January 20, 2017
Cyclops, the world’s most advanced and reliable plunger arrival sensor uses Geomagnetic Sensing Technology™ to detect the arrival of a plunger at surface. This technology takes continuous readings of the magnetic field of the earth. The long term average of these readings is the baseline, or the normal magnetic field when a plunger is not moving in front of the sensor. The shorter term readings are then compared to the baseline to determine if a plunger is within Cyclops’ field of view.
On some occasions, well operators use a magnetic plunger as a retrieval tool. This is able to collect pieces of broken plungers, springs, and other items from the bottom of a plunger lift well. Unfortunately, these magnetic plungers can eventually lead to the lubricator becoming magnetized. This wouldn’t normally be a problem, but this magnetic field can be strong enough to bias the readings that Cyclops is seeing. In some cases, the intensity of this field can be enough to move the signal outside the range of the Cyclops. If the Cyclops stops picking up arrivals, the operator can use Link to connect the sensor to Vision, a free device management program provided by ETC to see what Cyclops sees. If the magnetic readings are at the minimum or maximum of the range, then you are likely dealing with a magnetized lubricator.
This magnetic field can be manually reversed by simply running a magnet on the outside of the lubricator several times. Use Vision to see the readings from Cyclops once this has been completed to ensure that the bias has been removed. To help overcome this issue without having to demagnetize the lubricator, ETC has released a new version of firmware for Cyclops. This specialized version of firmware reduces the magnitude of the signal so it does not exceed the range of the sensor. Please contact ETC to obtain this special version of firmware which can be loaded on to Cyclops in the field using Vision.