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Difference between Electrical SCADA and Process SCADA
What's the difference between an Electrical SCADA and a Process SCADA?
By Jayaharan C J on 13 December, 2002 - 12:47 pm

Hello all,
I would like to know what is the basic major difference between an Electrical SCADA and a Process SCADA like Wonderware, Intellution, Citect, Iconics etc.)

Who are the major vendors in Electrical SCADA?

Can the abovesaid Process SCADA softwares be used for Electrical SCADA applications as well?

Thanks in advance.
Jayaharan C J

By Eduardo Pelegrin on 13 December, 2002 - 2:43 pm

I have succesfully used Citect as SCADA for GE Multilin Relays

By M. Harisman - Integra Teknik on 16 December, 2002 - 3:39 pm

Not just to communicate to such relay, we have used Citect as Electrical DCC (Distribution Control Centre) and ACC (Area Control Centre) software to communicate to various electrical devices/controllers, such as Poletop
Recloser/LBS, Protection Relays (ABB SPA-series, Siemens Siprotec, MG Sepam2000, etc.), Digital Power Meter (PML ACM and ION, Circutor, etc.) and
general electrical RTU (Microsol, Alstom, repas-AEG, etc.).

M. Harisman

The softaware(scada) that you want to use depends on witch hardware you are using if you are using Siemens 300 or 400 series i reconmend you WinCC also from Siemens.

By M. Harisman - Integra Teknik on 15 December, 2002 - 8:32 pm

For standard Data Acquisition and Control application, either the area is Oil & Gas, Electricity, Water, or Industry, a general HMI software such as Citect, Intellution, Wonderware, WinCC, etc. could be used.

Major vendors in Electrical SCADA is same with major electrical company in the world, that is Alstom, Siemens, GE, ABB, Schneider, etc. In addition, there is Foxboro, Valmet, etc.

It's better to not categorize the mentioned general HMIs as 'Process SCADA?'.

For HMI/SCADA software, I prefer to group it as:
- general purpose HMI, which need some effort for implementation specific application on such area
- specific application HMI, which already has built-in specific application (in Electrical, such as DMS/EMS software, etc.)

M. Harisman

By Jayaharan C J on 16 December, 2002 - 11:30 am

Thanks for your reply
"specific application HMI, which already has built-in specific application (in Electrical, such as DMS/EMS software, etc.) "
I need to know what are the key features in the Electrical specific HMI which distinguishes it from a general purpose HMI.


Jayaharan C J

By M. Harisman - Integra Teknik on 18 December, 2002 - 3:50 pm

> I need to know what are the key features in the Electrical specific HMI
> which distinguishes it from a general purpose HMI.

On standard data acquisition application, you will not find much different.

To know the specific key features of Electrical specific Automation software, you could review the following web-sites :

For building/developing such specific applications with General Purpose HMI, may required a huge-effort and some may not possible.

M. Harisman

By Ralph Mackiewicz on 19 December, 2002 - 1:25 pm

> I need to know what are the key features in the Electrical specific
> HMI which distinguishes it from a general purpose HMI.

Here are a couple:

1. Integral millisecond (or better) time stamps and quality information for each tag without requiring separate and independent points and point configurations.

2. Tools for building and configuring one-line displays. A big plus is a system that sees the lines in one-line displays as conductors, not just a line drawn on a screen.

3. Good library of one-line symbols for transformers, breakers, relays, etc.

4. Good selection of drivers for some of the specialized protocols that exist in power systems.

5. I think someone else mentioned availability of power system specific applications that are either included or can be purchased instead of having to program it yourself.

Many general purpose HMIs can be used for power system applications given enough tags, configuration effort, and/or programming effort. Power system specific HMIs tend to cost more, but they also tend to do more of these functions right out of the box.

Ralph Mackiewicz

By Jayaharan C J on 23 December, 2002 - 10:10 am

Dear Ralph and Harisman,

Thanks for the elaborate reply.

Jayaharan C J


If your are looking for Scada or Scada-EMS / Scada-DMS then you will find the complete differences.

EMS for Transmission Grid.
DMS for Distribution Grid.

I'd advise you have a look at ABB, AREVA and SIEMENS the 3 world-wide suppliers of large systems for Electrical Utilities in this area.

On the "pure" Scada , one factor will be the size as handling > 50 000 of points is common in electrical business for the Scada part (some goes above 1.5 Mio), when on a process one, 10 000 will alreday be a big one.

You will also have the SOE (Sequence of event) related to the time stamping (1ms) for all the alarming and treatment.

You will have the integration of the RTU, using IEC 101, IEC 104, DNP3 or exotic propietary protocols delivered in the oldies time. You will usually face 100 RTU in transmission with Large RTU and 1 000 + in Distribution with very samll ones. The refreshment of data usually is between 2-5 Seconds.

The Alarming capability is usually far advnced because of "avalanche phenomena" using Intelligent Alarm processing and other features compare to process world.

The visual representation need in Electrical scada to represent what is called usually a "one line diagram" representing several "screens" where you need to zoom, pan, when process is split usually in process area and a process part can be represented much more easily.

Another caracteristic of electrical network is that you modify it in distribution every day when I did not know industrial process were you add pipeline, sensors, everyday...

Hope it helps.


By John Edwards on 6 May, 2007 - 1:17 pm

For open systems SCADA solutions look at a company called Open Systems International, (OSI)

They have a very powerful Electrical SCADA platfrom which runs on any hardware and is more modern than those offered by traditional suppliers.

They support Linux, Windows, and Unix platforms and various RDBMS engines based on your preference.

By miss icha on 11 July, 2011 - 10:53 pm

i'm study scada only on PLC. but now my project fully in electrical. so may scada work on it?