As a Leading HVAC engineering company Tyco offer a full range of specialist services to our clients.
We offer full compliance with all relevant safety legislation and have accreditation to the following quality standards: BS EN ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 throughout the operations.
Tyco is an organisation with the skills, expertise and resources to provide a wide range of services required by the oil and gas market place, both onshore and offshore.
TR Integrity Testing
Temporary Refuges (TRs) exist to protect personnel during an emergency on offshore installations, affording protection from fire and smoke for a minimum period to allow either the incident to be controlled or an orderly evacuation to be initiated. In the UK, Regulation 13 of the Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire, Explosion and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995 places accountability on installation operators for the construction, suitability and maintenance of systems and equipment, including the Temporary Refuge.
As TRs usually won’t be pressurised during emergency incidents to prevent smoke or gas being drawn in through supply ventilation, they must be as air-tight as possible by eliminating or reducing leakage through any openings in the TR boundaries. This rate of leakage is assessed by a TR Integrity test (sometimes known as an SGI or Smoke Gas Ingress test) to check that it does not exceed the maximum leakage rate allowed by the platform safety case.
As part of the assessment, Tyco engineers will examine each individual TR boundary penetration to identify any defects which may cause leakage. A multi-point TR Integrity test is carried out, which improves accuracy of results over the older single-point testing (results of multi-point are backwards compatible to allow the continuation of trendline recording), and a full report of test results and the TR boundary survey is issued to the client.
Local Exhaust Ventilation Testing
Some contaminants generated in oil and gas environments are so hazardous to human health that special systems are installed to prevent the exposure of the substance to personnel. Common systems and locations where these are fitted on offshore assets include:
- Laboratory fume cupboards
- Welding or fabrication workshops
- Blasting or painting sites
- Sack Stores
- Mud or cement mixing hoppers
- Shale shakers
- Mud pits
These control a variety of harmful substances such as chemical vapours, welding fumes, mud vapour and dust particulate which can cause respiratory and other illnesses. Collectively these are titled Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV), and are covered in the UK under CoSHH regulations, which stipulates they must be tested by a competent person at least once in every 14 months. Similar regulations exist in most other countries around the world.
Tyco engineers are qualified to the UK industry standard qualification (BOHS P601 - Commissioning and Thorough Examination and Testing of Local Exhaust Ventilation) to test and commission LEV systems in the UKCS, a standard which enables them to assess LEV systems worldwide. Our engineers can also survey and design upgrades or replacement systems when this is the most appropriate solution.
HVAC Duct Cleaning
HVAC ducting should be maintained at a high standard of cleanliness. Dirty duct work and equipment can promote the growth of moulds and legionella, particularly where they distribute warm moist air. These growths have the potential to be spread by the ventilation and infect personnel onboard, if left to cultivate unchecked.
The approved Code of Practice and Guidance to The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states that ‘mechanical ventilation systems, including air conditioning systems, should be regularly and properly cleaned, tested and maintained to ensure that they are kept clean and free of anything that may contaminate the air.’
While filters will remove most contamination, laundry ducting can still contain significant accumulations of lint carried over from tumble dryers, this is highly combustible and has the potential to create a significant disruption to platform operations should it ignite. Duct fires are especially difficult to extinguish as they rarely have fixed fire suppression or appropriate access fitted, are insulated and typically installed in ceiling voids.
Similarly, galley extract systems can accumulate highly combustible grease and bakery flour deposits and while grease separation filters are normally fitted at intakes, these are rarely 100% effective even when kept clean. While fixed suppression is normally fitted around the cooking area, this is not usually fitted along the entire length of the extract duct so cannot be guaranteed to extinguish the duct fire, which is difficult to extinguish for the reasons detailed above.
Extract ventilation systems for mud pits, shale shakers and mixing hoppers can become heavily soiled with hardened mud and cement deposits if not cleaned regularly, this can have a detrimental effect on the efficiency of the system and can lead to failure of the Local Exhaust Ventilation test. If not rectified it can also expose personnel to harmful mud vapours and cement dusts.
Tyco can initiate a program of regular duct work inspections to ensure the asset is in compliance with ISO 15138 standards. Where duct work is contaminated and creates a flammability or health hazard, we can advise on the most effective means of restoring the duct work to a compliant condition. We have several methods of cleaning available, and are pioneering the use of dry ice blasting in duct systems offshore to remove deposits quickly and effectively, with minimal impact on platform operations.
Air Quality Testing and Monitoring
Symptoms of poor air quality include headaches, a sore throat, stuffed or runny nose, colds, fatigue, dry itchy eyes and allergies. These are collectively referred to a ‘Sick Building Syndrome’, and can lead to poor performance, illness and lost time. Testing air quality on offshore assets is therefore important to protect the health of personnel, and also verify the correct operation of HVAC equipment or identify the source of defects and contamination.
