Optimizing pump reliability and performance 0

Optimizing pump reliability and performance

The offshore industry faces two main challenges: maximizing production within the limits of the reservoir, and minimizing operational costs while maintaining the safety of the platform. Pumps form one of the main groups of equipment that influence the outcome of both challenges and they require expert knowledge to ensure continued reliability and performance.

Murray Wilson, Sulzer UK argues that in each case, industry engineering expertise and commercial innovation are required to deliver these goals. Furthermore, the capital expenditure to improve reliability is most often far outweighed by the costs incurred by an unexpected failure and the subsequent costs of lost production. By taking a proactive approach and involving an expert maintenance provider, platform operators can deliver significant benefits to the business in the long term.

Improving performance

In the years following commissioning, the actual duty requirements of production pumps are likely to change – production rates may start to decline after the initial plateau period or the connection of additional wells may mean that potential production is being limited by the processing trains which were designed for lower volumes.

As equipment is pushed to operate significantly outside of its original design envelope, this can often cause operating problems which impact reliability and ultimately affect platform production. This also results in increased maintenance costs as operators and equipment specialists are required to overhaul plant more frequently.

Ultimately, the goal is to improve reliability and efficiency while reducing downtime and energy consumption, at the same time as satisfying API, ATEX, and many other engineering standards. However, this seemingly impossible task can be achieved through the implementation of preventative maintenance techniques and the adoption of the latest engineering designs for pumps.

Water injection pumps, seawater lift pumps, crude oil offloading pumps and fire suppression systems all require individual designs to deliver the best efficiency and productivity. At the same time, they also need specialist maintenance routines that will prolong reliability and effectiveness.

Proactive maintenance

A proactive maintenance regime is crucial to identifying potential issues before they develop into problems. However, this requires knowledgeable and experienced personnel to carry out the in-situ platform maintenance and these skills take time to perfect. The time required for this process can be greatly reduced by instigating a training program prepared by experts in equipment maintenance, who can pass on their collective knowledge in a structured and efficient manner.

In terms of through-life maintenance cost, preventative action is almost always less costly than corrective action, and adopting a carefully managed, proactive regime is crucial to identifying potential issues before they develop into problems. Two of the most prominent symptoms that occur prior to failure in mechanical and electrical equipment are increasing vibration and rising operational temperature.

Regular trending and analysis of radial and axial vibration signatures and thermographic/visual inspections of bearings, coils and electrical connections can prove invaluable. The latest developments in operational monitoring can be applied to existing assets and then used to determine the optimal point at which planned maintenance should be conducted.

Understanding cavitation

Most commonly seen on the pump impeller, cavitation is caused by a pressure difference, either on the pump body or the impeller. A sudden pressure drop in the fluid causes the liquid to flash to vapor when the local pressure falls below the saturation pressure for the fluid being pumped. Any vapor bubbles formed by the pressure drop are swept along the impeller vanes by the flow of the fluid. When the bubbles enter a region where the local pressure is greater than saturation pressure, the vapor bubbles abruptly collapse, creating a shockwave that, over time, can cause significant damage to the impeller vanes or pump housing.

In most cases, it is better to prevent cavitation rather than trying to reduce the effects on the pumping equipment. This is normally achieved by one of the three actions:

  • Increase the suction head

  • Lower the fluid temperature

  • Decrease the Net Positive Suction Head Required (NPSHR)

For situations where cavitation is unavoidable, or the pumping system suffers from internal recirculation or excessive turbulence, it may be necessary to review the pump design or minimize the potential for damage using a bespoke coating system.

Tackling erosion

The offshore production environment exposes pumps to harsh operating conditions and the abrasive nature of the fluids being pumped in certain processes on board can ultimately result in reduced efficiency and decreased pump performance.

