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Wireless Technology The Wireless Refinery: Paving the Way to Improved Process

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

Many refineries face the challenge of environmental regulations and the ability to work within specific parameters. The use of Honeywell OneWireless Solution helped one such refinery remotely monitor itsunits, thereby giving them a solution to save money, time and resources in monitoring pressure readings refinery wide and positively impacting its environmental performance...

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Honeywell’s OneWireless solution enabled us to remotely monitor and track the data and improve our decision making.“ – Tom Rhein, Project Engineer at the Frontier El Dorado Refinery.
Honeywell’s OneWireless solution enabled us to remotely monitor and track the data and improve our decision making.“ – Tom Rhein, Project Engineer at the Frontier El Dorado Refinery.
(Picture: Honeywell)

Engineers at the Frontier El Dorado Refinery were looking for a way to efficiently monitor the load on the refinery’s flare gas recovery unit (FGRU). Whenever the rate on the unit increased, operations personnel had to scramble to determine which of the units was contributing to the load. The flare system lacked the instrumentation necessary to conclusively determine which units were contributing to the predicament, making it difficult to identify and correct the issue.

Prior to this project, operators and engineers throughout the plant expended considerable amounts of time investigating the equipment in their units to determine if it was contributing to the load on the FGRU.

Follow the Gas–Trails Back to the Cause...

“We needed to find a way to monitor which units were increasing the load on our flare gas recovery unit, so that we could proactively work to eliminate the sources of the load,” said Project Lead and Engineer, Frontier El Dorado Refinery, Tom Rhein. “We knew the total amount of material going to the FGRU, but not where it was coming from, meaning that each event required us to investigate every unit, which was time consuming and inefficient.”

Rhein and others had been looking for an opportunity to introduce wireless technology to the refinery, and this project looked like a perfect fit. “This application spanned the entire plant, and involved monitoring pressures in several remote locations,” continued Rhein. “In short, it was the perfect candidate for a wireless network.”

An Automation System, Spanning a Square Mile

After reviewing proposals from multiple vendors, the company selected to work with the Honeywell team and implement its OneWireless network. Honeywell worked with the refinery to design an optimal wireless infrastructure that would best support a system spanning almost one square mile...

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