Equinor is the second-largest gas supplier in Europe and operates a gas production plant on the Norwegian island of Melkøya. Natural gas extracted from the Barents Sea is liquefied here so that it can be transported by ship. The key components of the process are chains of electric compressors which must operate with appropriately high levels of reliability and availability. To achieve this, Equinor relies on an intelligent, new condition monitoring system from Siemens. The Siemens solutions allow maintenance costs to be reduced by up to 70 percent and downtimes by up to 20 percent. Equinor is simultaneously planning to extend maintenance intervals from the current three years to four by producing a digital twin.
To be able to transport the natural gas across the world from its deposits in Snøhvit in the Barents Sea, the first step is to remove water and carbon dioxide from the flow in the Melkøya plant. The purified gas is then cooled to -160 degrees Celsius and loaded onto ships in its liquid state as LNG (liquefied natural gas). This is achieved with chains of high-performance compressors in the plant which are operated and monitored in terms of their condition by Siemens technology.
Drives and operating data at a glance
The chains of compressors contain the world’s largest Simotics high-voltage and high-speed synchro-motors with an output of 65 megawatts. They include Sinamics GL converters which combine to provide a particularly high level of efficiency. For the condition monitoring and data capture functions, Equinor has chosen Sidrive IQ, the new, digital platform for monitoring, analysis and drive optimization. Data on variables such as dust loading, magnetic field density and vibration loading are captured through additional sensors on other components in the processing chain. This allows highly accurate maintenance schedules to be drawn up and downtimes to be reduced by up to 70 percent and maintenance costs by up to 20 percent.
Source: Siemens Corporation
Date: Dec 3, 2018