In collaboration with Cheniere Energy's contractors, Sun State Systems built the control systems for their currently under construction Corpus Christi LNG plant in San Patricio County, Texas. Cheniere Energy expects completion of this facility to be sometime in 2018. Pictured is one of several PLC control panels that will control the entire plant and alert operators of plant conditions, giving them data to allow process adjustment and correct issues remotely from the control center.
Since this is a PLC system, Cheniere Energy will be able to easily modify the programming in the PLC to change any operation in the plant easily and cost-effectively without the need to rewire anything.
Cheniere Energy chose a PLC based system because of the many advantages:
- Flexibility: One single Programmable Logic Controller can easily run many machines.
- Correcting Errors: In the old days, with wired relay-type panels, any program alterations required time for rewiring of panels and devices. With PLC control any change in circuit design or sequence is as simple as retyping the logic. Correcting errors in a PLC is extremely easy and cost effective.
- Space Efficient: Today's Programmable Logic Control memory is getting bigger and bigger this means that we can generate more and more contacts, coils, timers, sequencers, counters and so on. We can have thousands of contact timers and counters in a single PLC. Imagine what it would be like to have so many things in one panel. That would be a HUGE enclosure!
- Low Cost: Prices of PLCs vary from few hundreds to few thousands. This is nothing compared to the prices of the contact and coils and timers that you would pay to match the same things. Add to that the installation cost, the shipping cost and so on.
- Testing: A PLC program can be tested and evaluated in a lab. The program can be tested, validated and corrected saving very valuable time and allowing easy plug and play in the field.
- Visual observation: When running a PLC program a visual operation can be seen on the screen. Hence troubleshooting a circuit is really quick, easy and simple.