US Energy Utility Faces Unforeseen Challenges During Compressor Station Upgrade – LSI Delivers

Across the United States, countless homeowners, businesses, and cities depend on the natural gas that flows silently through the network of pipelines. Without reliable compressor stations, this vital natural gas supply wouldn’t be possible, especially during the high-load winter season. When a large US energy utility with multiple compressor stations and aging control systems needed help, it turned to LSI to deliver a reliable and robust control solution.

The Situation

CompressorThe client’s compressor station in a remote area was scheduled for an upgrade to replace the legacy control system. The existing station control system consisted of redundant GE 90/70 PLCs and a GE CIMPLICITY HMI. The compressor unit PLC was a GE 90/30. The upgrade project appeared to be straightforward, and having worked with LSI on multiple projects, the client was expecting a smooth migration. However, supply chain issues delayed the replacement hardware multiple times. During the delay, ongoing remote and onsite support increased with several service callouts that LSI dealt with to keep the compressor station operating. With other downstream compressor stations in the queue for similar upgrades, the schedule was delicate, and with winter approaching, the upgrade became urgent and a top priority.

The Solution

Quote from LSI-Joe

When it became clear that the delayed hardware would not arrive in time to support the client’s schedule, LSI’s team quickly developed an alternative upgrade solution. The solution would require a complete change from the planned replacement platform to the “in-stock” Emerson Rx3i and a new version of GE’s CIMPLICITY HMI.

In a matter of one day, the client reviewed the proposal and chose to make the switch. LSI then went to work changing the design, placing orders for new hardware, programming, and preparing for commissioning that was scheduled three months later. The project also included designing and fabricating new control panels, construction support, and documentation.

The client planned a two-week shutdown for commissioning. LSI completed the upgrade within two weeks and was available to assist the client with additional projects while onsite. With the compressor station up and running, the upgrade of the downstream compressor proceeded as scheduled.

The results

Low Pressure SideA reliable, robust solution

Despite the supply-chain challenges, LSI delivered a control system upgrade that has proven to be reliable and robust. Control system failures have dropped to zero since the upgrade, saving the client from expensive downtime and service calls. The system also has an improved data historian, allowing the client to better monitor system performance and identify anomalies at this remote, unstaffed location.

Worry-free project management

LSI provided the customer peace of mind by managing the project’s many moving parts. When problems arose from supply chain issues, LSI pivoted and developed another solution for the client, ensuring the system was upgraded for the next winter season.

A relationship built on trust

LSI has upgraded numerous compressor stations for the client and continues to be their trusted systems integration provider for ongoing projects, including the integration of a new type of RTU across their service area. The client knows they can count on LSI to listen to their needs and create a solution that works for them.

LSI Listened

LSI’s experienced team of engineers listened and then went to work. When serious challenges arose, LSI responded by providing the client with options. As a result, the problem was solved, ensuring the client could do what they do best: consistent, safe, and cost-effective natural gas delivery across their service area.

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