Process monitoring

Silixa’s integrated distributed sensing-based process monitoring solution utilizes simultaneous temperature (DTS), strain (DSS), and acoustic (DAS) measurements to provide unprecedented insight into process dynamics.

Real-time edge analytics allow operators to make informed control decisions to increase safety and optimise operational efficiency.

Fibre optic distributed sensing technologies provide high density data collection along tens of kilometres of optical fibre simultaneously, transforming both standard and customized cables into the equivalent of thousands of point sensors.

This fundamental advance in sensing technology provides a means for complete spatial and temporal coverage of process infrastructure to identify and react to potential failure events before they occur.

The basic system architecture consists of a sensor box (“interrogator”) that is connected to an optical fibre that acts as a passive sensor array. This optical fibre can be incorporated into robust cable assemblies suitable for installation in harsh and high temperature environments common in the petrochemical industry.

Benefits

Continuous spatial and temporal coverage for improved decision making

Distributed fibreoptic sensing is a powerful monitoring technology that transforms optical fibres into sensing arrays with up to many thousands of independent measurement locations over distances ranging from a few hundred meters up to tens of kilometres. The spatial coverage and detail captured by these systems can offer unprecedented insight into process dynamics if utilised in an intelligent manner.


One fibre, multiple measurements for future-proofing assets

Simultaneous temperature (distributed temperature sensing – DTS), strain (distributed strain sensing – DSS), and acoustic (distributed acoustic sensing – DAS) monitoring is possible on a single cable by connecting the appropriate interrogator, whether at the time of system commissioning or for adding additional monitoring at a future date. This future-proofs investment in distributed sensing-based process monitoring systems.


Autonomous monitoring capability for enhanced safety

Data from distributed sensing systems can be analysed in real-time using application specific software installed on edge computing platforms paired with the interrogator unit(s). These integrated sensor systems can provide automated monitoring and alarm generation with either analog (e.g. relay or 4–20 mA) or digital (e.g. Modbus TCP) integration with a plant DCS, allowing an operator to make informed control decisions rather than navigate large and complex datasets.


Cost savings delivered by optimised operations

Continuous, unprecedentedly detailed measurements enable operators to detect potential failures before they even occur. This minimises operational downtime and delivers significant cost-savings.


Cost-effective, easy installation and maintenance

As the fibre is the sensor, distributed sensing is well suited for harsh and high temperature environments where conventional sensors cannot be used. As fibre optic cables require no maintenance, the system is highly cost-effective.


Enhanced safety

Remote operations with no manpower required on site contribute greatly to improved site safety.

Additionally, the fact that there is no requirement for power at the sensing locations, makes Silixa’s process monitoring solution suitable for use at sites where electricity is either not available or not permitted.

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The improvement — integrated DAS, DSS and DTS measurements

DTS, DSS and DAS are based on optical time domain reflectometry (OTDR) measurement techniques in which an incident pulse of light is coupled into an optical fiber and backscattered light sampled. As the incident pulse travels along the fibre, at each sampling interval of fiber, a small amount of light is scattered and recaptured by the fibre waveguide in the return direction.

Local variations of the backscatter waveform provide information on the state of the fibre at successive sampling intervals determined by the roundtrip transit time from launching end to point of interest.

Through continuous analyses of the backscattered signal from successive incident pulses, dynamic profiles of temperature, strain, and acoustics are realized as a continuous 2D function of recording time and distance along the fibre.

Reactor vessels

ULTIMA™ DTS can be used to detect hot spots and monitor cryogenic processes. Fibre optic cable can be installed to provide coverage on above ground or buried vessels.

Storage tanks

A diverse range of applications including leakage and intrusion detection can be implemented for storage tank integrity monitoring.

Transfer pipelines

Our distributed sensing technologies can be readily combined in a single installation delivering leak and intrusion detection as well as temperature monitoring giving complete coverage along a fluid transfer.

Belt conveyor systems

Temperature and/or acoustic monitoring can alert operators to worn components and potential failures. By utilizing distributed fibre optic sensing material transfer systems for up to tens of kilometres can be monitored from a single location.
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