Integrating decarbonization solutions into daily operations

Pursuing net-zero ambitions and meeting decarbonization goals can seem daunting at first, but with a basic understanding of your carbon performance, you can identify the best solutions to meet sustainability goals while improving efficiency. global.

There are several solutions based on a balance between technical, business and practical factors that can be applied to decarbonize the day-to-day operations of a facility or asset. Here are some practical steps on how to improve the integrity of new and existing infrastructure and ultimately reduce unwanted emissions.

Start by establishing a baseline of your current infrastructure and apply a digital solution to inspect the facility or asset to identify where issues are already occurring or likely to occur. Robots and drones equipped with cameras and sensors can be deployed to capture high-resolution images and data to indicate where anomalies or problem areas are.

Then, seek to address potential failures with ongoing maintenance and repairs to pre-existing infrastructure. Being equipped with the data on where operational anomalies are occurring or likely to occur is only the first step. It’s by applying this knowledge to strengthen and modify the equipment that the real difference is made.

Scheduling ongoing maintenance and routine services through scheduled shutdowns and overhauls can avoid the need for emergency repairs and subsequent interruptions to operations. Additionally, by investing time in preventive services and applying insights based on collected data to prioritize priority areas in a facility, you can ensure that the facility will continue to operate at higher efficiency with lower emissions. lower carbon fugitives.

Finally, ongoing inspections with robots operating autonomously can track the performance and progress of aging infrastructure over time to identify corrosion, slow leaks, and other gradually evolving issues that may become a problem later. This shifts condition monitoring from a passive reporting process to an active response process. Additionally, by using digital surveillance solutions that capture in-depth data analysis, anomalies can be detected earlier than when a human inspector can observe them.

Continuous monitoring of vibration, temperature, and other key data from thousands of points in a facility or asset can also allow operators to quickly identify any anomalies and react quickly to those changes. Here are some examples of operators who have benefited from this type of monitoring: a gas plant which was able to identify methane leaks around their compressors and a coal processing plant which was able to see via numerical modeling that there had a significant loss of insulation in their operation. reactor. In both cases, operators were able to respond and repair identified issues efficiently, allowing them to maintain normal operations and prevent potential equipment failures.

This monitoring can also be supplemented with on-line acoustic emission inspections, where state-of-the-art monitoring technology includes sensitive acoustic devices that can “listen” for leaks. It’s a smart approach that enhances existing monitoring solutions.

Older assets face more complex challenges to reduce emissions intensity. It is often less efficient and logistically and economically difficult to replace or reorganize pre-existing infrastructure. However, these aging parts and equipment can contribute to fugitive emissions when they fail or degrade.

Digital solutions have a major role to play in decarbonization, from technologies to generate and supply new sources of energy to innovations that will transform the way we use them. Leveraging data and these digital solutions can also offer a less capital-intensive route to optimizing operational performance, targeting energy production and minimizing waste.

Stephen Kelman is director of growth and development for Americas operations at Wood. He has 10 years of experience in supporting operations and maintenance activities in the energy and industrial sector.

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