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Retrofitted Gate Station Handles Large Pressure Drop Safely By Using Reliable Regulators

RESULTS:

  • Fail-closed safety feature ensures shut-off of flow to protect system.

    The Emerson EZHSO Series Pressure Reducing Regulator design incorporates a unique spring cartridge that offers a fail-to-open alternative, ensuring gas delivery in the event of diaphragm failure or lack of supply pressure to the pilot. The failure action is the opposite of the EZH Series spring-to-close pressure reducing regulators.
  • Operations crew is able to switch to backup with minimal impact on gas supply.
  • Improved safety feature allows response time in event of alarm situation.

APPLICATION

Natural gas gate station pressure regulation.

CUSTOMER

Public energy utility in Midwest.

CHALLENGE

Since the 1950s, this natural gas gate station has taken a twostage cut, first reducing pipeline pressure with a regulator and relief valve combination set at 350 psig, followed by another regulator and relief valve controlling the pressure at 100 psig for one of the two local distribution systems. Still another regulator and relief valve brought the pressure down further to 60 psig for the other existing distribution system. Boot-style regulators have served well in this scenario, but in recent years they have required more maintenance with replacement parts becoming scarce. When it was decided to replace the regulators in the station, the customer chose to upgrade to state-of-the-art Emerson regulators. This meant dealing with a high differential pressure.

SOLUTION

A basic single-cut design involves an operator / monitor setup for heated pipeline gas following custody metering to prevent pressure-drop freeze-ups by maintaining a 40ºF outlet temperature. In this configuration, the operator accommodates the entire pressure drop to below 100 psig. The upstream inline monitor is set at a slightly higher pressure to maintain constant over-pressure safety on the downstream supply. A redundant, or parallel, operator/monitor pair is located adjacent to the primary regulators. This identical backup configuration will take over incase of an operating failure. It is also used during maintenance periods. In the main gas gate, an EZH regulator was installed as the monitor and the Fisher EZHSO Series was chosen for use as the operator due to the potential 900 psig differential. This model is designed to “fail open” with a positive spring action. If it should cease operating for any reason, there is a high probability it will remain wide open, allowing the monitor to continue controlling the downstream pressure. This allows operations time to respond to an alarm by sending a repair crew to

To handle differential pressures higher than 800 psig the Fisher® EZH Series regulator was selected, rated for inlet pressures up to 1,500 psig. Contamination such as oil, dirt, or debris may also be present in the gas supply under those higher pipeline pressures. The rugged, spring-close EZH has hardened metal trim with a soft seat for reliable bubble-tight shutoff. It is built for severe service, able to withstand contaminants as well as pressures and velocities that are detrimental to rubber components.

the station. Generally, the crew can switch to the backup system with minimal impact on the gas supply to our customers. In the worst case, if the monitor also fails, there is a high probability it will fail-closed, shutting off the flow entirely to protect the distribution system from over-pressurizing. (Note: this setup is depicted in the diagram below right.)

ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

After about a month of operation, the gas flow was switched to the backup pair so that the operating regulators could be opened up and inspected. This was done once more following the first winter cold snap and has not require adjustment since. This system operated without incident through the winter. Annual lock-up and orifice/seat inspection are scheduled. The advantages of the EZH Series regulator design reduces the amount of time required for preventive maintenance – an additional costsaving. An additional gate station was built and is employing the same method of pressure reduction in recognition of the effectiveness of this approach for high pressure drop situations. The EZH and EZHSO Series regulators will be installed for pressure reduction to replace existing equipment in many instances, depending on the service conditions at each regulation station. Either way, the customer is committed to a retrofit program that will provide long-term reliability and security for their commercial and residential customers while reducing maintenance costs.

To learn more about how we can solve your challenging process application, contact Novaspect today.

Heating Plant Efficiency Improved with Advanced Steam Temperature Controls

RESULTS:

  • Improved temperature control with automatic operation of steam loop.
  • Increased efficiency and monitoring of steam
    generation process.
  • Added ability to isolate and maintain system with redundant backup.

APPLICATION

Industrial power co-generation plant optimization.

CUSTOMER

Midwestern university produces natural gas-generated steam for heating campus buildings.

