INSTRUMENTASI UNTUK SENSOR KETINGGIAN SOLAR DI DALAM TANGKI

Rangkuman Diskusi KBK Instrumentasi 7 November 2006 - 8 November 2006 Milis Migas Indonesia : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Migas_Indonesia Migas Indonesia Online : http://www.migas-indonesia.com Migas Indonesia Network : http://www.migas-indonesia.net Editor : Windra Gumilar Swastioko Budhi Suryanto Moderator KBK Instrumentasi

Irfan Kartika Putra – Jurusan Elektro Institut Teknologi Bandung Kami sedang mencari vendor yang dapat menyediakan sensor ketinggian solar di dalam tangki yang dapat membedakan antara air, solar, dan kerosin. Apakah ada standar jenis pelat, tebal pelat, dan lain-lainnya yang biasa digunakan untuk pembuatan tangki solar 3000 liter dan 1000 liter. Mohon pencerahannya berhubung pengetahuan saya minim sekali mengenai masalah ini. Sebelumnya saya ucapkan terima kasih atas bantuannya.

Encep Yuna Permana – Tripatra Fluor Pak Irfan, saya hanya membantu untuk urun rembuk saja. Mungkin yang dimaksud adalah instrumen level (baik itu level gauge atau transmitter) untuk mengukur level dari jenis cairan yang berbeda. Mungkin instrumen level yang digunakan lebih tepatnya jenis interface level, sehingga bisa mengetahui batasan-batasan dari cairan yang dimaksud. Merek yang bisa dicoba adalah K-Tek, untuk lebih jelasnya bisa menghubungi ke : PT. Matco Asia Indonesia Jl. Darmawangsa IIA No. 1 Pav. Kebayoran Baru Tlp: 021-7224376 Email: matcosales@matcoasia.co.id, jakmatco@rad.co.id Website: http://www.matcoasia.com atau bisa menggunakan merek JERGUSON dengan alamat : Adress: 16633 Foltz Industrial Pkwy Stongsville, Ohio 44149. USA Phone: 440-5721500 Fax: 440-238-8828

Rangkuman Diskusi KBK Instrumentasi Milis Migas Indonesia

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Merek yang lain adalah JOGLER dengan alamat : Houston Texas 77064 USA Phone: 281.469.6969 Fax: 281.469.0422 Wesite: www.jogler.com. Email: jskinner@jogler.com Catatan : Jangan lupa, pada saat berkomunikasi dengan Vendor sebaiknya menyediakan data proses dari aplikasi yang dimaksud, seperti : Specific Gravity (SG), temperatur, tekanan, dll. sehingga memudahkan bagi Vendor tersebut untuk memilih instrumen yang cocok dengan kebutuhan di lapangan dan yang lebih penting lagi untuk diidentifikasi selanjutnya untuk ketinggian tangki tersebut. Hal–hal lain yang harus diperhatikan adalah level yang diinginkan, misalnya : posisi Low, Medium, High, atau High–High ; apakah setelah High dan High–High harus ada interlock kepada pompa atau valve nantinya sehingga bisa berjalan secara otomatis; apakah sinyal dari instrumen tersebut akan dikomunikasikan PLC / DCS untuk monitoring, dll. Yang pasti harus jelas terlebih dahulu aplikasi seperti apa yang kita inginkan. Silahkan jika ada teman-teman lain yang ingin menambahkan.

Priyo Adi Sesotyo – Freeport Indonesia Pak Irfan, kalau tidak salah, fungsi untuk membaca interface level itu bisa dicapai dengan penggunaan peralatan yang dinamakan ATG (Automatic Tank Gauging). Untuk peralatan ini, yang menjual kalau tidak salah adalah Endress+Hauser, ada juga merek lain tetapi saya lupa.

Waskita Indrasutanta - Wifgasindo Dinamika Instrument Engineering Untuk interface level air dengan solar atau air dengan kerosin bisa, tetapi kalau ketiganya tidak bisa. Bukankah solar dan kerosin akan bercampur ?. Tergantung dari akurasi yang diperlukan, beberapa metode bisa dipergunakan untuk mengukur top level dan interface level.

Maison Des Arnoldi – Pertamina Unit Pengolahan II Dumai Melihat ukuran tangkinya yang sebesar 3000 liter dan kalau tangkinya horizontal, cukup memakai level glass yang diberi skala biar murah, mudah perawatannya, dan bisa dilihat secara langsung. Level glass ini ada dijual di pasar Ciroyom Bandung atau tanya kawan di Dimet Bandung.

