Magnetrol blog level and flow solutions gas variables pogil

In industries such as petroleum, natural gas, and chemical processing, seal pots serve the fundamental purpose of storing fluid that is intended to provide protection to expensive rotating equipment, as in the case of lubricating fluids going to the seal chamber of centrifugal and positive displacement pumps. Measuring and ensuring proper liquid levels in seal pots protects this associated equipment. Level measurement plays a critical role in the sealing system in terms of safety, reliability, environmental impact and raising the bottom line.

MAGNETROL recently had the opportunity to share the value of level instrumentation in seal pots in compliance with API 682 with a local audience. The Will-DuPage chapter of the International Society for Automation (ISA), an association for automation engineering and technology professionals, hosted its annual tabletop show on March 8. MAGNETROL global product manager Tom Kemme gave a technical seminar at this show, entitled “Seal Pot Level Techniques.”

In some petroleum refining plants, preflash drums are placed in between the desalters and the atmospheric columns as part of the crude distillation unit. Located in the preheat train of the distillation column, a preflash drum system separates the vapors generated by preheating before entering the heater or main column. This prevents higher heater firing or pressure drops and reduces vapor loading of the column to avoid flooding. Using preflash drums can also increase crude capacity when revamping and make the desalting process more efficient.

Magnetrol® has produced an applications brochure for the petroleum refining industry detailing measurement challenges and solutions for each step of the refining process. This blog post is part of an occasional series exploring each application in detail.

Preflash drums create moderate foam that can affect measurement accuracy of liquid levels and decrease distillate production in the atmospheric column. Instruments used in preflash drums must be able to accurately and consistently monitor level despite this foam.

In addition, level must be precisely monitored in the preflash drum. Too low of a preflash drum level will cause pump cavitation of the flashed crude. Too high of a level will cause liquid carryover to the distillation column. Only the most reliable level instrumentation should be installed in preflash drums.

There are many things to consider when choosing a radar transmitter. Deciding what instrumentation to use for a specific application will depend not only on the nature of the application, but also on other factors such as cost and availability. Four of the most important factors to consider when selecting radar level transmitters for any application are performance, diagnostics, versatility, and ease of use.

Magnetrol® produces two types of radar level transmitters: guided wave radar and non-contact radar. Both of these transmitters have characteristics that include these four important factors. Here’s how the Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar and Pulsar® Model R86 and Model R96 non-contact radar transmitters meet crucial needs for level measurement applications.

The ECLIPSE Model 706 is virtually unaffected by extreme process conditions, including temperature, pressure, specific gravity and dielectric. This means it can be used across process industries even in the most challenging applications. It also has superior signal strength—and the Model 706 has a signal to noise ratio almost 3 times higher than its nearest competitor. Using the ECLIPSE, a plant can measure tougher applications with less downtime.

In addition to an automatic waveform capture feature, the ECLIPSE tracks and saves real-time and historical data about device performance to help guide users to pinpoint issues when they arise. The device features an LCD display that outputs real-time field intelligence without the need for an instruction manual.

The PULSAR Model R86 features a 26GHz signal, with a shorter wavelength that offers smaller antennas, a narrower beam and improved accuracy. This gives it improved performance in the most demanding process conditions. It also comes with volumetric configurations to help you set up the device for your precise needs. These configurations feature nine common tank shapes as well as a strapping table for uncommonly shaped vessels.

As with the Model 706, the Model R86 has automated echo capture that grabs an echo curve based on key diagnostics, such as loss of echo. An expanded event history shows when and why the echo curve was triggered. This helps plant operators keep track of their operations, even when they may not be present for the event that triggered the curve. Up to 20 configuration and diagnostic events can be viewed in chronological order for the most in-depth troubleshooting insights.

The Model R86 can be used in tall tanks up to 40 meters, short tanks, mixing blades, and applications with turbulence. It has 4 horn sizes available for use in punishing conditions and difficult applications. Small antennas can be installed in process connections as small as 1 ½”. Nozzle extensions are also available for underground vessel standpipes.

The circular polarization of the PULSAR Model R86 simplifies installation. No antenna adjustment is needed—whatever direction you orient the transmitter offers the proper alignment. The transmitter also features a setup wizard that explains the configuration process step by step, with real-time help text built in.