User interface (HMI)


Project Description

Display and user interface for control systems.

Project Details

Related products: iPCSSVS

Related Projects: ORC

HMI is an electronic board for implementing a user interface, suitable for completing a control and supervision system (such as SVS), introducing all the functions necessary for displaying measurements from the field, managing parameters or setpoints and any firmware updates of other devices within the same communication network (e.g. CAN).

The card is normally supplied with a 7″ touch display, but can control displays of different sizes, based on custom specifications. It also has several communication interfaces, partly dedicated to the control and supervision system, partly facing the outside world. In this way, in addition to being an interface to the user (“human-machine”), it is also configured as a “gateway” between systems of lower hierarchical level (controlled system) and those of higher level (command signals or networks).

The product started as a complement to the SVS supervision and control system, in order to provide a “friendly” interface and visually suitable for integration in products halfway between the industrial and the civil or “consumer” world. The first application dates back to the PIACE project (Industria 2015), where HMI and SVS were used to manage an integrated system of micro generation and an optimization system of thermal management.

The HMI module is characterized by a wide range of interfaces, including USB bus, CAN and expansion via network card wi-fi, with the ability to read microSD memory cards.

Unlike other user interface devices, HMI has several advantages, for example:

  • wide availability of standard interfaces (2x CAN, USB, wi-fi);
  • versatility and possibility of HW customization, including display size and resolution;
  • on-board computing power, which can also be used for purposes other than interfacing;
  • possibility of cost saving, by selectively mounting only the necessary interfaces (I/O and power);
  • possibility of SW development and completely customized graphic elements.

HMI is equipped with a high-performance microcontroller, which allows to obtain fast and smooth graphics on the user interface.

It is normally used for the coordination of a system including one or more power converters (iPCS) and a control and supervision device (SVS), which together implement all the functions needed in a micro generation plant.

HMI board with 7” display
HMI board with 7” display

Fields of Application

Distributed micro generation
Micro wind-power generation
Industrial co-generation
Civil co-generation
Co-generation from solar thermal power
Management of complex systems for heating and hot water production
Process control
Supervision and control
Generic user interface