Radio system for simple temperature sensors

Signatrol, the Tewkesbury (UK) based manufacturer of the SpyDaq wireless temperature and humidity data logging system, has been awarded a UK patent for some of the communications aspects of SpYdaq, that make their system reliable, yet simple and cost efficient for pharma and food industry monitoring.

Initially designed to monitor and record temperature and humidity in buildings and storage areas, SpYdaq enables easy compliance with HACCP, EN12830, FDA CFR21 Part 11 and other relevant standards – where careful inviolate monitoring of storage conditions is required for quality reasons and to comply with legislation.

Unlike other similar systems on the market, SpYdaq features a unique high redundancy data package, specifically designed by Signatrol and it is this that has been recognized by the Patents Office and the award of UK Patent number 2479520.

SpYdaq monitors key parameters and transmits them, via a licence-free radio band, to a base station which then makes the data available via bespoke display and analysis software, using either an Intranet or the Internet. Using sensors linked by radio means that installation is quick and easy. The transmitters ‘sleep’ and then wake up at defined intervals to transmit the data. Using this method means that the transmitters are purely transmitters and not transceivers, thus reducing the cost and complexity of the system.

SpyDaq wireless from Signatrol

SpYdaq base station and sensors: this unit uses mobile phone links to the cloud for data monitoring and recording

A potential problem would arise with this approach when two or more transmitters try to transmit at the same time, and signals collide, resulting in loss of data. Signatrol has developed its unique communication system to ensure that in the event of a collision no data will be lost. In fact, for a fully populated system, the likelihood of losing a single reading is once in every 67 years.

Brian Turner, Managing Director Signatrol commented: “I am pleased that, although it has taken quite some time, our unique and innovative SpYdaq data logging system has finally been recognized with the grant of Patent. Many customers are already benefiting from this system and the patent will give added confidence to new adopters”

Indeed the Signatrol website quotes many well known names in the pharmaceutical and food industries as their customers: these are the major targets for Signatrol. Included are the NHS, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, GSK, and in foods Cadbury, Kellogg’s, Premier Foods and British Sugar.

The base stations can collect data from up to 16 transmitters, which can optionally also receive an external input signal, as well as monitor temperature and humidity. There is no info about the radio system employed, or the operating range, but various base stations offer local or intranet alarm set points, and there is also a unit that transmits data to the Signatrol cloud system for further recording and control actions. The base stations start at around GBP500, and the sensors at GBP130.

(c) ProcessingTalk.info

Advertisements

Ethernet added to Emerson Coriolis meter

J943 coriolisAdditionally, the transmitter incorporates a configurable I/O channel, which can be used as a discrete input or set to a mA, frequency or discrete output. This enables powerful application options with minimal equipment. For example, the discrete input can be used as a totaliser reset, the discrete output can control a valve in conjunction with the integrated batch control software, the frequency output enables a quick connection for proving applications, or the mA output can be used to tie into existing or legacy control systems.

The Ethernet upgrade is available with multiple protocol choices including EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, and Profinet.

To speed integration and connection with Ethernet/IP systems, the transmitter contains an EDS (electronic data sheet) file for fast access to instrument information with little to no manual setup. This also enables automatic AOP (add-on profile) generation for quick and powerful system integration. Pre-configured input assemblies allow users to select exactly what is needed from a wealth of information in a Coriolis meter, without burdening the network with unwanted traffic.

“The Micro Motion Model 5700 Coriolis transmitter has delivered proven value and unique differentiation to users. The rugged housing is certified for tough field environments, including extensive hazardous area certifications and approvals. The housing was engineered to provide easy access for installation, mounting, and maintenance,” said Jason Leapley, product manager. “Now, with the option for native Ethernet, users can easily access process information without going out to the instrument.”

ProcessingTalk.info readers will be aware that Endress+Hauser has used Ethernet on their Coriolis meters since the 2011 Rockwell Automation Fair: their unit was launched in about 2010.

