- Critical Systems Support Life as We Know It
- Critical Systems Depend on Solid State Controls (SCADA Systems)
- Damage to SCADA Systems Has Far-Reaching Consequences
- Everything BreaksEventually
- Critical Systems Are Interdependent
- Modeling and Planning Tools Lag the Threat
- We Can Refer to Past Practices, To an Extent
- Worried Enough Yet? Consider Solar Storms
Damage to SCADA Systems Has Far-Reaching Consequences
Consider electrical power generation using a conventional steam cycle process. Such a process requires highly complex systems to maximize efficiency while at the same time maintain safety and confirm with environmental protection requirements. Therefore, control systems in a steam generating power plant would include parameters such as generator speed, generator lubrication oil pressure, current and voltage output, feed water pressure, boiler steam drum level, air box pressure, and rate of combustion. A malfunction in any of these controls has the potential to cause severe physical damage.
A case in point is the boiler endpoints of combustion and circulation. Normally, the control system would first reach the endpoint of combustion (limit of air and fuel adding energy into the boiler) and thus prevent any thermal damage to the boiler. If the control system is upset, it potentially could reach the endpoint of circulation (maximum rate of steam generation) or endpoint of carryover (maximum rate at which water is not carried out of the boiler) before the endpoint of combustion. This situation would cause thermal damage to the boiler tubes or physical damage to steam turbine blades.