Deep-sea Safety Breakthrough


Jan 09, 2009

HIMA, a designer and manufacturer of safety automation solutions, has introduced its latest HIMatrix F35 controller for sub-sea applications.

Together with its Norwegian representative Bjørge Saas System AS, HIMA has developed a HIPPS (High Integrity Pressure Protection System) that monitors excess wellhead pressure and partially isolates pipe pressure by closing off effected pipeline segments.

The HIMatrix F35 Subsea controller meets the rigorous demands of the growing sub-sea market and is one of the first safety-related programmable logic controllers for use at up to SIL 3.

“Development of deep-sea oil and gas reserves has become increasingly attractive due to global energy demand. However, deep-sea applications are subject to increased environmental protection requirements due to the considerable impact of an equipment failure, as well as the challenges involved in localizing and addressing any failure”, said Rolf Hafner, Head of Product Management. “For that reason, there is keen interest for deployed systems to offer the highest level of safety and availability, and the HIMatrix F35 Subsea controller is the ideal solution for today’s complex underwater applications.”

The subsea system incorporates a redundancy design where dual HIMatrix F35 subsea controllers are used, together with two safety-related remote I/O modules, the HIMatrix F3 AIO subsea I/O modules. The HIMatrix controllers are connected via safe ethernet, and the link to the SEM (Subsea Electronic Module) is made through MODBUS RTU.

HIPPS can be used at depths of up to 4,000 m, and the first projects utilizing these sub-sea applications have been successfully completed. The system was built for deep-sea applications in accordance with IEC 61508/SIL 3 and ISO/DIS 13628-6 (“Control systems for underwater production”). Pressure is monitored by three or more pressure meters, and “Pulse-to-Trip” and “Partial Stroke Tests” are used to control the HIPPS valves.

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