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Mengapa mengukur level • • • • • Memaksimalkan pengisian kapasitas di tanki Menghindari terjadinya luapan Proses (blending) pencampuran Custody transfer Process supply

Level Parameter

Interface

Level

Volume Density Mass

Gambar Level Parameter
Halaman 1

Macam teknologi untuk pengukuran level Bubbler Dipstick Capacitance Ultrasonic Radar Float Tuning Fork Sight glass Nuclear Displacer Gage Glass Differential Pressure Ultrasonic Gap Hydrostatic Weight Gambar Pengukuran langsung Halaman 2 .

chemicals atau liquid products yang lain dimana pada pengoperaiannya tidak membutuhkan tingkat akurasi yang tinggi. oil. Direkomendasikan untuk dipakai pada tanki penyimpanan air. Zero Suppresion Zero Suppresion biasanya diaplikasikan untuk menekan range dari suatu transmitter atau untuk menghilangkan efek dari liquid head di dalam tubing penghubung transmitter ke tangki ketika transmitternya terpasang pada bagian bawah vessel. bahan bakar. Halaman 3 . mengindikasikan liquid level baik dalam bentuk atap tangki cone atau rata dan bukan merupakan tangki yang pressurised.Float Mechanism Internal Still pipe to guide the float External Still pipe to guide the float Indicator Float I S O L A T I N G Float Tank Drain Valves Indicator V A L V E Float-operated gauge level-indicator.

20mA Max. 20mA Max. Level R A N G E 4mA XMTR Min. Level L H Halaman 4 . Level R A N G E 4mA XMTR Min. Level XMTR 4 mA L H L H Zero Elevation Zero Elevation biasanya diaplikasikan untuk menghilangkan efek dari head yang disebabkan seal fluid (cairan antara) pada bagian referensi (low side) dari transmitter yang digunakan untuk mengukur level pada pressurized vessel (vessel yang bertekanan). Level R A N G E 20mA Max. Level 4mA Min.

Tangki Terbuka ( Open Tank ) Bottom Mounted Transmitter Pada vessel terbuka. Patm Phigh = Phead + Patm Plow = Patm Phigh .Plow = Phead XMTR Phead L H Level Application Apa yang akan terjadi apabila liquid level berada dibawah sensor ? 100% XMT R L H g 0% h 0% Halaman 5 . pressure transmitter terpasang di dekat dasar tangki akan mengukur besar tekanan yang nilainya sesuai dengan tinggi liquid diatasnya.

Plow = Phead XMTR L H Wet leg : Tekanan wet leg akan menambah tekanan pada bagian low side transmitter. Jika gas diatas zat cair tidak kondesasi (memadat). 0 persen harus pada level yang sama seperti pada transmtter atau dibawah tapping point… Closed tank ( Tanki tertutup ) Dry leg : tidak ada zat cair pada low side impulse piping (sisi tubing tekanan rendah). Ullage or Vapor Phigh = Ptop+Phead Plow = Ptop Phead Phigh . tubing yang ada pada low side (bagian tekanan rendah) akan tetap kosong. maka tubing sebaiknya di isi dengan lliquid yang dijadikan bahan referensi. Untuk menghilangkan penyebab error ini. Bila gas yang berada di atas memadat (condenses). Halaman 6 .Sensor transmitter tidak akan bisa membaca perubahan tekanan !!. tubing yang ada pada bagian low side akan perlahan terisi liquid.

Halaman 7 . The pressure required to maintain flow is determined by the vertical height of the liquid above the tube opening times the specific gravity.Phigh =Phead+Ptop Plow=Pwet leg+Ptop Phigh . pressure regulator (penjaga tekanan).Plow = Phead . Tank vented Pressure (tekanan) digunakan untuk menjaga flow = P head Air is bubbled through the tube at a constant flow rate. flow meter.Pwet leg Ptop= Ullage Pwet Phead L H XMTR Open Tank Terdiri dari suplai udara. Bisa digunakan untuk aplikasi yang korosif. transmitter dan tubing.

G f DP Level transmitter Diapragm Seals for Tanks under Vacuum.Gf H S.7 inH2O) DP transmitter (Absolute) L h P1 P2 Halaman 8 . Remote Seals Capilar Y 1.TXR Pin(flow=const) Phead = H * S. Transmitter harus dipasang se-level atau dibawah tap yang terendah guna mendapatkan positive pressure pada transmitter.0 psia (27.

Contoh : SG Process (SGp) h Static Pressure SG Fill Fluid = = = = 1.0 psia 0.934 Bila transmiter dipasang pada bagian bawah taping point.7 + (28.0 30 inches 1. maka akan ada positive pressure pada P1 meskipun tangki dalam keadaan kosong (L=0) P1 = = = = SP + (LxSGP) + (h x SGf) 27.H2O abs Capacitance Probe • • • Capacitance instrument mengukur besarnya capacitance diantara dua kepingan capacitor. Capacitance pada capacitor meningkat jika ada dielectric diletakkan diantara kepingan tersebut.934) 27. C = KE0AD Dimana : K = dielectric konstan dari material E0 = permitivity of Vacuum A = luas area plate (keping) C = capacitance (pF) d = jarak antar plate (keping) K d Halaman 9 .0) + (30 x 0.7 + (0 x 1.7 in. Sirkuit menyuplai signal frekwensi tinggi ke probe.0 55.