Produced Water Re-injection pumps that are employed to force water back into the oil field and thus maintain the reservoir pressure needed to lift the oil to the surface are often subjected to high levels of abrasion. This is commonly the result of sand carryover from upstream filtration where there has been a process upset or where filtration systems are not adequate. Pumps that are used to transfer these fluids can experience significant levels of erosion, especially in areas with high flow velocities. The entrained sand particles act as an abrasive and higher working pressures only serve to compound the issue.

Pump manufacturers will aim to minimize flow velocities throughout the pump or design it in such a way that the flow velocities through close-running clearances are as low as practically possible within the duty for which the product has been designed. Under these circumstances, one of the most effective solutions is the use of specialist protective coatings, which can be used to protect selected areas in the pump.

Delivering the best coating system

With so many benefits arising from a specialist coating, it is important to determine the most appropriate materials, equipment and application procedures, otherwise the coating may degrade and fail prematurely. The processes and specifications used by companies such as Sulzer for applying coatings have been developed over many years and are essential to delivering a durable and reliable product.

To illustrate the importance of these procedures, especially in pump applications, consider the process of installing and removing an impeller. In many situations, the impeller is heated to allow it to be installed or removed from the drive shaft. This shrink-fit procedure can cause inappropriate coatings to be damaged during a routine maintenance operation. Sulzer has ensured that its coating technologies can withstand this thermal shock and continue to deliver long-lasting corrosion protection.

The importance of engineering expertise should not be underestimated and the benefits of engaging an experienced and well-resourced pump engineering company should not be overlooked. When dealing with complex engineering design, as seen in many pumping applications, it is very important to select to most effective and efficient resources to deliver a repair or refurbishment.

Meeting the logistical challenge

When it comes to complex equipment such as the large pumps encountered on offshore platforms, the most efficient delivery of maintenance will come from a provider of turnkey rotating equipment solutions. These organizations should have the necessary service facilities, trained & competent staff, logistical support and the service culture needed to support production critical plant.

In an ideal world, all the maintenance would be carefully planned and managed, but often it is necessary to respond to a situation immediately and deliver technical support, equipment, and materials at a moment’s notice. With a global network of service centers, capable of designing and manufacturing custom parts, Sulzer has not only the expertise but also the facilities and resources to meet the challenges faced by the offshore industry.

As a world-leading pump manufacturer, Sulzer offers state-of-the-art design and manufacturing facilities for oil and gas production, including subsea applications. This expertise is transferred throughout the company and used to support the maintenance and repair of any type of pumping asset.

 

Editorial contact: DMA Europa Ltd. : Philip Howe
Tel: +44 (0)1562 751436 Fax: +44 (0)1562 748315
Web: www.dmaeuropa.com
Email: philip@dmaeuropa.com
Address: Europa Building, Arthur Drive, Hoo Farm Industrial Estate Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY11 7RA, UK

Reader contact: Sulzer Turbo Services Houston Inc. :  Jennifer Cardillo, Marketing and Communications Manager, Americas Rotating Equipment Services
Tel: +1 713 567 2706 Fax:
Web: www.sulzer.com
Email: jennifer.cardillo@sulzer.com
Address: Sulzer Turbo Services Houston Inc. 11518 Old La Porte Road La Porte, TX 77571 USA

 

About Sulzer:Sulzer is the leading worldwide, independent service provider for the repair and maintenance of rotating machines including turbomachinery, pumps and electro-mechanical equipment. With a global network of over 180 technically advanced manufacturing and test facilities, Sulzer offers a collaborative advantage that delivers high-quality, cost-effective, customized and turnkey solutions, providing its customers with the peace of mind to focus on their core operations.

Sulzer Rotating Equipment Services, a division of Sulzer, can accommodate all brands of rotating equipment including turbines, compressors, generators, motors, and pumps. With an enviable track record, dedicated teams of on-site engineers provide best-in-class solutions to ensure that the most effective service is delivered.

Sulzer is dedicated to providing superior service solutions to a range of industries including power generation, oil and gas, hydrocarbon and chemical processing, water, and air separation. Every solution is customized to suit the business needs of each application – whenever or wherever that may be.