(c) ProcessingTalk.info

New ABB inverter boosts solar performance

The new ABB PVS980 central inverter – an essential component in every solar installation that converts direct current (DC) produced in solar panels into alternating current (AC) for use by electricity grids – allows the amount of incoming solar power connected to a single inverter to be increased by as much as 40%: a dramatic improvement that completely changes the economics of a solar installation. Thanks to its increased power, the PVS980 inverter also means a site needs 30% fewer inverters than previously.

The PVS980 high power 1500 VDC central inverter is capable of processing more incoming DC power from photovoltaic (PV) panels through one inverter, reducing the total number of inverters needed on-site, which helps reduce overall costs across the lifetime of a solar plant. Central inverters are used for applications such as large field installations as well as large arrays installed on buildings and industrial facilities. Originally introduced at the Intersolar exhibition as a concept last year, the PVS980 is now shipping commercially and has already seen strong interest among customers, with a number of pilot projects in place. The new inverter is designed to seamlessly integrate into digital smart grids and operate efficiently, while reducing the carbon footprint of the installation.

ABB engineers have improved the compactness of the device, enabling a power density increase of more than 40% – making it possible to build large power rated inverters in the same physical size. Avoiding external air entering the critical compartments of the inverter, the equipment can operate from below freezing to extreme heat in 100% humidity without jeopardizing functionality. The very wide temperature capability offers full performance without derating at up to 50°C, in a waterproof and dustproof enclosure.

(c) ProcessingTalk.info

648MW solar project in India

ABB has successfully commissioned five substations to integrate a 648 megawatt solar project at Kamuthi in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu to the national transmission grid. The project was awarded by independent power producer the Adani Group in 2015, and completed on schedule. The solar photo-voltaic project – made up of five plants in a single location – is the largest of its kind in the world. 360 MW from the solar project is currently grid-connected and at full capacity this facility will account for nearly 10 percent of the country’s current solar capacity of around seven gigawatts.

Adani’s 648 MW solar power plant

The Adani 648MW solar power plant

The project contributes to India’s vision of achieving 100 GW of solar power by 2022, with the overall aim of diversifying its energy mix to meet growing demand while minimizing environmental impact. As part of this plan, the government has issued a proposal to implement 25 ultra-mega solar power projects with capacities between 500 and 1,000 MW over a period of five years. The government of Tamil Nadu is also pursuing a solar policy which envisages a solar generation capacity addition of 3,000 MW.

“We are proud to support the country’s clean energy vision and push for solar power which demonstrates its commitment to sustainable growth,” said Claudio Facchin, President of the ABB Power Grids division. “This project exemplifies our end-to-end power and automation system integration capabilities and reinforces our commitment to the renewable energy sector, a key component of the ABB ‘Next Level’ strategy.”

The ABB project scope included the design, supply, installation and commissioning related to the solar plant electrification and automation systems. This includes two 230 kilovolt and three 110 kV outdoor switchyards to connect to the local transmission grid and will enable clean power supply for around 150000 households, based on average national per capita consumption.

ABB to strengthen the power infrastructure in Indonesia

ABB is to support the Indonesian state-owned utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) to strengthen the reliability and enhance the efficiency of its Java-Bali transmission and distribution networks to meet the growing demand for power in Java, the most populated island on earth.

ABB will design, engineer, supply and install the substation extensions, including switchgear, transformers, state-of-the-art control and protection systems as well as ancillary equipment. The product scope will include 11 units of 60 megavolt-ampere (MVA) transformers, high-voltage air-insulated switchgear for eight substations, high-voltage gas-insulated switchgear for one substation as well as the replacement works and control systems for uprating the transformers in three other substations. Financed by the Asian Development Bank, the $11m project is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

@ProcessingTalk

(c) ProcessingTalk.info

New ultra-miniature downhole transducer

Over the years you might have read about strain gauge based pressure transducers, and wondered why the major pressure transmitter firms never really went down that simple line for submersible gauge or absolute pressure transmitters. In the UK, Druck created a major business from this technology, and were eventually absorbed into GE, which basically ensured they remained a niche supplier. Another specialist, and niche supplier of such transducers, was Paine Electronics in the US. Originally established in 1951, they moved into strain gauge transducers in around 1968. In 2001 the company was acquired from the original owner, Bill Paine, and moved to Washington: but in 2013 it became employee owned, and proud of that fact.

