Case Study: Sella Ness

Installation of new anemometer and consolidation of data processing equipment at a port site, completed Q2 2019.

Existing site and equipment

The existing equipment at this site was spread across several, mostly remote, locations and included three dataloggers, four PCs and various other interface equipment and power supplies. Due to the highly distributed nature of the systems there were a lot of potential failure points.

The port equipment comprised of analog wind speed and direction sensors, with a datalogger and RS485 modem output to the site office building. Inside the office building there was a receiving modem and a network link to the processing PC, with redundant phone outputs and power supplies.

Three other remote locations were also sending data back to the port office building:

  • Ungam islet with Gill WindSonic ultrasonic anemometer, datalogger and RF modem returning data to a receiving RF Modem and processing PC
  • Foula island with an analog anemometer/temperature sensor with datalogger and BGAN satellite modem sending data to processing PC
  • A wave buoy in a nearby navigation channel sending to a receiver and processing PC

Upgrade

The aim was to use only one PC for processing data from all locations, and to simplify the existing equipment to remove as many points of failure as possible.

The main site analog wind speed and direction sensors were removed and replaced with a Gill WindSonic ultrasonic anemometer with digital output and a serial converter in line to provide an RS485 output. The new sensor was configured in the same way as the Ungam remote site and a spare so they could all be exchanged if required. The existing analog anemometers could also be used as spares for the Foula remote site.

The main site PC was replaced with a new one running Nevis' Elements Offshore software and with an RS485 serial feed from the new anemometer.

The wave buoy receiver output was a simple matter of swapping the existing RS232 output into the new PC. Elements incorporates wave data processing which has been extensively tested in the North Sea by major operators.

The two other remote sites were slightly more complicated as they used dataloggers to log and process data before sending back averaged data via RF modem and BGAN satellite modem. The new port PC was setup with the datalogger software to interrogate the dataloggers and pull the data from the datalogger tables, from where it can be ingested by Elements Offshore.

A data feed from Elements Offshore to Elements Online was also enabled.

Outcome

The weather display in the port office was originally fed from the four different PCs each occupying a quarter of a large TV screen. Now a single Elements Offshore display shows data from all four sites concurrently, along with access to historical data and sensor status, etc.

The client is also able to access their data from Elements Online, and the data has been made available to third-parties via the Elements Online API for forecasting and other operational purposes.