The world's first hybrid drilling rig began commercial operations on July 1st, 2018. Significant fuel savings and emissions reductions were achieved by implementing a hybrid Energy Management System (hEMS).

The hEMS uses battery energy storage and engine automation to reduce the number of gensets operating and increase the average efficiency of each genset. The key to achieving fuel savings was to integrate the controls of the hEMS with the drilling rig's controls system. By doing so, gensets are automatically turned on or off depending on the power demand of the rig and the state of charge of the battery.

In addition to fuel savings, downtime due to issues with generators was avoided. The battery energy storage provided power when a genset faulted or needed immediate servicing. Furthermore, monitoring genset performance, diesel fuel flow, field gas fuel flow when available, and overall rig electrical bus activity enabled prediction of potential blackouts and helped technicians target preventative maintenance.

The system was developed over two years and tested at a rig construction facility before being placed into operation on a rig working in the Marcellus Shale. This paper describes the technology and presents the results achieved to date with regards to measuring fuel savings, lowering emissions, reducing genset runtime hours, and avoiding power-related downtime.

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