Power and Energy

 

Traditionally, industrial control systems (ICS) like SCADA used to be isolated for its sole purpose of performing mission-critical tasks and controlling the processes within important infrastructures such as oil refinery, power plants, manufacturing factories, water/sewage treatment and energy plants. Therefore, these systems are built with conventional structures and operate in multiple decades of lifespan. However, with the increasing complexity in hardware design and the implementation of open network due to convenience and cost-effectiveness, ICS environments are vulnerable towards cyber threats. There have been incidents of cyber attacks over the past few years and thus ICS security has presented a great challenge. The following will discuss the issue in details and introduce robust platforms that can act as a gateway controller in packet inspection, whitelisting and protocol filtering.

The mounting concerns for climate changes have had many governments seek out feasible energy solutions that are more environmental friendly and less exhaustible; one of the more popular and better developed renewable energy solutions is the solar energy and the reason being solar power systems convert readily available and inexhaustible sunlight directly into electricity with solar cells, leaving almost no carbon footprint.

In order to strike the right balance between maintaining the most reasonable cost and ensuring the strictest facility management, system automation is usually depended upon for facility monitoring and process control. The key for successful substation management therefore lies in establishing efficient communications between control centers and off-site automation systems.

The global energy shortage is now a global crisis. And actions such as energy substitution are being taken to avoid the serious social and economic implications such crisis could potentially bring. Governments around the world have been tackling the energy shortage by implementing technologies to tap into renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. However, such technologies, when compared to the more conventional power generation solutions, are far from cost-effective. Therefore more emphasis is now being placed on energy conservation and how it can be achieved. In order to conserve energy in an immediate and large-scale manner, most governments have drawn and put into effect energy and power related regulations to not only encourage effective energy usage with incentives but also to discourage wasteful energy consumption with penalties.

Wind power is a renewable source of energy and China has been actively expanding its wind installations over the past decade. Presently, China is the leader in wind power capacity, making up over 26% of the world total. Wind farms can consist of several hundred wind turbines in remote, harsh environments. Researchers believe that, with China’s land mass and long coastline providing the necessary wind resources, all of its electricity can come from wind power by 2030.

It’s not too difficult for a substation automation company, based in Hebei, China, to find industrial computer manufacturers. The challenging task was finding a partner who was capable of providing low-cost customized solutions to meet their needs.

The central concept behind the initiatives of “Industrial IoT”, “Industrial Automation”, and “Industry 4.0” shares a similar characteristic – establishing OT and IT convergence by interconnecting all the sensor, devices and equipment through mainstream communication protocols such as Industrial Ethernet and Internet protocol. However, the convergence has made OT networks vulnerable towards cyber threats, as security loopholes are exposed and intruders may attack directly through IT networks. Therefore, in order to ensure uptimes forIT/OT converged production system in the smart factory, it is critical to conduct comprehensive forensic analysis regarding ICS network vulnerability and perform early detection of abnormal events or unauthorized access that could lead to system downtimes and the derived expensive costs.

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