Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) has created an Expert Alarm System by combining SCADA data, model data, and model logic to produce integrated Gas Control alarms for the gas controllers. The EAS was implemented to provide suggestions/alarms to the gas controller as to how the system could be run more efficiently and how to avoid certain potentially undesirable situations on the pipeline. Typically these alarms are created after evaluation of several variables such as suction/discharge pressures, system line pack, control valve set points, regulator set points, and delivery load for a given area. This information would probably be correctly evaluated by the gas controller if he had plenty of time to consider all variables; however, the EAS system provides suggestions/alarms that are helpful especially when the gas controller is dealing with multiple pipeline situations. The system uses a straight forward approach to accomplish its goals. The software logic is implemented as part of FGT's existing pipeline simulator tools using both model data and SCADA measurements as input. The generated alarms are delivered to the SCADA system for display with all other SCADA produced alarms. This paper will present some of the benefits of implementing a system like the EAS. We will give examples of the logic EAS utilizes and compare this with the process a gas controller would have to go through to come to a similar conclusion.
The FGT Real-Time model & Expert Alarm System (EAS) were both co-developed by FGT Gas Control engineers and Energy Solutions International engineers. Very advanced expert systems currently exist in the market. The EAS project was very careful not to become anything more than a straight forward modest technical advance that was clearly beneficial. Often with this type of project there is the temptation to try to create a system that does "everything". This project just tries to create very helpful suggestions. EAS does not attempt to run the pipeline system for the gas controller. FGT has successfully been using Real-Time models to help the Gas Control department run the pipeline system more efficiently. The Real-Time model has allowed Gas Control to study pipeline and horsepower outages to determine how to most efficiently run and schedule the pipeline during these abnormal operations. The Real-Time model has also allowed the Gas Control department to study the FGT system in normal operating mode so that smarter decisions could be made in terms of day-to-day operations. The Real-Time model has extensively been used by the managers and engineers that work in the Gas Control department, but the gas controllers have not used the Real-Time model very much. The EAS is a step towards Real-Time models and the information available in models being used throughout the day by gas controllers.