SOURCE: Real-Time Innovations (RTI)

Real-Time Innovations (RTI)

April 22, 2014 08:00 ET

Grand Coulee Dam Control System Live With RTI Connext DDS

RTI System Meets Performance, Reliability and Scalability Requirements for the Largest Power Plant in North America

SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 22, 2014) - Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the real-time communications platform for the Internet of Things company, along with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), today announced that the Grand Coulee Dam power control system is now operational using RTI Connext™ DDS.

The 6.8GW Grand Coulee Dam is the largest power plant in North America. It is also the fastest-acting major power source on the Western Interconnect. Thus, the control system must balance the load on the grid. It is the most important single power source in the United States.

The USACE upgrade project is replacing the monolithic, aging supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system with a modern, secure, ultra-reliable distributed control system. The new system relies on RTI Connext DDS for its fundamental communications platform.

The Grand Coulee Dam control system delivers extreme availability, fault tolerance, performance, security and wide-area communications. When fully deployed, it must control 24 power turbines and 12 pumps. It comprises four major power plants, three high voltage transmission switchyards, and a fully-redundant control room. It must distribute up to 300 thousand data values reliability over large distances. For such critical infrastructure, reliability is key; the dam must never go offline unexpectedly.

Dave Brown, Chief of the USACE Automated Controls and Cyber Security branch, said, "This is perhaps the most challenging and mission-critical control system in the power industry. The RTI middleware implements our communications, module failover, wide-area routing, control room integration, and operator interface. Our extensive tests proved that the new control system is capable of handling all our performance, scale, reliability, and scalability requirements."

Stan Schneider, RTI's CEO, added, "The Grand Coulee Dam is a key national asset. There is perhaps no greater challenge than to simultaneously deliver both state-of-the-art technology and ultra-mature operation. I am indescribably proud of the RTI and USACE teams that achieved this success."

The new control system passed its System Acceptance Test and officially went live in the control room and the first generator on January 15, 2014. Over the next few years, this system will be installed on many other hydropower systems across the United States.

About the Grand Coulee Dam

The 6.8GW Grand Coulee Dam is the largest power plant in North America. Its 100% renewable energy is indispensable to the Western Interconnect and provides critical reserve power and grid stability for other renewable resources like wind and solar energy. It is the largest electric power-producing facility in the United States and one of the largest concrete structures in the world. The Generic Data Acquisition and Control System (GDACS) developed for the dam represents the state of the art in large hydropower control systems. 

About RTI

RTI provides the real-time communications platform for the Internet of Things. Our RTI Connext™ messaging product forms the core nervous system for smart, distributed applications. RTI Connext allows devices to intelligently share information and work together as one integrated system.

Our customers span the breadth of the Internet of Things, including medical, energy, mining, air traffic control, trading, automotive, unmanned systems, industrial SCADA, naval systems, air and missile defense, ground stations, and science. The total value of system designs that trust RTI for their fundamental architecture exceeds $1 trillion.

RTI is committed to open standards, open community source and open architecture. RTI provides the leading implementation of the Object Management Group (OMG) Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard.

RTI is the world's largest embedded middleware provider, privately held and headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

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