EnBW‘s energy dispatching control room at the Karlsruhe site plays an essential role: from here, all power plants and generation units are centrally deployed and monitored. Since the existing VGA-based KVM technology no longer met the requirements of modern workstation computers, the company opted for a digital solution. The main challenges of the project were to harmonize different computer types and to integrate a possibility to flexibly control a video wall.
EnBW opted for a ControlCenter-Digital 160 from Guntermann & Drunck, a powerful matrix switch that uses CAT cabling to make all remote computers available at the consoles. It also offers maximum flexibility with regards to functionality and supported signals.
The matrix switch was combined with VuWall‘s VuScape video wall controller, which allows flexible control of the large screen so that images can be enlarged over several cubes or only a small part of an image can be displayed. Especially for the control room, VuWall optimally adapted its software to the project requirements of EnBW and thus developed a highly integrative solution that enables maximum flexibility for the users. They can now load the required template from various predefined layouts saved in a scenario without having to manually select the sources and sinks. The matrix system also auto-follows the complex application process and is switched at the touch of a button. This greatly increases the user-friendliness for the control room staff. The VuWall controller bundles all cubes of the video wall into a virtual screen and thus allows complete flexibility in switching and displaying the individual displays on the large screen. The VuWall controller communicates with the matrix using G&D’s IP-Control- API and can therefore execute the switching commands via the network. Independent from any location, each computer can access the desired video wall cube or even multiple cubes at once. This ensures that dispatchers always have an overview of the power plants available on the video wall.
EnBW removed all computers used for dispatching from the control room and placed them together with the screen controller in a separate technical room. This room now contains about 20 computers, some of which are equipped with multi-head graphics cards. CAT cables extend the computer signals to the remote consoles in the control room.
Result & Benefits
- Computer-free control room with a large screen consisting of ten cubes
- Flexible image output of one or multiple sources via one or more video wall cubes as well as the enlargement of image details over several cubes
- Flexibility and better usability
Customer benefit and outlook
EnBW‘s system was installed in autumn 2017 and has been running day and night without interruption or complications ever since. „Together with the flexible screen control, the digital matrix is a significant improvement compared to the old VGA-based solution,“ summarizes the project manager.
With over 21,000 employees and around 5.5 million customers, EnBW Energie Baden- Wuerttemberg is one of Germany’s biggest energy supply companies. Its supplied energy consists of around 26 % renewable energies, with this figure set to increase in the future. The company continues to push ahead with the expansion of renewable energies, focusing primarily on wind and hydropower.
Guntermann & Drunck are regarded as leading manufacturers of digital and analogue KVM products for control rooms in broadcast, air traffic control, industrial automation and industrial process control, marine and other sectors such as telecommunications and finances. With their variety of KVM extenders, switches and matrix switches for extending, switching, and distributing keyboard, video, and mouse signals, G&D offer their users the broadest KVM portfolio available at the market. Of course, all devices are compatible and can be combined.
G&D’s KVM products optimise the application of IT equipment and improve the working conditions for humans and computers. The spatial separation between computers and workstations in control rooms brings many advantages for the standardization of process landscapes. Whether CAT or fiber, modular, compact or over IP – G&D always offer a customized solution to implement solutions precisely tailored to applications, project parameters and the existing IT structure.