Marcellus / Utica Shale Systems Engineering

We offer experience and manpower! Working in these new shale plays has taught us and our customers that there is no substitute for experience and manpower. Many of our competitors may offer great system designs but do not have a path to market other than subcontractors and untrained workers. Some have a local workforce, but are left without engineering capability and high tech support. Our team of Crawford Technical Services, ALEDco, and Leonard Crawford Electric has local employees and offer manpower services ranging for excavation, electrical contracting, pipeline installation, mechanical fabrication, to engineering and IT services.

  • Mobile Extraction Systems
  • Remote Terminal Units
  • Solar Powered Equipment
  • Pump Control Systems
  • Truck Filling Systems
  • Truck GPS Tracking
  • Security System Integration
  • Electrical Power Systems
  • Instrumentation & Surge Voltage Protection
  • Flow Meter/Tank Level/Reservoir Monitoring
  • USGS Creek Gage Documentation/Monitoring Services
  • Frost Control/Insulation
  • Control Panel Construction



Mobile Extraction Systems

The diagram below highlights a basic system proposal that we have offered and constructed for several customers with needs for water extraction and truck filling applications. Some of the unique solutions that we have developed for our customers are:

  1. Mobile Extraction Systems: We have developed and deployed a complete line of mobile extraction systems that include extraction and wash pumps, priming air compressors, complete automation extraction drive systems, and SRBC approved flow meter designs with clear windows to view flow meter totals and flow rates. Click here for more details.
  2. Truck Fill Stanchion Solutions: Our truck fill stanchions have been designed for island pull through filling to maximize filling efficiencies and site throughput. Each fill stanchions includes (2) filling control panels equipped with flow meters, manual or automatic valves, spill containment, stanchion island lighting, and frost protection.
  3. Complete Water & Power Distribution: Installation of underground pipes and conduits are made easy with our own excavation personnel and equipment. Waterlines and electrical conduit lines are installed in the same trenches, therefore, there is no need to coordinate installation schedules since we offer both of these services. Coordination with the electrical utility and communication service providers is completed by our team with properly filled out load sheets and ISP requirements. It is our intention in any site build to install most of the equipment underground to protect as much against frost, vandalism, and reduce the physical impact to the community.
  4. Storage Tank Manifolding and Monitoring: Be it frac tanks, concrete structures, or impoundment ponds; we offer water quantity monitoring solutions to verify water volumes. Water storage can be managed to ensure that pumps operate at maximize efficiencies and water throughput.




RTU Solutions

Our HydroWatch™ RTU (Remote Telemetry Unit) has been developed with many options and capabilities. A basic HydroWatch™ solution comes equipped with a NEMA 4X polycarbonate enclosure with a clear window and full color operator interface mounted within an inner swing panel. The standard HydroWatch™ RTU is powered with 120VAC, however a solar powered system is also offered. Standard I/O includes 8 digital inputs, 6 relay outputs with an upgrade capability for (2) cards of additional I/O. Every HydroWatch™ RTU has Ethernet as its standard communication protocol, but HydroWatch™ drivers have been developed to communicate with Modbus RTU serial networks such as SCADALynx and CygNet. The image to the right is a standard RTU that has been upfitted with a fill control light and customer required RAVEN cell modem.

Typical Applications for this RTU include:

  • Extraction control and flow measurement with USGS gage integration
  • Frac tank level monitoring and valve controls
  • Impoundment monitoring and leak detection
  • Creek gage monitoring
  • Remote pump control



Solar Powered Equipment

The Northern PA and lower New York regions have a unique climate and limited number of sunny days per year. Coupled with freezing temperatures most of the winter, solar powered solutions must be developed for a rugged and limited sunny day environment. Catalog solar solutions simply won’t work and typically do not provide enough power for true remote monitoring applications since the unique geography in this region is not understood by catalog based sales companies. Our solar solutions have been used for a number of applications including: 1. Power for LED lighting in portable filter trailers, 2. RTUs that both monitor and control generators for pump control, and 3. Power cell modems that monitor creek gauging systems. We have developed many customer solutions and will work with your application to ensure that our solution meets your application requirements.

