Industrial IoT and WSN systems when used in conjunction provide various advantages when utilized for remote and offshore sites. One of the main challenges with remote sites is that it becomes increasingly difficult for engineers, technicians and upper management to directly access the data that is related to plant operation and gain insight into technical operating parameters of the plant equipment that is operating on the site. It is important to isolate and locate operational trends in order to understand what factors can increase profitability.
Currently, sites that are unconnected and not digitized rely on data collection activities manually. Data is collected, summarized and then sent to management with a certain delay and possible bias. This reduces the effectiveness of the data.
Data from sensors and other control equipment provide important insight into value chain operation. Even though most greenfield operations do boast SCADA systems that provide central process management and control sites running digitization software still are unable to transmit data to control centers effectively.
Industrial IoT systems and WSN systems working together can overcome the issues that are described above. The system can send important data in a concise and summarized manner to a central control room as per the requirements of the Upper management and head office engineers.
The above example illustrates how a solution can be used to effectively monitor a remote oilfield. The WSN system that is connected at the source is gaining sensor data of values of pressure, temperature, warnings and alarms directly.
The sensors here are 4-20 mA current loop output sensors, while some are providing output signals in the Modbus protocol. The WSN (Wireless Sensor Network) node has the control algorithm directly programmed into it via a control portal. Since the site where the package is located has poor signal connectivity it is important to summarize the data as the data connection is expensive.
This is an example of computational offloading where the major processing is done at the WSN node. The WSN node identifies and isolates the important data such as warnings and alarms and only sends process reports of successful executions in a very small data packet format. This ensures only important summarized information is transmitted and the rest of the control process is efficiently managed locally.