CHALLENGE

The heating plant is responsible for keeping the 65,000 people who work and study on campus in more than 300 buildings comfortable. The facility delivers steam at 600 to 175 PSI at temperatures up to 725 degrees F, via the desuperheater station. Within it, a Fisher spray water
valve provides water to a Fisher TBX-T cooler section to cool steam down to 430 F. However, the operators are unable to adequately control the steam temperature. As a result, if steam is too hot, it could potentially damage auxiliary equipment; if too cold, there will not be effective heat transfer. Also, there are serious concerns about the wide differential stressing the system piping. The root cause of the problem: The design process operating conditions that were originally specified are not now in line with the actual plant functioning conditions.

Cooling tower water-circulation pumps at the main heating plant are critical to the efficient function of the steam generating facility.

SOLUTION

Initially, the service team inspected and replaced spray water nozzles that were plugged and/or stuck open; and replaced undersized strainer to keep debris from plugging nozzles. The team also installed reduced port trim for better control at lower required flows. Then, engineering services determined current process conditions, performed tuning, control logic and application engineering to confirm sizing of TBX, temperature sensor lengths, and resized the spray water valve. Their prescription included a reduced trim in the spray water control valve from 2” to ¾” port; and added Rosemount temperature transmitter to accommodate the longer temperature sensor length requirements at higher steam flows.

Above: spray water valve Cv performance before changes and, below, after replacement with the recommended 2-inch EZ with Microform Trim. Note the DeltaV screenshot above shows wide temperature swings between 380 and 490 F, versus the narrow range below after replacement, holding steadily around the 425 F setpoint.

BENEFITS & MEASURABLE RESULTS

The operators gained improved temperature control to enable the heating plant to operate the steam loop in automatic mode. In addition, they now enjoy the benefits of a redundant system with the ability to isolate a portion of the plant and perform maintenance when required. Improved heat transfer in the heating systems was also added, as well as decreased fatigue stress on system piping. To discuss how Novaspect can solve your challenging application, contact us today.

Above: performance chart of flow coefficient versus valve opening: existing spray water valve (2-inch EZ full port); below, improved performance of the same valve with the recommended trim change (2-inch EZ with Microform Trim, 3/4-inch port, 3/4-inch travel, maximum Cv (100%) travel) equals 10.2 / minimum Cv (5% travel) equals 0.336).

Above: undersized strainer before replacement showing clogged opening holes and accumulated scale; at right, magnified view of debris grit particles removed from the old water strainer.

Expanded Chemical Plant Process Controls to Yield Savings

RESULTS:

  • The solution saved the customer two weeks worth of time and labor
  • The dollar value associated with this is a man-hour savings of $2,000
  • The resulting value to the operation was an additional 6.1 million pounds of product manufactured

Application

Automated, distributed control system for industrial organic processing of specialty chemicals.

Customer

Specialty contract chemical manufacturer, producing sulfur dioxide as well as other reaction and distillation services.

Challenge

This involved the installation of a new sulfur burner system at the facility. The production process burns molten sulfur to create sulfur dioxide (SO2) which then is absorbed in towers converting it to ammonia bisulfite (ABS). Ammonium bisulfate, also known as ammonium hydrogen sulfate, is a white, crystalline solid with formula HSO4. It is the product of the half-neutralization of sulfuric acid by ammonia (formula: (NH4)HSO4). The ABS is used to make ammonium thiosulfate (ATS), which is used as a component in fertilizer. This facility’s chemical processing system is automatically controlled by Emerson DeltaV and CHARacterization Module (CHARM) technology. DeltaV is a distributed control system that helps improve operations by harnessing predictive technologies in an easy, intuitive, and interoperable way. Emerson Asset Management Software (AMS) was also an integral part of the installation success. AMS provides a single application for predictive diagnostics, documentation, calibration management, and device configuration for managing field instruments and digital valve controllers.

Solution

Since this was a new installation of an expansion of plant capabilities, Novaspect engineers recommended AMS as a commissioning tool. By using its capabilities, we provided additional value to the commissioning with instrumentation set up, configuration and troubleshooting.