The images to the right are of a custom solution that we developed for a gas field monitoring application. This application called for (2) 130 watt solar cells with (198) amphour batteries. Notice that this dual compartment enclosure has been powder coated stainless silver with venting for the enclosed batteries. This system offers a local lower power switch when the system is not in use along with an operator interface for system controls once the system is powered with generator AC power.

***Please note that although this system has been developed as a custom solution for the application, all system components are off the shelf items. In the event of a component failure, our systems utilize the same components that are available with 24 hours.


Pump Control Systems

Approximately 50% of our business is the development of pump control systems. Working with our partner ALEDco, a National Oilfield Varco (NOV) and the single largest Gorman Rupp distributor in the United States, we have developed approximately 50 pump control systems for the Marcellus and Utica Shale Plays. Our pump control systems range from 5HP extraction pumps to dual 500HP multistage high pressure pumps along with a number of multistage extraction, charge, and high pressure pumps to meet the exact requirements of our customers geography and pumping requirements. In other cases we have worked with smaller sites to develop single phase pump controls to operate (3) phase pump systems. Listed below are some of the key services we offer for Pump Control Systems:

  • Complete systems engineering
    • Pump sizing to meet the requirements of the system
    • Pipeline, valve, metering design and specification
    • Electrical power and distribution design including coordination with local power utility
    • Automation and drive control system development
    • Site layout and equipment location specifications
    • Security system specification and third party monitoring services
    • SCADA system development with all databasing capabilities with HydroWatch™
  • Site construction and system installation
    • Excavation of the creek/river bank for installation of water intake
    • Excavation for the installation of underground pipes, electrical conduits, and communication lines
    • Electrical service entrance construction and power distribution to all equipment
    • Site lighting, heat trace, and power to all required equipment and facilities
    • Installation of pipes, meters, valves, vaults, frac tanks and all additional mechanical equipment
    • Installation of all automation and control equipment including our own HydroWatch™ control platform
    • Concrete work in and around the island fill stanchions
    • Installation of security cameras, motion detectors, and digital video recorders
  • Systems start-up
    • 100% systems testing
    • Operator training
    • Delivery of all documentation, prints, schematics, and system manuals



Truck Filling Systems

Truck filling systems can be developed with many options that include completely automated, manual valves, and local operator interfaces for datalogging fill information. All truck fill systems can be broken into two categories:

    1. Pump to Truck
      Our pump to truck systems can be developed such that trucks are filled directly from the water source or from storage tanks. Filling directly from the water source can be a great solution providing that the instantaneous withdrawal rate is high enough to fill multiple trucks simultaneously. Typically our systems do not fill slower than a rate of 350gpm. If this rate cannot be achieved, then tank storage must be used to achieve a higher fill rates with the use of truck fill charge pumps.The images to the right show a mobile pump trailer that has been developed to extract directly from a water source and fill trucks up to 600gpm. This mobile pump trailer includes a wash pump for a screen cleaner that continuously uses water pressure to wash the screen clean and drain solenoids to release the water pressure in the lines once the trailer needs to be moved. This system has been configured such that the main withdrawal pump engages once the truck driver has hooked up to the site and entered the proper truck and customer information. Manual valves are used by the operators to open and close gate valves and all fill information is logged to the HydroWatch SQL database for customer billing and site life tracking.


  1. Vacuum-on Systems 
    Vacuum-on systems work best in cases where there is little to no elevation from the extraction point or tanks/reservoirs. Simple laws of physics prevent water from being vacuumed greater than 24′ once pipe friction and other losses have been added in. Therefore, the best way to create a vacuum on system is to utilize frac tanks at the same level as the trucks filling.In the image to the right, the Sugar Hollow Trout Hatchery has been highlighted a number of times in local newspapers and press releases, and in early 2011 was visited by Governor Tom Corbett. This site was developed as a vacuum on site with a reservoir 20′ above the truck filling location. This additional head pressure along with a frost free design allows this site to operate year round at fill rates in excess of 350gpm, with up to (6) trucks simultaneously filling.



