Engineered Automation & Power Solutions

Deep Injection Well Drilling Application Note

Application Overview

Deep injection wells are used for the disposal of treated effluent from large volume sewer treatment plants. In South Florida, there exists a geological formation named the Boulder Zone that begins at around 1,000 meters deep. This formation is a “swiss cheese” zone in which large volumes of water can be pumped into with minimal pressure.

Disposing of the treated effluent into this formation, as opposed to discharging it in to a river, an estuary, or the ocean, has an important environmental impact. The nutrient rich water creates algae blooms in the rivers and estuaries that kills the grass beds which are critical to a healthy estuary.

E (electrical) class rigs were designed to replace the existing fleet of diesel/hydraulic rigs. The nearly completely electric automated version was designed with the following goals:

  • Increased efficiency both in terms of drilling time and operating cost per hour
  • Improved process control for higher quality well construction through the use of state-of-the-art automation and control systems
  • Quieter operations to minimize noise pollution in areas where high population densities surround the job site.
  • A more powerful drill rig capable of drilling a larger borehole than the current fleet

Application Highlights

  • E Class Rig control system used a Siemens PLC with distributed I/O and a Siemens WinCC server.
  • The driller controls the system via a custom driller’s console that houses joysticks and other devices as well as an HMI thin client terminal. The thin client replaces analog gauges used on the older rigs. It also performs typical functions of an HMI like setting operating and alarm set points (most of which are only accessible to the superintendent), calibration of devices, motor control and alarming.
  • The thin client runs via a web browser so there is no need for additional software. This technology, along with a VPN, allows superintendents and managers to remotely view the operating screens to monitor production.
  • The driller has the option to enable an Autodriller. Autodriller runs three (3) simultaneous PID loops (rate of penetration, weight on bit and top head torque). The system determines which loop is in the most need of control and changes the drilling method.
  • Process data is logged to a SQL Server database allowing the customer to monitor/trend efficiency, performance and production of the system as well as track set point changes and aid in troubleshooting.
  • A VPN/Firewall network connection, to each E Rig, provides a secure method of remote diagnostics/troubleshooting and software upgrades, resulting in significant customer savings in time, expenses, and downtime.

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