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How artificial intelligence can be used to minimise well shut-down through integrated fault detection and analysis. By E Altamiranda and E Colina.
While there might be topside, there are currently no tools for early fault detection and diagnosis in the subsea control arena
intelligent subsea control
THE NEED TO operate industrial plants in a smooth and sound manner to ensure compliance with technical specifications and safeguard product quality is heightened in today’s increasingly competitive globalised economy. Competitive advantage can be gained by reducing raw material and energy consumption and energy consumption costs, maximizing plant throughput and by meeting rigorous environmental regulations. The need for superior economic control of plant operation is presently supported by the general availability of modern hardware and software resources in industrial processes. More specifically the widespread adoption of Distributed Control Systems (DCSs) allows for data acquisition and control strategy implementation according to plant design specifications. One of the important challenges facing control system engineers is how to design and implement intelligent systems that may assist supervision and decision making such as abnormal situation management (ASM), start up and shut down, controller performance assessment and so on. In engineering, supervision becomes more and more important in order to improve reliability and safety. The classical method is based on monitoring important measurable variables followed by alarm triggering if certain tolerances are exceeded. This limit value based monitoring is simple and reliable but it does not solve the task of early fault detection and diagnosis. The experience of the last 20 years has shown that earlier fault detection can be reached by gathering information, especially by using the relationships between several measurable quantities in terms of mathematical process models (by using analytical redundancy). Heuristic information such as human operator observations or process expert experience is also very relevant for diagnosis. A complete fault diagnosis therefore requires the systematic treatment of both analytical and heuristic symptoms.
Control & Automation August/September 2007 www.theiet.org/control
The HPU includes tanks. Presently there are no tools for early fault detection and diagnosis in the subsea control systems area. SUBSEA PRODUCTION CONTROL Over the last decade. there has been a huge increase in the application of subsea production systems for the production of oil and gas from subsea wells’ performed with procedures when the fault is already affecting the system performance and. pipelines. This information is used to generate first www. analytical information based on measured process variables and data processing. sequential piloted systems and electro-hydraulic systems (hardwired and multiplexed). fault detection and diagnosis techniques successfully applied to other oil industry related processes are perfectly applicable to subsea technology. This has led to the development of more advanced and complex control methods using piloted hydraulic systems. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE The use of artificial intelligence approaches such as neural networks. production valves mounted on the x-mas tree and utility functions such as monitoring of fluid characteristics. electric power and electric control signals. The selection is associated predominantly with technical factors like distance between control points (offset distance between the platform and the trees). although redundancy is sometimes provided by air drives. valve positions. subsea chokes. Conventionally.41 ‘Over the last decade. CONTROL EQUIPMENT Topside Topside control system equipment comprises a hydraulic power unit (HPU). The hydraulic power control lines are individual hoses or tubes manufactured from steel or thermoplastic materials and encased by the umbilical outer sheath. Umbilicals An umbilical is a conduit between the topside host facility and the subsea control system and is used for chemical and/or hydraulic fluids. Intelligent supervision. manufacture and installation of subsea control systems have provided incentives to improve the existing systems and to invest in research for new systems. early methods using direct hydraulic control of subsea valves have become less feasible because of the operational limitations and the size and cost of multi-core umbilicals required to provide hydraulic and power transmission. a contamination control system and hydraulic control valves. These approaches have potential for developing reasoning strategies for applications such as fault detection. diagnosis. This fact affects subsea operations and does not provide any support for maintenance plans. Due to both multiple well developments and water depth. The complexity and performance characteristics of subsea control systems depend on the control configuration used. templates. an electrical power unit (EPU) and a well control panel or master control station (MCS). The subsea system comprises a wellhead. water depth. subsea functions include operation and control of: down hole. manifolds and pipelines. Troubleshooting and fault finding are normally FAULT DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS An overall scheme of a knowledge based integrated fault detection and diagnosis system is presented in the accompanying diagram. The electrical control cables supplying power and control can be either bundled with hydraulic lines or laid separately. The significant costs associated with the design. Some other trends still in development are the subsea powered autonomous remote control systems (SPARCS) and the integrated control buoy. valve tree (x-mas tree) equipment. These reduce the overall cost of control systems by removing the need for umbilical and topside equipment required for conventional systems. Control System Configurations Distances between top side production facilities and subsea installations have generally increased. In many cases a number of wellheads have to be controlled from a single location. supervision and decision-making among others. genetic algorithms and fuzzy logic has been increasing in the last few years. pressure leakage. The main tasks can be subdivided in fault detection by analytic and heuristic symptoms generation and fault diagnosis ANALYTIC SYMPTOMS GENERATION The analytical knowledge on the process is used to produce quantifiable. in most cases finding the root cause of the fault is not straight forward.org/control August/September 2007 Control & Automation . etc. Subsea The production control system provides control of all functions of the subsea production system. The HPU provides high and low-pressure hydraulic supplies and is usually powered by electric motors. required response speed during execution of subsea functions and type of subsea installations (single or multiple wellheads). pumps. structures and piping systems among others. there has been a huge increase in the application of subsea production systems for the production of oil and gas from subsea wells. A programmable logic controller PLC or PC – based EPU may be integrated with the platform control system or it may be a selfcontained unit.theiet. These techniques have been successfully applied in other oil industry related businesses such as refinery and petrochemical where the processes and control systems involved have a very high complexity. The design of a control system must also provide a means for safe shutdown on failure of equipments or loss of electrical/hydraulic control from the topside (a platform or floating facility) and other safety features that automatically prevent dangerous events. The control system provides operation of valves and chokes on subsea completions. safety valves.
