Sistema de presentación de informes y análisis de los consumos energéticos con infraestructura VPN

With more than 350 references of CO2 removal plants worldwide, Green Methane, a Venetian company born from the meeting between the Marchi Industriale Group and the Giammarco Vetrocoke Group, has developed an original technology for the purification of biomethane biogas by removing the carbon dioxide contained in the first. With this exclusive technology of CO2 absorption using non-toxic and non-volatile solutions based on potassium carbonate, GM-Green Methane guarantees important competitive advantages in terms of operating costs, biomethane purity, minimum methane losses, and energy efficiency. The removed CO2 can also be recovered at high purity allowing reuse for different applications: food, heating, biofuel, etc..

In its biomethane production plants for the distribution, transportation, cogeneration, and reuse of recovered CO2, the main need from which GM Green Methane is driven is to acquire, display and analyze in centralized form and real-time the energy consumption of its customers' plants. This translates into cost reduction, increased competitiveness and eco-sustainability of companies. The value of the solution proposed by SENECA is to combine a modern Energy Management system with an industrial control system with modern, secure network infrastructure, without the possibility of data tampering.

 Fig.1 Upgrading unit GM-GreenMethane with 125 Sm3/h of biomethane


The SENECA solution

The solution proposed by SENECA for the analysis of consumption is based on 3 levels of data sources (process energy measurements, technical plants for gas management and analysis, plant management data) and 2 monitoring platforms (SCADA/VPN, 3G+/Ethernet/Energy Management). On the process side, 12 SENECA S203 Series network analyzers are connected to the users to be monitored and in turn, retransmit the data via ModBUS to the Z-KEY industrial gateways. Equipped with Modbus interface, configurable analog output for signal retransmission, pulse output for counting the energy produced and consumed, S203 analyzers are installed in a version with input from a current transformer or Rogowski sensor, depending on the need for wiring and accuracy.

The normalization of the input signals towards the automation system is entrusted to 25 analog and temperature signal converters of the K Series, characterized by a width of only 6.2 mm and high precision class 0.1%. The operations of reading, writing, and conversion of the electrical network parameters are managed by an industrial gateway Modbus - Serial Device Server, SENECA Z-KEY. Another Z-KEY unit manages the acquisition and transmission via Modbus of the parameters coming from a set of Yokogawa controllers, fundamental for the management of process levels and temperatures. The Z-KEY gateways allow the quick configuration of about 200 tags/process variables through excel templates as well as supporting the configurable fail-safe I/O mode.

electrical panel

Fig.2 Detail of the auxiliary electrical panel with installed power 150 kW for signal acquisition, control unit, and VPN remote connectivity system.

The SENECA supply on the field side also extends to the radio part with the installation of the Z-AIR radio modem operating at 869 MHz for the future wireless management of temperatures and setpoints of the heat recovery boiler. The choice of monitoring technology fell on LET'S, SENECA's VPN-IoT platform for machines and plants that reduces maintenance, automation, and management costs, offering a 3-level connectivity service: remote access to plant machines, programmable control, supervision, and network monitoring. Based on the BOX VPN Server module that can count on 1 Gbps port, 2 USB ports, 32 GB SSD Drive and 1.86 GHz dual-core processor, LET'S supports up to 496 devices in Single LAN remote control mode (always-on connection) or Point-to-Point remote assistance (on-demand connection).

VPN BOX activates Client PC connections to the VPN network with maximum security in the management of access credentials and IP address. In addition to the software for managing network connections and devices (VPN Client Communicator), the client nodes are equipped with the Web / App tools of the Scada Zenon, which are extremely easy to access via the browser. With the centralized VPN BOX Manager server management software, network configuration can be set up in just a few steps. One of the main innovations of LET'S is the integration of remote access functions with programmable automation functions thanks to Straton IEC 61131 controllers that support VPN technology.

At the heart of the system are Z-PASS2-S, IEC 61131 advanced control units with Straton IDEs and integrated routing, tunneling, 3G+/Ethernet switching, and redundant communication functions. The Z-PASS2-S unit enables remote diagnostics and maintenance operations on plants, in particular by analyzing and storing data from gas management and analysis plants (biogas compressor, chiller, gas chromatograph, gas analyzer) in full integration with Z-KEY industrial gateways. Z-PASS2-S also offers the function of Single LAN remote access to the plants, guaranteeing both simultaneous and always active connection on all sites, and communication between subnets belonging to the same VPN. The multi-functionality of Z-PASS2-S allows an additional level of data management. Through 3G+/Ethernet the plant data are stored locally and transmitted via the Internet to the Energy Management Server.

