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Energy Management Developing an Advanced Oil Well Monitoring System

| Author / Editor: Robert Stewart / Dominik Stephan

Oil well monitoring is not only difficult but a tedious task as well. This is primarily because a number of critically operating parameters need to be monitored, such as discharge pressure, RPM, lube oil pressure and lube oil temperature. Here’s how Lime Instruments LLC built a prototype monitoring system using solutions provided by National Instruments.

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The prototype monitoring system for Lime Instruments has been built using CompactRIO
The prototype monitoring system for Lime Instruments has been built using CompactRIO
(Picture: National instruments)

Lime Instruments is a Houston-based global provider of electrical rig-up services for land-based oil rigs as well as leading-edge controls and instrumentation for the energy industry. The company needed to build an advanced monitoring system that could survive being mounted directly to an oil well servicing pump in a rugged environment, while performing advanced analysis on sensor data.

For this, it incorporated solutions from National Instruments (NI). Using the NI Compact RIO and NI Single-Board RIO hardware along with NI Labview software, the company designed a pump monitoring Oil well monitoring is not only difficult but a tedious task as well. This is primarily because a number of critically operating parameters need to be monitored, such as discharge pressure, RPM, lube oil pressure and lube oil temperature. Here’s how Lime Instruments LLC built a prototype monitoring system using solutions provided by National Instruments.

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Developing an Advanced Oil Well Monitoring System

Oil well fracture pump monitoring and analysis using Labview and NI RIO technology system that monitors the operating parameters of a reciprocating pump used in well servicing applications. As Compact RIO and NI Single-Board RIO have the same hardware architecture, it is easy to switch between the two form factors without any major coding changes.

The company is a NI Gold Alliance Partner and wants to be the best packager and integrator of controls and instrumentation technology for any industry in which it competes. The main goal is to package the best off-the-shelf hardware available and to do it in such a way that it withstands the harshest environments commonly found in the oil field. The company feels that NI hardware and Labview software provide the optimal solution for its application and have made both the backbone of its entire control systems.

Both the engine and the transmission come equipped with an electronic interface that monitors critical functions and provides diagnostic information as the unit is running
Both the engine and the transmission come equipped with an electronic interface that monitors critical functions and provides diagnostic information as the unit is running
(Picture: National instruments)

Speed Required to Detect Momentary Pressure Pikes

Other hardware solutions that were considered were unable to provide the highspeed I/O and analysis to catch the momentary pressure spikes and vibration indications of these oil well service fracturing pumps. The field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and the ability to perform fast Fourier transform (FFT) analysis on the data made Compact RIO, NI Single-Board RIO, and Labview perfect solutions for this application.

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