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To efficiently manage a reliable gas distribution network, you need data from various points within the network. Understanding the actual pressures across the network will assist in validating modelling, optimising system regulation, identifying leakages and help prevent negative customer experience.

Although telemetry may already exist as part of the network control system, this is generally installed where control assets are located, leaving significant parts of the overall network unmonitored.

Traditionally those gaps might be periodically checked by manual measurement, portable chart recorders or data loggers. These approaches are limited in practice by relatively high labour costs and a lack of near real-time data availability.

The gas network needs robust, reliable and low-cost remote pressure monitoring solutions that are also safe to use in the natural gas environment. To provide this solution, a number of Australian gas distribution companies are utilising Metasphere’s ATEX/IECEx Zone 0 (Gas IIB) approved Point Blue IoT (4G LTE – NBIoT/Cat-M1) Remote Telemetry Unit (RTU).

As a battery-powered telemetry logger, the Point Blue IoT RTU can be deployed in permanent or short-term (winter program) locations easily and economically whilst maintaining safety.

The Point Blue IoT RTU can be connected to a wide variety of pressure transducers currently on the market, so the pressure range and mechanical installation is not constrained by a unique or vendor-specific sensor.

The Point Blue IoT RTU offers both dynamic trending (i.e. event logging) and dynamic data transfers back to an existing host service, like a SCADA system using DNP3, or via Palette, Metasphere’s web-hosted Telemetry Software- as-a-Service product.

For example, under normal conditions data may be logged every 15 minutes and transferred daily to a host service for analysis; or under configurable ‘alarm’ conditions it may be logging every three minutes and transferred hourly for more immediate attention and action.

Utilising the available feature sets enables a proactive approach to the status of the gas network while only calling upon the Point Blue IoT RTU’s battery power when it is most needed.

Metasphere’s Point Blue IoT RTU can monitor pressure at pressure reduction stations (PRS), local distribution zones (LDZ) offtakes/city gates, extremity points, network validation points and many other places. You can also connect additional external sensors, flowmeters, serial or digital devices to enable monitoring of network performance beyond just pressure.

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by Metasphere. For more information, visit www.metasphere.co.uk.

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