23 February 2022

Non-invasive liquid flow measurements in tank storage

How can clamp-on flow measurement help to keep tank storage hydrocarbon discharge safe?

Invasive flow measurement technology is well-proven, but installing it requires the pipe to be opened and the process to be shut down. In tank storage, with intermittent flows, problems like leaks will only become apparent once material is flowing. Additionally, there are often low-conductivity materials that can’t be measured with standard electromagnetic meters. Non-invasive, clamp-on flow measurement based on ultrasonic technology offers an optimal method for reliable and repeatable flow measurement in tank storage – with no need to interrupt or interfere with the pipe, plant or process.

All flowmeters in the KATflow series have several built-in tools that facilitate device setup and transducer mounting. The quick installation wizard guides the meter user step-by-step through each application and provides dynamic feedback on signal strength and thus measurement reliability when the meter is set up. A second 'Audible Positioning Assistant' uses acoustic signals to enable the operator to quickly and safely find an exact sensor positioning on pipelines.

Katronic's partner in the Benelux, U-F-M B. V. | Ultrasonic Flow Management uses 13 Katronic KATflow 170 ATEX flowmeters to ensure that a variety of petrochemicals are discharged into a so-called 'hydrocarbon store' as quickly, efficiently and, above all, as safely as possible. It is vital that a tanker is unloaded as quickly as possible, but this must be done within the acceptable limits of safe operation. As the rate of discharge increases, the static electrical charge in the line also increases, which increases a risk of sparking. The task was to ensure a flow velocity below 3.5 m/s to maintain a flow without sparking. The KATflow 170 uses compact, explosion-proof clamp-on sensors to measure the flow. Through the ATEX-certified KATflow 170 base unit, the flow rate is reported to the on-site control system, which finally modulates the pumped volume. Non-invasive flow measurement is the key to success in tank storage. The measurements are uncomplicated and reliable at all times, while maintaining all occupational safety regulations.