CONVEX – Utility Management

Customer Profile: Process Control

CONVEX High-Performance Utility Management System features:
  • 10′ x 50′ video wall displaying entire transmission grid
  • Monitors industrial breakers and telemetry data from over 200 substations
  • Operators can open/close circuit breakers to maximize efficiency
  • Makes complex use of submodels with dynamics, instanced many times

CONVEX (Connecticut Valley Electric Exchange) operates a control center that links the systems of several operating companies into a single efficient grid, serving more than two million customers in Connecticut and western Massachusetts. CONVEX can never close. Operators at the facility continually monitor the status of every device in this vast power grid from individual circuit breakers to telemetry data from over 200 substations more than 120,000 SCADA and state estimated data points in all on a 10 foot high by 52 foot wide video wall employing SL-GMS real-time dynamic graphics software to display a dynamic, interactive view of the system.

The video wall presents a dynamic schematic of the CONVEX transmission system. The objects in the schematic are linked to variables in the EMS database, so the graphic objects represent changes in real-time reflecting the values in the database. This allows an operator to determine the status of a device or an entire area at a glance.

For example, the SL-GMS objects which represent lines and transformers include limit information. In that way, if limits are exceeded, the object changes color to inform operators of the problem and its severity (such as turning red as a warning). Objects representing circuit breakers have the ability to open or close to match the state of the field device. Safety is always a key concern and SL-GMS software includes special tagging palettes that can be used to mark devices when people are working in the field.
The SL-GMSDraw Dynamic Graphic Editor was used to create each of the 100,000 objects, and also specified the dynamic properties to link each object one of the 120,000 variables in the EMS database. A team consisting of an engineer, CAD designer and an assistant built the entire display in less than four months, proving SL-GMSDraw easy to use and highly intuitive. This short development cycle was possible due to the SL-GMS object-oriented approach. Once an object is created it can be instanced as many times as needed, and each new instance retains all of the properties of the original. Also, complex portions of the display were generated by grouping collections of devices. Each device retains its individual dynamic properties, and properties can also be assigned to the group object. Finally, objects can be tested using simulated data without leaving the drawing tool, further cutting development time without sacrificing quality.