T&D World Magazine

Web-Based Alarm System Precisely Captures Critical Alarms

AMETEK Power Instruments has introduced an advanced web-based alarm management system that captures critical alarms with 1 millisecond precision in accordance with new NERC requirements for Sequence of Events Recording.

AMETEK’s SERNET Alarm Manager is suited for newly enforced NERC requirements that mandate sequential events recording for substations and generation plants with synchronization to real time to analyze wide-area disturbances and compare the sequence of events as they occur. SERNET can be synchronized to real time through GPS clocks using IRIG-B and NTP time inputs and can monitor alarms across multiple locations with a consolidated single display providing a ‘big picture’ view of the power system as opposed to manually examining event records from a variety of equipment types.

The SERNET Sequence of Events Recorder is a distributed, network-enabled alarm manager that captures high-speed alarms in the sequence they occur for quick determination of the root cause. The alarms are displayed on a web browser hosted by the SERNET for easy analysis and include real time outputs via serial and Ethernet ports for connection to RTUs, SCADA and other plant monitoring software systems.

AMETEK partnered with EATON Corp. in developing the SERNET using EATON’s established communication platform for the web interface, NTP technology and direct interface to the EATON Powerware using Modbus and BACnet protocols.

Each SERNET unit can operate as a stand-alone system monitoring up to 48 digital inputs, or multiple SERNET units can be networked together to form a larger system with all events consolidated in one chronological list as they occur. This makes it easier to analyze alarms within a substation or across a wide area encompassing several sites.
The SERNET is configured via the web browser and includes various filtering and contact de-bounce tools to screen out nuisance alarms. Each SERNET unit can store 40,000 events for long-term data storage, and events can be downloaded in csv and COMTRADE formats. The web browser includes a graphical display and a list of events that can be sorted and filtered to make it easy to view alarms for determining the root cause. The SERNET provides e-mail notification of alarms and includes SNMP for network management.

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