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Fast load shedding for oil and gas

Reliable electricity supply is critical for oil and gas operations. IEC 61850 is a standard for the design of electrical substation automation.

It allows the development of software architecture based on Ethernet networks linking all electrical protections, measurement units, PLCs, energy management system and local HMIs.

One advanced application for the oil & gas industry that benefits from IEC 61850 is distributed Fast Load Shedding (FLS), which means managing multiple substations and generation machines on the same site.

FLS is typically provided for modern electrical power systems to overcome transient instability conditions, such as sudden loss of generation or a three-phase short circuit. This means that at any given point in time, the load consumption will be balanced with the generation capabilities.

A loss of generation or grid fault will create an immediate instability condition which has a direct impact on the process rotating equipment. A worst case scenario if an electrical grid becomes unbalanced is a black out.

Fortunately these threats can be mitigated through software architecture based on IEC 61850 technology.

Schneider Electric's PACiS architecture for the oil and gas industry.

An example of such technology is Schneider Electric's PACiS software architecture (pictured above). It provides operators with the information they need to monitor, analyse and manage the whole electrical system.

PACiS FLS controls the plant stability, so that during a power source loss, it will shed the necessary loads in less than 80 milliseconds and maintain the whole network stability in line with process priorities.

[Greg Finlayson is Product Application Engineer Substation Automation, Schneider Electric.]

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