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Low-Cost, Open Source IoT-Based SCADA System Design Using Thinger.IO and ESP32 Thing

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), St. John’s, NL A1B 3X5, Canada
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2019, 8(8), 822;
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 18 July 2019 / Accepted: 20 July 2019 / Published: 24 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Mechatronics and Automation—An Open-Source Approach)
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Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a technology for monitoring and controlling distributed processes. SCADA provides real-time data exchange between a control/monitoring centre and field devices connected to the distributed processes. A SCADA system performs these functions using its four basic elements: Field Instrumentation Devices (FIDs) such as sensors and actuators which are connected to the distributed process plants being managed, Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) such as single board computers for receiving, processing and sending the remote data from the field instrumentation devices, Master Terminal Units (MTUs) for handling data processing and human machine interactions, and lastly SCADA Communication Channels for connecting the RTUs to the MTUs, and for parsing the acquired data. Generally, there are two classes of SCADA hardware and software; Proprietary (Commercial) and Open Source. In this paper, we present the design and implementation of a low-cost, Open Source SCADA system by using Thinger.IO local server IoT platform as the MTU and ESP32 Thing micro-controller as the RTU. SCADA architectures have evolved over the years from monolithic (stand-alone) through distributed and networked architectures to the latest Internet of Things (IoT) architecture. The SCADA system proposed in this work is based on the Internet of Things SCADA architecture which incorporates web services with the conventional (traditional) SCADA for a more robust supervisory control and monitoring. It comprises of analog Current and Voltage Sensors, the low-power ESP32 Thing micro-controller, a Raspberry Pi micro-controller, and a local Wi-Fi Router. In its implementation, the current and voltage sensors acquire the desired data from the process plant, the ESP32 micro-controller receives, processes and sends the acquired sensor data via a Wi-Fi network to the Thinger.IO local server IoT platform for data storage, real-time monitoring and remote control. The Thinger.IO server is locally hosted by the Raspberry Pi micro-controller, while the Wi-Fi network which forms the SCADA communication channel is created using the Wi-Fi Router. In order to test the proposed SCADA system solution, the designed hardware was set up to remotely monitor the Photovoltaic (PV) voltage, current, and power, as well as the storage battery voltage of a 260 W, 12 V Solar PV System. Some of the created Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) on Thinger.IO Server where an operator can remotely monitor the data in the cloud, as well as initiate supervisory control activities if the acquired data are not in the expected range, using both a computer connected to the network, and Thinger.IO Mobile Apps are presented in the paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: open source; SCADA; Thinger.IO; Internet of Things; ESP32 Thing; Raspberry Pi; automation; instrumentation and control open source; SCADA; Thinger.IO; Internet of Things; ESP32 Thing; Raspberry Pi; automation; instrumentation and control

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Aghenta, L.O.; Iqbal, M.T. Low-Cost, Open Source IoT-Based SCADA System Design Using Thinger.IO and ESP32 Thing. Electronics 2019, 8, 822.

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