On the original Paine website it still says “We believe our employees should share in the success of our company in a tangible way”, and this is signed off as “Paine Electronics – an employee owned company”. But with 100+ employees the business was still relatively small, even though it supplied pressure transducers to subsea and satellite/space vehicle applications, as well as to the aerospace industry. So the tangible benefit to employees came fairly quickly, with another change of ownership.

At the end of 2014, in November, Emerson acquired “substantially all of the assets of Paine Electronics”. Reporting into the Emerson Rosemount operation, Paine was seen as “Extending their leadership in providing measurement technologies for the oil and gas industry with expanded upstream capabilities in subsea and downhole drilling operations”. This would also complement the business of a previous Emerson acquisition, Roxar, who supply products used on subsea oil & gas operations. But maybe because it is a small operation, only now do we have some follow-up news, in the shape of a new product release from Emerson, describing a new Paine transducer for downhole pressure and temperature measurement. Size is critical in downhole operations, so this transducer, described as ultra-miniature, has an OD of 0.93cms (or 0.37 inches in US units). It is the Paine 310-38-0050, still labelled like that, and was actually launched on the Paine website back in February 2016.

tx

The Paine 310-38-0050 transducer provides both temperature and pressure measurements in the smallest and most rugged form factor possible. It provides pressure measurements up to 25kpsi (1723 Bar) and withstands and monitors temperatures up to 425F (218C) to cover the wide range of conditions experienced in downhole operating environments, just behind the drill bit. The unit is also built to withstand the corrosive drilling fluids and high vibration levels normal in these applications.

© ProcessingTalk.info

@ProcessingTalk

Emerson shows off their latest instruments

The Emerson European Exchange User Meeting in Brussels in April 2016 presented their approach to large automation projects, ‘Project Certainty’, as the main thrust of the conference and press event associated with the meeting. This approach will be reported separately: this view of the instrumentation developments on show was the topic of my column about this event, published in the SA I&C Journal in June 2016. The story is shown below.

The Emerson European Exchange

DSCN3109

Maybe half the audience for the first Emerson presentations

The Emerson ‘Global User’s Exchange’, for their customers and potential customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa, was held in Brussels in April. As with all the leading Automation, Control and Instrumentation suppliers in the world, Emerson Process Management has developed this style of single company Expo, because it is difficult to present their whole product range and capability in any commercial, third party exhibition: there would not be enough space. Indeed even in their own dedicated display hall, not all their product capability was on show.

The same is true of the presentations and keynote speeches. The Emerson business is so big, based on large automation projects, that these have to be the main focus of the management comments. The fascinating detailed product and technology developments in temperature, analytical or corrosion instrumentation also on show, did not get top billing, but they were there, in the background.

DSCN3147small

I have to declare that I need to understand a product or technology to become enthusiastic about it, and in general I have found instrumentation easier to understand than automation software. Emerson has always put an emphasis on instrumentation, and invested in this by developing or acquiring innovative new techniques and companies in the area – moreso than most of the other majors. Then by adding their own knowledge power, they add interfaces and capability, such as HART and Wireless communications, manufacturing technology, housings and mods for industry-wide approvals. So I am an Emerson fan. But because technology grows, it does become harder to understand the way these instruments actually work! For me, a visit to the Emerson Expo is like opening a treasure chest, filled with ideas and enthusiastic people available to explain their latest kit.

