Off-grid LIDAR, SCADA use growing in oil and gas industry


Almost 27,000 off-grid remote sensing power systems using renewable energy will be deployed yearly by 2020, according to Pike Research.

Products such as light detection and ranging (LIDAR) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, as well as remote monitoring using telemetry for environmental applications, represent a growing market for off-grid power. These applications typically serve river gauging stations, earthquake and tsunami monitoring sites, and weather stations, but their primary use is in the oil and gas industry to pursue exploration and production in more remote environments.

Increasingly, this power is being supplied by renewable energy and alternative sources, such as fuel cells and advanced batteries, even though today's industry remains small and fragmented with no one dominant solution.

"Off-grid power systems for remote sensing applications are increasingly required to be self-contained, in terms of power and performance, for many months at a time," Research Director Kerry-Ann Adamson of Pike Research said in a statement.

The development of technology to provide enough power to these sites for telemetry takes two tracks: Trickle-charging the battery to extend its operating life and -- longer term -- replacing the battery in order to allow site autonomy for a year or more.

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