In the Oil & Gas Industry, sensors and control systems work together to ensure facilities run smoothly. Accurate communication is essential for safety and productivity, and without the ability for different devices to speak to each other this infrastructure is lost. Central to maintaining a strong communications net are protocols – a system of rules that allow two or more parts of a system to transmit information.
These protocols allow devices connected to the same network to talk. For example, a system that measures temperature can communicate with a system that measures humidity.
The Modbus protocol
One type of protocol is Modbus – developed by Modicon in 1979. Free and open to use by manufacturers, it transmits information digitally between electronic devices. Since its introduction, Modbus has become the most widely used network protocol in the industrial manufacturing environment. It is simple, inexpensive, universal and easy to use. By being digital, transmitted data is 100 per cent correct and can be sent in large volumes. Industry analysts have reported more than seven million Modbus nodes in North America and Europe alone.
Although new analysers and flowmeters may have a wireless or Ethernet interface, Modbus is still the protocol most vendors choose to implement in new and old devices. As it can run over virtually all communications media – from wireless to microwave – a Modbus connection can be established in new or existing plants with ease.
It is used in innumerable gas and oil and substation applications and is ideal for distributed control systems (DCS), which are often found on oil and gas offshore platforms, onshore oil wells, pump stations and pipelines.
Connecting to FGM
The Fluenta 160 Flare Gas Meter measures the volume of natural gas being flared on oil and gas sites. It can be interfaced to a Modbus protocol through a DCS port, allowing the software in the oil and gas facility’s control room to communicate with the FGM 160 Flow Computer.
With Fluenta’s 160 Flare Gas Meter, companies can keep track of the amount of gas they are flaring. There are a number of reasons for flaring gas:
- Safety – by burning excess natural gas, flaring protects against the dangers of over-pressuring industrial equipment
- Disposal – to dispose of excess, unwanted gas, oil and gas facilities will burn it off
- Remote locations – when companies do not have the infrastructure in place to capture natural gas and safely transport it is often flared
The Fluenta 160 Flare Gas Meter ensures natural gas is being flared appropriately, safely and only when necessary. For more information on our meters, click here.