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Solar PV Automation with zenon

Enjoy harvesting the sun with the help of professional solar power automation software

In the course of increasing energy supply coverage with DERs (Distributed Energy Resources), photovoltaic plants represent a promising venture to various stakeholders involved in financial investment, construction, operation or maintenance. The successful outcome of this endeavor is fundamentally determined by the choice of the right technology for operational monitoring and control, as well as continuous performance optimization.

 

Use the zenon Software Platform for effective and secure operation of utility scale PV plants – locally or remotely. The system is able to integrate any type of asset in a seamless operations management solution. Here is how you can utilize zenon to achieve solar power automation:

 

 

Build your solution from a rich set of functions

zenon is utilized for various applications in, and around Solar PV facilities:

  • Solar PV SCADA: zenon integrates all assets, such as panels, trackers, combiner boxes, inverters or weather stations. System access may be dynamically granted to various stakeholders on local, regional or global level.
  • Integration of auxiliary assets, such as switchyards or electrical substations
  • Reporting and Advanced Analytics for continuous process optimization
  • Integration of higher level systems, such as microgrids, virtual powerplants or power data services and exchange with grid service operators

Features and Key Benefits:

  • Solar String Heatmap
  • Realtime KPIs and Dashboards
  • Inverter/Tracker/Met-Station detailed views
  • Vendor Independent Device Connectivity (e.g. Sunspec MODBUS)
  • Alarm Management
  • Sequence of Event Tracking (SoE)
  • Integrated Historian for long term data archives
  • Dynamic Analytics and Reporting
  • Seamless Process Server Redundancy
  • Programmable Soft Logic (IEC 61131-3)
  • Mobile Event Notification (E-Mail, SMS, VoIP)
  • Role based Access Control
  • Secure Remote Access
  • IoT gateway for cloud integration
  • Web Visualization Service (HTML5)

What zenon offers you:

  • Highest performance and scalability, supporting local plant management as well as control center integration and cloud-based solutions
  • Hardware independence through support of all relevant communication standards
  • Effective operations management, through intuitive HMI and comprehensive asset integration
  • Engineering simplicity through configurable functions, templates and automatable engineering
  • Strong cyber security methods and IEC 62443-4-1 compliant Secure Development Lifecycle Process (SDL)

Your benefits:

  • Keep your assets at maximum output and react fast on issues
  • Gain advanced insight on the process and simply drill down into the details if necessary
  • Evaluate your solar PV performance, identify benchmarks and implement improvement potential on a continuous basis (IEC 61724)
  • Provide purposeful access to information, for various stakeholders from different domains

Start with the essentials and simply scale up your solution step-by-step, whenever necessary.

 

Connectivity and Networking

If you aim for an integrated solution for Solar-PV operations management, there should be no single component left aside. Any piece of information can enable you to tip the scales for better results. Therefore, the zenon Software platform provides you with a unique collection of protocol drivers and networking interfaces. These allow you to directly connect your assets, or simply establish connectivity with surrounding applications and stakeholders.

 

In total, zenon supports more than 300 native communication protocols. Here´s a selection:

 

Generic automation protocols

  • OPC UA
  • Modbus
  • PROFINET
  • PROFIBUS
  • EthernetIP
  • CAN / CANopen
 

Proprietary device protocols (PLCs, PACs)

  • ABB
  • Siemens
  • Beckhoff
  • B&R
  • Rockwell / Allen Bradley
  • straton
 

Energy and infrastructure protocols

  • IEC 61850 Client/Server and GOOSE
  • IEC 61850 Edition 2 (certified by DNV GL)
  • IEC 60870-5 (101/103/104)
  • ICCP - TASE.2
  • DNP3 Master and Outstation
  • IEC 62056-21 (Energy Meter)
 

IT and IoT system interfaces

  • Azure IoT Hub, Event Hub, Service Bus Queue
  • REST Webservices (independent from host platform provider)
  • Custom protocol extension through .NET driver API (custom MQTT, AMQP implementations etc.) 
  • SNMP v3
  • Syslog
 

zenon allows you to directly connect to systems on any level

Standards and tools for fast project realization

Modern automation engineering is supported by standards and tools which allows for the simple combination of solution components. zenon offers powerful methods for the creation of templates with rich functional content and precisely adjustable interfaces. For an instance, the Solar PV SCADA Application Library in zenon supports the simple integration of devices like solar inverters, combiner boxes or metrology stations, based on the Modbus SunSpec standard. The SunSpec standard defines a stringent, yet simple to apply data model for solar PV related devices. Various device manufacturers support the standard. Integrating these devices in zenon therefore becomes very easy.

 

Ensuring peak performance

Economic operation is crucial in order to reach the desired return on investment. Operating your equipment effectively requires for constant monitoring of all involved assets, but also auxiliary data such as ambient and weather conditions. Generative capacity as well as generative targets need to be reliably balanced. The zenon Software Platform allows you to keep track of any performance aspect of your solar PV facility. Realtime data as well as long term historic archives and predicted values can be flexibly incorporated into an effective performance evaluation system. The storage of process data in open formats and the flexible exchange of archives via open interfaces or cloud-based storage media allows you to configure an adaptive solution. With that, performance management systems according to standards like IEC 61724 for Photovoltaic System Performance Monitoring can be easily built and constantly improved.

zenon allows you to compare data with KPIs, making your production more cost-effective

Security

Ensuring confidentiality and strict integrity of your solution becomes a key concern in modern energy applications. zenon ties perfectly into any environment, incorporating the specifics of modern OT as well as IT security. Various features, such as central user authentication and authorization, protocol encryption, central logging or file tampering recognition can be utilized in this context. Moreover, zenon is suited perfectly to work in combination with state-of-the art security tools. Talk to our experts to find out, how ergonomically a secure solution with zenon is achieved. 

zenon provides you with crucial technologies to protect your facility from cyber-attacks.

Curious how your solar photovoltaic automation solution could look like with zenon?

Don’t hesitate to go for more information about how zenon will help you to achieve operational excellence, contact us today.

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