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Middle Eastern refinery adopts Intertec cooling technologies


Outdoor shelters with a combination of Intertec’s passive and active cooling technologies have been chosen to protect vital control systems at a Middle Eastern refinery. The environmental protection solution is being provided as part of an upgrade to the burner management systems at the core of the plant’s refining processes.

PLC-based systems will provide the control and safety functions needed for management of eight separate burners. However, the physical location of the systems – deep inside the process – and the harsh coastal desert location of the refinery, pose major additional challenges for this engineering upgrade.

Intertec’s design response to the engineering problem incorporates two major features. The first is custom-designed remote instrument enclosures (RIEs) based on composite glass-reinforced plastic¬†(GRP) materials. The materials protect against the many environmental challenges of the application including very high levels of UV, extremes of temperature, dust and sand abrasion.

The second key part of the protection solution is a regulated internal environment that provides the essential cooling required for the reliable operation of the electronics in the harsh Middle Eastern climate. This is maintained by a combination of three cooling methods, in order to provide exceptional redundancy against failure. The IP65-rated shelter also utilises the plant’s instrument air service – after drying and filtering. This provides a slight positive pressurisation of shelter interior atmosphere for safe operation in a hazardous area, as well as ensuring there are no corrosive chemicals in the atmosphere.

“Intertec’s novel approach to this field protection problem meets a growing need in today’s process world,” said Keith Wood, Intertec’s project manager.

“Control and instrumentation systems are being sited much closer to the process, deep inside corrosive and hazardous areas – and this in turn is demanding higher levels of reliability. GRP enclosure construction materials, combined with innovation in the associated protection systems such as cooling, are helping engineering consultancies to create advanced new plant solutions.”

The shelters will be assembled and factory tested at Intertec’s European manufacturing centre in southern Germany. This plant incorporates a modern and well equipped assembly and testing line. Intertec will install the PLC and safety control system modules inside the shelter, to the design layout provided by the project engineers.

The shelter will then undergo two separate in-depth testing programs. One will test all the features of the shelter including pressurisation and the correct operation of the cooling systems – which will involve the use of a very large and sophisticated environmental test chamber. The functioning of the PLC-based control and safety system will also be tested in conjunction with the project engineers, before the finished shelters will be transported in standard shipping containers to the refinery, ready for connection to the process.

Delivery of the eight RIEs will start in the second quarter of 2017.


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