Speaking at the annual Southwestern Petroleum Short Course held earlier this year at Texas Tech, FreeWave Technologies oil and gas guru Jim Gardner presented a paper on leveraging wireless and hybrid networks in applications like plunger lift optimization. FreeWave builds on recent efforts by automation manufacturers to optimize pumps, maximizing production and minimizing maintenance and energy costs.
For larger companies, buying a technology and network solution from a single vendor is a valid option. But for small and mid size companies with a diverse installed base, this is not practical. Gardner advocates leveraging existing networks alongside ‘heterogeneous’ radio networks to provide remote connectivity. FreeWave’s license-free spread spectrum and licensed band radio and wireless data solutions can be used to build a single ‘cohesive’ network. FreeWave uses bi-directional Modbus-based systems. One use case showed a solar powered kit system recording casing and tubing pressure and plunger data and two valve control channels. The system can be set up in a couple of hours at considerable savings to wired systems. Tank farms, flowlines and separators are other potential candidates for wireless. More from www.freewave.com.
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