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Home / Technical Articles / The technology behind distributed control system (DCS) in a thermal power plant

A typical DCS configuration in TPP

A DCS is the heart of a thermal power plant’s instrumentation and control systems. DCS stands for ‘distributed control system’, and the term ‘distributed’ means that several processors are operating together.

The technology behind distributed control system (DCS) of a thermal power plant
The technology behind distributed control system (DCS) of a thermal power plant (photo credit: Emerson)

This is usually achieved by dedicating tasks to different machines. It does not necessarily mean that the separate computers are physically located in different areas of the plant.

Figure 1 shows physically how a generic DCS system may be arranged. Figures 2 and 3 show alternative presentation emphasising the communication links and include a so calles ”demilitarised zone (DMZ)’‘. This is a small network with incoming and outgoing firewalls as a ‘neutral zone’ between the DCS and the outside public network.

The following notes relate to individual parts of that system.

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Edvard Csanyi

Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV/MV switchgears and LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, commercial buildings and industry facilities. Professional in AutoCAD programming.

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