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Open Architecture Remote Terminal Unit

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000250489D
Publication Date: 2017-Jul-25
Document File: 3 page(s) / 238K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a solution that can enable open architecture RTU system. Hardware and software can be sourced from different suppliers but they can be integrated as one single unit. The proposed solution – open architecture system, significantly reduces the cost of life cycle management and obsolescence challenges for end users.

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Open Architecture Remote Terminal Unit

ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company

Abstract:

In this paper, we propose a solution that can enable open architecture RTU system. Hardware and software can be sourced from different suppliers but they can be integrated as one single unit. The proposed solution – open architecture system, significantly reduces the cost of life cycle management and obsolescence challenges for end users.

Background: Oil and Gas operation companies often utilize RTUs manufactured by suppliers for wellhead control. Such applications include

·          Artificial lift techniques, e.g., plunger lift, gas lift, gas assisted plunger lift, rod pump, electrical submersible pumps

·          Tank batteries control and/ ticketing

·          Control loops at an oil and gas processing plant

These RTUs, when used in Upstream applications, are often connected to analog inputs, analog outputs, digital inputs and digital outputs measuring data such as pressure, temperature, level and discrete signals. The RTUs also execute control commands according to measurements.

Challenges: In spite of significant evolution of electronic technology and the widespread of industrial standardization in digital communications, RTU technology has not significantly evolved in the last few decades. Most significantly, RTU products today are still built upon proprietary technologies. As shown in Figure 1, different suppliers’ component level devices are proprietary and closed for external devices. For example, Input/ Output cards from a vendor is likely not interoperable by the CPU offered by a different supplier. In particular,

·         A specific RTU supplier’s CPU card only communicates with that supplier’s Input/Output (IO) card as well as its communication modules;

·         A specific vendor’s Orifice flow measurement device only communicates with that vendor’s RTU;

·         A specific vendor’s RTU can only host specific software developed for the RTU;

This creates significant life cycle management and obsolescence challenges for end users. Meanwhile, the proprietary and close RTU system also aggravates financial burdens for operation companies to install, oper...