Operating costs, efficiency and availability are key business drivers for pipeline operators.
As any pipeline operator will tell you, the electrical power needed to transport oil and gas is easily the largest recurring operational expense.
Securing inexpensive and reliable electricity is imperative to controlling your bottom line. In conjunction, identifying methods to reduce your power consumption can be a powerful strategy for reducing expense – especially in today’s power generation landscape.
An effective energy management strategy is essential. So how do you create one?
You can’t fix what you can’t see. Step one in creating an energy management program is to consolidate data from your existing process automation system, power distribution network, associated instrumentation, and any other third-party intelligent electronic devices (IEDs).
This data gathering is easiest when all sources are connected on a single network with a common protocol such as Ethernet. If you use Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture®, data from these devices is already centralized, and can be mapped to the controller in real time.
Once your data is centralized, you can begin to centralize reporting, visualization, archiving and control. You can then establish your parameters for success and set up a means to measure progress.
For example, you could establish maximum daily energy limits, and then monitor your energy usage to help prevent exceeding the limit. Some other basic ideas that could be iterated upon:
Connecting data and centralizing reporting and visualization will help you with energy management efforts, but going through this process also opens your company up to additional possibilities for improving operations:
Anything that can be done to reduce energy usage while maintaining throughput can directly impact your bottom line.
Reduced energy consumption also projects a positive external market message about your commitment to reducing greenhouse gases. To learn more about strategies for energy management, or other areas for pipeline operations optimization, check out our whitepaper (PDF).