS, an outdoor unit, which is installed in a climate chamber, and equipped with OCHS Siemens controller with a ModBus RTU communication interface; 
  • the RPW-HEX module (manufactured by AKG), where all additional sensors and actors are directly connected to AIT’s PCS system from Bernecker and Rainer; 
  • the same electrical storage module with the DC controller delivered by CSEM and ITAE as for the Mediterranean climate. 

Communication between all components and modules was established using dedicated converters and gateways. Data is fed to existing data bases, and graphical user interfaces were developed and are ready for sub-systems supervision and control. All Communications tests with read/write operations were successfully performed using AIT’s thermal lab industrial automation system, i.e. Bernecker und Rainer APROL® software and X20 PLC hardware, see Figure below right.

Hardware communication and graphical user interfaces for monitoring and control of the hybrid storage sub-systems installed at CNR-ITAE’s (left) and AIT’S (right) thermal laboratory infrastructure.

Key Findings and Conclusions: We successfully managed to set up, configure and test the communication between all electrical and thermal modules of the Mediterranean and Continental sub-systems. Moreover, tools for automation, supervision, control and data acquisition were developed. Based on these results during the next month extensive experimental tests will be conducted to evaluate the integrated sub-systems, their performance and basic control schemes.

In addition, the report details on data points, access levels and communication protocols will streamline the coordination and planning of the automation systems at the demo sites.

Read the full report

Download the full report here.