Typically test elements include:
- Dust concentrations
- Mould growth
- Bacterial loads
- Legionella growth
- Stagnant air
- Duct cleanliness
- Concentrations of specific gases
As standard Tyco tests for carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, formaldehyde, hydrogen sulphide and petroleum hydrocarbons. A wide range of additional harmful gases can also be tested for on request. Bacteria, mould and legionella samples are cultured and enumerated at an accredited UK laboratory.
Testing can be offered either as a standard package of elements, or individual elements can be checked to suit the clients’ requirements. Tyco has experienced personnel available to carry out this testing, and produces a comprehensive report of results, findings and recommendations following every test visit.
The Offshore Noise Regulations exist to prevent damage to the hearing of personnel from excessive noise in the workplace. Knowledge of the levels of noise in different areas is essential if operators are to minimise that noise and protect the hearing of personnel.
Our services include noise control and attenuation of plant, machinery and duct-borne noise together with surveys and advice on legislative requirements. Tyco can offer noise assessments and reduction using qualified personnel to provide the range of services listed below:
- Noise assessment in compliance with the ‘Noise at Work’ regulations
- Environmental noise impact assessment
- Power pack noise consultancy
- Noise Reduction / Propagation Engineering
- Noise Mapping - areas of mandatory hearing protection
Routine noise assessments can offered in conjunction with air quality, LEV and HVAC performance testing where required.
HVAC Performance Testing
Ventilation systems are subject to the same gradual degradation from a variety of sources as any other equipment in use offshore, performance testing at yearly intervals provides a ‘health check’ of the systems efficiency and capability.
Performance testing typically involves taking airflow readings throughout every individual ventilation system on the asset and comparing to a baseline, previous readings or the design values. Where comparable values exist, trends can be developed to identify any equipment which is declining in performance, allowing time for preventative maintenance to be scheduled.
This task is a core capability for our HVAC personnel, and if required it can be conducted in one visit along with air quality testing, noise assessments and LEV testing.
Maintenance and Servicing
As with any mechanical system, the most effective way to maximise HVAC system availability and equipment service life is to ensure maintenance is carried out in the right way, at the right intervals, and by the right people. HVAC equipment maintenance can be complex and beyond the technical expertise of platform maintenance staff, particularly when faults or breakdowns occur.
The time and expenditure lost on incorrect diagnoses or poor-quality repairs are usually outweighed by the benefits of using trained and experienced HVAC technicians and engineers to take over the maintenance of HVAC equipment and systems, either by having a semi-permanent presence on the platform or by campaign visits at suitable intervals.
Tyco currently uses this model to provide routine maintenance of all HVAC equipment on approximately twenty assets, either by staff permanently assigned to the asset to ensure continuity and asset familiarity, or using ad-hoc staff to enable flexibility around the operations and requirements of the client.
HVAC Fault Diagnosis
Ventilation systems are finely balanced to achieve the correct airflow rates and pressures for each individual area served, meaning that even minor faults can have a significant knock-on effect to the areas served and present complex fault symptoms. In this event having an experienced HVAC engineer can be invaluable to locate the root-cause of the problem, and remedy the fault to restore correct operation. Similarly refrigeration systems are very difficult to fault-find on by non-refrigeration engineers, and usually once the fault has been identified it can only be repaired by a qualified refrigeration engineer anyway.
Tyco has numerous qualified and experienced HVAC and refrigeration engineers available to diagnose the root-cause of complex and persistent HVAC faults on offshore assets, and are often able to rectify simple issues at a low cost.
HVAC Efficiency Optimisation
In a market where clients are looking to reduce unnecessary expenditure, the efficiency of systems installed on each asset becomes an increasingly important consideration during replacement or upgrade.
Tyco recognises the benefit of introducing more energy-efficient equipment to clients’ assets, and can offer an efficient alternative to standard items if requested.
System / Equipment Installation and Commissioning
HVAC systems and equipment are specialist subjects which are best installed by subject matter specialists, to ensure the equipment service life is maximised and minimise the chance of faults to be created by incorrect installation and commissioning.
Tyco has a number of refrigeration and ventilation installation engineers, and all its commissioning engineers are accredited by the Commissioning Specialists Association. Refrigeration commissioning can be carried out by all installation engineers. With our wealth of experience in installation and commissioning, including setting-to-work and air-balancing, we have often been called in to commission and rectify systems which have been poorly handed over by others.
Onshore Installations - Building Integrity Testing
Some essential buildings in onshore oil and gas sites such as refineries may require to be manned during an emergency, such as control rooms or safe refuges. If the site risk assessment deems them to be at risk then a building integrity test may be conducted to assess the leakage rate through the building fabric.
This test and the pre-survey would be carried out in an identical manner to an offshore TR Integrity test, further details of which can be found above, but also identifies the unique challenges to effective sealing and reduction of leakage presented by the construction of onshore buildings.
Tyco Engineers are fully trained and experienced to carry out this testing both offshore and onshore, and we have previously completed a number of building integrity tests at various onshore facilities throughout the UK, Azerbaijan and Trinidad and Tobago.