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Hydraulic Fracturing Process Monitoring

HydrauliclDiagram - Hydraulic Fracturing Process Monitoring

Fracking, otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing, has become a word well-known with the recent expansion of oil exploration. As fracking helps to release natural substances (in this case, oil) from the earth’s rock for extraction, monitoring sensors directly at the site provide data and supervisory control for engineers and personnel controlling the fracking process.

The fracturing process, in order to be profitable, must be truly mobile. Thus, many pressure pumping companies located in both the United States and Canada have created mobile command centers inside vehicles to control the fracking operation directly from the field. These vehicles, often termed “data vans,” house important monitoring equipment. Sensors used directly at the fracking site such as pressure meters, flow meters and engine and pump monitoring sensors transmit data in various different protocols such as CAN bus, RS-232 and RS-485. Converting all of this data to a common medium – Ethernet – is necessary for the SCADA system to ensure the fracking process is safe and efficient.

Comtrol’s DeviceMaster RTS 16-Port serial to Ethernet gateway is included in data vans as the center of communication with the field. As seen below, the data from the sensors is either converted from CAN bus to RS-232, or travels directly via RS-485 to the DeviceMaster. The DeviceMaster then relays that information via TCP/IP (Ethernet) to the SCADA system. The DeviceMaster provides great flexibility with software selectable RS-232/422/485 support, along with being reliable, rugged and tolerating use in a mobile environment for extended periods of time.

The Comtrol DeviceMaster RTS 16-Port rack mount is a 16-port device server designed for network-enabling serial communications devices. The DeviceMaster RTS family of serial device servers enables browserbased remote port/device monitoring and configuration and provides an application software platform for local processing. The DeviceMaster RTS product is a network-attached solidstate embedded device server network serial port that delivers exceptional price, performance and reliability.