LET'S schema

Fig.3 Modello logico del sistema di monitoraggio VPN - IoT SENECA


Control, Supervision and Energy Management

The system supplied by SENECA also includes the PLC, Scada and Energy Management applications. The first develops the control loops, the sequences of automatic start-up and shutdown of the plant, the control of I/O. The SCADA application, developed on the Zenon platform, manages the interface of the start-up and shutdown sequences automatically, with the possibility of remote intervention via VPN Client / Server architecture. Plant technicians can thus access the screens to control energy yields, manage trends, reports, and alarms. Moreover, thanks to the PLC/SCADA application, they do not necessarily have to monitor the plant.

Note that thanks to LET'S technology it is possible to establish a dedicated VPN tunnel connection managing all connectivity and security tasks, connecting remote sites and SCADA and accessing the latter via a browser.

In the plant, Green Methane SENECA has also implemented Smart Vision, a Web App software solution based on the OpenEnergyMonitor platform that allows you to measure all the consumption of the plant. The mere fact of seeing the data in real-time leads to an estimated saving of around 25%. The energy supervision of Smart Vision does not only concern the monitoring of electrical consumption but also other physical quantities of interest. The numerical data coming from sensors and network analyzers are acquired by the Z-PASS2-S unit (through HTTP protocol and GET acquisition method) and stored on the Server. For each input size, several feeds can be processed and the values collected can be rendered in the form of various graphs and control dashboards. When the system receives new data, it updates the previous one and carries out the logging and the aggregate recording. The software provides intuitive widgets for real-time data visualization and graphs for historical analysis of stored data.

All energy data from different sources can be centrally managed using graphical objects such as gauges, dial, and labels. Smart Vision ensures clear visualization of energy consumption data, creation of energy reports and performance indices in real-time and historical. Smart Vision ensures flexible access, private or public, to all plant data analyses.

Smart Vision by SENECA  Fig.4 Smart Vision screen, instant power analysis


LET'S the SENECA VPN platform for industrial connectivity

LET'S is the first VPN platform for machines and plants that reduces maintenance, automation, and management costs, offering a connectivity service on 3 levels: remote access to plant machines, programmable control, supervision, and network monitoring.

Based on the BOX VPN Server module, LET'S supports up to 496 devices in Single LAN Remote Control mode (always on) or Point-to-Point Remote Assistance (on demand). With the centralized VPN BOX Manager server management software, network configuration can be set up in just a few steps. On each client, VPN CLIENT COMMUNICATOR can be activated, intuitive software for managing site and device connections on the network.

The industrial VPN routers of the platform LET'S, Z-PASS1 and Z-PASS2, extend serial and Ethernet networks with access to remote subnets via local addresses and with all types of SIM.

Z-PASS1 and Z-PASS2 are multifunction devices (bridges, gateways, routers, serial device servers) that allow the passage of data between the IT network and the industrial network, integrating different industrial devices and reducing the need for costly travel and site inspections.

The Z-PASS2 model also performs tunneling, 3G/Ethernet switching, and redundant communication functions. One of the main innovations of LET'S is the integration of remote access functions with programmable automation functions thanks to the high-performance multifunction control units IEC 61131 with integrated web server, VPN support, and Energy protocols (IEC 60870-101/102/ IEC 61850).

LET'S - soluzioni di connectività VPN - IoT  Fig.5 Logo and Banner of the LET'S platform


Card of the system




Green Methane


Renewable Energies

Type of plant 

Energy monitoring system and biogas production

SENECA supplies

3G+/Ethernet industrial gateways/routers, signal converters, network analyzers, energy management and consumption analysis software, control application (adjustments, start-up sequences), SCADA application, Engineering

I/O / TAGs managed


Communication network

Industrial Ethernet, Modbus TCP/IP, Modbus RTU, Internet, VPN

Data acquisition, control logics, alarms

Data acquisition from the process

Data acquisition of energy consumption from S203TA-D energy power meters

Management software

SCADA / PLC applications

Remote Control and Remote Access VPN Client Communicator (LET'S)

Smart Vision energy monitoring software


Customer Benefits

  • Reduced operating and maintenance costs
  • Increased competitiveness and eco-sustainability of the company
  • Scada centralization and energy management with an industrial control system
  • Secure IT / VPN infrastructure without the possibility of data tampering
  • Modular solution and compatible with the main PLC and SCADA