DCS overview & linking to DCS


Thread Starter


I am currently in the fourth year of an Electrical Engineering degree. As part of the degree I am working on a team project, which is aimed at producing (analysing) an "intelligent boiler controller". The team have been to a local power station, who use a MAX1000 distributed
control system. I realise that there are numerous types of DCS - but I would like to get an
overview of DCS in general. In other words, general information about distributed components (controllers), how these may be linked, and host
computer(s) on the linking network. Most importantly, information on how to interact with a DCS would be extremely beneficial. We need to know how to retrieve the boiler related variables from the DCS (or the various methods used for different DCSs), which will then be processed on a PC (probably seperate from the host PC). The control decisions made by the PC software will then have to feed back to the DCS (presumably
over-riding the original DCS control). I have searched the internet for any relevant information, but have found very little. Could anyone provide any information, or point my in the direction of any (web-based or books etc.).::

Thanks for any help,

Jennifer Powell

I suggest that you return to the power station, go to the control room with a dozen doughnuts, and ask who the Instrument & Controls and
Operations people who are most familiar with your DCS, then make friends with them. Every DCS is going to be different, depending on
manufacturer, software, hardware, versions, etc. (just like a PC). Surely, they have methods for doing what you want to do, such as sending
information to a PC. (At my plant, I would use an At@Glance add-in to send the boiler parameters to an Excel file for you to play with). If you want your school project to progress, you're not going to be able to do it without their cooperation, although I sincerely doubt that anyone is going to let you experiment with their actual control strategies.