The mission of the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO – ADMIE in Greek) is to supply Greece with power in a reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly manner. The organization wants to be ready to successfully fulfill this mandate in the future as well, and therefore it recently transitioned to Barco video wall technology for three of its utility control centers.
IPTO is responsible for the management, operation, maintenance, and development of the Hellenic Electricity Transmission System. IPTO plays a key role in Greece’s energy transition through interconnection projects between the Greek islands and the mainland electricity grid, and with neighboring countries.
IPTO continuously monitors the grid from two locations and from three different control rooms. The city of Krioneri in the Attica region has both the National Control Center and the South Greece Control Center. The control center that monitors the biggest part of the north of Greece is based in the city of Ptolemais.
It was clear that the visualization technology in the three control rooms no longer met 21st-century standards. Until recently, operators were looking at mimic panels with lamp indications and hardwired alarms. The mimic board was complex and far from dynamic: if the diagram layout needed to be changed, this had to happen manually, by removing/adding lamps and wire connections.
LED-lit rear-projection video wall
To bring its operations up to today’s technology standards, IPTO issued a public tender for the refurbishment of its control rooms and for the installation of high-quality video wall technology. The contract was ultimately awarded to Telmaco, a leading Audiovisual and Broadcast specialist and Barco distribution partner of many years. Telmaco resolutely chose to include Barco’s LED-lit rear-projection video walls in its offer. End of December 2019, the company completed the installation of two Barco OVL-815 video walls in an 8 by 3 matrix for the Krioneri control centers, and one Barco OVL-815 video wall in an 8 by 3 matrix for the Ptolemais center. All three control centers also make use of Barco’s Transform NSD-410 video wall controllers.
“Telmaco won the project, not only because our solution perfectly met the tender specifications, but also because we managed to provide a solution that met all of the customer functional requirements,” says Vassilis Kyriazis, General Director at Telmaco. “IPTO was already satisfied with Barco’s technology: Telmaco had installed another IPTO control room project in Thessaloniki, which has been operating flawlesly since 2007.”
“As the operator of the Hellenic Electricity Transmission System, we have a critical role in ensuring the country’s continuous and uninterrupted electricity supply,” says Panagiotis Zoitos, Head of the Infrastructure Branch for Control Centers at IPTO. “Barco’s video walls are helping us to meet our operations’ quality and performance criteria and to serve more efficiently and reliably.”
Huge technology leap
“Going from a mimic panel to this Barco video wall is a bit like changing from a bicycle to a Mercedes,” says Vassilis. “The difference is huge. IPTO operators can now monitor their SCADA application in all confidence. Changing network layouts can now be done easily and digitally, and the networked visualization is future-proof, because it allows control room management to insert new sources or technology when needed.”
“The three control rooms are really the heart of the company for IPTO,” says Vassilis. “This is why we wanted to guarantee 100% control room availability, so that IPTO operators are able to monitor their sources and applications 24/7 without interruption.
The video wall offers maintenance-free operation for many years and technology redundancy has been built in on different levels, including redundant LED light sources, power supplies, and controllers. And since they are all on the same network, each of the three control room centers can display the other rooms’ content and can therefore be used as disaster recovery room.
Telmaco has a long history of collaboration with Barco and is very experienced in the control room market. The company has built up a vast portfolio of control room customers in Greece and many other countries, and for several European institutions. Telmaco will also be responsible for technology support and spare parts for the three IPTO control rooms for the next seven years. Together with the knowledge that Barco is committed to and continuously investing in the control room market, IPTO can be assured of many years of worry-free operation.