Low-Power Remote Controller Ideal for Harsh Environments


End users and SCADA system designers can now take advantage of a single-source solution used in harsh and extreme environments with the Allen-Bradley DataSite remote terminal unit (RTU) controller from Rockwell Automation. A PLC that processes a user program, and controls and monitors the operation of other equipment, the DataSite RTU is designed to operate in remote locations with extreme temperatures, such as those often found in the oil and gas, and wastewater industries. The DataSite RTU can operate on 12VDC, making it ideal for remote environments that lack power, and use a solar cell or small wind generator to charge a battery. Because it consumes little energy, users can reduce the size of solar panels, wind generators and batteries, helping to minimize installation and hardware costs.
The DataSite RTU controller features an advanced 32-bit processor with an embedded real-time, multitask operating system, as well as serial and Ethernet ports. In addition, the DataSite RTU has a HART multidrop port that can monitor up to 13 instruments on a two-wire system, reducing installation time and costs.  
Future communication improvements for the DataSite controller will include compatibility with EtherNet/IP, a Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) communication network designed specifically for use in industrial environments and time-critical applications.
In addition, the DataSite RTU is available in an electronic flow meter version (EFM) tailored for natural gas wellhead monitoring and offers firmware specially designed to calculate natural gas flow. The embedded algorithms of the DataSite RTU controller measure natural gas flow more easily and consistently in accordance with the American Gas Association (AGA) standards.
 “Our customers face pressure to reduce costs, while delivering industry-leading results for unique applications,” said Scott Haddix, DataSite product manager at Rockwell Automation. “The DataSite RTU and EFM offer our customers the comprehensive, low-power consumption control solution for extreme temperatures to help them be profitable and competitive.”
Other features of the DataSite RTU controller include an embedded web server. This technology offers tools for interfacing with controller-based data through a standard Web browser to allow users to display device data and act on the controller data remotely over the Internet. That means, for example, a maintenance manager does not need to directly connect to the device to review status or to modify parameters – it can be done remotely over the Internet.
In addition, Rockwell Automation is offering a DataSite RTU controller package that includes standardized design with multiple options to meet application needs to help reduce lead time. Depending on the options a customer chooses, the package includes 
the DataSite RTU or DataSite EFM with I/O terminated on a field-wiring terminal strip, batteries, battery-charging controller, radio modem and antenna, all mounted in a “patch-ready” enclosure. This panel is pending UL Class I, Division 2 certification.

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