Pressure Monitors

Pressure Monitors 2017-03-29T12:50:00+00:00

Gas distribution companies use network analysis models to underpin financial decisions in relation to asset investment.
The accuracy of these models is determined through a rolling annual cycle of pressure validation and model build and update. Pressure data, recorded at various points, confirms the accuracy of a sophisticated computer model of the gas network.

Pressure validation is carried out over the winter months, when demand on the gas network is greatest. Pressure data for a specific date and time, typically identified from peak "send-out", is logged at various points in the distribution network and entered into the model.

The validation date/time is not known until the end of the winter – this means that huge amounts of data are collected but only a tiny fraction of it is actually used.

Once the model has been validated (ie shown to correspond to real-life data), it is released to the planners and used as the basis for decisions on new infrastructure, pipe replacements, etc. If a new housing estate or factory is built, the extra demand for gas can be modelled and predicted so that changes in delivery can be made to meet the required standards.

The primary objective is to supply all consumers with adequate pressure while operating the network at the lowest pressure commensurate with this. This also minimises gas leakage.

Historically the validation process has been manual and very inefficient; some of the problems faced by gas utilities when validating their networks include:

  • Large amount of time and effort spent putting out and collecting data loggers
  • Monthly manual downloading of loggers while they are in the field
  • Checking that the data has been collected from the right location
  • Human errors in setting up loggers and downloading of data
  • Loggers lose battery power and all the data is lost
  • Drifting electronics causing inaccurate timing (including daylight saving time offset errors)
  • A disproportionate amount of time spent collating data from multiple independent workstations and cleansing it before the peak send-out time/date can be confirmed

Abriox’s OSPREY® system reduces costs for gas utilities and improves the quality and reliability of the validation data. In turn the improved network model will enable better decisions to be taken to optimise the gas network, reducing the volume of gas into supply required to deliver minimum service levels and thereby also reducing gas leakage emissions.

In addition to the validation benefits, the ability to view system pressures dynamically improves network management, enabling incidents or customer complaints of low pressure to be resolved more quickly. This can reduce leakage and creates improved customer satisfaction. OSPREY pressure data can also feed directly into average system pressure calculations.

The OSPREY Pressure Validator is extremely versatile and, as well as pressure validation, can be deployed in IEM™ (Incident Evaluation Mode) to cater for emergency situations including poor pressure, blockages and ingress or non-routine operations on the gas distribution network. The unit can be accessed directly giving accurate pressure in real time.

OSPREY Pressure Monitors

The OSPREY range of pressure monitors are intrinsically safe, battery-powered Remote Monitoring Units (RMUs) that can be installed in bollards, posts and meter boxes to monitor gas pressure. It transmits gas pressure data automatically or on-demand to the PressureTrac® system for displaying, interpreting and archiving the results and for export into network validation software and other business systems.

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

Measurements

For low (distribution) pressure including validation and poor pressure investigation, the standard single-channel OSPREY Pressure Validator can monitor pressure between 0 - 100 mbar.

For medium/intermediate pressure measurements, including governor feed and MP/IP maintenance operations, the bolt-on TALON can monitor pressure between 0 - 10 bar.

OSPREY can be configured to take readings and log data at pre-set intervals – which will determine the overall battery lifetime. As a typical example, the OSPREY memory can store over 10 years of data at 6 second reads and 6 minute logging. The read and log rates are completely configurable and can be easily changed via the PressureTrac software.

Incident Evaluation Mode

Gas networks have a duty to respond to reports of low gas pressure, the cause of which must be investigated, determined and resolved. The quicker this is done, the more satisfied the consumer will be with the service provided and, in the case of a leak, the less gas will be lost. There is an obvious health and safety incentive to resolve such issues as soon as practicable.

There are numerous potential causes for low or fluctuating pressure including pipework design, environmental effects such as freezing temperatures or water ingress, increased demand elsewhere in the network, regulator failure, etc. In cases where the cause of poor pressure is not evident, monitoring the gas supply to the affected and surrounding premises can provide essential information, enabling the results of investigative and remedial work to be confirmed immediately.

Abriox has therefore designed into OSPREY a unique Incident Evaluation Mode (IEM™). Once configured in IEM, the OSPREY automatically transmits all pressure data to its software HQ every 12 hours, so that fluctuations can be remotely monitored and compared at one or more locations.

Compared to the old manual system of data logging over a 1-2 week period, downloading the data and then analyzing it after the event, OSPREY provides a real-time, dynamic picture of the investigation. This typically enables incidents to be cleared up in hours and days, rather than in weeks!

Shrinkage

A large gas network typically deals with thousands of gas escapes per year. The ISO 14001 international standard of environmental excellence has a rigorous approach to environmental management. Gas networks accredited to this standard will continuously benchmark their environmental performance with the aim of reducing natural gas emissions (“shrinkage”) from their activities and assets.

Nationally hundreds of millions of £/$ are spent on maintenance and shrinkage annually. With a more accurate recording system and data stream, there is the potential for financial savings to be made through more effective pressure management.

OSPREY offers the opportunity to reduce costs associated with maintenance and shrinkage. Even a very small reduction in either area will generate a massive payback on the capital cost of the system.

Database 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.
Learn More

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

For user manuals, quick start guides and software updates, please visit the support section

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Contact us for more information on how Abriox remote monitoring systems can improve your network management

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