Truck GPS Tracking

HydroWatch™ has complete GPS truck tracking capability. Water is associated with a truck along a delivery route to ensure that water arrives at the correct location, drivers obey posted speed limits, routes are efficient, along with many other features. With the complete HydroWatch™ interface, proactive decisions can then be made with data that has never been available before. Some of the advanced features available on the Truck Tracking Dashboard include:

  • Verification of water delivery to a work site
  • Top performer list
  • Speed limit and idle violator list
  • Cost per barrel reports
  • Potential breakdown and accident alarms
  • Multipoint polygons for geozone creation
  • Site visits & delivery reports



Security System Integration

HydroWatch™ has been developed as an open architecture software program which allows us to integrate many additional features into the software that are not typical of water management or specific to water sites. Early in the implementation of the first few HydroWatch™ systems, we learned that site security was just as important as tracking trucks and water. To address customer concerns, we created a security system interface that allows for the integration of Ethernet enables security systems that utilize any of the following:

  • Megapixel Color Cameras with Pan, Tilt, & Zoom (PTZ)
  • Motion Detectors
  • Digital Video Recorders (DVRs)
  • Infrared Sensors
  • Security Lighting and Alarms
  • Immediate Calls to Security Response Teams



Electrical Power Systems

The roots of Leonard Crawford Electric are electrical contracting and being that we are a partner company, there is no doubt that we provide electrical contracting and power distribution services. With a wide range of customers in both typical industrial manufacturing and the gas & oil industry, our teams of electricians have both the tools and know how to get jobs done. Services can ranges from medium voltage switchgear and MCCs to low voltage service entrance construction services up to 6,000 Amps at 480VAC. In many cases we have developed power systems with stand-by generator power until the utility connection can be made. The image to the right shows a 600KVA generator that powers a pump system with 800Amps at 480VAC. Included with this generator power connection were the containments for the generator/fuel tank, refueling, and maintenance services.

New Service Construction
In 2012 we built over (20) service entrances for water extraction, impoundment, and treatment sites that range from 200 to 2,000 amps. To construct these services, Crawford Technical Services has complete design capability where we develop and complete the following:

  • Utility load forms
  • Single line power riser
  • Complete system design (Device, conduit, and wire sizing)
  • Permitting information (Local municipalities)
  • PA One Call or 811 Call before you dig
  • Utility work order number
  • Meet with power utility representative to plan power feed installation



Instrumentation & Surge Voltage Protection

Understanding analog signals and knowing how to protect them is an absolute prerequisite for working in gas fields. Our engineers and field teams understand how to troubleshoot and install transmitters of all types. Be it 4-20mA or 0-10 volt signals, we have the equipment and understanding to support your application. A typical HydroWatch™ water fill station will have a number of analog signals:

  • (1) Extraction flow meter
(4-20mA active signal for flow rate) (24VDC pulse for totalizing)
  • (4-12) Truck fill flow meters (4-20mA active signal for flow rate)
(24VDC pulse for totalizing)
  • (1-5) Drive speed signals
(4-20mA active for output frequency)
  • (1-5) Motor current signals
(4-20mA active for current draw)
  • (2) Temperature inputs
(RTD or 4-20mA temperature signal)
  • (1-3) Pressure inputs
(4-20mA passive pressure signals)

When selecting surge voltage protection for these types of devices, there are (3) major questions to ask.

Q1. What type of surge voltage is the equipment likely to experience?

A1. Depending on the type of event the equipment is likely to experience, the proper device selection is critically important to the process. There are no, “One size fits all,” for surge voltage protection. Lighting and transients are very different from one another. For additional details, visit the Power Quality section of this webpage.

Q2. Is a high integrity ground available?

A2. Without a good ground connection, surge voltage protection equipment is useless. When installing a surge voltage protection device, be sure to install a high integrity ground (See Article 500 of the NEC)

Q3. What technology would be used to protect the equipment?

A3. This may seem like a repeat of question 1, but MOV based products are used if the device is being installed on a power line, but MOV based products are never a good idea for instrumentation. MOVs have leakage currents and will always affect signal accuracy. In the protection of analog signals and communications, diode or gas tube based products are the best solution.

