Followers of this blog and my Twitter feed (@djgreenfield) are aware that I focus a large amount of attention on energy efficient processes and devices in the automation market. Most recently I covered RF energy harvesting for wireless sensors and a turbine generator that creates power for industrial applications from spent energy within a plant.
Recently I ran across another approach being deployed for improving energy efficiency in large engines. This approach involves the use of a function block to track and react to engine performance parameters. The function block I’m referring to is the J1939 Interface function block from Wago that communicates via the Wago-I/O-System. The J1939 Interface is compatible with SAE’s J1939 protocol used by several engine manufacturers.
By monitoring multiple engines on one CAN (controller area network), the function block can direct I/O-System components to run auxiliary devices, such as cooling fans, or execute alarm, start/stop and speed control functions for more energy efficient engine operation of the engine it is monitoring.
For systems designers, the appeal of the function block approach to energy monitoring is that it is an embedded piece of hardware rather than a separate device. This approach streamlines connection to the PLC, eliminates the need for associated device programming with the engine to be monitored, and allows operators to connect to the fieldbus of their choice.
Engine data can also be transferred to an HMI or SCADA system via fieldbus.
For more information about viable applications for the J1939 Interface function block, visit: http://wago.us/applications/38192.htm