Use Case - Flow Loop Simulator Recorder

Customer Name: EDF Energy - Heysham

As part of the on-going development of their staff, EDF Energy have many training facilities, one of which is located at Heysham Power Station on the North West coast.

Included in this facility is a flow loop simulator. We were approached to provide a means of viewing and recording the training sessions within this area, with the option of storing the sessions for post analysis and for use in further training.


The Solution

Monitoring / Recording Hardware
The training facility consists of the following areas: Briefing Room, Flow Loop Simulation Area, 2 x Lecture Room Areas. We had to provide a way of running the video and audio signals from the flow loop simulator in to each of the 3 viewing areas. There was also a requirement to view/record a feed from the briefing room and view this in the lecture rooms in addition to the flow loop simulator.

With all of the above requirements in mind, the following hardware was installed:

  • 2 x PTZ Cameras in the Flow Loop Simulator
  • 1 x PTZ Camera in the Briefing Room
  • 2 x Wireless microphones for trainees to wear in simulator
  • 1 x Fixed microphone for picking up audio in briefing area
  • Video/Audio Cat 5 Extenders in simulator/briefing room to carry signals to each viewing area
  • Equipment Rack consisting of audio mixers, video/audio signal switcher and recording PC
  • Termination points in each of the 3 viewing areas to allow the equipment rack to pick up the signals from a variety of points
  • Public Address system to allow operator to communicate with the trainees in the flow loop simulation area
  • VGA Output from equipment rack to allow preview/recordings to be viewed on overhead projector system

Control / Recording Software
To link all of the hardware together we developed a bespoke piece of software with the following features:

  • Custom design with EDF logo and corporate colours
  • RS-485 Control, allowing the operator to move the cameras in each area
  • Switching functionality to let the operator select between the 3 camera inputs
  • Audio playback tool which allows alarms and sirens to be broadcast in to the flow loop
  • Recording tool that captures the live video/audio signals from the selected area. Various meta data can be associated with the recording such as session name, filename, date and description
  • Search facility to let users locate previously recorded files
  • Playback feature to view archived videos, an export tool also lets users copy video files on to a removable storage device like a USB pen

Technology Used

  • NAS Unit
  • Custom Software
  • Digital Switching
  • Analog Video Capture Card
  • Video/Audio Cat 5 Distribution
  • Wireless Audio System
  • PTZ Cameras with RS-485 Control