ODVA Develops Ethernet-Based Energy Monitoring

ODVA has launched a new energy initiative, in cooperation with major suppliers including Cisco Systems, Rockwell Automation and Schneider Electric, to develop a comprehensive approach to the optimization of energy usage for the industrial consumer, an approach that would be scalable, open and inclusive for both users and suppliers. The ODVA objective is to simplify the understanding of energy consumption, enabling industrial plant operators to use control methodologies that can optimize energy usage.

ODVA wants to improve the visibility of energy data throughout the layers of the production information systems used by production planners. "The starting point for ODVA's energy initiative is to ensure that energy data can be seen throughout the production domain in order to empower industrial consumers with the energy information they need to solve their energy consumption and efficiency problems in a holistic manner," said Katherine Voss, executive director, ODVA. ODVA expects broad participation and support by many of its members.

Fred Cohn, director of Network Strategy for Industry Business at Schneider Electric, a principal member of ODVA, concluded, "Schneider Electric supports active energy efficiency by enabling customers to optimize energy use with monitoring and control. We believe that our solution for industrial consumers will be enhanced by ODVA’s efforts to broaden EtherNet/IP to provide energy awareness and improved management capabilities."

ODVA presented an overview of this vision for optimization of energy usage for the industrial consumer at its 2011 Industry Conference and Annual meeting, held March 1-3 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Midland ACS' Stemsaver Said to Prevent Filter-Regulator Failure

Midland-ACS is part of ITT Flow Control, and as such appear to be destined to sit in the new ITT spin-off in the water business, but its activity is mainly in severe and hazardous areas, supplying pneumatic and hydraulic valve actuation components and systems. Acquired by ITT as part of a bigger group, maybe they did not really understand the business!

In a product launch last week at the First Friday Club in London, Midland-ACS blew open a gaping hole in the claimed SIL ratings advertised for the pneumatically operated emergency shutdown valves used on many offshore platforms and refineries. Its product is called the OPD Stemsaver, which guards against any failure of the filter-regulator used in the pneumatic supply of ESD valve actuators by providing dual-redundant over-pressure protection.

Normal assessments of SIL ratings for these ESD valves take care to exclude the filter regulator, bolted onto the side of the valve. Failure of these regulators usually results in exposure of the valve actuators to excessive pressure that could be high enough to shear a valve stem or cause other damage. Responsible operators, such as Statoil, have recognized the problem that this regulator can fail fully open, and specify the actuator materials to tolerate the full over-pressure capability of the system, often requiring expensive special valve stems.

In fact, Midland-ACS developed OPD Stemsaver in response to a request from an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor working for a North Sea oil producer. A failed filter-regulator offshore had led to the cover of a pneumatic actuator being blown off, leading to costly downtime and valve repair for the operator. The Midland-ACS OPD Stemsaver design avoids this possibility by providing a dual-redundant pressure regulation facility with one diaphragm regulator, coupled to a spring-tensioned poppet valve. The use of these two different regulation mechanisms provides additional reliability. When the poppet valve trips, the air pressure in the actuator is vented to atmosphere, and the pneumatic supply is isolated. A reset button also pops up automatically as a visible trip indicator. This can be linked to a proximity switch to provide feedback to the plant's distributed control system (DCS).

Over 100 of these OPD Stemsaver valves have been supplied offshore in the last year, on the projects undertaken by this EPC contractor. Having highlighted the problem to various other operators, further installations of the OPD Stemsaver are anticipated.

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