With a long history of providing engineering service support, Sulzer is headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland where it began in 1834. Today, with sales over US$ 3 billion and with approximately 14,000 employees, the Sulzer footprint spans across the globe. The core aim is to deliver a flexible and cost-effective service that optimizes customer operational efficiency and minimizes downtime.

For more information on Sulzer, visit www.sulzer.com

The image(s) distributed with this press release may only be used to accompany this copy, and are subject to copyright. Please contact DMA Europa if you wish to license the image for further use.

Visit the DMA Europa website for the full text in PDF format and the associated high-resolution image and video files: Website

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Quasar 2 – New Flare Stack Monitoring System 0

The new flare stack monitoring system from LumaSense Technologies is designed to monitor pilot flames and flared gases for elevated flare stacks. Additional applications include: Gas assist flares, Staged flares, and Offshore flares. Quasar 2 is available in “Basic” and “Advanced” models.

Safe flare operation and environmental protection require reliable and accurate flare pilot monitoring. Generally, all flare pilots are monitored with thermocouples. However, thermocouples fail due to thermal shock, extreme heat and vibrations during flaring events. The requirement for pilot monitoring beyond the normal life of pilot thermocouples has driven the market need for alternative methods and installation of redundant methods of pilot monitoring in addition standard pilot thermocouples. Regional flare governmental permitting rules driven by environmental protection, health and safety guidelines for global flare operation have had a large impact on the increasing market need for IR pilot monitoring systems.

The E²T Quasar 2 series are monitoring and detection instruments designed for continuous duty monitoring of pilot flame and flared gases from flares. The base system provides low-cost basic flare pilot monitoring capabilities. The advanced model has an intensity meter with 2 set points that allow monitoring of both the pilot and flaring status signals from the same unit. Additional add-on features are available for a configurable product to meet a wide range of client flare types, monitoring requirements and budget. High Resolution sight-through optical system and selection of various spot sizes enables the Quasar 2 system to be positioned as far as 1/4 mile (400 m) from the stack being monitored. Alignment on the target is accomplished through bead and notch aiming and signal amplitude in combination with a stable M-4 heavy duty swivel mount. Custom electronics adapt to target movement, varying luminosity and most climate conditions. The alarm delay circuit can be adjusted for a specific location or application, eliminating false alarms from temporary loss of signal due to intermittent flames, adverse weather and wind.

The system is complete with internal cooling base, air purge tube and swivel mount. An optional M-8 pedestal stand allows for easy stable system mounting. With over installations at over 550 petrochemical facilities worldwide, customers know they can trust LumaSense E²T line of petrochemical infrared sensors.

LumaSense Technologies, Inc.

Published on Aug 1, 2018

For more information, visit: https://info.lumasenseinc.com/q2

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Siemens and Southern Idaho Solid Waste announce commissioning of landfill gas-to-energy project 0

Siemens and Southern Idaho Solid Waste announce the commissioning of landfill gas-to-energy project

  • Siemens gas engines generating electrical power from landfill gas to provide energy for approximately 2,000 homes in Idaho

  • Two engines convert 1,000 tons of landfill waste daily into energy

  • The project marks successful use of Siemens’ highly-energy-efficient engines to capture and use methane

Siemens and Southern Idaho Solid Waste (SISW) recently announced the successful commissioning of two SGE-56HM gas engines that are providing environmentally friendly electrical power for a landfill gas-to-energy project at the Milner Butte Landfill in Burley, Idaho. Siemens’ gas capture engines are helping to convert 1,000 tons of landfill waste daily into energy but SISW officials expect that amount to increase in the near future.

Decomposing waste gives off massive amounts of greenhouse gases, especially methane. SISW engineers worked with Siemens and Siemens’ channel partner, Industrial-Irrigation Services, to develop a solution that would capture the methane for use as a fuel gas to produce electricity. “We saw this gas and realized we were just wasting it by burning it for no productive use,” said SISW’s environmental manager, Nate Francisco.

