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Flow Measurement of Heavy Crude Oil

Flow Measurement of Heavy Crude Oil

Due to the extreme process conditions and the high requirements for reliability in refineries, most flow measuring points are still conventionally fitted with wetted mechanical measuring equipment which works according to Bernoulli's pressure difference principle. However, even these simple and supposedly sound measuring instruments have been prone to malfunction and are potential sources of danger in practice.

A particular difficulty involved in the measurement process in all refineries is the flow measurement of heavy crude oil fractions. These highly viscous hydrocarbon mixtures, which must be heated to temperatures above 350°C, so that they can remain capabale of flowing, often block the thin impulse lines of differential pressure meters. This results in extensive maintenance costs with associated downtimes of plant sections.

For these reasons, a large oil producer and operator of refineries in the Middle East was looking for basic alternatives to conventional measuring technologies.

Non-intrusive clamp-on ultrasonic flow measurement with FLUXUS and in conjunction the high temperature WaveInjector mounting fixture proved to be the best solution during comprehensive testing. 

Since the flow transducers are attached to the outside of the pipe, they are not subject to wear and tear from the medium flowing in the pipe. The measuring equipment can be installed and set-up without any pipe work and during ongoing operation.

After two years of trouble free trial operation, the refinery operator decided to fit entire plant sections with the FLUXUS and WaveInjector measuring equipment. More than 20 dual channel FLUXUS and more than 40 WaveInjectors are now used in the refinery.

Advantages

  • Reliable, non-intrusive and practically maintenance free flow measurement (at extreme temperature) with high measuring dynamics
  • Increased operating safety
  • Installation during ongoing operation
  • Constant plant availability
  • No pressure loss, No risk of leakages
  • Certified transmitters and transducers for operation in potentially explosive areas.

Related devices

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Non-Intrusive Flow Measurement in Refineries up to 400°C / 750°F and beyond

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