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Model-Free Adaptive Control of Oil Separators with ControlWave™

Use of MFA Control
Benefits
• Feedback/Feedforward MFAs control of oil levels to balance the material flow in multiple vessels. • To ensure that all capacity in a 3-phase crude oil separator is being used so that the process throughput is maximized without any trips occurring.
• Robust control of water levels to maximize vessel capacity and prevent leakage. • Automatically control critical oil level, water level, and pressure loops under all operating conditions and eliminate the need to manually re-tune the controller parameters.
• Nonlinear MFA control of gas pressure to handle slugs and reduce gas waste. • Combining Bristol Babcock's ControlWave with CyboSoft’s MFA technology delivers quick ROI.



Bristol's ControlWave

Oil Separator Control & Optimization Using Embedded MFA Controllers in ControlWave

Process: Whether onshore or offshore, a 3-phase oil separator train consists of 2 separator vessels with or without a slug catcher. Crude oil consisting of water, oil, and gas is separated through the system.

Control Problems: Each ves-sel is typically controlled as a standalone unit. There are instances where a high level trip in one of the vessels has occurred while there is spare capacity in the other vessel. Also, the gas pressure loop is nonlinear in nature and a random slug can cause the pressure loop to swing resulting in frequent ignition of excessive gas.

Solution: This is a combined control and optimization problem. CyboSoft offers an effective solu-tion for controlling critical level and pressure loops and maximizing the separation capacity.

Water Level Control: Robust MFA controllers are used to control the Water Levels. This allows a lower setpoint setting leaving more storage room for the Oil Level. A lower bound on the Water Level PV prevents the level from drop-ping too low which might cause oil leakage.

Pressure Control: Nonlinear characterization of the pressure loops is not required to use the nonlinear MFA controllers. They can effectively deal with gas loop nonlinearity and slug problems with easy configuration.

Oil Level Control: Feed-back/Feedforward MFA controllers are used to control the oil levels in a multivariable control fashion. The respective oil levels can be coordinated by simultaneously manipulating the related oil valves to prevent too high an oil level in one vessel while there is still storage room in others. This special MFA can balance the oil levels for both vessels to maximize the vessel capacity usage.

Conclusion: This solution is delivered using Bristol Babcock's ControlWave Hybrid controller, which has a Class I, Div 2 rating and can be used on oil platforms. Since no process models are needed, commissioning and maintenance of the system is simple with guaranteed performance.

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