3 Things You’ll Learn at Utility University 102

By December 17, 2015Announcements from P&D

By Michael Thesing

Can you answer these three questions related to electric utility SCADA?

  1. Why are managed Ethernet switches considered “best practice” in modern SCADA systems?
  2. What are the five basic types of DNP3 data?
  3. Which of the following is an example of “non-operational” data?
    a.    Distribution feeder power factor
    b.    SOE log
    c.    Kim Kardashian’s IQ

If you answered all three, AWESOME! You’re likely an expert and should take every opportunity to share knowledge with your colleagues and contemporaries. If you didn’t quite know all the answers and want to learn more about SCADA and related communication technologies, we’ve got you covered.

Register for DistribuTECH UU102: Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) With Advanced Applications.

John McDonald and I have several decades of combined experience in this field, so we have put together a thorough course to educate utility professionals – beginners and veterans alike – who need to understand SCADA. We’ll provide a comprehensive examination of electric utility SCADA systems, adjacent technologies, techniques, and industry best practices. Those new to SCADA will gain a thorough understanding of why these systems are so important and the steps are required for effective deployment. Veterans will fill in knowledge gaps and gain new ideas for improvements and upgrades. So, whether you knew all, some, or none of the questions above, we hope you will join us in Orlando!

Oh yes, the answers.

  1. Managed Ethernet switches (vs. unmanaged) provide a number of features that can prove invaluable in a SCADA network. For example:
    –  They allow one to monitor and analyze data traffic on any port from another port (mirroring)
    –  They allow the creation of “virtual” LANs or VLANs to subdivide according to traffic and security needs
    –  They allow one to disable individual ports to cut down on inadvertent usage
  2. The five basic types of DNP3 data are
    –  Binary Input
    –  Analog Input
    –  Counters
    –  Binary Output (a.k.a. control)
    –  Analog Output (a.k.a. setpoints)
  3. Answer B, Sequence of Events (SOE) log, is an example of “non-operational” data. These files contain time-stamped records of key goings-on and user actions in an intelligent electronic device (IED). They can be invaluable in diagnosing a system issue.

I look forward to sharing more valuable information with you at DistribuTech!

Michael