Wireless Temperature Measurement

It’s hard to read technology-based news sources without finding discussions on the Internet of Things (IoT). In looking at the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) from a process manufacturing and producing standpoint, wireless measurement devices play a big role IIoT.

Emerson's Cheng Vue

Cheng Vue
Temperature Marketing Engineer

I wanted to share a quick 2:12 YouTube video, Rosemount 248 Wireless Temperature Transmitter featuring Emerson’s Cheng Vue. Cheng introduces this new device which provides a cost effective solution for wireless process monitoring, based on the IEC 62591 WirelessHART communications standard.

He opens describing the 242 as a single input transmitter with an integral antenna and optional five-digit LCD display configured via a HART Field Communicator or AMS Device Manager.

Rosemount-Power-ModuleHe describes the housing that suitable for tough environments including offshore, salt-spray marine environments. The wireless temperature transmitter opens up many measurement opportunities that were previously difficult or impossible to reach due to location and available wiring infrastructure.

Cheng shows how field replacements can be made to the power module without removing the transmitter. For more on the specifications, here is the product data sheet and configuration data sheet. You can also contact a temperature measurement expert to discuss your application. Continue Reading

Solving Refinery Coating Challenges in Flow Meters

Collaborative problem solving occurs in all kinds of ways—face-to-face, over the phone, via email, and online in blogs, on-line communities, wikis, and social networks.

Emerson's Tom O'Banion

Tom O’Banion
Industry Director

I mention this because I saw some great guidance on flow meter coating challenges in refining applications from Emerson’s Tom O’Banion. It was posted on an internal Emerson knowledge sharing site, but I thought it was well suited for anyone with these challenges.

Tom’s thoughts apply to any fluid that tends to coat or plug due to fluid velocity or temperature challenges. If the meter is coating either due to fines or temperature, then other components in the piping system will be too.

It’s quite rare that the flowmeter is the only “symptom”. It however can be the item that is the more difficult to clean or “melt out” due to tube geometry, or the difficulty in getting the solidified material re-melted.

With asphalt applications such as loading, paving machines, etc., Tom and Emerson refining industry consultants usually suggest that the meter has its own heat-tracing circuit and controller. With electrical heating, it’s easy to overheat the meter, especially is not a high-temperature version, and damage coils, magnets or RTDs.

It is best to leave this heating ON all the time, and have an insulating jacket—regardless of whether the application is intermittent or not. The cross-sectional area of the meter tubes is indeed usually smaller than the piping, so velocity is usually higher but may not be high enough—due to pressure change (delta P) concerns during sizing—to keep the meter swept clean. This is especially true of gravity-fed applications where pressure is minimal. Continue Reading

Selecting Best Solids Level Measurement Technology

This being Engineers Week, I wanted to celebrate all the engineers with a recap of a good technical note on solids level and volume measurement. The paper, Measuring Level and Volume of Solid Materials, describes the various technologies and considerations for the selection of solids level and volume measurement.

Emerson's Ludvig Bengtsson

Ludvig Bengtsson
Marketing Engineer

Emerson’s Ludvig Bengtsson shared his insights for this technical note. Three main technologies used for solids measurement include guided wave radar, non-contacting radar and acoustic 3D solids scanners.

When measuring solids there are many considerations for engineers based on the characteristics of the solids. One characteristic is the evenness of the surface.

Guided wave radar reflections are least affected by surface unevenness and non-contacting are most affected, since the radar signal may bounce at an angle.

Solids level and volume measurement reflections

Other characteristics impacting the quality of the measurements include dielectric constant of the solid, bulk density, filling location, dust, condensation, and whether level or volume is the measurement sought. Continue Reading

Internet of Things and Emerson

Internet of Things and EmersonOne of the discussions at the recent Emerson 2015 Investor Conference was a presentation by Emerson’s Charlie Peters on the Internet of Things and Emerson (beginning on slide 27).

I wanted to share some of the ideas and concepts Charlie shares as we advance forward. He opened defining aspects of the Internet of Things (IoT)—ubiquitous connectivity, accessible costs/capacity and powerful & friendly tools. Smart phones, tablets, cellular and wi-fi communications expand connectivity tremendously. Sensors, data storage and computation power lower costs and access. And social networks, big data and prognostics make tools more friendly, intuitive and more valuable to use.

These advancements open possibilities in applications and platforms such as monitoring, infrastructure management, intelligent manufacturing and production, energy efficiency and improved environmental performance and compliance.

It also raises a number of challenges around privacy, security and generational differences in how we perceive the value or threat these technologies bring. The key is how to sort through the challenges to take advantage of value these technologies and enabling services bring. Continue Reading

Preventing Boiler and Turbine Damage

The bulk of the electricity we use across the globe is produced by steam turning turbines connected to electrical generators. According to the Steam-electric power station in Wikipedia:

Almost all coal, nuclear, geothermal, solar thermal electric power plants, waste incineration plants as well as many natural gas power plants are steam-electric. Natural gas is frequently combusted in gas turbines as well as boilers. The waste heat from a gas turbine can be used to raise steam, in a combined cycle plant that improves overall efficiency.

Emerson's Robin Hudson

Robin Hudson
Applications Support Engineer

Prevent-Boiler-DamageIn a Power Engineering International article, How to prevent boiler damage in power plants, Emerson’s Robin Hudson shares ways to apply technology to avoid damage to turbines and boilers.

He opens highlighting the repercussions of not managing water levels in steam production correctly:

Should the boiler on a power plant run dry, or the turbine blades be damaged by water induction, the outcome will be dramatic and highly expensive.

Repairing such damage to a power plant can take months, if not years, to complete and can cause plant downtime costing millions in lost production and income.

And from a safety perspective:

If the [steam drum] level is too low, the boiler tubes can overheat, with the very real danger of a plant explosion. This may sound like dramatic stuff, but it highlights the need for safety devices in this type of application.

Traditionally, manually checking on site tubes on the boiler drum was performed on a periodic basis. In addition to being manually intensive, ongoing maintenance is another issue: Continue Reading