Terminal Tanks Level Measurement Safety, Accuracy & Efficiency

Rajagopal Kittu

Rajagopal Kittu

Tank-World-Tank-Gauging-InsightsOver on the Tank World blog is an interview with Emerson’s Rajagopal Kittu, a tank gauging product manager in the Middle East region. Rajagopal was asked about the wireless technologies be used within terminals. He shared an example, valve position indication for manual isolation valves found in piping manifolds. For many tank terminals, these wired measurements were not physically or economically feasible.

One big advantage:

In sites where Tank gauging is more critical, the wireless communication provides a means for establishing a redundant communication path and enhances the overall reliability. It also provides a wealth of diagnostic data to the host system which in most cases is not available with legacy wired systems. Wireless technologies provide huge savings in infrastructure, design and labour needed for installation and commissioning, and remove the hot work and downtime often required by their wired counterparts.

Raj was asked about gap assessment planning between compliant and non-compliant tanks. He explained [hyperlink added]:

This is a logical fallout from API-2350 Ed.4 standard recommendations. The recent Tank farm overfill incidents and Buncefield recommendations are some of the major drivers for the release of API-2350 Ed.4. New research data from facility insurance claims, suggest that Atmospheric Storage tanks are amongst the most vulnerable processes within any typical petroleum / refining facility considering the volume of hazardous and / or inflammable products stored at one location. While safety measures are implemented from Process licensing stage for complex processes, safety on Atmospheric storage tanks and tank farms have traditionally been perceived more casually. API-2350 Ed. 4 mandates the adoption of a Management System to include Atmospheric Storage Tank Overfill Prevention Process which as a subsequent step leads to Tank farm users performing a Risk Assessment tank by tank to verify its compliance or otherwise (viz. Gap Assessment Plan).

Asked about what terminal managers are looking for in tank gauging and alarm systems, Raj noted:

Terminal Managers need to ensure that no risks are taken when it comes to selection of Safety certified Overfill protection devices. They further need to perform due diligence to ensure that Sensors so selected are Fully certified to IEC 61508 whereby, their responsibility for the device (Sensor+Logic Solver part) gets distributed with the 3rd party certification. Safety devices certified to IEC 61508 using “Proven in use” solutions impose greater documentation responsibility on the part of the End user in substantiating usage of such devices.

Looking forward he envisions:

Safety, Accuracy & Efficiency on every aspect of the industry will be the major drivers in future. When it comes to Automation, Emerson addresses all these criteria in every product and solution for the industry. When it comes to Tank Gauging and Overfill, our 5900 series meets SIL3, OIML R85:2008 and is the first 2 wire Open Foundation Fieldbus based system meeting all these criteria for now and future.

Read the entire interview with Tank World’s Luke Upton. You can connect and interact with Raj at the 14-15 April 2014 Tank World Expo at the Dubai World Trade Centre or in the Tank Gauging and Level tracks in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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