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HVAC Challenges and Solutions 

Group ATP > Press Release > Engineering > Explore Offshore Engineering: HVAC Challenges and Solutions – 7 Phases Project

Explore Offshore Engineering: HVAC Challenges and Solutions – 7 Phases Project



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    In the vast landscape of engineering, few challenges match the excitement and complexity of the offshore environment. It’s a world where technological innovation meets the unstoppable force of nature, where engineering and safety merge in an intricate dance on the ocean stage.

    In this article, we delve into an exciting journey, an exploration of offshore engineering through the eyes of our engineers. Our skilled and determined engineers faced the ocean’s challenges on a gas extraction platform off the coast of Patagonia.


    Project: Offshore Platform HVAC System

    The project at hand involves the installation of an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system on an offshore platform. This is no small feat. Working on an offshore platform requires not only high-level technical skills but also intensive preparation to tackle extreme environmental conditions and potential emergencies.

    In this 2-year project, significant consideration was given to the development of the HVAC system considering the unique climatic conditions in which the facility must operate, being installed in a climatic zone with minimum and maximum temperatures typical of the Atlantic Ocean at the southern tip of Argentina, where the average temperature in summer is 12°C.

    Special attention was dedicated within the HVAC system to the AHU system and the diversification of air pressures and flows in the various internal environments, which are highly concentrated within the limited space of the Offshore shelter.


    Our Role in the Project

    Group ATP designed and manufactured the construction of a ducted HVAC ventilation and conditioning system serving a shelter for an offshore gas extraction platform.

    Group ATP managed the project in the design, construction, manufacturing, and SAT (Site Acceptance Test) phases of the power and control panel. Our engineers also oversaw the FAT (Factory Acceptance Test) phase of the entire HVAC system, where the construction of the entire Offshore platform took place.


    The Phases

    Phase 1: Study of project conditions.

    Phase 2: Design of the P&ID, namely the ducting and instrument diagram.

    Phase 3: Preparation of all technical documents for project development. Definition of the technical characteristics of all main equipment, equipment, and instruments required.

    Phase 4: Design and manufacturing of the Power & Control panel.

    Phase 5: Design of the plant’s command control and management software.

    Phase 6: SAT & FAT.

    Phase 7: Commissioning & Start-Up.


    Relevant Technical Details

    Each environment of this shelter must operate under different pressure conditions compared to the surrounding environments, so we made the system compliant with this project specification by using variable boxes integrated into the system.


    Engineering Involved:

    Mechanical, electrical, computer science.

    Labor hours in the construction of the power and control panel: : 300 h

    Engineering hours: 1400 h




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      hvac system

      Commissioning & Start-Up Phase 


      What Can Our Specialized Engineers Overcome?

      For ATP, the project ended with this commissioning phase, which also required this on-site intervention. The work has been delivered, and further intervention may be required remotely during the colder months to optimize the plant.

      Our Software Specialist, Giovanni Capanna, has been the focal point of the commissioning phase of the project. As a software specialist, he played a crucial role in required adjustments and optimizing the HVAC system directly on the platform. Alongside his team, he tackled daily challenges, solving technical problems, and ensuring that the system was ready for use in extreme conditions.

      He went on an expedition to the offshore gas extraction platform in the ocean off the coast of Patagonia (Argentina) for an exceptional emergency intervention on the HVAC system control during the commissioning phase of the offshore platform, which will be operational in the coming months.

      It’s important for successful EPCM (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management) to have highly specialized personnel capable of intervening on installations even in extreme environmental conditions.


      Challenges and Solutions

      Giovanni’s experience begins with intensive preparation. Bespoke training and a medical check-up were undergone to be ready to tackle any emergency during travels and stays on the platform. The course he took to prepare for this work is called BOSIET-OPITO + HUET (Helicopter Underwater Escape Training), focusing on personal safety preparedness and knowledge of safety features on platforms.

      Once training was completed, Giovanni set off for Patagonia, where the platform challenges awaited him. Working in such an extreme environment required not only technical skills but also physical and mental resilience. Sharing confined spaces with colleagues, facing adverse weather conditions, and ensuring personal safety were just some of the challenges Giovanni faced during his offshore stay.

      During his time on the platform, Giovanni faced a series of technical challenges. From resolving sudden problems to tuning the system directly on-site, each day brought new challenges and learning opportunities. Thanks to his experience and skills, he was able to overcome every obstacle, ensuring that the system was operational and efficient.

      In addition to the technical skills acquired, it has relevant importance in the preparation and resilience in extreme environments, adapt to changing situations, and tackle challenges with determination and creativity.


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      Optimization of the Offshore Plant HVAC System

      Our engineer has optimized the airflows and pressures in individual rooms. He also optimized the regulation of air temperature leaving the AHU (Air Handling Unit). Optimization, in this case, means ensuring that pressures, flows, and temperatures are adjusted according to requirements. For example, if it’s necessary for the pressure inside a room to be approximately 50Pa, the system parameters must be adjusted to meet this value.

      These values are optimized and may vary depending on the environmental conditions in which the system is installed and the specific requirements of the client.

      Giovanni resolved also a technical issue that arose on the platform and optimized the tuning of the plant directly on-site. This is an exceptional intervention that occurs during the commissioning phase, and it’s important to have technical personnel who can manage the intervention well to have a customized plant based on the installation site and the specific needs of the client.



      In conclusion, offshore engineering is not just a profession but also an adventure. It’s a world of challenges and opportunities, where only those with the determination and necessary skills can survive and thrive. With Giovanni’s experience as an example, we can look to the future of offshore engineering with confidence and optimism.


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