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Remote Surveillance Concept for Operators of more than one Biogas Plant

Our remote control concept is based on Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology that allows any spatial extension of in-house company networks through Internet technology (not in the Internet!). Through VPN, network-typical software structures such as Client Server are used for data transmission. A client server network consists of at least one server accessible to one or several clients. In a client server network the client cannot exist without the server, since the client only processes or displays data from a server in the network. That means that the data used by the client are unique, not mirrored or otherwise coupled as they are in traditional remote control technology.

Advantages monitoring

This concept offers the following advantages, compared to traditional remote control technology:

  • Allows simultaneous access from the control center to all biogas plants
  • Biogas plants act like network participants in your in-house company network
  • 100% identical information volume (signals and display) available in the control center and the power plant
  • 100% operability of the biogas plant can be activated from the control center
  • Simultaneous availability of the same information to operators on site and observers in the control center
  • The iHistorian database only requires ca. 20% storage capability, compared to an SQL database (e.g. in RotoSoft)
  • Fast data readout for evaluation purposes (20,000 data/sec)
  • Temporal synchronization of all biogas plant locations
  • Simple database management and simple addition of additional signals from the biogas plant to the database
  • Simple data analysis with Microsoft Excel, since direct access via a pulldown menu is integrated in Excel (see graphic)
  • Event and time controlled data storage
  • Data in the iHistorian database cannot be falsified (approval for documentation for backtracking of products in the pharmaceutical industry)

Since this concept is placed on the control level, the guide systems in all biogas plants must be standardized.


Since this concept is placed on the control level, the guide systems in all biogas plants must be standardized. Two different sites can be distinguished:

  • The control center with appropriate technological equipment such as DSL Internet access, ISDN telephone system, in-house company network on Ethernet basis (LAN technology), and a computer room with hardware servers.
  • The biogas plants (anywhere in Germany), outfitted with a simple control, a PC with virtualization software (server – license) and a telephone connection. Ideally, the telephone connection ought to have DSL capability to enable the use of the biogas plant like a PC workstation in the control center. If only ISDN is available in the biogas plant, the plant only acts as a temporary PC workstation within the in-house company network.

Depending on how your planning looks with regard to the number of biogas plants and thus the data volume, the interpretation of the computing technology in the control center should be chosen.

Our Services for the Control Center:

  • Installation of the historical database (iHistorian), including the alarms & event server option on an existing or new computer (optional). On the first installation level this historical database will store 100 process signals and all alarms. Three users will be able to access the database simultaneously (e.g., simultaneous query of information from the historical database, through Excel or the iFix client). Depending on the growth rate of your biogas plant inventory, the database can be extended.
  • An iFix Client license is installed on a PC or laptop computer provided by the employer. Setup of the provided computer for the buildup of the VPN connection.
  • Setup of the provided computer for the display of alarms and trend evaluations from the iHistorian database.
  • Setup of the iHistorian pulldown menu on a computer with Excel and installation of protocol templates.