Particularly during the winter season energy demands can peak, which requires high volumes of gas to be brought to the transmission network quickly. Gas is stored in underground caverns or reservoirs allowing a high volume of storage to meet the high demand particularly in the winter months. Undesirable solids, retrieved due to the high velocity required, can damage pipework and fixed equipment, potentially resulting in loss of containment or more severe incidents. Monitoring for corrosion during the retrieval is a cost-effective way of ensuring safety to personnel and the environment whilst maintaining the high utilisation demanded by the gas network.
Network operators looking to maximise their utilisation are unknowingly running their fixed and rotating equipment at a limited capacity, as they try to manage the risk of loss of containment. Operators can be fined for not delivering the required quantity of gas to the network, meaning that it is a constant battle to deliver whilst avoiding unplanned downtime.
Monitoring the risk and impact of corrosion and erosion using sensors is cost effective and improves safety in the facility, whilst reducing potential leaks into the environment. Operators can have peace of mind that the facility is operating safely, whilst meeting required utilisation levels.
Emerson’s Roxar™ Sand Acoustic Monitor (SAM) measures the quantity of solid particles in the flow. Attached using a strap, the SAM gives continuous indication of solids content in the fluid, alerting operators in the control room when a threshold is reached through an alarm system. Inline probes supported by the Rosemount™ 4390 Series Wireless Transmitter provide live readout of fluid at the operators’ desk to give a live readout of the risk to the fixed equipment.
Planning for the Future
Gathering such volumes of data is useful not only for live monitoring of the health of the plant, but also for informing on the future. Operators can seamlessly gather, store, and share solids production risk and erosion impact across key decision makers to enhance storage and retrieval operations in the future. Engines, pumps, and chokes are also heavily affected by solids production. Based on solids production data, operators can enhance reliability programs and avoid unwanted erosion events. Understanding optimal flow rates and anticipating demands placed upon the facility before they happen helps to prevent unplanned downtime, costly fines, and potential incidents.
Online corrosion monitoring is fast becoming industry best practice with the availability of data-to-desk monitoring systems that provide previously unachievable quality and frequency of online measurements. The sensors deliver live particle monitoring and wall thickness measurements directly to the desk for analysis by engineers and inspectors informing on the current condition of the equipment at any point in time with no additional maintenance or costs. The quality and frequency of the measurements enables variations in solids rates to be detected, measured, and acted upon while the plant is operating.
Network operators can maximise their utilisation, whilst avoiding costly under-delivery penalties, with peace of mind that their equipment is operating safely with no risk to loss of containment. Contact our sales teams today to understand how you can digitally transform your gas storage operation through continuous corrosion monitoring.