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Innovative power management solution links five oil rigs from single source

Siemens UK & Ireland has helped develop an innovative and integrated power management system based upon its SIMATIC PCS 7 platform, which has been specified for use on a collection of five oil rigs situated in the Caspian Sea.

Extreme operating conditions and limited space on each rig to locate the technology meant the task involved devising a power management system with generator and control room functionality stationed on one rig. It also needed the ability to remotely manage and control the turbine and switchgear power and process automation requirements of all five rigs’ plants as a single integrated solution.

Siemens SIMATIC PCS 7 Power Control was selected as the primary system to create what is effectively a ‘power island’, making it feasible for all operators to be trained on a single system, eliminating the requirement for a number of separate systems, and reducing multiple hardware needs. The creation of the power island to control all aspects of electrical and power distribution across the five rigs is industry’s first use of PCS 7 technology in this way.

Siemens Solution Partner, Industrial Control Systems (ICS) worked alongside Siemens to develop the integrated solution. Steve McDermott, director at ICS, said: “The challenge was to implement a fast-acting load management system, together with the process automation system, as a single integrated answer. We selected the SIMATIC PCS 7 Power Control system because it allows for the in-depth degree of integration we were seeking and it offered a complete process and discrete equipment control solution as one package.

“The system ensures power is shared equally, and at the right frequency and voltage, across the five oil rigs, with all controllers linked together and supervision undertaken from a single control room featuring the ability to communicate remotely with the different platforms. The Caspian Sea is a very challenging operating environment with extreme temperatures and weather conditions. It means the software at the heart of the system has to be durable and proven. This is the case with PCS 7.

“The integrated power management system now controls everything on the five rigs from a single source, including electrical distribution, voltage, heat recovery and process automation. The system also includes PCS 7 standard alarm management which vastly reduces instances of alarm overloading for operators. The overall system is designed to deliver real operational efficiencies and cost effectiveness, and is an ideal solution for challenging projects of this type of complexity.”

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