Hydroelectric power is generated by harnessing the energy of flowing water, this is where water turns into electricity like magic. Picture a waterwheel at an old mill, but instead of grinding grain, it spins turbines that generate electricity – like a giant water wheel powered by rivers or dams.
Hydroelectric power generation facilities (Hydro sites) are like power plants and include various infrastructure components such as dams, reservoirs, penstocks, turbines, generators, and associated equipment to convert the kinetic energy of moving water into electrical energy.
They can vary greatly in size and capacity, from small-scale projects that power individual homes or businesses to large hydroelectric dams that generate electricity for entire regions. Hydroelectric power is a renewable energy source as it relies on the continuous flow of water, which is replenished by natural processes like rainfall and snowmelt.
Hydro sites often incorporate HMI and PLC technology.
Human Machine Interface (HMI)
HMI serves as the user-friendly interface, providing real-time data, remote control, and enhanced efficiency – it’s like the dashboard of a car, showing you real-time data and allowing you to control everything.
Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)
PLC ensures optimal equipment operation and extending equipment lifespan – it’s the behind-the-scenes hero, making sure machines work safely and efficiently. Together, they simplify the complex process of generating hydroelectric power.
Remote access to HMI and PLC systems allows operators and engineers to monitor, control, and troubleshoot industrial processes from anywhere in the world, making hydro site monitoring efficient and reliable.
Unauthorised access or breaches of these systems can lead to costly downtime, data breaches, and potential safety hazards. Therefore, industrial organisations must adopt solutions that not only enable remote access but also ensure the highest level of security.
Hydro sites are often in remote isolated areas with no 4G coverage, let alone fixed internet. These locations are perfect for satellite internet connectivity such as Starlink, however Starlink operate a Carrier NAT (Network Address Translation) system, which means obtaining a static public IP isn’t a straight forward option.
Introducing Netcelero i-spi – Secure Mode
Netcelero i-spi is a cutting-edge remote access solution designed specifically for industrial environments. It offers a unique “secure mode” that combines ease of use with robust security features, making it the ideal choice for accessing HMI and PLC systems, simplifying complex processes for reliable hydro site operation.
Netcelero i-spi goes beyond conventional remote access solutions by offering compatibility with a variety of internet connection types, including Starlink and 4G connections, ensuring a smooth remote access experience even on satellite or cellular networks.
The diagram below shows how the i-spi allows the remote user to securely access the on site HMI and the PLC over any internet connection.
Key Features of Netcelero i-spi Secure Mode
- Secure VPN access: Netcelero i-spi uses OpenVPN to ensure that all communication between the remote user and the industrial system remains safe, confidential and secure.
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Secure Mode includes MFA, which adds an additional layer of security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of verification before gaining access. This significantly reduces the risk of unauthorised access.
- User Access Control: Administrators can define precise access permissions for each user. This minimises the risk of accidental or intentional data manipulation. You control who can access your system and when they can.
- Audit Trails and Logging: Every remote session is logged and can be reviewed later for troubleshooting or auditing purposes. This helps in identifying any anomalies or unauthorised access attempts.
- User-Friendly Interface: Despite its robust security features, Netcelero i-spi is user-friendly, making it accessible to both experienced engineers and those new to remote access technologies.
Eliminating Unnecessary Site Visits
Netcelero customers with hydro sites compare the i-spi to having a magic wand in their hands. With its secure VPN remote access capabilities, they can manage and fine-tune their isolated hydro sites (which are often miles away from civilisation) from anywhere in the world, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming site visits just to reboot a particular component or make minor changes to the system. The i-spi saves both time and money while reducing the environmental footprint and has revolutionised how hydro sites are operated and maintained.
In conclusion, Netcelero i-spi in Secure Mode offers a comprehensive solution for uninterrupted access to HMI and PLC systems securely and easily over a VPN. It’s like having a high-tech security guard for your hydro site, allowing you to harness the full power of remote access.
By prioritising security without compromising usability, and supporting a wide range of internet connection types, including Starlink and 4G, hydro sites can harness the full potential of remote access while safeguarding their critical systems.
Embrace the future of industrial remote access and ensure the reliability and security of your renewable energy operations, no matter where or how you are connected. It’s hydro site tech simplified for you!
So, if you’re in the world of renewable energy and want to keep your systems safe and efficient, Netcelero’s i-spi is the answer.
Contact us today to find out more.