Oil & Gas Innovation Summer 2020 Digital | Page 49

the device seems to be operating normally, it is easy to understand why taking a unit off line to have this confirmed may seem like a low priority. In some cases, it may even seem unnecessary and nothing more than an added expense. The issue here, of course, is that these devices are in place to measure actual conditions, not merely to confirm what is expected. If an instrument’s calibration is no longer within tolerance limits, what looks like a confirmation of expected results could really be a misrepresentation of conditions that are outside of acceptable limits. This can result in costly negative consequences. As is the case with preventive maintenance, the best way to ensure the accuracy of the calibration is to adhere to a regular calibration and verification schedule. VympelCare is designed to address both of these aspects of equipment operation: preventive maintenance and calibration / verification – tasks that should be carried out on a regularly scheduled basis even when there does not appear to be an immediate need. In the best case, these two activities would be done at the same time, minimizing the downtime of the instrument involved and ensuring the device, when calibrated, is in optimal condition. This approach ensures the least interruption in service. In fact, this is a pretty good description of VympelCare: a program that provides regular maintenance as well as the best calibration / verification of Vympel instruments. More specifically, VympelCare is a regularly scheduled service provided by Vympel GmbH and OGE, designed to make it easy for the owners and operators of Vympel instruments to follow through on carrying out regular preventive maintenance and calibration. Three times a year, Vympel sets aside a week to provide VympelCare at its facilities in Düsseldorf, Germany. Customers that intend to take advantage of this service simply register in advance that they wish to reserve one of the slots available for an upcoming VympelCare session. The instruments are then sent to Vympel on the appointed date. Active promotion of VympelCare is intended to remind the owners of Vympel instruments of the importance of regular preventive maintenance and calibration, while offering an easy and economical way to carry out these tasks. By optimizing the logistics involved, a device is usually sent back to its owner in a week to ten days, ready to go back into service. The devices covered by VympelCare are Vympel’s state-of-the art chilled-mirror hygrometers of the CONG Prima, FAS, and Hygrovision series. These instruments incorporate cutting-edge technology to measure the water dew point (WDP) and hydrocarbon condensation temperature (HCT) in natural gas. These analyzers can all measure both the water dew point and the hydrocarbon condensation temperature. This type of instrument is an important quality control device that is used for a number of applications at many points along the natural gas delivery chain, from production Hygrovision mini and mini SL semi-automated manual chilled-mirror dew point analyzer. to processing and transportation. Measurement of the water dew point is a way of directly measuring the moisture content in natural gas as well as establishing the temperature at which water will condense out of the gaseous phase to form liquid droplets in the gas stream. Moisture content is an important indicator of gas quality. Gas that is too wet can result in the formation of clathrate hydrates in the pipeline, which can obstruct the gas flow and may lead to catastrophic accidents. An accurate measurement of the water dew point is critical to ensuring the quality of the gas and protecting the pipeline and other equipment. Similarly, measurement of the hydrocarbon condensation temperature provides information about the temperature at which hydrocarbons will begin to precipitate out of the gaseous phase, forming hydrocarbon liquids. The presence of these condensates in the gas flow can cause significant damage to equipment such as gas fired turbines. In addition, accurate measurement of the gas flow requires that it remain in a single phase (gaseous). As is the case with liquid water, hydrocarbon liquids in a natural gas pipeline can cause a number of problems, so knowing the temperature above which the gas must be maintained is essential information. Apart from the operational imperatives, these two measurements are also important for contractual and regulatory reasons. Failure to conform to specified water dew point and hydrocarbon condensation temperature values can result in fines, fees, or other financial penalties. VympelCare is intended to help keep these critical analyzers online and operating with as little interruption as possible, while ensuring that they provide not only accurate information, but also the “best” information. Upon arrival at Vympel GmbH in Germany, maintenance service is provided by Vympel technicians, helping to ensure that once they are returned to their owners, the analyzers will operate well without interruption. VympelCare service includes comprehensive inspection of the analyzer, cleaning of the measurement chamber, updating the software if a new version has been released, making any minor adjustments to optimize performance, and preparing the analyzer for calibration. Then these units are sent to the Open Grid Europe (OGE) lab in Essen, Germany for calibration / verification. Calibration at OGE ensures that the analyzers will provide the best information. To explain what is meant by the term “best information” it is necessary to understand that when it comes to chilled-mirror analyzers, all calibrations are not created equally. The Open Grid Europe (OGE) lab in Essen developed a method for the harmonized calibration of automatic hydrocarbon condensation temperature analyzers with different levels of sensitivity, for the GERG Project 1.64. This method establishes 5mg/m3 of hydrocarbon condensate as the threshold for reporting the condensation temperature. In other words, the temperature at which 5mg/m3 of hydrocarbon liquids have condensed onto the chilled mirror’s surface is considered to be the hydrocarbon condensation temperature. Measurements taken by an analyzer calibrated to this standard will be much less influenced by changes in gas composition, 49