Benefits & Measurable Results

Combining the DeltaV CHARMs solution with AMS and the DeltaV Batch program, the operation gained measurable benefits:

  • The solution saved the customer two weeks worth of time and labor. The dollar value associated with this is a man-hour savings of $2K. The resulting value to the operation was an additional 6.1 million pounds of product manufactured.
  • Customer experienced improved startup time relative to other comparable startups.
  • Benefits of diagnostic and troubleshooting capabilities will shorten future repair cycles, as required.
  • Process time-savings: To comply with standard procedures, technicians normally need hot-work permits to open any control cabinets. By using AMS they can bypass the permitting process and enter electronically via DeltaV, thereby avoiding physical entry into cabinets, all accomplished by using a HART communicator. The results yielded valuable time savings.
  •  Due to the success of this project, the customer has accelerated the use of AMS at other production facilities.

Plant Manager: “During the commissioning phase of the project, representatives from Novaspect help set up the DeltaV system. In that time, we were taught the ins-and-outs of AMS, including the alarm features and instrument templates. This provided valuable information for us to make commissioning and troubleshooting more efficient. The success of this project relied heavily on the knowledge shared about AMS to provide live diagnostics of instrumentation and how to correlate them to issues seen in the process.”

Contact us today to discuss how Novaspect can improve the profitability of your operation.

Chemical Facility Expanded & Modernized With Digital Process Automation

RESULTS:

  • Novaspect provided project implementation leadership to train a relatively inexperienced project team to achieve industry best practices.
  • Customer operation experienced an improved line startup relative to similar startup projects.
  • A measurably high-quality resin was produced in the first batch after line startup.

APPLICATION

Automated, distributed control system for industrial organic processing of specialty chemicals

CUSTOMER

Specialty contract chemical manufacturer, producing epoxy resins and other epichlorohydrin derivatives as well as other reaction and distillation services.

CHALLENGE

The customer was expanding their facility with an additional processing reactor train housed in a new building requiring Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) intrinsically safe for hazardous conditions. All primary vessels and associated pumps, piping and control systems were custom manufactured for this service and are located within the new building. The epichlorohydrin bulk storage tanks, located in a remote external tank farm, were designed to meet the specialty chemical contract requirements. Compared to “typical” batch epoxy reactors, the primary reactor is relatively large at 12,500 gal. which provides high throughput. A second 12,500 gal. vessel serves as a versatile container for additional secondary reaction and treatment as needed for solvent washing and vacuum stripping of epichlorohydrin or solvent with azeotrope recovery. A third 12,500 gal. vessel adds additional post reaction flexibility.

SOLUTION

Novaspect engineers collaborated with the customer team to design a DeltaV control system fitted to the new batch process and reactor train. Despite the advantages of a brownfield expansion, the project had a tight schedule and budget constraints. The custom configuration included DeltaV Characterization Module (CHARMS)Technology with AMS and DeltaV Batch. AMS Device Manager helps avoid unnecessary costs with a universal window into the health of intelligent field devices. It gives maintenance and operations personnel the ability to work smarter. Based on real-time condition data from intelligent field devices, plant staff can respond fast and make informed decisions on whether to maintain or replace equipment or field devices.

BENEFITS & MEASURABLE RESULTS

  • Novaspect engineers provided project implementation leadership and best practices to train a relatively inexperienced customer project team.
  • Customer experienced a profitable line startup relative to similar startup projects in the past.
  • High quality results were produced on the first batch after startup.
  • Due to the success of this project, the customer has accelerated the modernization of this and other production facility sites with similarly designed DeltaV distributed control systems. In the words of the Plant Manager: “Novaspect’s process methodology enabled us to come in on time and have a saleable product with our first batch.”

To learn more about how we can solve your challenging process application, contact Novaspect today.

How to improve natural gas distribution with Novaspect

Novaspect is a prominent provider of measurement, engineering, repair and regulation solutions to the natural gas delivery, transportation and storage markets. Through our partnership with Emerson Process Management, we are well positioned to meet our clients’ natural gas process control, engineering and support needs.

Process control applications

Our highly skilled engineering consultants will work with you to optimize your process and equip your team with the expertise, knowledge, and technology you need to improve performance. Novaspect aims to increase reliability and maximize safety through the provision of customized and pre-packaged solutions tailored to meet your specific requirements, while simultaneously leveraging analytics to yield enhanced performance and management insight.

