Today’s environmental consultants demand high-quality performance and reliability in a remediation solution. Sometimes, that is difficult to achieve with manually-controlled chemical injection systems. A great deal of effort and expense goes into the site characterization, amendment selection, and design - while the enabling injections systems rely on human-controlled equipment (pumps and valves) for injection control. Most projects require careful control of liquid amendments, and current manually-controlled injection systems do not meet the control requirements to achieve the best distribution.
Furthermore, current injection logging does not document data on a time scale that provides adequate documentation for remediation professionals to understand or verify that an injection was conducted to spec. Cascade’s chemical injection experts have designed a unique injection system to address these challenges. The next generation smart injection manifold system provides precise control of injection operating parameters and documents primary and calculated system parameters on a time scale that is relevant to the sophistication and expense of the remediation being conducted.
Cascade’s Automated Injection Manifold (AIM) system is a two-point injection manifold that automatically controls injection pressure based on a user-defined setpoint, typically less than the calculated fracture pressure. Simultaneously, the AIM system incorporates a data collection component that logs both primary and calculated system parameters at a rate of 1 Hertz. This data is available to remediation professionals for documentation and analysis of injection services provided. A piping and instrumentation diagram of the system is shown below.
The software interface allows for real-time monitoring and control of injection pressure while optimizing flow rates, at each individual port on the manifold. Field staff are able to observe the following injection parameters on a real-time graph during the injection:
Additional calculated parameters are shown numerically:
It also shows the file names where the logging data is stored. The software also allows for viewing historical data, adjustment of scaling, importing of other data streams, and redefining control based on site-specific data streams (well water level, groundwater temp, water quality parameters, etc).
The goal of the AIM system is to build a better injection system for liquid amendments, a system that would remove the human error from the control aspect of today’s injection manifolds, while also providing a data logging system that works on the appropriate time-scale to indicate whether or not injections have been performed according to specifications. With some exceptions, and room for improvement, the system has met these goals during initial tests.
The data logging system works as designed, and provides usable comma delimited data that can easily be transferred to an Excel document or to a database. Pressure control works well when flow is achieved but managing start-up pressure can be a challenge.
If you’d like more information on Cascade’s Next Generation Injection manifold, you can download Daniel Caputo's presentation for the 2018 Battelle conference here or watch a recording of a related webinar, presented on June 27, 2018, titled, "Stop Fracturing Target Intervals During Liquid Injections: Introducing Cascade's Automated Injection Manifold".