Modernizing Tank Farm Measurements

Tank farms are not a recent innovation. In fact, most are dated and not in keeping with the modern standards required to run them efficiently. This is because when the tanks were built, automation was costly and most owners didn't invest in expensive instrumentation.

However, the days of manual checks are over. These days, regulation is much more prevalent as safety and the environment come to the fore. To remain compliant and do so effectively, modern digital instrumentation is required. The problem is, how do you integrate all this new technology when there is no real infrastructure to support it? The answer is wireless - wireless instrumentation.

Wireless technology doesn't require the same extent of infrastructure and associated cost of retrofitting and integrating the technology to outdated incumbent systems. And in the case of tank farms, which are usually large and separated by roads, tracks, drains, and ponds; trenching to lay cable would be costly and risky as digging may damage existing infrastructure.

Similarly, digital signals can be transmitted clearly and accurately for complete fidelity. The process can be repeated and replicated infinitely. Also, digital signals are cheap, having near zero marginal cost once the investment in the network has been made. This means that many signals can be added at little or no cost.

Wireless measurements can improve the overall performance of tank farms in the following areas:

  • Smart Storage Tank
  • Inventory Management
  • Floating Roof Tilt and Water Pooling
  • Hydrocarbon Leak and Spill
  • Secondary Overfill Prevention
  • Pump Vibration
  • Valve Position
  • Modernizing Tank Gauging System
  • Modernizing Valve Automation
  • Tank Farm 4.0

To elaborate on just one of the benefits of wireless measurement for tank farms - inventory management; the following improvements ensue:

  • The cable used for the level gauges that were replaced can now be used for an SIL-rated overfill protection signal to a safety system as the wireless communication for the inventory measurements doesn't require the cable - both signal paths work in parallel
  • Wireless connection of the tank measurements to the control system enables centralized monitoring, reducing manual inspection costs
  • Easy integration of future installments that may add to the measuring capabilities in the future

Wireless measurement is a blessing for tank farms, enabling them to enter the 21st Century and satisfy strict modern compliance requirements quickly, cheaply, and with a minimum of fuss.

Thank you