Services for a changing world

Data Acquisition Systems (DAS) / Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA)

Our Turnkey (includes design, procurement, installation, commissioning, testing, training, project management, documentation), DAS and SCADA solutions are based on Open Architecture OEM’s such as: GE, SEL, Emerson Ovation, Wonderware, and Allen-Bradley (Rockwell Automation).

Key features of Nor-Cal’s integrated solutions:

  • High resolution data: 1 sec data logging
  • Remote Monitoring and Control: VPN or TeamViewer
  • Protocols: DNP3, Modbus
  • Controls: 1 second latency
  • Alarm Notification: Email, SMS
  • On-site Historian

Control Systems Training

Industrial control systems are at the heart of industrial automation, playing a critical role in infrastructure.  In an effort to maximize efficiency and ensure system health and productivity, Nor-Cal offers comprehensive control system training to all of our clients.

Post OEM, we provide hands-on, customizable technical control systems training. Control systems include, but are not limited to GE Speedtronic – Mark V, Mark VI, Mark VIe, LM6000, GE Fanuc PLC’s, and Ovation DCS.

Simulated training can be offered at Nor-Cal’s facility, located in Diamond Springs, CA, or if preferred, our training engineer(s) can travel to your plant facility, to provide real-time training and experience, on your operating plant system.

Blackstart / Isochronous / ALR Controls

In the U.S., every region within the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has its own black start plan and procedures. Each region also designates certain plants as black start units. A black start unit has the ability to start on its own power without support from the grid in the event of a major system collapse or system-wide blackout.

We have successfully integrated black start (isochronous) controls, and supplemental Automatic Load Rejection (ALR) control, for several critical power plants operating within the North American grid. Units have included GE 7FA and 7EA, and control systems have included GE Speedtronic — Mark V, Mark Ve, Mark VI and Mark VIe.

Site Start-up and Commissioning Support

Our team provides years of experience in Project Management and Engineering support services during all key phases of your critical plant’s start-up operation, in order to ensure a seamless transition from construction to production:

  • Site Supervision
  • Pre-commissioning and validation testing
  • Start-up and live operational testing
  • Operation and Maintenance Training
  • Post-commissioning Support and Handover

Operations & Maintenance (O&M)

Profitability for utility-scale solar Photovoltaic (PV) plants is the bottom line.  Power generation owners need to know up-to-the-minute status of these facilities in order to protect and manage their assets.

Leveraging our industry experience in design and development of solar PV plant control and monitoring systems, Nor-Cal Controls has developed a comprehensive and cost effective suite of operations, maintenance and asset services.

These services are tailored to aid power generation owners in maintaining plant efficiency and maximizing return on investment (ROI).

Remote Intelligent Gateways (RIG) (CAISO)

For generation facilities that want to interconnect at the transmission level, our Remote Intelligent Gateway design engineers can provide the necessary Process Management, configuration and integration to facilitate a seamless connection.

Performance Calculations and Reporting

Our performance engineers provide total optimization of the performance of your facility to improve and maintain reliability and availability. Performance variance reports offer recommendations for any modifications or adjustments that should be made to your facility.

Main Site Controller / Power Plant Controller

Our Plant Controller controls PV power plants in accordance with, and adherence of, the requirements of the grid operator, and contributes to the overall stabilization of the utility grid. With our fast and direct control of all on-site inverters, our solutions ensure the highest possible system availability at all times while maintaining scalability and efficiency of all plant operations.

Control implementations, include:

  • AVR/Power Factor
  • Reactive Power (VAR)
  • Output Power (MW) Curtailment
  • Droop Control

PID Process Tuning (INTUNE)

A proportional integral derivative (PID) controller is a control loop feedback mechanism that continuously calculates an error value. If the PID controller parameters are chosen incorrectly, the controlled process input can be unstable. Instability is never desired in any control system.

With our PID tuning services, we can help you to minimize risk and enable the stabilization of the response required to achieve maximum efficiency, productivity, and throughput.

Control Systems Retrofits, and Troubleshooting Support

Control systems tend to age faster than the equipment they are controlling due to rapid advancements in electronics and software. Retrofitting an older, and sometimes obsolete, control system leads to a more efficient, accurate and reliable installation while lowering the total cost of ownership.

We offer migration and modernization solutions for legacy or near-obsolete control systems which allows you to bring your systems up to date without completely replacing them, thereby mitigating ongoing maintenance expenses.

Or, if desired, our team can perform a complete analysis of your current control system design, energy uses and needs, and design a control system retrofit solution that upgrades your existing system to current technology.

Site Security (Perimeter and Surveillance Systems)

Utility grade solar photovoltaic plants require large areas of land; as a result, solar plants are constructed in remote areas where the threat of vandalism, theft, and unauthorized access far outweighs the ability to prevent and mitigate the consequences of these threats becoming reality.

With the high initial cost of constructing these solar plants, it is critical that asset protection measures be considered and implemented to maintain a plant’s energy producing efficiency and maintain return on investment.

To meet these needs, Nor-Cal provides complete design-engineering and utility grade solar plant video surveillance and access protection. Whether a complete eyes-on-perimeter system is required or merely critical infrastructure surveillance is needed, Nor-Cal can exceed expectations.