Power on demand boosts fuel savings and reliability

Power on demand boosts fuel savings and reliability

The Customer Challenge

The process of moving oil and gas from the field to midstream gathering facilities down the pipeline is largely driven by booster pumps. In many cases, these pumps need to run only once every few days, essentially remaining idle for roughly 90 percent of the time.

When there’s access to a utility power source, this intermittent operation presents no real issues. But when an operator is off the grid, running a generator around the clock to support equipment that’s only active 10 percent of the time is extremely inefficient and expensive. Fuel costs can be excessive. Increased emissions can create compliance issues with EPA-mandated Tier 4 standards. In addition, continuous operation at reduced loads can cause unnecessary wear and tear, not to mention carbon buildup, which can negatively affect emissions. 

This was the problem that one of Aggreko’s midstream clients in Texas faced, when they found themselves in a similar situation without access to utility power. Not only did they need the power source to support a 200 hp positive displacement booster pump, they also needed a solution that could address the fact that the pump would only be running 10 percent of the time. 

Seeking to avoid the increased fuel costs, excessive emissions and unnecessary maintenance expenses associated with continuously running a generator, the client counted on Aggreko for a remote power solution.

The Aggreko Solution

Aggreko’s engineering team went to work on a power automation package that could enable ondemand operation with the booster pump, running only when the pump required power. The custom system coupled two 200 kW diesel generator sets running in parallel, a remote monitoring system, a diesel fuel tank and an automated control system. The system integrated with the booster pump’s programmable logic controls to automatically start and stop power as needed.

Even though the system employed two paralleled generators, both of them only needed to run at the same time during the booster pump startup. Once the pump was up and running, the secondary generator would shut off while the primary unit continued to run during the duration of the pumping episode. Then, when the pump turned off, the whole power system would shut off with it.

The power on demand package delivered a 45 percent reduction in both fuel expenses and diesel exhaust emissions. Annualized savings were $12,000 for a single pump site. Because operating intermittently also cuts generator runtimes, the amount of required maintenance also significantly decreased. 

Why was Aggreko chosen?

Aggreko is unique in its ability to design, engineer and install a custom power on demand solution, when other companies would typically provide only a continuously running generator set. As a result, the automation package enabled unprecedented cost savings while maximizing the reliability of the customer’s operation. 

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Case Study - Power on demand boosts fuel savings and reliability