To capture methane and convert it into electricity, the Milner Butte Landfill deployed two Siemens SGE-56HM gas generator sets to run on the waste gas from the landfill and generate electrical power. Once the landfill gas is converted to electricity, it is transported to Idaho Power through a 20-year purchase agreement and is used by the community as a low-cost source of power. To date, the two engines have been generating enough power for approximately 2,000 homes. Each set is rated at
1,300kWe and includes generator controls and a power panel.

Siemens SGE-HM series is purpose-built for landfill gas-to-energy power applications. By incorporating advanced technology and design into the cylinder heads, valves, camshafts, and turbochargers, the SGE-56HM engine provides customers like SISW with a high-performing low-operating-cost solution.

“We expect these engines to remain in operation for 20 to 30 years,” said Josh Bartlome, executive director at SISW. “They’re big engines built for endurance.”

SISW estimates that within the next 20 years the facility will generate approximately $36 million in revenue, netting about a third of that after costs and inflation. Creating a long-term revenue generator like this model used by SISW will allow the District to realize lower power costs.

“The Milner Butte Landfill project represents the future of distributed power,” said Chris Nagle, North American Regional Director for Siemens Gas Engines business. “This plant assists the local community with its power needs while being environmentally responsible. Siemens is proud to support SISW and Industrial-Irrigation Services with this project.”

This press release and press pictures are available at www.siemens.com/press/PR2018100009PGEN

For further information on Siemens Gas Engines, please see: https://sie.ag/2MOzVRJ

Contact for journalists
Janet Ofano
Phone: +1 803-389-6753; E-mail: janet.ofano@siemens.com

IoT Solutions World Congress will focus on the role of Women with the Women Leadership in IoT panel 0

The leading IoT event aims to contribute to reducing the gender gap within the technology industry

When the gender gap in the technology industry is analyzed, everyone admits that there is a significant difference in the number of women working in this sector if compared to men, with some studies concluding that only one out of every five tech workers is a woman. Reversing this situation is one of the challenges that the IoT Solutions World Congress, the leading event on the industrial applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) is addressing with the Women Leadership in IoT panel.

The conference will feature six inspirational women leaders in industrial IoT representing established corporations and startups: Leila Dillon, VP of Global Marketing; NA Distribution at Big Belly; Helena Lisachuk, member of the IoT Global Initiative; Beverly Rider, SVP; Chief Commercial officer and Hitachi; Eva Schönleitner, Group Vice President of Digital partnerships at ABB; and Adriana Estevez, Executive
Director for Digital Transformation and Innovation at Microsoft.

The director of IoT Solutions World Congress, Roger Bou has stressed that “for us, as the top international event within the IoT industry it is paramount to promote initiatives not only to help the sector grow but also to make it better. We strongly believe that helping women to have more presence and more important roles will also help the industry thrive.” “With this Women Leadership in IoT initiative, we also aim to create a
networking space for women in the sector to meet, discuss new ways to reduce the gender gap and network to create new opportunities for them and other women in this field”, added Bou.

Following the panel, a cocktail will be provided giving you the opportunity to connect with the panelists and other women in various aspects and careers in Industrial IoT.

The international IoT benchmark event

IoTSWC is the leading event on the industrial internet and the digital transformation of business sectors, combining a congress, a commercial exhibition, and test benches. Its next edition expects to gather together 300 exhibitors and 250 speakers from around the world. This year’s show is set to showcase the growth of the IoT and its widescale implementation across a range of industrial and business applications and will
also demonstrate the convergence of this technology with artificial intelligence and blockchain. More than 13,000 professionals from 114 countries visited the IoTSWC 2017.

IOTSWC is a part of the Barcelona Industry Week, a platform organized by Fira de Barcelona to promote the so-called Industry 4.0 and its application in all sectors. In 2018 it comprises three events, Healthio, In(3D)ustry From Needs to Solutions and IoT Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC).

Barcelona, 25th of September 2018

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