Refinery Application Leans on Bolt-On Temperature Sensors
Grant Gerke | November 15, 2017
For years oil and gas industry had a reputation for being very conservative when it came to new applications or infrastructure, but a low gas environment turned these widely-held practices on their head. Operators are moving towards more flexible processing applications and applications in the industry. Investment, in general, has moved from large offshore oil shelfs to process efficiency for shale and traditional oil fields.
New approaches are everywhere, last year, Efficient Plant wrote about a new technology application that captures flared gas from shale operations. This type of application is the IIoT archetype for new “business outcome” buzz phrase or also known as adding new revenue streams. The flare gas service uses a mobile operations and maintenance (O&M) crew to address multiple gas processing units in a large oil field via remote monitoring.
Another example of new approaches in oil and gas to asset monitoring is BP’s Cherry Point Refinery pilot project. Via Jim Cahill’s Emerson Exchange 365 blog, this new post describes a clamp-on temperature sensor pilot project that avoided adding expensive thermowells and nozzles. BP wanted to measure the temperature of process pipes.
According to the post, “The pilot project placed one of Emerson’s Rosemount X-well clamp-on, wireless transmitters on a pipe near an existing control thermocouple in a thermowell, and evaluated its performance by comparing it to the thermocouple.”
The application provides two, rather sizable benefits compared to ten years ago: 1) adding measurement in a quick and inexpensive fashion and 2) reducing downtime.
“Specifying a thermowell requires nine design inputs. For an X-well, we just need three—pipe diameter, material and schedule (wall thickness),” said Marco Donnangelo, global business development manager, Emerson Automation Solutions.