Fieldbus & Industrial Networking


Automating Amsterdam

August 2009 Fieldbus & Industrial Networking

Westermo’s Wolverine – helping to monitor the city’s gas network.

Alliander is one of the biggest energy suppliers in the Netherlands with 2,5 million customers in the region. They generate electricity (20 TWh yearly, green and grey) and distribute it, as well as gas, to a major part of the Dutch domestic and industrial market. One of the divisions of Alliander is Liandon, the engineering and project management division contracted to provide a telemetry system for the gas network in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam has a large number of gas-substations where Alliander can regulate the gas distribution network for the Dutch capital. There were, however, requirements to not only regulate, but also monitor realtime usage, alarms and flow measurement. With this information Alliander can deliver better services to its customers and reduce cost. For the remote telemetry unit Alliander chose a new RTU, the D05-MCU-IEC from Datawatt Telecontrol Systems that utilises the Ethernet-based IEC 60870-5-104 communication protocol.

Using fibre-optic cabling for the Ethernet communications would have been the logical choice because many of the Ethernet links would exceed the maximum 100 m range for UTP cable. Fibre would however be too expensive and nearly impossible to install in a short time frame and in a crowded city. The solution was simple; make use of the existing copper cabling which already existed in Alliander’s own telecom and signalling network.

“After some successful tests with the Westermo DDW-100 and our previous experiences using the Westermo modem family, Alliander made a choice to use the Westermo Ethernet Extender products,” said Rens Dekker, senior engineer on the project. The key specifications were the galvanic isolation, extended temperature and performance of the DSL-line. Tests were done up to 17 km. Alliander is using a ring of DDW-221s to form a central redundant ring. From this central ring 140 point-to-point communication lines are used to connect the remote locations (gas substations). Each point-to-point link consists of two DDW-100s to extend the Ethernet link up to a maximum of 12 km. In total Alliander will install six DDW-221s and 280 DDW-100s to upgrade its gas distribution system into a modern, scada controlled and monitored system.



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