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For over 35 years, we have helped our clients tackle their most challenging technical problems to improve safety, operational efficiency and environmental performance.
In tackling these challenges, C-FER Technologies utilizes our varied expertise in engineering analysis and large-scale testing, with a focus on safe execution, independent results, and quality deliverables.
We are often called upon to be the “First” to perform a new analysis, set-up a test that has never been tried, or create new ways of solving a unique problem.
Being First we must often:
- Develop new design methods;
- Establish new testing, analysis and risk assessment procedures;
- Build new research infrastructure to simulate extreme operating conditions; and
- Draft new industry standards.
Often, we also help industry clients develop “first-of-its-kind” technologies, processes, and procedures.
Some examples include:
- Developing artificial islands for offshore Arctic drilling in Canada’s Beaufort Sea;
- Qualifying heavy-wall line pipe for the first proposed ultra-deepwater pipeline from Oman to India;
- Developing design software for progressing cavity pumping systems that help to revolutionize heavy oil production in Canada’s oil sands;
- Introducing quantitative risk assessment methods for pipeline companies around the world;
- Developing new qualification procedures for equipment in thermal and geothermal wells; and
- Establishing comprehensive failure tracking processes for artificial lift systems.
C-FER is a not-for-profit subsidiary of Alberta Innovates. We operate with a fee-for-service, self-sustaining business model. C-FER has a staff of 100 people in two large-scale testing facilities in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Most projects are driven by a single client who is focused on a specific technical issue, a new technology, or unique application. Many clients need to de-risk the first use of a new technology.
Some clients want to be the first to qualify technologies to new standards or regulations. Others need to take the first steps in understanding and managing their operational risk. In these cases, C-FER works on a direct fee-for-service basis.
When there is a need for industry to gain common knowledge on a key issue, or advance or qualify technology for the mutual benefit of multiple participants,
C-FER organizes Joint Industry Projects. These “JIPs” allow clients to tackle major challenges by sharing costs, data and experience.
Technology development is often rated on a scale of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs).
C-FER combines detailed analysis and physical testing to help move a technology through these TRLs.
Finite element analysis (FEA) is used to model the structural capabilities of equipment. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used to model flow, erosion and heat transfer. The modelling results are used to validate and refine prototype designs.
Qualitative or quantitative risk analysis (QRA) is used to estimate the potential and impact of a failure. This can consider life safety, cost and environmental impact. Risk reduction strategies can be developed to meet tolerable risk levels. These can include design, operation, monitoring or maintenance activities.
Large-scale tests demonstrate how the technology performs in the expected operating conditions. C-FER’s facilities typically allow for technologies to be tested at full-scale and at actual operating pressures, loads, and pressures. Test results can also be used to develop efficient ways to install and operate the equipment.
C-FER helps industry and equipment suppliers de-risk new technologies.
We work with energy and pipeline operators to identity the best available technologies. This “technology pull” can include worldwide reviews of commercial and pre-commercial technologies.
We also work with technology suppliers from around the world to qualify their products for the global market. This “technology push” also includes providing training to end users about how technologies that are locally developed, can be applied in other regions or industries.