Pump control on the edge

Electromach has developed a solution for a special offshore pump system. After examination of the details, we ran into location and maintenance challenges. 36 pump control panels are placed on the edge of an offshore platform in Saudi Arabia.

At Electromach all projects are customer based and include the development of application software, manufacture, assembly, testing and on site commissioning. And of course, we take care of the accessory piles of complicated paperwork.

Control-panels for pump control
Following previously delivered pump controllers, Electromach received an order to supply VFD control panels for their pump systems.

Our client is a globally leading manufacturer of diaphragm metering and process diaphragm pumps as well as complete metering systems for process technology.
As a researching and producing company, they developed groundbreaking techno-logies for the industry. They prove that day by day and create solutions for the various applications of our customers.
Customers do not only benefit from their wide portfolio of pumps and systems but also complementary products of renowned corporate partners.

Project Description
Our client has received, via an Italian engineering company, an order to supply pump skids to a Saudi Arabian Oil Company for installation on several offshore platforms. The fields are located approximately 150 kilometres northeast of Jubail industrial city, in the Arabian Gulf.

The Gas Program will construct an onshore greenfield Central Processing Facility (CPF) capable of processing 70 million standard cubic meter per day of gas from the offshore fields. The gas program produces approximately 50 million m²/day of sales gas to meet market needs for local feedstock and support the national economy. Production start-up is scheduled for 2014.

Engineering and Construction
The EPIC contract for the complete development of two fields, encompasses the engineering, procurement, fabrication and installation of a total of 12 wellhead platforms, 2 tie-in platforms and 1 injection platform, besides to a 36 inches 260-kilometres-long export trunkline and approximately 200 kilometres of mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) pipelines, 200 kilometres of subsea electric and control cables and 40 kilometres of offshore flowlines. The scope of work also includes the shore approaches and about 120 kilometres of onshore pipelines.

The pump skids have been developed and built entirely in-house.
Both our client and Electromach meet the stringent specifications of the customer who is one of the major oil producing companies in the world.

For controlling the Pump Systems Electromach had to deliver the following accessories:
•  4 x Ex-d Local Control Panels (Direct Online Starter Panels)
• 36 x VFD Control Panels
• 36 x Ex-d Local Control Panels ( LCP )
• 36 x Ex-d / e Maintenance Switch Panels
• 80 x Terminal boxes

An electric motor with variable speed controls the pump drive on the skid. The VFD control panels therefore exist mainly of an inverter and related control, for controlling the main pump.
The VFD control panels will be placed in a (non - Ex) Safe area.
Local Control Panels, Switch Panels and Terminal boxes are mounted on the Pump-Skid and are conducted according to ATEX Ex II 2G Exde IIB T5 specification.
The LCP is used for the operation of the pump and the Switch Panel is designed as a maintenance switch in the motor cable.

On the edge
The panels are built on an offshore wellhead platform with only a limited footprint available.
Because the required power is considerable, up to 185kW and given the limited space, the challenge was to deliver compact panels which were equipped with cooling.
Due to the heat development in the panels and the climatic conditions, an external cooling system was chosen.

Quick connect / Disconnect
An additional requirement was that the cooling system could be quickly disassembled for maintenance or emergencies. This has resulted in a modular air-conditioning system, which was placed on top of the control panel. The panels are specially tailored for this project as well as the air-conditioning systems, based on our HVAC series Inpac 63 from our partners, Specific Systems out of the USA.

To ensure sufficient solidity, a solution was chosen in which the panels were mounted in a frame. On top of this, another frame was mounted with the air conditioning system. A quick interchangeability was found in placing quick connections, as is common in the container world. Every air conditioner is equipped with an autonomous control and can, via two integrated cables and connectors, be quickly connected to the VFD-panel.
Due to the circumstances of the Climate Control, the VFD Control Panels had to be fully implemented in stainless steel and covered in a special coating. This coating is based on a silicone lacquer, such used in the Skid and other on-site systems.
All systems are delivered to our client, where a variety of assembly takes place, testing and F.A.T. (factory Acceptance Test) with the customer. After the F.A.T, expedition to the customer will be arranged.

ATEX certified panels
Besides the special designed 36 safe area VFD panels with airco for the pumps with a power-rating of up to 165 KW the scope included also an amount of explosion proof panels:

  • 4 Ex-d Motor starter Control Panels , ATEX certified Ex 2G Exd IIB T5, make Stahl Series 8264 (Cubex), for operating and control of the pumps with a maximum of 25KW. Panel is a (DOL) Direct Online motor starter.
  • 36 Ex-d Local Control Panels (LCP), ATEX certified Ex 2G Exd IIB T5, make Stahl Series 8264 (Cubex), for operating the VFD pump control.
  • 32 Ex-d / e Maintenance Switch Panels. It’s a combination of a Cubex enclosure, Stahl series 8264, and a Exe termination chamber. Combination ATEX certified Ex II 2G Exde IIB T5.
  • 72 Terminal boxes ATEX certified Ex II 2G EExe II T6 make Electromach series JBE, for connection of all the field-instrumentation and ESD signals.

If you have any questions, please contact us.