Invensys has delivered a novel wireless mesh network to UK-based Murco Petroleum’s Milford Haven refinery based on technology from UK-based Extronics and Firetide Inc. of Los Gatos, CA. Murco’s Milford Haven offsite operations facility handles the storage and transfer of highly combustible materials at tank farms and terminals. Over 1,500 manual valves around the facility perform a variety of functions, many of which require exact positioning to liquids delivery to the pipeline network. The operational improvement contract was awarded to Invensys, which turned to Extronics for a network solution that could be deployed in hazardous areas. Extronics MD John Hartley explained ‘The Firetide mesh was the only wireless solution that could deliver the throughput required for networking a facility spanning distances of nearly 1 mile.’
Firetide lets operators use mobile equipment such as rugged wireless Windows Mobile PDAs and RFID tags to relay valve status information back to a central control room and view plant status. The system enables real-time work scheduling so operators can pick up a new route to work on and provide their status at the same time.
Firetide’s Ethernet-based wireless technology links the tank farm to the control room over a distance of approximately a kilometer without costly trench and cabling. In total, Extronics deployed 15 Firetide wireless mesh nodes each housed in an explosion-proof enclosure.
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