Pressure Management

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Pressure Management 2016-10-27T10:34:42+00:00

Gas utilities need to understand the dynamics of gas distribution through their pipeline network, from the intermediate pressure entry point at the district governor (regulator) to the low pressure connections to domestic/industrial consumers. Measurement of the pressure of gas at different points in the network therefore provides critical information.

Operationally, pressure is the most important parameter in gas distribution. A minimum pressure (typically 21 mbar in the UK or 7” water column in the US) needs to be delivered to the consumer. If this is not met, there is a risk that gas supply can be lost and/or domestic appliances fail. The consequent disconnection and reconnection process is costly and disruptive – and is always bad for customer relations.

If complaints associated with pressure are received, it is important that these are investigated and resolved rapidly, as any delay increases the risk of problems occurring and also risks losing gas through escapes (“shrinkage”).

By contrast, if gas pressure is too high, it can create leaks in the system that have to be systematically tracked down and fixed. In addition to the obvious safety concerns, natural gas is a greenhouse gas and, when released to the atmosphere without first being combusted, has a 25 times more potent global warming potential than CO2. So it is very important for the environment to keep as much gas inside the pipe network as possible.

Introducing OSPREY®

Abriox has introduced a radically new way to collect and manage gas distribution pressure data. OSPREY is a fully automatic system comprising:

  • Permanently deployed, intelligent monitoring units incorporating GPS for identification of location and precise time synchronization of data
  • Remote communication via GPRS for reports, alarms and data download
  • Integration of the data into a software platform (PressureTrac®) that can be interfaced with the model used by the gas utilities and with their in-house business systems

OSPREY completely eliminates manual data collection of pressure data, saving time and money. It also massively improves the quality of pressure data - leading to gas production savings, improved gas network efficiency and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through leakage.

osprey-rpm

OSPREY Pressure Validators can be used for:

  • Network validation - the annual process whereby pressure data, recorded at various points, confirms the accuracy of a sophisticated computer model of the gas network. This model is the basis for network planning
  • Investigations of poor pressure – responding to customer calls, monitoring the variations in pressure to the household or industrial premises and assisting in the timely resolution of the complaint
  • System maintenance – ensuring that pressures are maintained at the correct level while work on the gas network is carried out
  • Calculation of average system pressures over long term periods – OSPREY has a minimum 5 year battery life and holds 10 years of data at standard logging intervals
  • Monitoring third party feed-ins to the gas network, such as from bio-methane or fracking
  • Monitoring the intermediate pressure input to district governors (with alternative sensor pressure range 0-10 bar)

Benefits

The ability to view system pressures dynamically has immense potential for improving network management, responding to network incidents and feeding directly into average system pressure calculations.

Some of the immediate benefits OSPREY provides include:

  • Permanently installed monitors will eliminate effort in moving loggers around, with the consequent potential for data loss/misidentification
  • Quick and easy installation into existing validation posts
  • All-year-round daily data collection with data upload from all monitors on specific peak send-out dates
  • Automatic reporting – no manual collection/downloading required – with validation date calculation in software
  • Automatic alarm for low gas pressure
  • IEM™ Incident Evaluation Mode enabling customer complaints of low pressure to be intensively monitored
  • Unique identification of monitors ensuring data sourced correctly, clean and location/time-stamped
  • Single data collection activity, replacing multiple stand-alone PCs running independent systems and requiring manual moving around of data
  • Direct export of pressure validation data into the gas network model

OSPREY reduces operating costs by improving our customers’ operational efficiency. And even a small reduction in shrinkage through improved pressure management and/or faster resolution of pressure incidents will generate a massive payback on the cost of deployment.

OSPREY IS THE COMPLETE SOLUTION FOR
24/7 REMOTE PRESSURE MANAGEMENT

A completely wireless remote pressure management system for the gas and petrochemical industries.
Offering unrivalled performance, making our customers safer and more efficient. Reducing costs and environmental impact!

Innovative Design

Abriox’s key technical innovation was an on-board GPS module. The geo-positioning benefits of GPS are well known - automatically assigning data to the correct location and ensuring that a logger can always be found and retrieved. Less well known is the highly accurate timing GPS provides, so that each datum is precisely time-stamped. This combination of “time and space” eliminates the need for manual correction, allowing field data to be entered directly into the validation model.

Using this innovative approach, Abriox has been able to:

  • Speed up the deployment process and reduce errors in logger configuration or download.
  • Ensure data is always allocated to the correct location and eliminate the need for paper records to record when a logger is moved between locations.
  • Reduce instances of loggers being lost in the field.
  • Eliminate manual “cleansing” of data, such as corrections for clock drift, BST/GMT errors and node naming issues.
  • Identify the “peak send-out” date and time, with automatic collection of the relevant data.

Communications

OSPREY monitors use GPRS to report data from the field to a central HQ.

This method has several advantages:

  • Massive investment in infrastructure by GSM network providers
  • Excellent coverage in virtually all urban and semi-urban locations
  • Expanding coverage worldwide into remote/rural areas
  • Proven reliability
  • Low cost

SMS communication enables OSPREY monitors to be set up in the field using a cell/mobile phone.

communications-gsm

OSPREY monitors can be supplied with separate GSM and GPS antennas (most applicable to meter box installations) or a combined patch antenna where the OSPREY is installed in a metal enclosure.

The OSPREY system is independent of network provider. We usually supply our monitors with a roaming SIM to ensure that the strongest network is always selected automatically. This also speeds up installation and reduces inventory (no need to have “spare” monitors fitted with alternative network SIM cards). However, we can also factory fit free-issued SIMs or supply monitors for users to fit their own SIMs.

Innovative Software

PressureTrac® is a dedicated web-based pressure management software system for displaying, recording and exporting pressure data from the range of OSPREY® Pressure and Control Monitors. It also provides full remote configuration of all OSPREY monitors directly. Data is displayed both graphically and tabulated for quick and easy viewing, along with accurate GPS positioning of all devices in the field.

PressureTrac enables OSPREY monitors to be configured remotely. Device settings can be altered, providing full control and allowing changes dependent on the current environmental conditions. These include logging intervals, reporting times and alert thresholds. Alert conditions are automatically reported to users via SMS and/or email. PressureTrac can be:

  • Hosted by Abriox - This is a web based version of the software, with the database specific to each customer. Ongoing costs are dependent on the size of the OSPREY fleet.
  • Hosted by the User - the software has been designed to be installed on an in-house server, so that users have full control over their own data. There is no limit to the number of OSPREYs and no ongoing hosting costs.

User access levels are allocated via the system software to ensure that the appropriate features are available only to authorised personnel.

View the OSPREY Range

OSPREY monitors gas distribution pressure with monitors available for up to 100 mbar and up to 10 bar. PressureTrac® is Abriox’s software for configuring OSPREY monitors in the field and for displaying pressure data; it can be seamlessly integrated with network operators’ in-house pressure management systems.

Pressure Monitors

Database Software

Download the datasheets for the OSPREY Pressure Validator and our other products from our support section