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SOMA - System Oriented to the Monitoring of Engineering Assets


SOMA is a unique and integrated system that incorporates some products previously developed by Cepel in the line of monitoring, analysis and diagnosis of electrical equipment, aiming to assist companies in increasing availability and reducing maintenance costs.
The target audience for this system is the Maintenance Engineering and Operation divisions  of electric power generation plants, assisting the management of physical assets, and can be extended to the monitoring of almost any industrial process.


The motivations that led to the development of a new system of this type in Cepel were the need for modernization and the advantages of a distributed, multi-layer WEB system with Rich Internet Application (RIA). In addition, functional requirements often change, leading to the need for more flexible systems with multiple configurations (freedom from the environment), with more robustness and reliability as also allowing greater productivity and comfort  through the User Interface.

Another concern was to minimize the Total Cost of Ownership, using software development methodologies and efficient change management, as a result of changing customer requirements. In addition, the system uses many efficient tools, some of which are free for commercial use, such as the Oracle XE DBMS and other open-source type such as Apache, Eclipse, SVN, Junit, etc.



Online monitoring

The functionalities of SOMA provides the user with more basic features like the online monitoring of the operational state of the equipment to be used by a maintenance technician, as also with the diagnosis of its condition  to a specialist engineer. All this is provided by means of an interface that offers real-time signals, alarms, scheduling of tests, historical curves, signal processing techniques and diagnostic module via fuzzy logic / expert system.
The Lifetime Diagnostics and Prognosis is an example of services built on the Framework as Plug-in.




SOMA development history


Since its foundation, Cepel has been active in the area of dynamical analysis and vibration of electric power generation and transmission equipment, providing technical support to the Maintenance Engineering area of  the Eletrobras companies, both in the form of field measurements, computational modeling and monitoring and diagnosis of the operational condition of these equipments.

In this area, a worldwide trend of industrial maintenance processes optimization of was intensified from the 1990s aiming at the increasing adoption of the predictive maintenance methodology, in which the permanent monitoring of the condition of the equipment is the basic premise. In Brazil, more specifically in the electricity generation sector, this trend showed a strong growth. From this demand, SOMA was designed.


At the end of the 1990s, Cepel proposed to Eletrobras companies the development of a computer system able to operate 24 hours, 7 days a week, with the mission of monitoring the most relevant state variables to maintenance engineering in the predictive monitoring process of the of hydrogenerator units operational condition. The first generation of this system was developed based on the client-server architecture, when and prototypes were deployed in generating units of some plants, especially at  Eletronorte.

In the 2000s, another important step was taken. From 2005, seeing the potential offered by the Internet for the use of applications of the nature of SOMA, Cepel began the development of its second generation, resulting in a Web system accessed through the browser.


SOMA has been improved and has become a comprehensive monitoring and diagnostic system, extrapolating the original application to hydrogenerators. As a result, the system has already had the opportunity to be employed in other Cepel projects where real-time signal monitoring has proved to be a fundamental need, as in SOMA-TORRES - Transmission Line Tiered Towers Monitoring and projects DIATERMICA, MONITERMO and TURBODIAG - Monitoring of components of steam generating units.


In 2015, the opportunity for the implementation of SOMA in Itaipu Binacional, monitoring the 20 Generating Units (UGs) of 750MW arose and this project is still in progress.

SOMA was designed to work as a large software framework, where its kernel has the characteristic of admitting the integration of specific plugins,  which that can be developed by Cepel or other groups, following standards and rules predefined by the Center. The system operates continuously in real time, collecting, processing and storing the signals.


SOMA Implementation in Itaipu Binacional 



In September 2016, the process of implementation of SOMA in the Generating Units of Itaipu began.
The monitoring of each Itaipu generating unit consists of the acquisition and processing of approximately 500 measurement points, such as temperatures in the generator and machine bearings, vibration, hydraulic pressures in the turbine, partial discharges in the generator, as well as process quantities, which define the operating point of the unit and thereby calibrate the measurements of the state quantities. The number of signals measured in the 20 generating units of the Itaipu plant amounts to a total of approximately 10,000 points.


Web Interface of the Soma-Itaipu System


SOMA’s main screen.


Monitor of Itaipu’s generating unit.




Online signals.

Integration of IMA-DP to SOMA


One of Itaipu's requirements for the use of SOMA was precisely that the measurement of partial discharges was part of the monitoring of the UGs, in addition to the measurements of mechanical thermal nature.

Thus, SOMA, in partnership with the IMA-DP development team, another Cepel product in this line, made possible the integration of the signal acquisition module of this system to SOMA, which was completed in early 2016.



To consolidate the product, the SOMA team developed the integration of the data analysis interfaces of IMA-DP, making it a monitoring system with this functionality, ready to be installed in any scenario that requires the monitoring of partial discharges in real time.
The new web interface has the ease of access to DP Maps from a point in the measurement trend graph, and it also allows analysis in multiple DP Maps in the same window.

Web Interface of Partial Discharge Map.



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