A Remote Terminal Unit RTU is also called a remote telemetry unit. Telemetry, which is collecting and processing data, ultimately transfers data to you from a remote source. This allows you, the network operator or telemetry technician, to manage the network more efficiently, ensure continuity of service to your customers, and protect your revenue stream.
RTU is a microprocessor-controlled electronic device that links objects in the physical world to a distributed control system or SCADA system, transmitting telemetry data to the main system and using messages from the main supervisory system to control the connected objects.
Remote Terminal Unit RTU is used to monitor and control various devices. As far as the meaning of the RTU of the word “remote” is concerned, it simply means that the location makes it impractical to connect the device to the central processing unit. The unit can be located in an adjacent room or on an offshore oil rig. Most devices can be viewed as stand-alone computers due to the embedded microprocessors.
RTUs are primarily data acquisition and control units. RTU configuration includes hardware modules such as the control microprocessor and associated memory, digital inputs, digital outputs, analog inputs, analog outputs, counter inputs, communications, I / O interfaces, power supply, and RTU rack and chassis.
It can also remotely control system devices using control relay contacts or protocol-based commands. Without this capability, the RTU only collects data and informs you about remote events. While this is valuable, you must still physically get to the controlled location if changes are needed.
It is used in commercial and industrial systems around the world. Typical applications include supervisory control and SCADA data acquisition systems used by utility companies. Installations can also be found in refineries, food processing plants, and automotive factories.
A Remote Terminal Unit Applications
A Remote Terminal Unit is an electronic device that interfaces external objects in the real world with a distributed control system, usually a SCADA system, by transmitting specific signals to an application programmable to control the attached machines.
The term ‘remote’ refers to anything that is not locally attached to the computer system in question. These terminals are also known as modules because they are implemented so that a particular program can be written to perform a variety of tasks, depending on the needs of the particular system in question.
For example, a terminal can be programmed to connect to an IVR system to report patient information or connect to a database to produce reports. They can also be programmed to trigger other events, like emitting a warning sound when a door or window is opened or transmitting information directly to an operator’s console.
The term ‘SCADA” stands for Systems, Components, Audio/Visual, Digital, Controls, and Interface Control. This acronym stands for Systems, Components, Audio-Visual, Digital, and Controls, but without the word “software.” As defined in the SCADA context, a remote terminal unit can be composed of microprocessor-based electronic devices (e.g., hardware and software) controlled by a single application or several applications (e.g., one or more computer systems).
In this way, the term SCADA covers a broad range of computer system components, including hardware, software, database management, communication interface, and operational processes.
One of the purposes of a remote terminal unit is to use telematics systems to minimize maintenance costs. This is because maintenance costs can be extremely high when communications between the control system and the different telematics units are slow or fail to function.
Most Importantly, Used of RTU
Most importantly, a Remote Terminal Unit RTU can be used without any form of a plug-in connection. This means that you can connect this type of terminal to a low-voltage substation prototype and start operating your automation system remotely. In addition to that, there are no delays in the power distribution like the case in the case of local distribution.
You can get the desired output at the desired time irrespective of whether the power grid faces any problem. It also enables you to receive signals even if there are transmission barriers in place. However, the only drawback of this kind of technology is that there are chances of your input signal being interrupted due to external factors.
Advantages Of RTU
There are several advantages of using a remote terminal. One of them is its convenience as it allows people to work conveniently at any location in the world. Another advantage is its flexibility, as you can work on different distribution automation systems simultaneously without the need for investing in new software and hardware.
With the help of an efficient dais, all the necessary information can be input into the computer. Once you have finished inputting the required data, you can automatically print them out. Therefore, no manual intervention is needed, and you can save your time and money that otherwise would have been required when you would have had to look for a printing company to deliver the document.
A remote terminal unit also can configure the software and the hardware so that it operates in a manner most compatible with the human-machine interface. This configuration allows you to run different dais software on other computers and configure various output ports accordingly.
This feature is very useful, especially when multiple users are in the same system or connected to different networks. With a human-machine interface, there are chances that the configurations and the operation of the software would not be compatible with the computers due to the incompatibility of the operating systems.