Suncor Energy - Emergency Shut Down (ESD)

CASE STUDIES

Suncor Energy - Emergency Shut Down (ESD)

Overview

Suncor Energy Inc. is an integrated energy company developing one of the world's largest petroleum reserves – the Athabasca oil sands in northern Alberta, Canada. The company also develops and produces natural gas resources and refines crude oil to market a range of petroleum and petrochemical products, primarily under the Sunoco brand. Gentherm Global Power Technologies (GPT)* offers a line of Hybrid systems, combining solar with generators, and can convert any solar system to a hybrid with a thermoelectric or other type of generator.

The Situation

GPT thermoelectric generators (TEGs) were selected to power the Emergency Shut Down (ESD) systems at the Suncor Energy Inc. Simonette Gas Plant. The plants primary function is to manage and process sour gas, with stringent requirements in place to shut down the incoming pipeline in the event of a safety concern. This pipeline runs beyond power lines, so highly reliable remote power solutions are required to monitor and control the Emergency Shut Down (ESD) systems.

The Challenge

Suncor Energy Inc. is an integrated energy company developing one of the world's largest petroleum reserves – the Athabasca oil sands in northern Alberta, Canada. The company also develops and produces natural gas resources and refines crude oil to market a range of petroleum and petrochemical products, primarily under the Sunoco brand.

Suncor's natural gas business has a facility called the Simonette Gas Plant. Because its primary function is to manage and process sour gas, stringent requirements are in place to shut down the incoming pipeline in the event of a safety concern. This pipeline runs beyond power lines, so remote power solutions are required to monitor and control the Emergency Shut Down (ESD) systems.

GPT's* Solution

GPT's model 5030 TEG produces 21W of continuous, regulated DC power as long as there is a supply of fuel. This was easy to secure as each Suncor site had a supply of clean, sweet gas used to power and control instrumentation. The TEG was connected to the battery terminals of the existing solar system. Since both solar and TEGs have output blocking diodes, extra wiring was not required.

The TEG covered the electrical demand completely so that the solar panels could be moved and used in other applications. At present the panels (2 x 100W) remain and Suncor has not yet decided whether it is worth it to remove them.

Timing

Suncor started to experience solar system failure when the sun was at its lowest on December 21st. GPT was able to provide seven small TEGs within two weeks of the order.

Results

Since the installation of the TEGs, the system has worked flawlessly. To ensure reliable operation, Suncor subsequently decided to install TEGs at all eight ESD locations. The potential loss of production and safety concerns far outweighed the cost to retrofit the sites.
*Formerly Global Thermoelectric

Gentherm Global Power Technologies*(GPT)  Remote power products are designed for a minimum 20-year service life.


  • check marks GPT solutions are known for their ability to operate reliably in any environment.
  • check marks There are 25,000+ GPT products installed in 55 countries.
  • check marks GPT has received the Canada Export Award three times as well as a special Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • check marks GPT's head office is in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • check marks GPT has corporate offices in Canada and the U.S. and authorized sales representatives throughout the world.
  • check marks GPT and its employees are active contributors to its customer communities through charitable donations and volunteer work
  • check marks GPT provides:
    Power where you need it.®

*Formerly:
 Global Thermoelectric