More about SCR systems, Simulation and Training


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Full Size SCR Training Simulator

Every Drilling Rig – offshore or land-based – will have a Power Control Room (PCR) on it – sometimes also known as an SCR (standing for Silicon Controlled Rectifier) System, which will form the functional heart of the power control of the drilling operations. Typically, the PCR or SCR will be a steel room about the size of a 40 foot container, inside of which will be a number of Motor Control Centres, Engine & Generator Controls, SCR Control cubicles, and other instruments and systems used for drilling purposes.

Historically, there were a number of worldwide manufacturers, producing these systems in various forms, although all are identified by their generic functional name of SCR Systems. Following the acquisition of Hill Graham Controls by Zeefax in 2007, we are now one of the very few remaining companies with the capabilities and expertise to manufacture and support legacy and new SCR systems.

SCR Systems typically operate at 600V – defined to a large extent by the operating voltage of the main drive unit used (GE752) – and clearly, these systems can be extremely dangerous if not operated correctly and carefully by suitably trained operators. It is therefore important that drilling engineers and operators are well trained and motivated in the use these SCR Systems, and it is important that the training they receive is a combination of academic knowledge, class room training, and on-the-job training.

In the past, drilling companies would use basic simulators to train their staff, consisting of simple computer based training, which meant that whilst the operators gained some training in the use of the controls, they would never get to experience the real life equipment. Following consultation with many operators, Zeefax recognised a need for a more sophisticated training experience – one which would provide a more true-to-life system to train on, and as a result, we developed a concept for an advanced drilling simulator.

The specification calls for an advanced SCR simulator which mimics the actual control consoles used in the operational system; this type of device would allow operators to experience as near as possible, the real life scenarios which would be experienced on a live rig. The simulator would effectively duplicate the actual control consoles, and may feature computer controlled programmable fault scenarios, which would allow operators to become familiar with the various controls in a safe and secure environment – before operating the live equipment.

In response to this,our Training Simulator is the world’s first full-size, fully-functional, fully-operational Drilling SCR Training Simulator, which has been designed with the full functionality of the real SCR.  This equipment looks and feels like the real thing, and trainee engineers can learn all their skills, experiencing the field operations all with exactly the same components as in a real SCR System – but minus the dangerous high voltage. Furthermore, a key feature of the system is the addition of the on-board computer system, which mimics all of the signals that would come into this SCR system from the live engines and generators, including the motors running the mud pumps, the rotary table or the Drawworks, etc. and can also simulate a wide range of known faults, allowing trainees to experience first hand problem solving in the safety of the simulator, before they experience the live system.

A brief overview of the main features of our unique system:

  • The system is designed to provide the most realistic training experience for novice and experienced engineers.
  • The system will allow trainees to be instructed in starting up the system after rigging-up, generator starting and synchronizing.
  • The system is capable of simulating load conditions, and is capable of simulating generator load sharing faults and power limit problems.
  • The SCR system incorporates a combination of assignments which will allow training to be provided on Mud Pump, Drawworks, Shunt and Series motor combinations, motor load sharing, field supplies, dynamic braking, and auxiliary motor control.
  • The instructor has the capability of introducing faults on to the system, and these faults can be emulated in a realistic fashion. The trainee would then be expected to follow fault finding procedures using multimeter and oscilloscope equipment to measure key points in the system in order to locate the source of each simulated fault.
  • The system is capable of introducing faults either manually by the instructor, or by pre-defined scripts of fault sequences.
  • The system only exposes trainees to safe voltages.
  • The system is contained in a PCR with an instructor station where the instructor can observe the activities of trainees and control the introduction of faults on to the system.
  • The PCR is powered by a 3-phase auxiliary supply.
  • Incorporated into the PCR is a standalone PLC training station with an HMI to allow trainees to be instructed in the use of PLC controlled SCR systems, including troubleshooting and component replacement.

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