TNB Best in Asia: Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA)

Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)  is furnished with an ‘eagle eye’ called the SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition)  system. The existence of the SCADA system has simplified the monitoring and controlling functions from the National Load Dispatch Center (NLDC) which is located at the Headquarters office of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) in Bangsar, Malaysia.

In general, the Transmission Division’s primary roles are to provide a safe, reliable and economical operation of the grid system in conformity with the Malaysian Grid Code. In achieving these objectives, Transmission Division closely aligns its core activities to the strategies adopted by TNB. The Division manages and operates the 66 kV, 132 kV, 275 kV and 500 kV Transmission network of TNB, spanning the whole of Peninsular Malaysia, known as the National Grid System. The National Grid System links the electricity power producers, made up of TNB Power Plants and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to the TNB Distribution network and some Large Power Customers (LPC).

The National Grid System is interconnected to Thailand’s Transmission System operated by Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) in the North and also in the South; the National Grid is interconnected to Singapore’s Transmission System operated by the Public Utility Board (PUB) at Senoko. The SCADA System was first introduced in Tenaga National Berhad (TNB) in 1988. The purpose of this facility is to provide control and monitoring over TNB’s assets located throughout Malaysia. After further improvement in this technology, TNB decided to expand its usage, focusing specifically to have control and monitoring of the National Grid system to maintain voltage stability in transmitting power across the grid. 

SCADA System in USA by Santee Cooper

SCADA System at Asia's No 1 Energy and Utility Company 2011 - Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)

At first, the SCADA system was mainly used and applied by the TNB Transmission Division where only High Voltage Power Transmission are monitored and controlled. In TNB, high voltage refers to voltage ranged more than 33kV and currently, the maximum high voltage system used by TNB Transmission Division is 500kV. The SCADA system in TNB Transmission Division is being monitored 24 hours a day and 7 day a week by one sole master station called the National Load Dispatch Center (NLDC). At the NLDC, the Control Executives have power over the facility to monitor the power flow and load segregation throughout the grid. 

As the SCADA system developed throughout the Transmission Division, its importance and advantages has become conscious and greatly appreciated by the top strategic management level of TNB. This recognition had resulted in the application of the SCADA system by the Distribution Division of TNB that, on the other hand, deals with ‘Low Voltage’ power transmission. Low Voltage refers to voltage rated less than 33kV and down to 240V. It was deemed to be practical to them as their power transmission facilities and equipments are more in quantity compared to the Transmission Division. The SCADA System is meant to allow them to have monitoring control over all of their assets which would therefore be useful for maintenance and performance monitoring. 

From the management point of view, the SCADA system is very important as it furnishes their need to continuously monitor the National Grid System at anytime and anywhere required. The facility has also proven to be helpful thus, contributing to the improvement in business excellence for the company. As mentioned before, business excellence refers to the excellence in quality, time and cost in running a particular business. The contribution of SCADA system in the mentioned traits will be discussed and analyzed further in the project.geared to address vulnerabilities of the current system.  Closely related with the National Grid System is the control centre, which is the NLDC.

NLDC is the heart of a very systematic energy control system which basically uses SCADA as its major system. Its main function is to monitor all the alarms coming from the substations from all over the country that indicate the statuses and their current situations. SCADA system also allows monitoring of the analog readings in the substations and shows the real time of the current load being used at any specific areas such as KLCC, Shah Alam and etc. One of the most vital capabilities of the SCADA system is, the System is able to control the circuit breakers which act like switches to the substation equipments in the TNB operational system. SCADA is a very systematic system that allows high reliability and availability of electricity supply throughout the country.With that, the SCADA System has been contributing a lot in the develepment for TNB to become Asia's No 1 Company in 2010, as it has increased the efficiency of Malaysia's Grid System and had significantly reduced the financial expenditure in terms of overhead expenses and asset maintenance cost due to its high reliability and efficiency.  Congratulations to TNB for a well managed strategy and utilizing a very well dedicated  and reliable system in achieving success thusfar.