22 - August


Public bodies ask for full and accurate reports: has the company in question adhered to the limits for environmental emissions at fossil fuel power plants, hazardous waste  incineration plants, and biomass-based power plants? Simple-to-use data acquisition systems that are not susceptible to faults or failures are therefore crucial for companies operating this type of facility. The MEAC data acquisition system by SICK is reliable and popular with customers, providing them with a solution for the continuous recording, analysis and transmission of emission data. Expert service included.  

Conventional  power  plants,  renewable energy plants, and smaller, decentralized  energy  systems:  this  is  what   the  electricity  production  landscape   currently looks like in Germany. However,  just  like  everywhere  else  in  the  world, large  fossil  fuel  power  plants  still  play   a  significant  role.  Burning  fossil  fuels   does  not  necessarily  have  to  have  a   negative effect on the environment. The cleanest fuel with the lowest level of CO2 emissions  is  in  fact  natural  gas.  Now, coal-based power plants are moving with   the times and investing in new technology  to  reduce  the  amount  of  harmful   substances  in  emissions.  Products  like   dust  filters,  desulfurization  units,  and   nitrogen removal systems “detoxify” flue   gases.  saving  primary  energy  means   increasing the efficiency of the combustion process and thus increasing the energy efficiency. Increasing the efficiency automatically reduces the amount of COemissions. Based on an energy output of one third a few years ago, the tendency is now pointing towards a level of around 50% today. The remaining 50% is lost as residual heat.

Renewable energies

Protecting the environment by reducing  emissions:  that  is  the  current  goal  for   the  energy  supplier  Mark-E.  A  regional   energy  company  based  in  North-Rhine  Westphalia, Germany,  Mark-E  runs  several  power  plants  in  a  number  of  locations  fueled  by  coal,  gas,  water,  wind,   and  solar  power.  The  company  pened  the region’s first power plant run on biomass back in 2004. For its CO2– neutral  energy  production  processes,  Mark-E  uses  up  to  600  t  of  scrap  wood  and   other biogenic waste every day, some of   which  is  provided  by  a  local  paper  factory.  When  compared  to  a  coal-burning   power plant, this corresponds to around  160,000  t  less  carbon  dioxide  emitted   every  year. However, Mark-E  also  uses   coal, natural gas, and oil for its heating plants. The  authorities  make  sure  that  the plants adhere to legal limits.

Comprehensive documentation

The quality of emissions has to be  monitored and analyzed over time so  that comprehensive documentation  can be provided to the  environmental  authorities. Mark-E counts on SICK’s  reliable, tried-and-tested emission data  management system for this purpose  that records data safely, calculates, analyzes, and displays figures, and transmits data remotely. It records measured  values and operating data on a second-by-second basis and stores it on  a continuous basis. Mark-E has been  working happily with the MEAC data acquisition system since 2007. so that it can continue to report environmental data in accordance with the new German guidelines for the uniform practice  for monitoring emissions, Mark-E has  decided to upgrade the MEAC2000 to  the MEAC2012 in all of its plants.

The MEAC2012 data aquisition system

The MEAC2012 meets all requirements set out under current German legislation  and  automatically  implements  these rules  in  conjunction  with  the  individual settings for the customer’s system. The data from all  measurement  points is recorded remotely and then analyzed. It is transmitted on the company’s internal network and compiled on a central PC so   that it can be read off easily from one location. Mark-E also expressed its interest in a reduced network – SICK forwards all data  directly  to  Mark-E’s  central  server   so that the power plant managers do not   have  to  spend  lots  of  time  going  back   and forth to coordinate the various parties. The individual Mark-E power plants do not have to worry about transmitting emission data to the local authorities either. The MEAC2012 does this automatically by transferring the daily means and   event  reports  to  the  authority’s  system   via a modem.  And the environmental officers and system operators do not need time to get to   grips with a new system: the customary user-friendly  MEAC  design  remains  the   same and all existing data can continue  to be displayed.

High-speed information is the key to availability

The Meeting Point Router (MPR) is the connection hub for all data recording units and machines incorporated into the remote service system

Mark-E’s second key objective is to keep  all downtime risks as low as possible,  not just in production and for the measuring devices, but also in service. This  is where safe remote maintenance can  help to solve many problems. SICK’s web-based remote maintenance system  meets all the require-ments issued by  the German office for Information security (the BSI) and is therefore completely  safe. Its demands on Mark-E’s firewall  are kept to a minimum. The Meeting Point Router (MRP) is the connection  hub for all data recording units and  machines incorporated into the remote service system. The user simply has to press the MPR touchscreen to request SICK to carry out remote maintenance.  A SICK service technician will then be on hand within a specified response time  to provide the user with help and advice  for remote service. Mark-E is connected to SICK’s web-based Remote service center via highly encrypted data channels with HTTPS and SSH authentication standards. connection reports can  be viewed on the portal at any time. As  such, Mark-E can always see who has  requested remote service and when a remote maintenance session has been  carried out.

Meeting Point Router (MPR) as part of the Remote Services from SICK