Investigation of the Use of Ultrasonic Flow Meters at Oil Refining Process Unit


It is known that changes in the flow rate of the medium can directly affect the safety of the process of refining oil and petroleum products. Therefore, the use of high-precision flow meters is one of the safety barriers to prevent possible accidents and incidents. Unfortunately, the task of parametric measurement of the consumption of oil and petroleum products before and after their processing in most cases causes certain difficulties. For this reason, each specific measurement task should be approached from a different perspective, offering different means and methods of measurement, allowing to achieve the most reliable and accurate data on the measured flow rate.

Operating conditions at the oil refineries place high demands on flow meters. Conventional orifice flow meters, which are often used to measure flow in the oil refineries, have certain disadvantages: they require frequent maintenance, process interruptions during installation, cause pressure losses in the pipe.

Based on the experience of foreign companies in replacing insertion flow meters with clamp-on flow meters, it was decided to use non-invasive (non-contact) flow meters for medium measurement. The advantages of these flow meters are that there is no need to cut pipes, which practically eliminates the risk of leaks occurrence during installation. Also, the ultrasonic flow meter does not have direct contact with the measured medium, which allows avoiding contamination of both the flow meter itself and the medium, as a result, increasing the accuracy and durability of flow measurement at the site.

Research objectives: substantiation of the possibility of operation of an ultrasonic flow meter at the oil refining site, recommendations for the use of various sensors, as well as selection of the optimal installation site for the device. The flow rate readings matched the previously established readings taken from the orifice meters. As a result, it is concluded that the ultrasonic flow meters can be used to measure the flow rate of stripped oil.

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DOI: 10.24000/0409-2961-2020-12-7-11
Year: 2020
Issue num: December
Keywords : accident rate ultrasonic flow meter atmospheric block oil refinery flow sensors non-invasive flow measurement method
  • Glebova E.V.
    Glebova E.V.
    Dr. Sci. (Eng.), Prof., Department Chairman Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas (National Research University), Moscow, Russia
  • Volokhina A.T.
    Volokhina A.T.
    Dr. Sci. (Eng.), Prof. FGAOU VO «RGU of Oil and Gas (NIU) named after I.M. Gubkin», Moscow, Russia
  • Polikakhina E.A.
    Polikakhina E.A.
    Candidate, FGAOU VO «RGU of Oil and Gas (NIU) named after I.M. Gubkin», Moscow, Russia