Municipal SCADA System

Location: Rolla, Mo.

Client: Rolla Municipal Utilities

In 1994, Rolla Municipal Utilities decided to move toward the future with the implementation of a modern SCADA system that would provide remote monitoring and control of electric and water utility facilities. Burns & McDonnell was hired to provide complete design of the new system, including the master station, remote terminal units and a radio communications system. This SCADA system consists of a central computer system (master station) and 48 remote terminal units (RTUs).

Rolla, Missouri, is a growing community of approximately 15,000 people located in the Ozark Hills of south central Missouri. Rolla's flourishing economy centers around a state university and several large industries. With a steadily growing electrical load, modernization of local utilities became a priority.

The remote terminal units provide monitoring and control of 15 electrical substations and metering points, 12 34.5-kV sectionalizing switches, 15 water wells, two pump stations and four water towers. The system also provides control of distributed capacitors for VAR control. The RTUs communicate digitally to various intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) in the substation utilizing a common protocol via fiber optics.

The master station consists of reduced instruction set computer (RISC) computers in a dual-redundant configuration, running a UNIX operating system. A distributed-processor local area network (LAN)-based arrangement is employed. This open-architecture platform provides for orderly expansion in support of future applications including geographic information systems (GIS), and future integration with customer information systems (CIS) and outage reporting. Two operator workstations are provided at RMU's operations center, and an off-premise development and administration workstation is provided at RMU's engineering center.

Master station-to-RTU communications are provided via 928/952 MHz multiple-address radio (MAS). A point-to-point 960 MHz digital radio link is used to connect the off-premise workstation to the master station local area network. Capacitor control is accomplished with VHF radio communications.

Burns & McDonnell provided the initial engineering study for this system, then provided complete design services. We provided detailed installation and wiring drawings for the RTUs, including updating RMU's existing substation drawings as needed and converting them to an AutoCAD format. We also provided specifications and contract documents for the furnishing and installation of the system, FCC licensing of the radio systems, bid evaluation, contract administration, inspection and testing.