Officials at Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Grid Control Center decided it was time for a change. Thirty years of displaying stations, substations and transmission lines on a carpeted wall in the control center had outlived its usefulness.
Before jumping headlong into the modern age of control room display technology, Karl Weigand, SCE’s project manager and power system operating specialist, consulted other electric suppliers throughout the region. Each one suggested the same solution-a dynamic mosaic mapboard designed and manufactured by Mauell Corp., a provider of control center equipment, design services, mosaic and video mapboards, consoles and local control panels used by electric, gas and water utilities, Independent System Operators, and a variety of process control industries.
“Our main goal was to have dynamic indications fed directly from our EMS systems,” said Weigand. “The Mauell mosaic mapboard will give operators real-time information with a better overall view of the system than what can be obtained from limited computer screens.”
A 70-by-9-foot mosaic mapboard from Mauell Corp. displays Southern California Edison’s 50,000-square-mile territory.Click here to enlarge image
Measuring 70 feet long by 9 feet high, the mapboard is composed of a matrix of 24-square-millimeter plastic tiles representing SCE’s 50,000-square-mile territory. The status of the entire transmission grid can be visualized at a glance and is depicted by painted graphics, engraved legends and dynamic indicators. The tiles snap into a carrier grid base system to form the continuous mapboard surface upon which real-time circuit breaker status, line loading indicators, Megavar, Megawatt and line voltage readouts, and control inner ties are incorporated. Gaps or spaces between tiles are eliminated, thus creating a uniform, solid appearance.
Although mosaic systems have been utilized in control centers for more than 25 years, the evolution of dynamic technology has kept mosaics at the control industry’s leading edge. An example is the 150-plus multi-digit readouts integrated in the SCE mapboard. The LED readouts are dual-state devices illuminated by using a different color, indicating to the operator if the value is within normal operating limits. In addition, more than 1,700 highly visible discrete LEDs were integrated into the display schematic indicating breaker status and line loading.
The mosaic system is an all-digital system that minimizes the number of electronic components required to depict the overview display, thereby increasing the system’s reliability. This unique design promotes ease of maintenance as well as low associated cost of initial ownership and system upkeep. Mosaic mapboards boast simple changes to the graphic display without disruption to the overall panel. Mauell’s “snap and lock” mosaic design gives operators the flexibility to “change on the fly,” keeping the mosaic synchronized with the process as it changes. This allows customers to update the mapboard quickly, easily and affordably, while maintaining maximum operational efficiency.