SubSaver® is the registered trademark of PM&D Engineering, Inc.  SubSaver® is a line of transient voltage surge suppressors (TVSS), alternately called surge protection devices (SPD), designed specifically to protect oil well Electric Submersible Pumps (ESP) from lightning and switching surge damage.  ESP equipment operates on three-phase electric power with voltages ranging from 480 to 4500, and nine different models or ratings cover this range.

Unfortunately improperly installed TVSS and SPD have often caused ESP damage rather than preventing it.  This has produced widespread uncertainty about their value.  Surveys of electric power distribution in many oil fields have shown that TVSS installation must carefully consider what is ground and how ground wires should be connected, cf. installation section.  Once this is done a TVSS can stop nearly all lightning damage, and when power is restored after a thunderstorm, all equipment will run.

Workers drilling an oil well

Because ESP manufacture involves much manual labor, it is an expensive product.  When an ESP fails, it is not just replacement expense but the added costs of rig time and lost production.  Rig availability is often a concern.   Even if the ESP is rented, these costs reduce the operating company’s profits.  Although ESP protection is our main focus, our products also protect motors and controls on variable frequency drives, pumping units and disposal pumps.

From unpleasant past experiences it is our professional opinion that charge transfer systems (CTS) are the only way to effectively protect tank batteries from lightning damage.  These systems make a tank battery far less likely to receive a direct lightning strike.  Systems that attempt to collect lightning (rods, halos, air terminals, etc.) have the distinct problem of conducting the lightning bolt into the ground without igniting ever-present natural gas.

Common oilfield thinking is, "You can't stop lightning." That is absolutely true. Lightning either goes from cloud to cloud or cloud to ground. However, you can stop the damage that lightning does. Although oilfields are a special case, other industries do not have nearly as much lightning damage. An engineering approach can bring the same reliability to the oilfield. PM&D Engineering is dedicated to helping you protect your investment in oilfield equipment and avoid lost production.

Our Products and Services

In addition to the above PM&D Engineering offers oilfield surveys to help you determine the right products and installation. With experiences in hundreds of oilfields, a number of common elements have been noted that make engineering report writing easier. Without these reports equipment can be improperly installed and actually cause damage rather than prevent it. Reports are provided free of charge.

Protect your investment and minimize lost production. Contact PM&D Engineering today.


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