Solution Spotlight: High-level power protection for oil exploration…Wanted: A More Dependable, Rugged Solution

0907_solspotlight1Oil services company, Allis-Chalmers Energy, Inc., knows first hand the time and financial ramifications of not having clean, uninterrupted power.

The inherent nature of oil drilling means that all equipment must be able to operate in extremely harsh conditions—that includes equipment that is powering the various oil extraction machines. If these machines aren’t receiving clean, continuous power, operations can come to a costly halt. Through experience, Allis-Chalmers Tubular Services found out that not all power protection systems are created equal.

One of the most important tools that Allis-Chalmers uses in oil extraction and exploration is an automated hydraulic tubular make-up or break-out system known as a tong machine. The tong machine is what handles the important task of coupling the tubing (the pipe through which the oil flows) and regulates the rotation of the tubeconnecting process.

Automated hydraulic tong machines operate in particularly harsh environments, especially when operating onshore, which is typically in a remote area without available AC power. In these cases, a generator is located inside an on-site vehicle to provide electricity. “The power coming from the generator is very polluted—full of spikes, noise and surges,” says Brad Guidry, assistant store manager and safety coordinator for Allis-Chalmers Tubular Services in Louisiana. “This unstable power leads to a significant amount of downtime. The ‘dirty’ power from the generator would send power surges and spikes through to the tong machine’s computer and destroy the circuit boards and internal power supply. We bought and installed a traditional power conditioner—a transformer-based unit. We picked one that we thought would do the job. We plugged that unit in and, though we thought we solved the problem, the result was—to our dismay—another blown computer.”

0907_solspotlight2“Finally,” notes Guidry, “one of our team members told us about Falcon’s UPSs. Falcon, located in Southern California, has a distributor next door in Plano, Texas. Phil Eddelman, owner of Digital Environmental Solutions, talked to us about the load, operating location and conditions and other requirements such as the back-up time we required. Phil was very knowledgeable about the Falcon UPS line and he suggested we install an SSG-500VA-1 On-Line UPS.”

According to Guidry, since his organization installed the SSG500s, it hasn’t experienced any downtime related to power surges or spikes. “In fact,” he continues, “these UPSs work so well that we don’t worry about the quality of the power, whether we are on or off shore.”

Falcon Electric, Inc.
Irwandale, CA