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By: David Howard | G+

Oil rigs need power too

Oil rigs need power too
Oil platforms are a critical component of modern day energy production. Offshore platforms drill wells, extract oil and natural gas, and process and store product temporarily. Platforms may be situated on an artificial island, fixed to the ocean floor, or free floating - especially when in deep water.

From drilling to extraction

The initial process of drilling requires specialized heavy equipment. It includes the hoisting system (crane), turntable, engines (usually large ac or dc motors), and pumps that make the whole system run. After the well is producing oil, the rig switches to extraction/production mode. An electric motor moves a pumping rod to produce suction that draws oil up the well. Or in some cases a second well is used to inject steam to force oil out.

Oil rigs are self-contained environments where workers live and work during drilling and production. The rig must provide for all the needs between supply shipments. This includes generating power that in turn runs all the other equipment (e.g., water desalination, laundry, cooking, and even waste processing). Typically large diesel generators provide the power to these self-sustaining "mini-cities" that operate around the clock.

Generators, motors, and machinery.

Operations on an oil rig rely on machinery. Generators, pumping systems, motors and controls work together to keep the whole operation (and the oil) flowing. Which is why it’s understandable that among essential platform personnel, you’ll find engineers and electricians.

Carbon brushes and electrical contacts

The large primary diesel generators and smaller power generators utilize carbon brushes to conduct electrical current between the stationary and rotating parts. Carbon brushes are standard components of DC motors and generators. Similarly, the multitude of motor controls on-board will use electrical contacts. Electro-mechanical motor starters can stand up to the harsher environments found on oil rigs.

And when you find carbon brushes and electrical contacts you can also find Repco to supply replacement parts for the leading OEMs. These replacements are guaranteed to match OEM products in fit, form and function - but at substantial savings. Further, Repco can ship a replacement part delivered overnight to keep the oil flowing and the platform roughnecks happy.

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