Single board computer for use in substation monitoring

Our customer required a small form factor single board computer with wide temperature components and an industrial mSATA SSD for integration into their new substation monitoring product.

A total solution

The product was targeted for installation within specific areas of the substation where batteries in electronic equipment are prohibited, so BIOS features traditionally supported by the onboard CMOS battery become unusable. This meant a custom BIOS was needed specifically for this application to enable our customer's settings to persist in the event of a power cycle.  
Impulse delivered an Axiomtek 3.5” single board computer which was powerful enough to run their proprietary application software but also with a small enough footprint to fit into the intended housing, as space in the substation is very limited. We worked with our customer to thoroughly understand their application software and the potential resulting wear on the NAND flash cells within the solid state storage device.  After careful consideration of the read/write cycles and data packet sizes, a wide temperature SLC (single level cell) SSD with a dynamic random access memory buffer was coupled with wide temperature industrial DDR3 SDRAM modules and assembled in our engineering facility here at Impulse.  
Impulse also recommended remote monitoring software which enables alarms via SNMP trap for things such as CPU temperature, memory usage and SSD wear so pro-active maintenance can be scheduled.  This combination of truly industrial hardware and monitoring software gave our customer an extremely reliable and rugged solution which could work continuously in the unmanned environment for many years to come.  
Finally, as part of our kitting service Impulse packaged these components into a bill of materials (BOM), meaning a simple quote of the custom BOM code was all that was required on future POs to enable our customer to get the same system consistently configured and delivered time and time again.  
What our specialists say
Lyndon Edwards
Key Account Manager
"The power and energy market is a real focus for us in the UK as we believe we have a great set of products and services to support projects in this area.

Substation automation and condition monitoring are particularly interesting as we have a whole set of products for 61850 but also for retro fit applications. "
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