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FYI Helps Generating Company Minimize Oil Leaks Using Video


Working with a major power generation facility FYI Technology solved a critical issue utilizing Longwatch's video system and Canary Labs historian. The 1.6 GW generation plant (Four 400 MW turbines fired by dual fuel boiler systems) alternates between using oil or gas to fuel the boilers depending on a number of criteria. Oil is pumped from Tankers into holding tanks approximately ½ mile from the plant. The 3 holding tanks have capacity for 13 to 20 million gallons each. Oil is then pumped to day tanks at the plant (4 total - 1 for each Boiler holding approximately 1 million Gallons).

During the oil transfers, vibration from the large pumps often pose problems which need to be detected and acted upon. All vibration and leak alarms needed to be verified in-person. Frequently, time and resources had been wasted in traveling to the transfer house to verify what turned out to be a false alarm. Also it could take a significant amount of time for a technician to travel to the pump house to verify an actual alarm; significant fuel could leak during this waiting period.


A Longwatch Video system was installed that allowed the control room operator to view the transfer house equipment and sensors as high resolution video within the existing HMI/SCADA application. Alarms are integrated into the Longwatch system, which directs cameras to a predefined view based on the particular event. In addition, from the HMI workstation, operators can tilt, pan and zoom the cameras to further examine a spill or other alarm. This timely feedback allows for better response to real alarms.

In one recent instance, the Longwatch system allowed operators to identify an alarm as an actual spill and they were able to intervene and limit the spill to less than 25 gallons. Prior to this, the spill might have reached 1000 gallons. By limiting the spill and by recording both the spill and subsequent cleanup, the expensive and extensive process of an EPA incident report was avoided.

Archived video footage from just prior to the event, also uncovered a problem with the leak detector installation. The plant subsequently modified the installation so that the detectors would identify leaks much faster.

A post event analysis determined that vibration was the most likely cause of the failure. By integrating the Canary Labs Historian with the Longwatch video system the Company can now associate pump vibration data with video images. This allows Company engineers to to better predict and prevent leaks.

The Longwatch system also acts as a record to confirm daily leak detector checks. The system logs each alarm along with a video clip of 5 seconds before the event and 10 seconds after the event. In addition, 24 hour, high resolution video is stored for 100 days. The Company uses all of this video and data to continue to analyze the operation and improve the prevention of and response to events. To learn more about Longwatch, 
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FYI Technology
automation & information solutions
for manufacturing and utility\s