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Proposal: A Supervision Application for openPDC

Feb 4, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Dear openPDC team,

It's wonderful to see how the openPDC project keeps growing and expanding giving new offspring projects!

As I have mentioned in other discussions, we have several openPDCs at KTH, in Stockholm, Sweden. One of these openPDCs is simply sitting in my office receiving data and acting as a historian, and which will be moved to openHistorian shortly.

Sometimes the whole openPDC system stops and there is now way of noting this unless you log into the computer and realize that is not longer running. In openPDC when you loose a PMU connection the openPDC tries to restore it periodically, but there is no measure for notification of a total system failure (openPDC stops).

Discussing with my software expert, Moustafa Chenine, he has mentioned that a separate supervision application could take care of that; meaning that a client system or a monitoring server can send a notification (via email, etc) when the openPDC fails.

In SCADA systems, the client or the monitoring system detects such kind of issues, and then a standby takes over. We realize that in openPDC there is an option for fail over configuration to detect these things, but for that a separate installation of openPDC is necessary.

Thus, and here is our proposition, we believe that it would be very helpful to have a "Supervision Application" which would send notifications of openPDC's failure and perhaps trigger the openPDC to re-start. It cold also notify a stand-by openPDC to start running until the original openPDC is ready to run again.

Your thoughts?

Luigi

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http://www.vanfretti.com

Feb 4, 2011 at 2:23 PM
Edited Feb 4, 2011 at 2:24 PM

That's a great idea, and one we have discussed - we'll certainly add this to our list of product features.

Even so, the openPDC should not be failing. Failures represent unhandled exceptions - that is, somewhere in the code there is an exception that is getting throw that was not properly trapped. It would be very helpful to get a copy of the error information from the ErrorLog.txt, StatusLog.txt and the exception information that was recorded in the Windows event log.

In the mean time you can use the standard Windows service recory options to auto-restart the application in case of failure:

 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb742520.aspx

Feb 7, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Hi Ritchie!

I'm glad to know this is a useful idea.

In the following link you can find the logs available from our openPDC: http://www.etk.ee.kth.se/personal/vanfretti/temp/openPDCfail_logs.zip

I don't know if they will contain the error exceptions from the failure because I don't know when they happened and we have re-started the server since then. If another instance of this occurs I will make sure to save all available logs.

Thanks for the pointer on the Windows service recovery options, I will configure it right away.

Best,

Luigi

 

 

Feb 9, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Hi guys,

Just throwing it out there, but my media centre software uses a system tray application to monitor its service and separate GUI programme and keep logs of failures.  I guess the similarity is that people in general don't like missing their TV shows as much as us power engineers don't like missing Synchrophasors!  :)

David

Feb 9, 2011 at 11:21 PM

Hi,

Interesting comment!

This is the first large effort for building an ICT system for the power industry in years, so it needs time to have all these little details, and it needs feedback from users (I believe) to make it better.

I'm going to go out on a tangent here, and I apologize, but it's midnight here and I guess I can allow myself this indulgence.

If we look into detail into the societal background for why we are discussing this right now whereas you can monitor if you missed "Doctor Who" or my favorite "Bing Bang Theory" we might astonish ourselves on the fact that the overall society doesn't realize the value the energy supply system has on their lives, and that efforts like these will play a crucial role in their near future. It is a reminisce of H.G. Wells "The Time Machine", where the Morlocks built the machinery that made the paradise possible. It has become a prophecy to what the great Charles Bukowski wrote once "Born into this... into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes". Maybe its time to turn things around a bit.

Just a bit of food for though from this side of the Atlantic, were things in this aspect are much of the same (if not worse).

Luigi