such as physical understanding of similar faults or similar effects of faults on certain symptoms. Characteristic values are exceeded signal tolerances. states variables or residuals. Faults Analytical knowledge Analytic symptoms generation Process Data processing Observed variables Analytical process model Filtering estimation Change detection classification Normal features Measured variables Heuristic symptoms generation Operator observations Process history Process statistics Heuristic symptoms Characteristic values Feature extraction Features KNOWLEDGE REPRESENTATION In most applications. as well as its time of detection based on the observed analytical and heuristic symptoms. size and location of the fault. This leads to the concept of a hierarchical diagnosis system Artificial intelligent techniques such as neural networks and fuzzy logic have been successfully used for fault classification. therefore. wledge in the form of heuristic process models (qualitative models). life time. load measures constitute a source of heuristic information. repair. frequency spectra. The fault diagnosis. 2) Signal analysis of direct measurable signals. amplitudes. Statistical data achieved from experience with the same or similar processes can be added. former faults. Characteristic values are. For this. causalities and weighting of effects different diagnostic reasoning strategies can be applied. there usually is some insight about the process. for example. Different faults can be categorized into larger groups if their effect on the process is similar. variances. With the aid of heuristic kno- Intelligent event detector Translator INTELLIGENT SUPERVISION Some difficulties associated Operational decisions and warning messages for mantainance tasks Integrated fault detection and diagnosis system Continuous process level Subsea process and control system Fig 4: Intelligent Supervisory System Control & Automation August/September 2007 www. Change detection classification Analytic symptoms Heuristic process model Fault symptoms causalitics Weighting of effects Heuristic knowledge Statistical evaluation Forward chaining Backward chaining United symptoms representation Unified symptoms Integration of symptoms information Fault diagnosis (inference reasoning) Fault decision Diagnosed faults Fig 1: Integrated Fault Detection and Diagnosis Scheme Supervisory control level (Discrete control) Automaton Discrete control patterns Translator Continuous control patterns (Set points) Events Events detector Regulatory control level (Continuous control) Regulatory control Deviations Process Process variables information Fig 2: Supervisory Control Scheme Output variables Subsea process and control system Hydraulic subsystem model Communication subsystem model Electrical subsystem model Electronic subsystem model Instrumentation subsystem model r1 -+ HEURISTIC SYMPTOMS GENERATION In addition to the symptoms generation with quantifiable information. state estimation and parity equation methods. Neural networks capabilities such as learning. and observations and inspections The process history in the form of performed maintenance.42 SUBSEA CONTROL characteristic values by 1) Limit value checking of direct measurable signals. In some cases physical features can be extracted from characteristic values. Fault tree methods have also been hybridized with intelligent algorithms for hierarchical diagnosis systems. adaptation and information distributed processing hybridized with the linguistic representation capabilities for the description of a cause symptom relationship of fuzzy logic methods have provided excellent potential to represent heuristic and analytical symptoms behaviour in an integrated way for this kind of applications. autoregressive moving average (ARMA). must be based on the appropriate subset of all available symptoms. using signal models like correlation functions. 3) Process analysis by using mathematical process models together with parameter estimation. It is then advantageous to find a classification system for the larger groups first and later separate the faults within them.theiet. Characteristic values are parameters. Input variables -+ r2 -+ r3 -+ r4 -+ r5 Residuals Fig 3: Residuals Generation for Fault Detection Scheme Managment level Supervisory level (Discrete event domain) Discrete control patterns Supervisor (automaton) Events Sequencing control patterns FAULT DIAGNOSIS The task of fault diagnosis consists of determining the type. These features are then compared with the normal features of the non-faulty process. methods of change detection and classification are applied. a certain amount of knowledge about the symptoms behaviour is present. fault symptoms. the selection of the symptoms for the diagnosis becomes a matter of robustness. such as physical defined process coefficients or special filtered or transformed residuals. This should be exploited when a diagnostic system is created. frequency or model parameters. As analytic symptoms the resulting changes (discrepancies) of the described direct measured signals. heuristic symptoms can be produced from human experts and operators. Even if exact values for thresholds are not known. signal models or process models are considered.org/control . Furthermore.