Pressure regulators and control valves

At Novaspect, we understand that process control requires technologically advanced valves and regulators—that’s why we use Fisher pressure regulators and control valves automated with actuators, indicators and limit switches. Valves play a critical role in natural gas distribution, reducing gas leakage and emissions that, if unregulated, may lead to significant negative atmospheric effects. With this in mind, we ensure our valves and controllers bleed zero gas under reliable conditions and minimal gas while in transit, thereby helping you meet environmental objectives.

Control systems

Through our partnership with Emerson, Novaspect assures safety and reliability with the DeltaV control system. Definitively designed for your process control applications, DeltaV’s safety instrumentation system offers the following features:

  • Optimum process reliability
  • Simple safety lifecycle management
  • Affordable installation

Areas of expertise

Novaspect is well versed in numerous aspects of the natural gas industry, including the following:

  • Pressure regulators and control valves
  • Remote automation
  • Lines and pilot heaters, including supply gas heating while in transit
  • Filters and separators that facilitate gas treatment by filtering excessive hydrocarbons within a gas stream
  • Engineering services
  • Repair services, including valve repair outsourcing

At Novaspect, we pride ourselves on assisting our customers in profiting from automation technologies, as well as helping you detect other safety risks and improve your processes according to industry best practices. To access automation assets, increase performance and maximize safety while distributing natural gas, contact us today.

 

How to ensure plant safety with flame and detonation arrestors

A fire or explosion at a plant can cause serious property damage—not to mention project setbacks. With these risks in mind, it’s critical to use flame and detonation arrestors to ensure safe day-to-day operations, particularly within the oil and gas, chemical production, petrochemical and other industries that rely on explosive and inflammable chemicals.

If you’re seeking innovative pressure management technology to prevent fires and explosions, look no further than Novaspect. Our experienced engineers have worked with myriad companies to install high-quality flame and detonation arrestors produced by Emerson.

End-of-line flame arrestors

End-of-line flame arrestors are used externally and can be placed directly on the vent nozzle or at the end of a vent line. Ideal for atmospheric-pressure storage and transportation vessels, this type of arrestor prevents any flames in the vent from reaching the interior of the storage vessel.

Inline flame arrestors

Although inline flame arresters are always placed strategically on the inside of the piping, their exact location depends on the distance from the identified source of potential ignition. If the ignition source’s location hasn’t been identified, a detonation arrestor is a more appropriate choice.

Ensuring plant safety

Plant safety and operational efficiency start with pressure management for explosive and inflammable materials, which involves using pressure relief valves to prevent buildup in storage units. When layered on top of pressure regulators, flame and detonation arrestors act as an additional safety measure.

To select the arrestor that best fits your plant’s unique needs, Novaspect engineers carry out an in-depth plant analysis to identify specific safety risks. Factors considered during this risk assessment include:

  • Assets that require protection
  • Potential explosion risks
  • Potential explosion locations
  • Sources of ignition
  • Operating variables (e.g. pressure, temperature)

At Novaspect, our engineers work hand in hand with yours to install and test arrestors in conjunction with alarm systems, monitoring systems, automation systems, emergency response systems and pressure relief valves, all while taking into account ignition sources, pressure regulators and the explosive atmosphere.

       

 

Improve network firewall security with DeltaV

Cybersecurity is an ongoing concern for many companies, but the DeltaV system will ease your worries. DeltaV helps you comply with current security policies and creates a secure network that protects your information from cyber threats.

How DeltaV works

Incorporated security attributes

DeltaV creates an independent control system network that is isolated from your other networks, using the latest operating system to harden templates and disable idle services to optimize security.

Survey and maintenance devices

DeltaV monitors and manages network devices, facilitating regular system repairs and damage assessment on secured workstations so physical access to equipment is not required, which reduces the risk of breach. By ensuring there are no open network ports, the potential for unauthorized access is eliminated.

Upgraded system availability

All network equipment delivered with DeltaV is thoroughly tested and supported to eliminate incompatibility issues during implementation and running. In addition, problem-solving is easier and quicker with DeltaV, as the system can easily invalidate component compatibility issues.

