A Safer Tank Gauging System

Friday, December 17, 2010 @ 05:12 PM gHale

The new Raptor tank gauging system from Emerson Process Management helps refineries and bulk liquid storage plants handle heightened demands on efficiency, accuracy, and safety.

In addition, the system makes it easy to install the devices needed today and add or replace units in the future. This flexibility protects users’ investments so refineries and tank farms can easily become and stay efficient. Additional benefits include lower installation costs, high accuracy, and built-in safety features.

The Raptor system consists of a complete range of tank gauging instrumentation including high performance, non-contact radar level gauges, temperature and pressure transmitters plus water interface sensors and inventory management software. Tank hubs can communicate with the measuring instruments and control room via standard communication protocols. The design focuses on open technology and is fully scalable with functionality and scope that can adapt to any application and performance class.

The system includes new safety technologies to help protect plant assets, personnel, and the environment. One example is the 2-in-1 functionality — with two independent radar gauges in one single enclosure — providing SIL 3 safety for overfill prevention. There are also a number of other dual redundant configurations available to suit individual tank safety requirements.

Raptor reduces installation costs substantially. Raptor’s bus-powered 2-wire Tankbus communication uses self-configuring Foundation fieldbus technology, allowing easy start-up and integration of all system units. The tank units are intrinsically safe, which means it does not need expensive cable conduits. Communication to the control room can occur via Modbus over most existing cabling, or other fieldbus standards.

Further installation cost savings can come from Emerson’s Smart Wireless functionality, which eliminates the need for long distance signal wiring. This is especially valuable when no suitable ground cabling is available and it is necessary to cross roads, or when ground conditions make cabling expensive. Wireless communication can also be a redundant and independent communication path beside the traditional wired communication.

There are tank farms with gauging based on older technology, even in fairly recent installations, leading to maintenance problems and low performance. Raptor can emulate gauges from other manufacturers. This means the customers can add Raptor units to their existing system using the same cabling and control room infrastructure.

Raptor uses a new line of Rosemount 0.5 mm (0.02 in.) precision radar level gauges, and ultra stable temperature transmitters with 3- or 4-wire multiple spot sensors.

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