Mexico’s Energy Reforms Promise a More Competitive and Efficient Power Industry

Emerson's Juan Carlos Bravo

Author: Juan Carlos Bravo

In August 2013, the Mexico government passed a new Energy reform, which one of its main objectives is to strengthen the competitiveness in the generation of power, accelerate the expansion of transmission networks, improve distribution supply quality, and offer the end consumer a wider range of opportunities to meet their consumption needs at more competitive prices.

The intention is that that this reform drives the advantage of natural gas in the generation of electric power through the expansion and reinforcement of the gas pipeline network. It also would contribute to the objectives of non-fossil fuel participation in the energy matrix.

This new paradigm offers the private sector the opportunity to participate in the electricity sector more actively, from investments in generation, transmission and distribution activities, to leveraging the opportunities that a more competitive approach will offer to electric power users.

Most recently, on January 2016, The University of Calgary and the Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER) signed a collaboration note that opens up a long-term partnership to help Mexico boost its energy sector. As part of this partnership, SENER has allocated $12 million over four years from their hydrocarbon fund for Mexican organizations that want to collaborate with the university on energy research and education.

As stated by Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, Mexico’s Secretary of Energy: Continue Reading

Calculating Fluid Density Changes in Foundation Fieldbus Devices

I received this question on density measurement and wanted to share what I found out.

I understand all dP flow measurements are affected by the density of the fluid (liquid or gas) flowing through orifice, annubar, pitot tube, etc. Most dP measurements in process measurements make an assumption of the density of the fluid. I understand the measurement of density is a complicated and expensive.

My question to you concerns Foundation Fieldbus systems.

  1. Are the math blocks for calculating liquid flow using a Differential Pressure Transmitter available in a Foundation Fieldbus network? I know there are flow computers for this calculation. I was hoping FF would absorb the flow computer functionality.
  2. If this capability exists, does the calculation allow for the input of density over the FF network for realtime correction of the flow measurement for changes in fluid density?

I turned to Emerson’s Sudhir Jain who has lots of experience in the oil & gas industry and with the Foundation fieldbus protocol technology in his role as a Senior Industry Consultant.

Sudhir pointed me to the Rosemount 3051S Series product data sheet. On page 119, it describes a fully compensated mass flow block option:

Calculates fully compensated mass flow based on differential pressure with external process pressure and temperature measurements over the Fieldbus segment. Configuration for the mass flow calculation is easily accomplished using the Rosemount Engineering Assistant software.

Continue Reading

Value from Monitoring Control Valves

As staff in process manufacturing and production facilities shrink due to economic or demographic conditions, on-site engineers, operations and maintenance personnel must increase their breadth of skills at the expense of skill depth.

Valve Condition MonitoringIn a recent post, Monitoring Control Valves with Remote Expertise, we described how remote expertise could help augment local staff in the area of valve monitoring and maintenance.

In this 4:47 YouTube video, Control Valve Condition Monitoring Prevents Unplanned Shutdowns, an end user, Kory Chance with the City of Ames (Iowa) municipal power plant, describes how he benefits from being notified before a valve failure condition occurs. This notification also provides time to get the parts required onsite and maintenance activity scheduled instead of reacting to an unplanned event. Continue Reading

Online Pressure Regulator CAD Drawing Resource

For process manufacturers and producers, regulating pressure throughout the process is important for safety, efficiency and reliability. We’ve highlighted the important role of pressure regulators in numerous posts.

During the front end engineering design phase of a project, having good CAD (computer-aided design) drawings are important in determining the best regulator for the application given piping configurations, fluid flow properties & characteristics and pressure regulator requirements.

Emerson's Ashley Holley

Emerson’s Ashley Holley shared a great online resource of CAD drawings of pressure regulators.

Pressure-Regulator-CADThese include regulators used in Air, Liquids, LP-Gas (Propane), Natural Gas, Oil & Gas, Process Gases, Sanitary, Steam and Tank Blanketing & Recovery applications.

Let’s look at an example. The basic process is to step through the criteria in the selection process. For the Type 1190 Tank Blanketing Valve, I chose a number of selections based on materials of construction, body sizes, application pressure ranges, internal seal materials, CAD drawing viewing angle and more.

The selections are saved on the web page as they are made and the CAD drawing can be downloaded in many CAD formats (DWG, DXF, XML, etc.) as well as picture-based formats.

These can be imported into the project design documents to make sure the mechanical specifications meet the intended application.

Some pressure regulators require only a few selections and others require numerous selections to provide the CAD drawing information you require. Continue Reading

WirelessHART Security Update

In recent weeks, there have been third party reports regarding security vulnerabilities of WirelessHART® systems. Emerson’s security experts have investigated and evaluated these claims. There are no known instances of successful security breaches in a customer setting to date and Emerson is doing everything possible to ensure that this remains the case. The vulnerabilities involved individuals who had physical access to the systems and disassembled the transmitter, to extract memory contents with specialized tools, in order to look for encryption keys. These concerns do not apply to manufacturers and producers with proper physical and network security practices in place.

Emerson has always suggested that customers implement the following security best practices to mitigate any potential security risk associated with the WirelessHART systems:

  • Control physical access
  • Change join keys
  • Use an Access Control List

Emerson's Melissa Stiegler

I spoke with Emerson’s Melissa Stiegler, Senior Global Wireless Product Manager, and she emphasized that Emerson is committed to designing, delivering and maintaining robust and secure products. Protecting our products against security threats is a top priority and is why we have a dedicated security staff to continuously monitor, analyze and respond to any potential security issue and offer mitigations if and when necessary.

“We’re working with Emerson security experts, as well as engaging third party experts to help design and maintain the robust security of our products. Emerson is committed to reviewing threats as they become known, issuing notifications when necessary, and providing mitigations and solutions in a timely manner. We use opportunities like these to consistently deliver more secure products to our users,” said Melissa. Continue Reading