Products

DeltaV firewall controller

Installed between embedded nodes and workstations, the DeltaV firewall controller provides increased protection against message flooding and cyber attacks. As a plug-and-play device, the controller does not require management and has the ability to deliver increased security without an IP address and a disabled web interface. Keep in mind that this device is intended to provide supplemental protection to a system already following cybersecurity best practices.

Benefits associated with using the DeltaV firewall controller include:

  • Additional protection: If a security risk evaluation establishes the need for reinforced cyberattack protection, installation of the firewall controller may reduce potential threats.
  • Easy installation: The firewall controller is set up to conform to the DeltaV communication rules. Simply connect the network cables to activate this layer of protection.
  • Extra security: Whether you’re looking to shore up protection during the initial system setup or at a later date, safeguards can be implemented at any time.

DeltaV network smart firewall

This combined intrusion detection system and perimeter firewall are designed for easy installation and perimeter security maintenance. In addition to its straightforward interface of user-friendly setup menus, the DeltaV network smart firewall security offering has the following benefits:

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Meets new security standards
  • Simple to install and maintain

Database security breaches can have disastrous consequences, which makes it imperative to protect a company’s control systems and network connections against cyber threats. The DeltaV system meets this need in the form of powerful, cost-effective, easy-to-use software and hardware.

Sustainable development of the renewable energy space

Eco-focused companies have been working to perfect the production of renewable energy for years. Although it is now possible to produce renewable energy on a mass scale, high production costs continue to be a challenge, which in turn affect the cost of the end product. As a result, high-priced renewable energy frequently has a tough time competing with lower-priced oil and natural gas offerings. At Novaspect, we understand that the future of the potential energy industry depends heavily on having the ability to streamline operations in a cost-effective manner across a wide range of renewable energy areas, including ethanol production, solar energy conversion and biogas.

Why choose Novaspect?

At Novaspect, we have confidence in renewable energy as a long-term energy solution. With this in mind, we aim to assist renewable energy companies in becoming reliable energy producers and gaining a competitive advantage over producers of other forms of energy. With a high market demand forecast for renewable energy, the main challenge is cost, meaning that implementing a streamlined production process will likely yield an exponential growth in market share.

The Novaspect technique involves leveraging the operational certainty model of Emerson Automation Solutions—a technique proven to improve reliability, minimize emissions, optimize production and increase safety. We will work with you to improve overall plant performance through the implementation of the Emerson Plantweb Digital Ecosystem, which will decrease your operations- and maintenance-related costs and ensure all inputs are highly utilized to minimize wastage.

Benefits of working with Novaspect

Thanks to a background in working with a number of reputable renewable energy producers, Novaspect’s experts have amassed a wealth of knowledge on applying innovative techniques and cutting-edge technological approaches to optimize your operations and improve your bottom line. Companies in the ethanol industry should consider working with Novaspect to unlock the following benefits:

  • Optimization of continuous processes while combating common operational challenges in milling, cooking, liquefaction, distilling, evaporation, heat exchangers and blending—just to name a few.
  • Minimization of overall fuel consumption in boiler rooms and drying processes, which is achieved without affecting overall production and ultimately yields major energy savings.
  • Reduction of pressure swings with our proven pressure control strategies, as well as assistance with the expert tuning of regulators, relief valves, rank blanketing and more to protect your machines from pressure-related damage and ensure appropriate pressure management.
  • Well-monitored process management from procurement to actual production, achieved using our control system design and implementation services.
  • Effective plant management through the use of machinery protection systems for rotary equipment and personnel, including predictive maintenance and alarm management.

Let a team of experts from Novaspect conduct an assessment and help you improve your renewable energy plant performance by deploying a range of tools and equipment such as alarm management, the Plantweb Advisor Series, support plans, prediction and protection systems, valve and instrument services, asset life extension, Plantweb Digital Ecosystems and more.

Resolving bottlenecks in the refining industry

No matter what segment of the refining industry you are in, maximizing efficiency and increasing throughput are the keys to profit maximization. At Novaspect, we take your company’s manufacturing uptime just as seriously as you do, and we go the extra mile to help you find solutions that improve all facets of your process. Whether you’re looking to streamline processing, transmission or production, we’ll help you optimize your overall approach for maximum efficiency.

