Pipeline management is a complex job, so It's understandable that you cannot personally tend to every metering station yourself. Because these stations can run without constant supervision, they're easily ignored until a major problem arises. As a manager, however, you might want to put a specific person in charge of these stations so you don't experience the problems below.
1. Lack of Complete Data
Each station should be sending back information that you and others can use to adjust gas flow and correct minor problems. However, at times there can be data gaps and you could start to notice that you're not getting readings from particular stations. Oftentimes, the culprit is a dead battery, particularly if the station is far away or remote. Those stations might even be scheduled for repair when there is nothing wrong other than that they should have fresh batteries installed. Having someone monitor these stations is important so that you know you're getting sufficient information about the entire pipeline.
2. Incorrect Data
Another reason that putting someone in charge of monitoring these stations is smart is to ensure your information is valid. You must depend on the data you receive from metering stations so you can make appropriate pipeline decisions. If someone isn't tasked with monitoring these stations, there might be problems that you have difficulty solving because the information is faulty.
What would cause readings to transmit bad data? Many times, it's that no one has cleaned or recalibrated any of the meters at a particular station. The meters, like many other measurement tools that are used often, will naturally require cleanings and adjustments over time to be sure that they're working right. This is especially important because regulators that perform functions based on meter readings can be thrown off by improper readings. Rust is of particular concern to both meters and regulators too, so that should also be on any list of things worth looking into.
3. Flow and Quality Problems
As with many systems, filters are in place to stop particles. Dirt, mud, pipe scale and other particles can build up and cover a filter, which then can act as a pipeline obstruction that affects flow. If the filter should tear and those particles get through, both the meter at the station and the pipeline can become damaged, affecting the gas quality. Having a person available to clean or replace these supplies can ensure the pipeline remains healthy.
Tasking someone with care of metering stations is wise if you hope to have actionable, correct data and preserve the integrity of the system. Alternatively, you may contact a pipeline services company to work on these issues.
Contact Guildner Pipeline Maintenance for more information on this topic!