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Measuring instruments for bulk storage in the petrochemical industry

South Africa’s first crude oil refinery was commissioned in 1954, and since then the petroleum production in the country has gained momentum. Global energy conglomerates have invested in the development of downstream operations in the country, in both crude refining and synthesis processes.

WIKA, this year celebrating 75 years of providing measuring instrumentation globally, are proud that its instrumentation has been in use for decades at each of these major refining sites in South Africa. WIKA products are trusted to handle the most demanding process applications ranging from distillation to bulk product storage and all Refining Process Units (RPUs) in between.

Bulk product storage in tank farms is an essential component in the downstream value chain, and it is the objective of petroleum companies to ensure that these tank farms use accurate, repeatable, reliable, safe, and efficient instrumentation. This is crucial to ensure the safety of the environment and plant personnel as well preventing product loss and theft. Traditionally measurement methods such as the use of dipsticks or dip-tapes have been used for level measurement. Although these methods are still in use today, they are time consuming and the margin for error remains high compared to using modern instrumentation. With the advancement of process instrumentation, parameters such as Pressure, Temperature, Level, Flow and Density are measured, allowing for detailed monitoring of product in bulk storage tank farms. This instrumentation can provide a field display and also transmit the measured value to a control or supervisory system.

WIKA have a comprehensive instrumentation portfolio with the necessary approvals for use in bulk-storage tank farms and in the petrochemical industry in general. The Models TR-12x or TC-12x offer single point temperature measurement in bulk storage tanks, whilst custom-engineered probes such as the TC-9x are suitable where multi-point temperature measurement is required. WIKA boasts a diverse range of float-based level instrumentation, for both continuous and point level measurement, used for level monitoring, high and low level alarms, overspill safety-interlocks and pump protection. The level portfolio also encompasses bypass chambers, sight-glass level gauges and external chambers that can be used for mounting of guided-wave radar transmitters.

WIKA’s flow portfolio consists of a comprehensive range of primary flow elements, ranging from basic orifice plates to the advanced HHR-ProPak than can be used for inventory monitoring.

The pressure portfolio consists of the industry leading mechanical and mechatronic pressure gauge models for absolute, relative, compound and differential pressure measurement. The pressure measurement portfolio extends to a wide offering of electronic pressure measurement, which now includes the DPT-EL, a new model by WIKA for electronic DP measurement.

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