Field Shelter with Cooling System Houses TETRA Base Station for Middle East Gas Line
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 | Comments

A field equipment shelter fitted with fault-tolerant cooling is ensuring the reliability of a wireless communications link that connects the instrumentation on a new gas pipeline crossing a Middle Eastern desert to the remote control room. Fabricated from tough glassfiber-reinforced polyester (GRP) materials, the shelter houses a TETRA base station powered by solar panels to function reliably in an off-grid location some 50 kilometers from the nearest town.

Intertec Instrumentation's shelter employs a hybrid cooling system to safeguard the 56-square-meter shelter's electronics equipment and battery power storage compartment. The system consists of a water-based passive cooler assisted by dual-redundant electrically powered water coolers. This approach combines the intrinsic reliability of passive cooling with active water refrigeration to increase cooling efficiency on hot days. The system can handle a cooling load of around 1.9 kilowatts (kW), ensuring that even during this Middle Eastern climate's summer when ambient temperatures can climb as high as 55 degrees C, interior shelter temperatures will always stay below a worst-case peak of around 35 degrees C. At other times of the year, internal shelter temperatures are maintained far below these levels.

The remote location means that the base station is far from the electricity grid, and must be powered by solar energy. The passive cooling system, based on a water tank with internal and external heat exchangers, exploits the desert climate's daily temperature swing to store the coolness of the night and use it to moderate internal temperatures during the day. The water circulates around the system by natural convection, without electrical power or moving parts. Even if both water coolers were to fail, Intertec's passive system has enough cool water capacity to maintain low shelter temperatures for many days giving maintenance staff plenty of time to access the remote site and make repairs.

"Hybrid cooling for field shelters and cabinets is a major enabler for process plant operators that need to install electronics equipment in remote off-grid locations, and hostile environmental conditions,” said Intertec Project Manager Simon Marlier. "The very high level of reliability that can be achieved by hybrid cooling, and its suitability for applications in hazardous areas, can greatly simplify many common remote and unmanned applications. Among the applications potential are wellhead control systems, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) stations on pipelines, battery shelters especially for lead-acid and lithium-ion types and off-grid mobile base stations."

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