Enlarged interior Wireless Industrial
LAN antenna network
instruments box Arresters
Uninterruptible Main unit of
power supply wireless LAN
Application to stress measurements of spillway tainter gate
Development of remote monitoring
system for civil engineering
structures at power plants
------ 24-hour monitoring via Internet ------
Role of remote monitoring system
Application of Internet technology
Construction of integrated maintenance system
Brief Note: Kosuke Yamamoto, Research Engineer, Materials Science and
Structural Engineering Department, Abiko Research Laboratory
Role of remote monitoring
It is possible to observe on a regular basis the degree of damages to civil engineering structures at existing
power plants and use this knowledge to judge the need for repairs, in order to save energy by replacing daily
patrolling with remote monitoring, and allow long-term use of facilities. This is an effective means of
maintenance that meets both safety requirements and the need for cost reductions.
However, video monitoring of structures is the main method used for full-time observation, and other
methods are currently not widely applied. Accordingly, the Central Research Institute of Electric Power
Industry has developed a general-purpose system for monitoring from a remote location civil engineering
facilities at power plants scattered over a wide area,, using Internet technology.
Position of remote monitoring system Examples of use at civil engineering
C entralized remote control has been employed for the
operation of power generation facilities since the
1980's. As centralized control of several dams can be carried W hile maintenance of general civil engineering
facilities has been carried out for many years using
out at a remote office, spillway gates are rarely operated at regular patrolling and inspections, remote monitoring is
the dam site. However, this remote control is limited to gradually being introduced to improve the quality of
essential functions for the control of power generation and is inspections and save energy.
not used for the maintenance. Good examples of this include systems to observe the
On the other hand, remote observation technology is dynamic behavior of long bridges, and corrosion monitoring
becoming important from a maintenance viewpoint as a of RC structures.
means of reducing maintenance costs and assuring safety. It Also, a remote observation system using a fiber optic
improves the efficiency of inspections and allows the network is currently being studied as high volume fiber optic
physical properties of structures such as stress, strain and cables are installed along main trunk transportation lines,
acceleration to be observed. These monitoring data are including Shinkansen (Bullet Train) lines and main highways.
employed to determine accurately whether or not repairs, For road bridges in particular, the main tasks for
reinforcement, or replacement is / are required. investigation include not only monitoring of traffic
Against this background, the Institute started work on conditions, but also observation of traffic loads.
development of a technique for detecting abnormal events While wide area communication networks able to be
occurring in structures before such events lead to disaster, by used at relatively low cost have been installed, remote
monitoring strain, displacement and acceleration, which monitoring systems able to be used in Internet environments
indicate the extent of damage to the structure, from a remote are only rarely applied to the practical tasks of maintaining
location and acquiring observation data over a long period of civil engineering facilities.
No problem No problem
Additional Identifying need
Measuring plate thickness
Patrolling and Facility Not good investigations for repairs,
inspections Detailed investigation diagnosis Monitoring of reinforcement
of stress etc. selected points and replacement
Remote monitoring system
Flow of maintenance work and role of remote monitoring system
Application of Internet
Development of remote monitoring Network-based system
he network-based remote monitoring system is divided
into two parts as follows: a network on the
T he Institute has recently developed a remote monitoring
application with the following three functions: Firstly, to measurement side, which is composed at the site of the
measure and store information on physical properties of measurements where the subject of observation is found, and
structures such as strain and displacement on-site on a regular a network on the observation side, which observes the
basis (regular measurement function); secondly to monitor measurement data using a WWW browser on a PC.
these physical properties on a full-time basis and The industrial network computer (NC), (Note) which
automatically notify staff via e-mail when any exceeds runs the remote monitoring application developed by us, is
warning levels (on-site full-time observation function), and installed on the measurement site, and the network-based
thirdly, to display changes in data regularly monitored on a remote monitoring system constructed using a wireless LAN.
WWW browser in the form of a graph from a remote location By using this inexpensive system, it is possible to
(real-time monitoring function with WWW browser). observe the condition of civil engineering structures at power
Using these functions, it is possible to monitor the plants scattered over a wide are around the clock.
condition of structures on a full-time and real-time basis, and
respond immediately to any abnormal events by connecting (Note) A compact, reliable computer with a network function developed
to a LAN and using an ordinary PC and WWW browser for the purpose of collecting data on manufacturing sites.
without any special software.
Network on measurement side Measuring instrument box
Facility to be Facility to be
observed observed ISDN router
Sensor instrument box
network computer Wireless LAN Network on
Wireless ISDN ISDN router
data monitoring Wireless LAN
Data storage for observation side
ISDN router ISDN line
Server Fire wall Data transfer
Real time monitoring
PC WWW browser
Network configuration of remote monitoring system
Construction of integrated
Application to field investigation site Advanced use of system
and expansion of functions or the advanced use of our monitoring system, data must be
F gathered by observation over an extended period, and the
W e conducted an on-site demonstration test on
changes in strain on a spillway tainter gate arm at system integrated with the existing diagnostic systems
the Hiranabe dam (in Kitagawa-mura, Aki-gun, Kochi) in developed for identifying the need for repairs, reinforcement and
conjunction with the Electric Power Development Company to replacement. The Institute is currently working on an
investsigate the applicability of the remote monitoring system integrated system.
developed. We tested static phenomena, because this allows Observations taken over many years allow us to identify
sufficient information to be acquired by sampling at intervals of the degradation of facilities with accuracy. We expect this to
several seconds. contribute to the further rationalization of maintenance.
The other on-site test is currently being conducted on
vibration of steel penstocks at the Towa Power Station (in
Towa-machi, Waga-gun, Iwate) owned by the Electric Power
Development Company, as dynamic phenomena of structures
often cause maintenance problems. At this site, a data logger
equipped with a fast A/D (analog/digital) converter is
connected to an industrial NC to monitor more dynamic
phenomena, which change at a higher rate.
Point No. Current value
Materials Science and
Structural Engineering Department,
E-mail Time-series Abiko Research Laboratory
This remote monitoring system is
characterized by its high degree of
Time applicability to existing information infrastructures, low
cost, and the wider applicability of the system as a whole.
While we are conducting on-site demonstration tests as
Real-time monitoring on WWW browser scheduled, another development study is also underway
on a system for storage of long-term observation data
and automatic diagnosis of changes over time. We
anticipate this system will be useful for landslide
applications, and recording environmental data related to
meteorological phenomena and noise.
Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry
Public Communications Division
Central Research Institute of
Electric Power Industry 1-6-1 Ohtemachi, Ciyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8126 JAPAN Phone: +81 3 3201 6601 FAX: +81 3287 2863
E-mail : www-pc-ml@criepi. denken. or. jp http : //criepi. denken. or. jp
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