Wireless interfaces link everything

The Emerson dedication to WirelessHART communications with all instrumentation, as a standard option, opens up the possibility of adding modern technology sensors into existing plant and processes without the major hassles of adding new cables.

Emerson 12-3-1550855bRosemount temperature sensors have had a wireless capability from ‘Day 1’ of the wireless era: and various companies made such wireless sensors capable of being clamped or strapped to the outside surface of a pipe, to make them totally non-intrusive, and easily re-positioned. The Rosemount engineers have gone one step further, recognizing the measurement errors possible with an external sensor affected by the environment. They have developed X-well technology, available with a clamp for pipe ODs between 0.5” and 48”, which incorporates a layer of thermal insulation 13mm thick and covering a 12” length of the pipe (this is not shown in the picture). All this helps to bring the temperature sensor measurement closer to the actual pipe contents temperature, but in addition the electronics senses the ambient temperature, and uses a thermal conductivity algorithm to make a further correction, before transmitting the data over the wireless link.

WirelessPressureGaugeSimilarly, Rosemount lateral thinking has applied wireless technology and piezo-resistive pressure measurement to the pressure gauge. This modern design of an ancient instrument replaces the original Bourdon tube measurement element with a modern sensor capsule, which uses the battery power to drive a needle around a 270 degree scale on a 4.5” indicator. Then the WirelessHART connection transmits the actual process pressure to a central monitoring system. This new indicator gauge is much safer than the old design – with two layers of process isolation from the gauge body it can withstand a 150x overpressure, and is much less affected by plant vibration.

Emissions Monitoring

One of the most advanced product ranges demonstrated in Brussels came from Cascade Technologies, of Stirling in Scotland, which was acquired for Rosemount Analytical at the end of 2014. Cascade have developed some clever laser based systems for gas analysis, for example for Continuous Emissions Monitoring (CEM) systems, which allows them to measure for multiple gas types simultaneously. In the words of one of the experts they effectively have up to 9 lasers operating at different frequencies in one analyser, enabling monitoring for a similar number of gas concentrations. Similar systems have been used to monitor up to a total of 20 gases simultaneously. Their enthusiastic engineers were saying that following the Emerson involvement in the company they would be launching four new products this year – in fact the next one of these was reported on here, in a ProcessingTalk.info review, last month!

Enardo_950_w-bracketAnother essential, but older, safety and emissions monitoring product range has been updated by the addition of an Emerson WirelessHART data link. In 2013, Emerson acquired Enardo, a Tulsa-based manufacturer of mechanically operated pressure and vacuum relief valves, which are used to protect storage tanks for oil/gas, petrochemical and pharma plants – Enardo is now part of the Fisher Regulators business. These valves relieve the tank vapour pressure when the tank is filled, or the temperature rises, or allow air to enter as the tank is emptied, preventing any pressure damage to the tank walls. But safety concerns and modern emission regulations require the valve actions to be monitored: and with no existing wiring installed to transmit such signals, the WirelessHART systems provide a simple solution.

Corrosion monitoring

It was way back in 2009 when Emerson acquired Roxar of Norway, who then specialised in systems for monitoring offshore wells and oil pipelines. The technology involved in the Roxar sensors has developed a long way: they don’t just use ultrasonic detectors to measure the sound of sand and grit hitting the pipe walls! The ER corrosion sensors use a probe with a thin, exposed electrical conductor embedded in an insulator, inserted in the pipe wall. Corrosion of this element changes the resistance of the conducting path, which is monitored. Various designs are available, to adjust the sensitivity of the sensor. LPR probes are Linear Polarisation Resistance probes, which are electrochemical, so require the presence of a conductive liquid, like water, to function. The current response achieved when a small (10-20mV) known polarisation is applied between the electrodes exposed to the liquid, gives the corrosion rate, using electrochemical theory. These Roxar sensors with their CorrLog electronics are now available with WirelessHART communications, making them much easier to apply to any pipework area that is considered at risk from corrosion – and for modern plants using different sources and compositions of feedstock, the corrosion rates can vary significantly from one batch to the next.

