Case Study: Natural Gas Pipeline SCADA System
Cloud-Based SCADA solutions offered by High Tide Technologies enable Arlington Energy Group to better serve utilities and providers in rural Mississippi
Arlington Energy Group Overview
Arlington Energy Group is a natural gas provider that operates 26 miles of intrastate pipeline in southern Mississippi. They act as a wholesaler, purchasing gas from a large interstate pipeline and distributing it to smaller utilities and providers in Pike County and Amite County. Their highest volume customer is CenterPoint Energy, which purchases natural gas and distributes it to the individual homes and businesses throughout the city of McComb.
Natural Gas Pipeline Monitoring
Gas pipelines are regulated by the Public Service Commission of Mississippi. In addition to requiring regular inspections of meters and regulators, they also require periodic leak surveys to be conducted. Having accurate data expedites this process and ensures compliance with regulations. This is one of the many reasons to invest in better gas pipeline monitoring.
Arlington Energy Group wanted to upgrade their monitoring practices for two key reasons. First, they were still using the paper strip chart recorder method. While this method provides reasonable data measurements at a specific point in time, it is antiquated, inefficient, and provides no data between readings. Furthermore, it isn’t accessible remotely.
The second reason Arlington Energy Group needed a better monitoring solution was for more accurate invoicing. Having such large gaps in data collection left a lot of guesswork when it came time to send the bill. Without data about how the pipeline was operating on a daily basis, it was difficult to know exactly how much gas was flowing through the system. They needed to take advantage of a SCADA system.
Cloud-Based SCADA Solution
In March of 2017, Arlington Energy Group enlisted High Tide Technologies to turbocharge their gas pipeline monitoring system. They wanted better monitoring capabilities for the health and functionality of their equipment. With the gas pipeline located in a largely rural area, their existing monitoring system required the operator to drive to remote metering locations multiple times a month. These trips routinely racked up over 100 miles and wasted several hours every time they visited the site.
Arlington Energy Group had just installed a brand new meter at a key connection point and wanted up-to-date analytics regarding pressure, volume, temperature, and more. High Tide installed an HTT-1100 telemetry unit on this meter, resulting in robust data collection capabilities via the industry’s leading cloud-based SCADA package. Now, all of Arlington Energy Group’s data can be accessed via High Tide’s secure client portal—all from a remote location. Key metrics can be measured and analyzed from a mobile device, vastly improving data collection frequency and efficiency. Additionally, High Tide Technologies has the most comprehensive cloud-based SCADA security in the industry.
SCADA Monitoring Expansion
Implementing High Tide’s SCADA solution at a key connection point was the first step in Arlington Energy Group’s move to improve its pipeline monitoring. They have plans to install five additional HTT-1100 units at various locations along their 26-mile natural gas pipeline. This will be a preventative measure to monitor and maintain system performance at different end-points.
Healthy Equipment, Accurate Billing
The move to upgrade their monitoring capabilities has paid off. According to Don Mundie, president of Arlington Energy Group, “Remote metering information saves us from having to send our operator out to get meter reads multiple times a month. It also allows him to check regulator and meter functionality, which is required for healthy equipment operation. It’s a big time saver. Hide Tide’s SCADA monitoring package not only saves us time but gives us greater confidence in our invoicing.”