Through its subsidiaries, Snam is involved in several innovative activities, especially to ensure growing reliability in the management of its activities.
Among the high-tech innovation projects, in December 2012 the renovation of Snam Rete Gas’s Dispatching centre, which has turned the control centre of the Italian transportation network into one of the most advanced in the world in terms of monitoring and remote control of gas transportation networks, was completed.
The remote control of the transportation network is carried out through a complex technological architecture which includes network telemetry, remote systems for data transmission and centralised data acquisition, monitoring and control systems. The heart of the remote control system for process data is SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), a powerful tool to manage, in real-time, changes of more than 130,000 parameters concerning the main pipelines and compression stations which make up the Italian gas transportation system.
The infrastructure for monitoring and remote control has been equipped with new software architecture and a server capable of rendering the management and control system more secure, faster and more powerful. The large rear projection video wall of 50 square metres gives operators an overview of the national gas transportation network, showing the main points of interest and information about the process, thanks to the use of the most advanced technologies available on the market.
Also in 2012, an experimental assessment was completed for the application of certain innovative technologies used for aerial photography (panchromatic and multispectral optical sensor, altimetric laser sensor, hyperspectral scanner) in order to monitor the transportation network for external interference and areas of geological instability. Experimentation has shown some potential but at too high a cost for use on a large scale.
Snam is also a member of GERG (the European Gas Research Group, ), the group through which it is possible to offer and share research and innovation projects in synergistic collaboration with other European players interested in the same subjects, with the advantage of sharing the expenses, experiments and results; and also of EPRG (the European Pipeline Research Group, ), a research group in which members are gas transporters or manufacturers of gas pipelines in Europe.