(c) Processingtalk.info

@ProcessingTalk

Yokogawa Analyser systems integration services

The Yokogawa Analytical instrumentation makes up a significant part of their product range, serving customers in the oil, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, natural gas and power industries. The measurement techniques used in their products include chromatography, laser-based infra-red absorption and Raman spectroscopy, as well as industrial liquid sensors for conductivity and pH monitoring. Typically many of these sensors are installed in on-site laboratories or analyser houses, which can be skid or container type units attached to the process directly or via sample lines.

YokogawaASICenterEurope_02xx

The expertise developed within Yokogawa in the installation of efficient and effective analytical installations led to the establishment of a complete analyser system supply and integration service, to provide a total package of instruments, monitoring housings, sample line interconnections and conditioning systems, ready for site installation. Such services have been operational for some years, operating from bases within the Yokogawa US and Asian business units: now with the launch of a new service in Europe, ASI or Analyser Systems Integration, the same full service will be available to European customers. This makes Yokogawa a true one-stop-shop for ASI at both green-field or brown-field projects of almost any size, thus helping project owners to simplify their supply chains as they need only deal with a single team for all analytical requirements.

ASICenterEuropeinMadrid

The Yokogawa European ASI centre in Madrid

Loek van Eijck, business unit manager, analytical solutions at Yokogawa Europe, said: “We’re very pleased to announce the introduction of Yokogawa Europe’s Analyser System Integration service. This services responds to a growing market demand within the chemical, oil & gas industry, and increasingly in other process industries, to simplify project management of both new installations and renovations. We’ll be working with our own analysers and those of 3rd-party manufacturers, but it makes sense for project owners and primary contractors to deal with a single integrator of analytical systems, and for that integrator to be a supplier of instruments being installed.”

One of the major issues facing project managers is finding a team with the right skills and experience for specialist areas of project implementation. Yokogawa’s ASI service guarantees access to design and implementation engineers with the highest levels of qualification and certification. The highly skilled project management team is fully certified by Project Management Professional (PMP), while the engineering team designs solutions to the explosion-proof standards specified by ATEX, IECEx and all other relevant standards and legislative bodies, making design compliance easier to prove. They are backed up by a professional execution team with more than 150 years of accumulated installation experience.

YokogawaASICenterEurope_01xx

Yokogawa has built a global reputation for quality and innovation, and has now applied this to its ASI service. “We believe this sets our service apart from the competition,” said van Eijck. “Yokogawa has earned its reputation through involvement in some of the industry’s largest and most innovative projects, and is now able to apply this in Europe to ASI projects of almost any size from any process industry requiring highly accurate analytical instrumentation by sharing know-how with other ASI facilities and developing synergy among Yokogawa Group Companies.” This new facility makes Yokogawa a true one-stop-shop for ASI at both green-field or brown-field projects of almost any size, thus helping project owners to simplify their supply chains. The mature European process industry has many aging plants, and these regularly require updates, renovation and modernizationto meet current and new monitoring requirements.

The service provides a full analytical services life cycle from design, fabrication and manufacturing to installation, on-site services and training. Yokogawa ASI also links up to the similar services provided by Yokogawa in its Asian and US divisions providing customers with global coverage – an obvious advantage for international organisations and projects.

The ASI service in Europe is based in Madrid, Spain. Almudena Mier, ASI location manager at Yokogawa, said; “We have created an excellent facility here for the new service which offers a great environment for the team and the projects they will work on. Madrid is well served by transport links to the rest of Europe and beyond, and has access to some great local engineering talent as well as being an attractive place to work for staff and customers who come from elsewhere in Europe.”

(c) ProcessingTalk.info, June 2016

@ProcessingTalk

#PAuto