The image above is of a pressure transmitter on a gas pipeline that has a local 4-20mA surge voltage protection device that has been integrated into the explosion proof conduit nipple. This device is diode and gas tube based such that it will protect the pressure transmitter, but will not affect the signal integrity.


Flow Meter/Tank Level/Reservoir Monitoring

If HydroWatch™ is the brain of an extraction system, flow meters, tanks level sensors, and impoundment gages are the eyes and ears of the system. HydroWatch™ control systems have many types of sensors and devices to continuously monitor the system and aid operators and decision makers of the operating process. Fully automatic pipeline pumping stations have upwards of 50 sensors that allow PID algorithms to operate the system in the most efficient rates possible without exceeding permitted rates.

With so many sensors on extraction systems, diagnostics are critical in ensuring that sites stay operational. HydroWatch™ has hundreds of integrated alarms and diagnostics that anticipate input values. If an input signal jumps high or falls too quickly, HydroWatch™ can sense a failure in a sensor and alarm operators to corrective action. The ability to quickly troubleshoot system faults is a major differentiator between HydroWatch™ and other systems.


USGS Creek Gage Documentation/Monitoring Services

The United States Geological Survey maintains thousands of water gages across the United States and in many cases these gages are the determining factor of when water extraction can occur. With the use of HydroWatch™, hundreds of creek gages are monitored and this information is relayed to automatic extraction systems. Once a site goes into pass by mode, water levels must rise above threshold values typically for 48 hours before pumping can resume. HydroWatch™ continuously monitors these gages and documents values to servers on an hourly basis. At the end of the quarter, HydroWatch™ combines extraction amounts with the USGS creek gage data to show documented proof that water was only extracted at times when permitted.


Frost Control/Insulation

Winters in Northern PA and Central New York can be extremely cold and bring a pumping system to its knees. Frozen water lines can rupture and pumps dead heading will destroy motors in minutes. It is a best practice to install as much equipment below the frost line to protect against such events, but there still are requirements for valves, flow meters, and other equipment to be accessible to operators. With the proper installation of heat tape and other heating equipment along with insulation, systems can operate year round without damage due to freezing temperatures.

Often, extreme cold only occurs for a few short weeks with days here and there of low temperatures. In most cases, electrical power is left on that leads to a breakdown in the heating equipment and electricity costs being incurred, when no additional heat is needed. To save electrical energy and improve a sites overall efficiency, we have developed an algorithm that monitors both air and water temperature. With a properly install heat and insulation system, heaters can be used only when required and shut-off in times when the temperature is not below freezing.

The image above is of a fill stanchion that has Armaflex insulation with an aluminum shell to protect it from UV and physical damage.


Control Panel Construction

Crawford Technical Services has a full time panel shop at our headquarters in Hershey, PA. We currently build control panels for both our own projects in gas shale plays and also several other machine manufacturers in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Our customers’ industries range from pharmaceutical to waste water and many other unique requirements.

Our panel shop offers:

  • Ability to program several manufacturers of automation equipment
  • Utilization of both AutoCad and SolidWorks
  • Use of computer generated wire and terminal block labels
  • Develop custom enclosure and colors for indoor and outdoor applications
  • Ability to develop custom controls, installation instructions, and electrical prints/documentation

Project Areas/Industries Served:

  • Batch processing in food processing
  • Wastewater / Sewage
  • Pharmaceutical – Validation Experience
  • Process control and SCADA systems
  • Integration of variable frequency drives
  • Servo drive control systems

We are involved in a broad spectrum of industrial process control engineering, manufacturing, and systems integration. Whether we assemble to your specifications or supply the design, our combined industrial experience in industrial automation is built into your control panel.

Crawford Technical Services upholds the tradition of craftsmanship goes into every wiring connection. Aesthetics are more than the visible manifestation of care we build into your panel. Down the road, during maintenance or upgrades, the logic of careful and extremely neat assembly will pay big dividends. Our attention to detail means you will get maximum performance and return on investment.