43 ‘Artificial intelligent techniques such as neural networks and fuzzy logic have been successfully used for fault classification’ with the supervision of complex dynamic processes are usually related to multiple operational domains due to the presence of nonlinear phenomena and unpredictable or partially known disturbances. characterised by different operational conditions and usually subjected to external disturbances. it is important to incorporate strategies for different operational domains. The regulatory control level is related to the process dynamics and is in charge of generating direct control action to be applied to the process. Other types of processes. The scheme is structured in two layers. the process under scrutiny is described in terms of discrete events. represents a supervisor (automaton). The supervisory level contains a process representation based on operational regions and transitions among them. In transition systems based models. which reacts in the presence of generated events from the continuous time process in order to fulfil system specifications or support decision making tasks. on the other hand.theiet. It is considered the supervisory control scheme philosophy presented in which facilitates the decision making task related to control actions for improving the operation of complex dynamics processes that may be composed of interconnected subsystems. chemical processes where batch operation is involved and changes in operational regions related to a continuous process are usually described as discrete systems. which must be controlled. of discrete time nature. and they are usually described in terms of differential equations. Including adaptive capacities to deal with uncertain situations in order to allow the coordination of distributed controllers and decision making support for a satisfactory task assignment. In the process control area. named regulatory control level and supervisory control level. may be represented using transition systems. A discrete event system. The event detector characterises the process behaviour and evaluates the performance www. based on generated process events. The dynamic systems whose behaviour depends on the interaction between continuous time processes and discrete controllers are called hybrid systems. A large number of industrial processes operate on a continuous time base. which affect the process performance. This level is governed by a supervisor (automaton) in the supervisory level. The events related to the continuous level may indicate changes in the process behaviour or changes in the current operational region that could impede the achievement of required process specifications. the continuous time process of a hybrid system corresponds to the physical process itself. for example the sequential operation in the automotive manufacturing.org/control August/September 2007 Control & Automation . which assigns discrete control patterns. In order to alleviate such difficulties.
CONCLUSION The above approach provides decision making support for subsea operations and maintenance tasks (preventive maintenance) and also provides more efficient mechanisms for troubleshooting when faults and events are generated. These subsystems are highly interconnected and a fault generated in one of them can be propagated to other subsystems affecting the whole control system performance. A fault diagnosis task will consider the heuristic knowledge and the unified symptoms according to the diagram presented in Fig 1. with multiplexed electro-hydraulic configuration can be subdivided into the main following subsystems: í Electrical subsystems. troubleshooting and fault identification to support subsea operation decision making and maintenance tasks. Intelligent techniques have to be incorporated for classification and fault identification as was mentioned earlier. the hydraulic subsystem including the hydraulic supply. which will be codified by a translator to the regulatory control system in terms of appropriate set points for basic controllers. process history and process data. Corresponding to the nominal conditions for each subsystem have to be achieved to generate the analytical symptoms. communication and instrumentation) with the corresponding interactions for the diagnostic models in the fault detection and diagnostic scheme. subsea operation and production. These patterns have to be sequenced since it is a multivariable process with several subsystems. Fig 3 represents a residuals generation scheme for fault detection incorporating the different subsystems and the main interaction between them. The continuous process level represents all the production control system which interacts with the fault detection and diagnostic system to generate the faults identification when they are produced. electronic. This information is processed by an intelligent event detector. DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS Conventional subsea production control systems. It suggests the incorporation of each subsystem (hydraulic. This information is translated to the automaton in terms of discrete events in order to yield discrete control patterns. diagnosis methods and appropriate supervision tools to be able to perform in a more efficient manner. that the discrete control patterns will provide information to support appropriate decision making for subsea operations and warning messages to support troubleshooting and maintenance tasks. subsea operation and production’ of the regulatory control system monitoring the deviations between process variables and assigned set points for basic controllers. The supervisory system must interact with management levels to be able to update the operational regions in accordance with management priorities. The translator block will translate the discrete control patterns in specific decisions and messages for subsea operation and maintenance tasks.org/control . Cross interactions among subsystems must be included to obtain a reliable multivariable model.theiet. decision making and maintenance tasks. Hence the importance of developing integrated fault detection. which allows mapping the identified faults in discrete events. Comprising the power supply and electrical distribution system. electrical. The discrete events are used in the supervisory system in order to generate the appropriate discrete control patterns for supporting troubleshooting. INTELLIGENT SUPERVISION The proposed supervision scheme is based on the philosophy presented however.44 SUBSEA CONTROL ‘The subsystems are highly interconnected and a fault generated in one of them can be propagated to other subsystems affecting the whole control system performance. hydraulic distribution and the subsea hydraulic sub process inside the subsea control modules. the communication subsystem which comprises all the variables that determine the communication quality which are mainly connected with the electrical subsystem when communication on power is used and the instrumentation system including the external and internal sensors and actuators on the x-mas trees and the control modules respectively. í FAULT DIAGNOSIS The heuristic symptoms generation considers process observation from experts and operators. Information from management levels is also highly valuable to ensure the supervisor can generate the appropriate discrete patterns according to operational and management priorities. for this application. í Diagnostic models. the electronic subsystem comprising the electronic within the subsea control modules and surface control equipment. alarms and messages to operators. Fig 4 illustrates the integrated supervision scheme. SUPERVISION. Then analytical and heuristic symptoms are integrated according to the scheme presented in Fig 1. Control & Automation August/September 2007 www.
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