Benefits of Using SentinAL Rod Pump Adjustable Speed Drive Technology

Increased Production (10% - 30%)

  • Maximized production with increased pump fillage by matching pump production with reservoir inflow
  • Less down time for maintenance

Reduced Power Consumption (Up to 50% Savings)

  • Reduced inrush currents at motor startup
  • Constant operation provides overall lower costs
  • Power regeneration/capture on downstroke
  • Line harmonics from VFD’s eliminated

Lower Maintenance Costs (30%+ Savings)

  • Fluid pound is eliminated
  • Reduced stress from starts and stops
  • Soft start up reduces rod loads

Much Lower Capital and Support Cost than Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)

  • Simple mechanical design for lower overall cost of ownership
  • Reduced personnel costs with autonomous decision making and remote monitoring

Improved Failure Prediction

  • Cloud based analytics for predictive maintenance

Orbital’s Advantage Over Legacy Equipment

Fixed Speed

Fixed Speed

  • On/Off motor control is start/stop
  • Mechanical switch or pump-off control
Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)

Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)

  • Electronics control motor speed
  • Power output reduces with speed
  • Torque is constant as speed reduced
SentinAL ASD

SentinAL ASD

  • Transmission controls power ratio
  • Power output is constant
  • Torque increases as speed reduced
  • Orbital used in conjunction with VFD can provide advanced benefits

SentinAL vs. VFD

Feature VFD Orbital
CostBaseline<50% of VFD
Ratio Range
Power DensityBaseline100× VFD
EnvironmentalRequires EnclosureHarsh Environments
Torque DampeningControl RequiredIntrinsic
RetrofitRequires Site UpdatesEasily Retrofit
Off-Grid CapableNoYes

Variable speed benefits are proven… We just do it better!!

Upstream Oil & Gas and Rod Pump ASDs

As oil production declines, various methods of artificial lift are used to lift oil from the well. Rod Pump Units (sucker rod pumps or beam pumps) is one of the most popular methods, with more than 80% of the active oil wells in the US using some form of rod lift. A Rod Pump Unit (RPU) converts the rotational motion of the prime mover (electric or fuel driven motor) into a vertical reciprocating motion that allows a positive displacement pump and sucker rods to pull fluid up from the well.

RPUs are designed to operate at a fixed speed or stroke rate. Operators set the pump speed with the goal to match the production rate of the pump with the inflow from the reservoir. This is manpower intensive process that requires several visits to the wellsite to ensure the pump rate is set correctly. In an ideal world, this process would occur on a continuous basis but limitations with time and costs, operators try to schedule this on a regular basis.

Once the inflow of the well drops below the production rate of the pump, the pump will not be full on every stroke. Partial fillage creates inefficient pumping as it wastes the power of the pump and can damage downhole equipment due to a phenomenon call fluid pound. In most situations, the operator will manage the pump production rate by using a timer or Pump Off Control sensor. These techniques will stop the pump, allow the well to fill and after a set period of time, the pump will restart and drain the well. This method will improve fillage but result in higher power costs due to inrush currents and will not maximize production.

The use of a variable speed drive (VSD) can overcome many of the issues associated with matching pump rate with declining oil well inflow. A VSD along with surface measurements can be used to automatically match the stroke rate of the pump to the inflow of the well. It has been shown in multiple technical papers that a VSD can increase production by 5% to 10% while potentially lowering electrical costs by up to 50%.

Orbital Traction’s SentinAL is a simple mechanical adjustable speed drive (ASD) and controls package that will maximize oil production by autonomously managing RPU Stroke rate. In addition to the proven benefits of VSDs, the SentinAL will have additional benefits:

  • The simple, modular mechanical design will have an overall lower cost of ownership, allowing for installation on new well completions and retrofit on legacy RPUs
  • The SentinAL has torque multiplication which will allow the installation of smaller prime movers (motors) than is standard practice today. The SentinAL can supply higher startup torque from a motor, allowing for an overall smaller motor to be used, resulting in lower installation and power costs
  • The RPU will operate at a constant but slower speed, reducing inrush currents experienced with timers and POCs
  • Automatic regeneration on the downstroke with out line harmonics issues. The ASD is connected directly to motor and regenerated current will be returned to the grid in the same phase as it entered the motor
  • Variable speed control regardless of grid connectivity. The SentinAL can be powered through voltage options or natural gas powered engines on remote locations