We understand refining

One of the problems we keep seeing again and again in the refining industry involves bottlenecks developing where integrated systems are concerned. Just one component that isn’t sized correctly or has too short a lifespan can create havoc for your whole system. Our years of expertise coupled with our capability to deliver can help alleviate these system choke points with innovative design and properly installed solutions.

Recently our team of professionals was called upon to help find a permanent solution for a large refinery processor plagued with bottlenecks that were having a detrimental effect on operational efficiency and cutting into the plant’s possible profits.

Finding solutions

The problem involved the plant’s gas-oil hydrotreater (GOHT) and distillate hydrotreater (DHT) in the production of light cycle gas oil (LCGO). The high-pressure separator let-down service was constantly being flagged as a system constraint, resulting in a system shutdown.

Further compounding the problem was an incredibly short lifespan on both valves. Valve and trim washout, coupled with the excessive vibration of the two valves, were creating packing problems and premature yoke failure. This was being caused by improper valve sizing, which resulted in choked flow conditions. Necessary repair and replacement of the valves was taking the whole system offline every 15 months, greatly impacting the company’s bottom line.

That’s before Novaspect got involved.

Our team wasted little time diagnosing the problem and quickly collaborated with system engineers to devise a solution that solved a number of the plant’s issues. First, we dug into the whole system to understand the complete set of conditions that went into creating the underlying problem. The outgassing conditions were present in both normal and temporary feel slate conditions.

Innovating solutions

Once we had a better idea of the valve flow coefficient required, the solution wasn’t far behind: Novaspect designed a customized Fisher HPAS valve specifically for this company’s process. The valve’s body was redesigned to meet the piping and material requirements of our client, as well as to prevent the choked flow, vibration and erosion that had been wreaking havoc.

The impact that Novaspect’s solution had on our client’s process system was evident almost immediately after the new valves had been installed, as the complete project’s return on investment was realized with 24 hours. Further, the new customized valve solution has not failed in the 96 months since installation, greatly improving on the previous valves’ 15 months. Ultimately, this client’s system efficiency, safety and production have all been enhanced thanks to our expert knowledge and innovation.

At Novaspect, we seek to understand the challenges our customers face so we can design systems and solutions that simply work. We’re committed to delivering the right innovation to the right people at the right time. Contact us today and let us help you solve your challenges together.

 

 

Novaspect’s approach to project execution

Novaspect’s team of experts has vast experience in successful project execution. We have the resources and technical know-how to improve your current business model, drawing upon research from all over the globe and applying the latest innovations to maximize your infrastructure. The Novaspect approach to project execution takes the following factors into account.

Process management

Our team of engineers will work with you locally to fine-tune and automate your plant assets, ultimately turning your more efficient management approach into a competitive advantage. Novaspect’s areas of process management focus include software, combustion tuning, cybersecurity, alarm systems, performance management and data management.

Control systems

We use DeltaV Control System to enhance the performance and reliability of your projects. This all-in-one control system encompasses process automation, combustion, safety and internal control, as well as distribution systems. Serving as the command center of your business, the system uses information from your sensors, frequency drives, motor control centers, digital valves and other sources to accurately implement input controls as needed. Moreover, DeltaV uses off-the-shelf technology to ensure a cost-benefit advantage as well as optimized performance.

Reliable valves

At Novaspect, we have a wide range of both automatic and manual valves to suit our customers’ needs. We understand that valve requirements vary widely across industries, and will work with you to pinpoint the most appropriate type for your operations, including final control isolation, ball valves, globe valves, butterfly valves and gate valves.

Engineering solutions

Streamlining operational processes is vital for a healthy bottom line. With this in mind, the Novaspect team will inspect your plant and make recommendations on facilitating and budgeting for planned outages, upgrades and repairs, reports, execution support and other necessary maintenance, with the goal of preventing more costly repairs or potential safety issues down the road. Let Novaspect work with you to implement planned outages and establish operational certainty that an unplanned outage will not occur anytime soon.

At Novaspect, we leverage the latest technology to improve your operational processes in a safe and cost-effective manner. Our team works closely with your team to find long-term solutions that meet your unique needs.