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The Best HMI for the Next Generation of Switchgear

Date: 3/11/2013 12:00:00 AM

Project Introduction:
In the electric power system, switchgear is a key component to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment and its technology has been significantly developed and refined for decades. While customers are more demanding and competition gets tougher, manufacturers invested in research and development to enhance their existing products and actively find ways to evolve their switchgears to meet new applications needs.

Generally, switchgear is a combination of disconnect switches and breakers and its complex device configuration makes maintenance tasks more difficult. With the increasing demands on automation and processes control, the industrial panel computer with robust design not only can be the best Human-machine interface (HMI) for switchgear to get more accurate signals but also benefits manufacturers by simplifying their materials and parts with better management.

System Requirements:
In order to face the fierce competition of market, a European firm which is a world's leading manufacturer of low voltage switchgear is designing its new product and intends to embed industrial computer as product’s HMI to acquire the real-time data as well as facilitating equipment maintenance. The candidate IPC has to provide robust hardware platform to ensure the reliability of switchgear equipment, and rich IO ports are essential need to connect various devices. Besides, touch panel computer with compact size is a basic hardware requirement because the customerplans to refine its product architecture as well as improving operational interface. Another concerned issue is the industrial panel PC must provide the better performance to execute customer’s own software and global service network is also one of the focuses since the new switchgear will be sold around the world.

System Description:
As a result of the harsh operating environment in switchgear (rated current main busbars up to 6300A and rated short time withstand current up to 100kA), Advantech proposed TPC-1571H, 15" Touch Panel Computer with low EMI and high stability as the control platform to connect moulded-case breakers and air circuit breakers via RS-485 and RS-232. TPC-1571H is capable of operating at the wide temperature range (0~50°C) to meet customer’s requirement (ambient temperature: average 24h 35°C), and its rugged design such as MTBF (Time Between Failure) of 100,000 hours, stainless steel chassis and heavy-duty aluminum front panel, makes it to be a durable computer with space-saving feature for this application.

Meanwhile, its plentiful I/O portfolio can not only fulfill diverse requests but also provides serial port isolation protection to guarantee communication reliability as well as reserving two Ethernet ports so that customer can further develop its system with network function. Equipping with Intel Atom Dual-Core D525 processor and larger memory support, TPC-1571H provides a great performance to smoothly run customer’s dedicated software and supports Windows XP Embedded also allows developers can easily design their exclusive program.

Project Implementation:

TPC-1571H 15" XGA TFT LCD Intel Atom Dual-Core D525 Touch Panel Computer
System Diagram:

Conclusions:
Advantech involved in this new switchgear development project in the very beginning phase. As the client’s product architecture is more explicit, its system is getting more complex. Competitors are out of the game due to either the lack of product options or the inadequate device performance, only Advantech can continue to offer the suitable IPC for client to optimize its next generation of switchgear. By replacing the traditional approach which used pointer meter and light indicator to display the meter index in that moment or power on the warning light, TPC-1571H provides complete records on the screen, enabling engineers to control the devices through their fingertip and supervisor to directly maintain its switchgear by software.

The various features of TPC-1571H also add value to this innovative switchgear and make sure system can be operating under safety and reliability conditions; furthermore, it can be upgraded to intelligent electrical equipment via IPC and Ethernet to continually monitor and remote control the electric power system. In addition, Advantech global services are able to fully support the international promotion of this company to ensure the excellent services after selling its switchgear.