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Bringing LNG into the digital age

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LNG Industry,

Chris Dagnall, DNV GL, UK, explains how digitalisation can help deliver condition monitoring and asset management.

The growth of digitalisation and cloud solutions now means that more value can be gained from machine and equipment data and the information disseminated to more people on varying platforms than ever before.

To set this in context, one DNV GL customer operates 7500 miles of high pressure gas transmission network with 71 compressors (62 of these are gas turbine driven) located at 24 different compressor stations and terminals. Network flexibility and reliability is the key to enable the customer to meet the new mix of supply.

Understanding the importance of data and the ability to collect and analyse in real-time, DNV GL has installed its monitoring and data acquisition systems at each compressor station, collecting and monitoring data from the unit control and protection systems. DNV GL then provides the customer with data and reports on the machines and associated site equipment.

This data can then have analytics and performance algorithms applied from the central system providing operators with a better insight into the performance of their assets than before.

The solution functionality allows the following:

  • Analytics – allows machine problems to be automatically assessed and identified from the data, providing operators and engineers with updates on the condition of their equipment. Taking advantage of DNV GL’s domain experts and applying this to the large amount of data which has been gathered, this expertise is built into the system which automatically looks at current values, performance, deviations and vibration data and informs the user immediately a problem is seen.
  • Real-time reliability – updates mean time between failures (MTBF), mean time to repair (MTTR), allows an operator to see if a reliability program is working, and shows areas of degradation.
  • Predictions – failure to start and running trips can be predicted so action can be taken before they become a problem. With an operating machine, having information on a problem or trip is valuable in being able to act before the issue affects operation.
  • Condition monitoring – online monitoring and trending of machine condition enables better, more informed maintenance planning, improving the decision process and efficiency of the maintenance process. A better maintained machine is a more reliable machine optimising plant output and production.
  • Performance monitoring – aids early detection of machine degradation, manages energy consumption, improves efficiency and reduces emissions.
  • Digital twin of the asset and machinery – allows the current data to be compared to a digital representation of the machines performance. Developing problems show up as a deviation between the real data and the twin.
  • Emissions monitoring – monitor and report the emissions from gas turbine equipment.
  • Remote monitoring – through cloud solutions or client side servers, remote monitoring allows the data to get to the experts who may be at an engineering facility, a third party or an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

This article is an abridged version. The full article was published in the December 2018 issue of LNG Industry, and can be read here.

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