The nature of Oil and Gas production presents numerous challenges for creating and maintaining reliable electrical infrastructure. Production assets are often widely dispersed over remote geographical areas, leaving them vulnerable to wildlife, storms and poor load management. Unfortunately for ESPs, even an extremely short interruption in electrical service can lead to significant downtime, stress on equipment, and additional field labor costs. The economic and operational advantages to providing a readily available, alternative source of power during these short duration events is significant. This paper describes an effective, economical approach that is based on locally situated energy storage with the appropriate control circuitry.
The existing Variable Speed Drive (VSD) architecture allows for the storage system to be constantly connected to the ESP's electrical system, allowing for an ever-present power supply without the need for mechanical switching. The ride-through system was designed to keep a fully loaded ESP system, of corresponding size, operational during most temporary power disturbances. At the conclusion of rigorous laboratory testing, the ride-through system was installed in the field and was subjected to simulated outages. Precision electrical monitoring equipment was installed to record voltage and current during genuine disruptions and interruptions. Records from field testing and genuine events confirmed the viability of local storage systems utilizing supercapacitors. The energy storage system provided a steady supply of power and consistently prevented shutdowns during common power system disruptions. Due to its capacity to store a considerable amount of power, the system demonstrated an ability to ride-through both multiple disturbances in short succession as well as outages lasting as long as 8 seconds, even under full load.