Transfer of control system interface solutions from other domains to the thermal power industry
Paper i proceeding, 2012

In a thermal power plant the operators’ roles are to control and monitor the process to achieve efficient and safe production. To achieve this, the human-machine interfaces have a central part. The interfaces need to be updated and upgraded together with the technical functionality to maintain optimal operation. One way of achieving relevant updates is to study other domains and see how they have solved similar issues in their design solutions. The purpose of this paper is to present how interface design solution ideas can be transferred from domains with operator control to thermal power plants. In the study 15 domains were compared using a model for categorisation of human-machine systems. The result from the domain comparison showed that nuclear power, refinery and ship engine control were most similar to thermal power control. From the findings a basic interface structure and three specific display solutions were proposed for thermal power control: process parameter overview, plant overview, and feed water view. The systematic comparison of the properties of a human-machine system allowed interface designers to find suitable objects, structures and navigation logics in a range of domains that could be transferred to the thermal power domain.

graphical user interface

human-machine system

human-machine interface

Thermal power plant


Lars-Ola Bligård

Chalmers, Produkt- och produktionsutveckling, Design and Human Factors

Jonas Andersson

Chalmers, Produkt- och produktionsutveckling, Design and Human Factors

Anna-Lisa Osvalder

Chalmers, Produkt- och produktionsutveckling, Design and Human Factors


1051-9815 (ISSN)

Vol. 41 Supplement 1/2012 2859-2865

IEA 2012: 18th World congress on Ergonomics - Designing a sustainable future
Recife, Brazil,


Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi

Människa-datorinteraktion (interaktionsdesign)


Informations- och kommunikationsteknik




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