- Oil & Gas
- Alberta, Canada
LNG Control Center Renovation & Automation Upgrade
Oil & Gas | Western Australia
Is it possible to do a complete re-instrumentation upgrade of an existing control room without disrupting show-must-go-on operations? BAW Architecture’s answer was yes, in the form of an “igloo”-inspired solution.
The vision was to upgrade all control room equipment, and install one of the world’s first large overview display screens, a state-of-the-art technology at the time. An industry expert wrote a white paper about this re-instrumentation project that references BAW’s expertise and outlines the positive end result. The paper became influential in the industry, and today large display screens in control rooms are commonplace.
Old console technology had to be removed and the new technology installed in the existing space while the plant was running at its usual capacity. To achieve this, BAW Architecture built protective shelters over each operator to shield them from such things as noise and welding sparks. Made from refrigerator siding, they were quickly dubbed “igloos.” As each console was completed, the operator was migrated into the new space.
At first the operators resisted large screens—they were reluctant to be consolidated into one room, and didn’t want their information visible to everyone. But ultimately the operators became converts. A progression took place from rejecting the new technology to appreciating and celebrating it as a major advancement. The screens are expensive—ultimately the operators need to be educated on their benefit and actually use them. In this case there was a paradigm shift, and the new technology became an integrated and celebrated part of their culture.
Control Systems CoordinatorI have been showing people here the pictures of the control room and telling them it is the class of control room I want built on the project. A few people have seen it, and are very impressed. I definitely have the display wall with the large screens in the operating philosophy. That has been a great success.”
Safety in Design
Keeping the operators safe during the upgrade was essential to this project. Panels from reinforced refrigeration insulation provided the igloo solution. Keeping the operators safe and happy during construction was key.
According to a white paper published by the client, the results were:
- Improvement of the control room environment by reducing unnecessary control room traffic, keeping support staff and facilities close to the control room, and by improving acoustics.
- Return of the “big picture” back to the control room by installing a video display wall.
- Reduction of the number of alarms annunciated to the console operator by performing Alarm Objectives Analysis.
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