natural gas Compressor


Compression and Natural Gas Monitoring System

One of the most common applications for Monico Gateways is with natural gas monitoring systems for the compressors used in midstream gathering and pipelines. The majority of compressors are natural gas fueled reciprocating engines driving reciprocating compressors. Our Gateways have not only the ability to monitor the engines directly without need for intermediary devices, but can also act as a Modbus Master to gather data from the compressor controller.

Highlights:

    • The Gateway acts as a master and pushes engine data to the compressor controller and reads compressor data from the controller
    • A unified interface with the SCADA system is provided for both engine and compressor information
    • The gas monitoring systems log data in real time for in-depth analysis used in preventing catastrophic failure and preventive maintenance
    • The data logger can also perform freeze frame diagnostics to pinpoint problems for quick assessment and fixes as well as future prevention
    • Reduce equipment failure through proactive intervention and preventive measures
    • Unmanned stations can be monitored remotely to reduce unnecessary travel

More About Monico Gateways in Natural Gas Monitoring Systems

Since Monico released its Gateway product lines in 2007, more than 5000 Gateways have been installed on natural gas compressors worldwide for use in natural gas monitoring systems. Our Gateways provide a singular interface between the engine and the customers' control and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Generally, the Gateway pulls data from the engine and pushes it to the compressor control system while also pulling compressor information and providing a unified interface for the SCADA system. Our ability to communicate with many different engine protocols, all the major PLC manufacturers’ protocols, and many different SCADA system protocols makes our product uniquely qualified for these applications.

A Basic Gateway has the ability to integrate all of these devices and provide a consolidated interface to a SCADA system, many times integrating a station-level PLC into the mix as well. In this case, we will provide engine and compressor data to the PLC and also pull station data from the PLC and provide a unified interface to the SCADA system. One benefit of this architecture is significantly increased speed due to the elimination of two devices over the largely serial networks.

A PLUS Gateway offers benefits such as real-time data logging and time management. Most serial SCADA networks cannot provide real-time data collection because of network limitations due to the number of devices. SCADA is best suited for long-term trending, but real-time data logging can provide valuable data to analyze failures. Many of our customers are able to pull log files that simultaneously log engine data, compressor data, and station data such as suction pressures in one integrated file for maximum analytic capability.

Natural Gas Monitoring: Compressor Data Gathering

In one installation, our customer's SCADA system was only able to poll each compressor every 2-3 minutes but was experiencing cylinder liner failures on two engines every 1-2 weeks. The data from the SCADA system was not showing any possible cause and at $14,000 per repair, this was causing a lot of pain. A PLUS Gateway was installed to gather data from the engine and then acted as a Modbus master to an Altronics DE-2500. A log file was created to record 20 compressor parameters and 60 engine parameters every three seconds. Each CSV file contained one day of data and 200 daily files were contained in a FIFO file on the 2 GB Compact Flash card. With this real-time data, the customer was able to see the coolant temperature spikes that were causing the eventual failures. This customer then installed Gateway PLUS™ units on all Compressors in their 100+ engine fleet.


Natural gas is a clean and efficient way to power machinery while instituting cost savings. Monico believes that as the supply of natural gas becomes even more available and industries see the cost savings it allows for, we will see a wider use of this natural resource. Read more about the economics of Natural Gas Power Generation at the Natural Gas Supply Association's website

Read more:
The Role of Monitoring in Industrial Automation 
Monitoring for Natural Gas Compressors

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