As oil & gas supplies continue to exceed demand and the need to store crude oil, natural gas liquids and other petroleum-based products increases, storage tanks remain critical elements in the global supply chain.
In a Tank Storage magazine article, Stay Afloat Using Radar Technology, Emerson’s Ulf Johannesson describes how radar technology is used to improve safe and reliable operation on storage tanks with floating roofs.
He opens the article noting that more:
…than half of the world’s larger tanks used for storing common petroleum products have floating roofs, and this proportion is likely to rise due to tightening demands for reduced vapour emissions.
Floating roofs have an advantage over fixed-roof tanks in cost and vapor balancing and recovery. They also come with their own set of issues:
…such as sinking, tilting, leaking and sticking decks can affect the performance of floating roofs – potentially leading to costly structural damage and major environmental and safety risks.
Traditionally, manual inspection of these floating roofs has been the way to try to spot these issues. Not only does this practice put operating personnel in hazardous areas, this inspection can be only performed on a periodic basis, it may also not find the issues in time before an abnormal situation develops.
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