Faculty of Engineering

Department of Chemical Engineering
Cape Town Campus

Assignment 1
Name & Surname Dirk Myburgh
Student Number 212282247

Lecturer: M Aziz
I certify that this is my own unaided work, except for the assistance received from the
teaching staff. I undertake not to pass this assignment onto any other student.

Signature (student):………………………………………………. Date: 15/08/2014
Assessment Criteria
% Mark
Introduction (Summary &
Problem Statement)
Report Structure and
Theory & Literature Review

Problem solving and
Conclusion and


Problem Statement
Temperature is a very important and commonly measured parameter used to monitor and
control processes, the accuracy of those measurements are of great importance. Within the
Oil and Gas industry, temperature is used as a means of calculating the exact amount of
liquid in a storage tank. When calculating the net standard volumes of these liquids in a tank,
the temperature measurements needs to be very accurate since a temperature change of
1°C can cause a change in volume of 0.1%, therefore accurate temperature measurement is
Theory & Literature Review
Since the volume of petroleum or other hydrocarbons vary with fluctuating temperatures it is
necessary to know the temperature of the liquid when petroleum or other hydrocarbons are
transferred between tanks. Primary measurement data is obtained at storage conditions, and
therefore differ depending on the specific process conditions. This poses the problem of
knowing exactly how much petroleum is being transferred. An international standard for
calculating the net standard volume has been developed in order to solve this problem, and
requires temperature and pressure to be at standard conditions, which are 15°C and
101.325 kPa, respectively. The primary or process conditions data is corrected by using
correction factors, therefore precise temperature measurements are needed for calculations.
The formula used to calculate the net standard volume of petroleum is as follows:
, where GSV is the Gross Standard Volume and CSW is the correction
for sediment and water (Hyne, 1991).
The Gross Standard Volume is calculated using the indicated volume of the tank, corrected
for the effect of temperature on the liquid density (CTL), as well as the indicated pressure,
corrected for the effect of the compressibility on the liquid density (Hyne, 1991).
The Correction for Sediment and Water (CSW) corrects the volume for non-merchantable
components such as sediment and water. It is expressed as follows:

(Hyne, 1991).

Different types of temperature measurement equipment.
There are many temperature measurement devices for many different applications, for the
measurement of liquid temperature the following are important.
 Thermometers (not considered)
 Glass tube Thermometers
 Bi-metal Thermometers
 Non-Contact Devices (not considered)
 Single reading devices
 Camera field devices
 Probes(considered for problem solution)
 Thermopiles
 Thermocouples
 Resistance element types
 Thermistors
 Resistance Temperature Detectors
(Eckersdorf et al. 2001)
The two measuring devices considered for the solution are Thermocouples and RTD’s

Thermocouples work on the basis that two dissimilar metals joined together will generate a
predictable voltage that relates to a temperature difference between the junction end and the
tail end. When these ends are maintained at different temperatures a thermoelectric electro-
magnetic-field (EMF) is generated within the thermocouple. The magnitude of the EMF is
proportional and is related to the temperature difference between the two ends. The
generated EMF is measured by a millivolt meter or a potentiometer that is built into the
circuit to determine the temperature (Eckersdorf et al. 2001).
Resistance Temperature Devices
The RTD is a temperature sensor that works on the principle that a materials electrical
resistance changes with a change in temperature. This relationship between electrical
resistance and temperature is predictable, therefore allowing for accurate and consistent
temperature measurement. The TRD is supplied with a constant current and the resulting
voltage drop, caused by a change in temperature, can be measured. Once the voltage drop
is known the corresponding temperature can be determined. Materials used in RTD’s include
platinum, nickel and copper, platinum being the preferred material (Eckersdorf et al. 2001).
There are various wiring constructions available for RTD’s depending on the system
requirements. The constructions include 2-wire, 3-wire and a 4-wire configuration.
The 2- wire
The measured
resistance Rt
= R1 + R2 +
Rb. This configuration is least accurate
since there is no way to eliminate the
resistance of the lead wire used.

The 3-wire
is the most
used since it provides a means of removing
the resistance of the lead wire used. The
resistance is calculated as follows:
(R1 + R2) - (R2 + Rb) = Rb
These devices have resistance coefficients which is the ratio of the resistance change per
1°C change in temperature over a range of 0-100°C. The ratio is dependant of the type and
purity of the material of construction. A positive temperature ratio indicates that the
resistance of the device will increase with an increase in temperature. It is this increase in
resistance that is measured and correlated to a specific temperature (Liptak, 2006).
Resistance Temperature Devices Characteristics
- Commonly used in accuracy and repetitive applications.
- An inexpensive wire can be used to connect the RTD to the measurement and
control equipment.
- RTD’s can cost more than thermocouples in the same application, and are more
sensitive to shock and vibrations and are only effective to a lower temperature than
that of a thermocouple (Liptak, 2006).
Thermocouple Characteristics
- Thermocouples can be used up to very high temperatures, they are less expensive
that RTD’s and less susceptible to shock and vibrations. They are more responsive
to immediate temperature changes.
- The thermocouple needs to be connected to the temperature measuring and control
equipment with a wire of similar composition (Liptak, 2006).
Both these temperature measuring devices can be connected to a transmitter instead of
extension wires. This option reduces installation and maintenance costs, and increases the
setup’s robustness.
Problem Solution
An averaging RTD can be used to measure the temperature average temperature of a liquid
in a storage tank. This ensures the most accurate temperature measurement of the liquid as
a whole. The measuring sensor is distributed along the entire length of the probe and
therefore can give and accurate average temperature measurement. In order to ensure
accuracy, multiple probes with varying sensor lengths are fixed in the tank, the sensor that is
most submerged is then selected in order to negate the temperature of the empty/vapour
space above the liquid level.
Diagram depicting the proposed setup of an averaging Resistance Temperature Device in
Storage Tank.
S-7 S-8
S-14 S-15 S-14 S-14 S-14
Mili-volt Meter
Data Line
Averaging RTD Sensor

Although there are many different types of temperature measurement devices and setups
available to engineers, the chosen setups has been selected on the bases of the following:
the setup is easy, less expensive and robust in total compared to that of a thermocouple
setup. The proposed setup also allows for easier maintenance of the equipment and gives
an accurate and reliable temperature measurement. The solution that is proposed is not
limited to a stagnant body of liquid. With slight modifications the setup can be implemented
in a continuous stirred storage tank, which will allow for a uniform temperature profile as well
as prevent stratification.

1. Bentley, R.E. 1998. Resistance and Liquid-in-Glass Thermometry. Singapore:
Springer-Verlag Singapore.

2. Eckersdorf, K., Kucharski, J., Mcghee, J. & Michalski, L. 2001. Temperature
Measurement Second Edition. England: Wiley.

3. Hyne,J. 1991. Dictionary of Petroleum Exploration, Drilling & Production. USA:

4. Liptah, B.G., 2006. Instrument Engineers’ Handbook Process Control and
Optimization 4
edition. USA: CRC Press.