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Challenges of Measuring Flow at High Temperature

One of the biggest challenges which is faced in refinery is measuring flow rate at elevated temperatures

A delayed coker is a type of coker whose process consists of heating a residual oil feed to its thermal cracking temperature in a furnace with multiple parallel passes is classic example of flow measurement at high temperature.

he residue left over from the crude oil distillation is led through a coker furnace and heated up to temperatures of around 950 °F.

Optimum mass distribution within the furnace zones is crucial for efficient process control and for the service life of the furnace.

This necessitates accurate flow measurement involving minimal maintenance owing to hostile process conditions.

One of the refinery client was using measuring orifices plates / differential pressure meters permanently installed for flow measurement subjected to huge maintenance costs due to highly viscous medium with its constant load of coke particles. The thin impulse lines of the DP meters were constantly becoming blocked and had to be rinsed out regularly. Furthermore, this also led to coke deposits in front of the orifice plate.

For reason stated above client opted for latest state of art maintenance-free alternative deploying clamp clamp-on ultrasonic meters.

These meters were attached to the outside of the pipe , not subjected to wear and tear by the medium flowing inside the pipe. In addition, the non-invasive, acoustic method gave reliable measured values are even achieved during startup and shutdown, thereby making automatic control possible.

Client was able to save not only on regular maintenance but also cost on frequent replacing of conventional flow meters whose performance deteriorated with time owing to exposure to extreme high temperature.

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