Zat Cair yang konduktif • • • • Cairan process dianggap keping (plate) yang kedua Isolator pada Probe adalah dielectric variasi ukuran plate (cairan) tersebut adalah besaran yang diukur Level besarnya setara dengan perubahan luas plate Keterbatasan dari Capacitance Perubahan dielectric menyebabkan terjadinya error. Perubahan pada vapor space dapat mempengaruhi output. Dinding tangki yang terbuat dari non metal atau tangki yang tidak mempunyai dinding vertikal. penambahan probe sebagai referensi sangat dibutuhkan. Pelapisan pada probe oleh karena product dapat menimbulkan error.How Capacitance varies with process fluid? Nonconductive Coating d Nonconductive Fluid Conductive Fluid Zat Cair yang tidak konduktif • • • • Cairan proses merupakan penghalang dielectric dinding tangki merupakan plate yang kedua besarnya variasi dielectric adalah nilai pengukuran Perubahan level setara dengan beda dielectric yang terjadi. Kalibrasi mendjadi tidak mudah terutama bila salah satunya mebutuhkan "Bench calibrate”. Halaman 10 .

Transmitter tengah PM berada pada jarak yang spesifik "H" diatas PB digunakan untuk menghitung liquid density (PB . Tiada satupun gauging systems yang bisa dipakai untuk segala aplikasi. RTD mengukur temperatur product sebagai korelasi referensi. Halaman 11 . Tank gauging dan level monitoring adalah systems yang berbeda. 2. HTG ( Hydrostatic Tank Gauging) Pada dasarnya digunakan untuk mengukur mass.PM) Top transmitter PT hanya digunakan untuk tangki non atmospheric untuk mengkompensasi beda pressure ullage. Tank gauging systems digunakan untuk mengukur jumlah suatu product yang ada didalam tangki timbun. Trasmitter terbawah ada pada bagian dasar tangki digunakan untuk mengukur static head. Pada dasarnya ada dua metoda tank gauging a) Level base system b) Radar Servo balance Float / Tape Mass base systems HTG 4.Tank Gauging Over View 1. 3.

PM ) / H B (PB .(PT) Top Pressure Transmitter RS-485 MODBUS Communications Network (can take up to 31 AIMs) SCADA Packa ge (PT) Middle Pressure Transmitter HART Communicator (RTD)Temperature Sensor (PB) Bottom Pressure Transmitter Smart Application Module (SAM) Teori Effective Level Measurement Options: Mass = PT Density = (PB .PT) /Density + HBT B Halaman 12 .PT) x Area B H PM TT PB Volume = Mass / Density HBT Level = (PB .

Keuntungan dari HTG Mengukur multi-Parameter Mass : Inventory dan billing Density : kualitas kontrol Volume : Inventory dan billing Level : Kapasitas tangki Density Continuous Akurasi Tahan uji (High Reliability) Mudah dalam maintenance Mudah dalam instalasi Tidak ada peralatan gerak Halaman 13 .

we have: P = S⋅H where P = Pressure (Pa) S = Weight density of the liquid (N/m ) = ρg H = Height of liquid column (m) ρ = Density (kg/m3) 3 Note g = acceleration due to gravity (9. This is even more so in the nuclear station environment where the fluid could be acidic/caustic or under very high pressure/temperature. This is termed hydrostatic pressure.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 33 2. Others utilize floats connected to variable potentiometers or rheostats that will change the resistance according to the amount of motion of the float. We will now examine the measurement of fluid level in vessels and the effect of temperature and pressure on this measurement. the pressure exerted by the liquid at the base of the vessel will increase linearly.3. 2 Revision 1 – January 2003 . Differential Pressure (DP) capsules are the most commonly used devices to measure the pressure at the base of a tank. Mathematically. we will examine the more challenging situations that require inferential level measurement. This technique obtains a level indication indirectly by monitoring the pressure exerted by the height of the liquid in the vessel. We will also consider the operating environment on the measurement and the possible modes of device failure.81 m/s ) The level of liquid inside a tank can be determined from the pressure reading if the weight density of the liquid is constant. The pressure at the base of a vessel containing liquid is directly proportional to the height of the liquid in the vessel.3 LEVEL MEASUREMENT Accurate continuous measurement of volume of fluid in containers has always been a challenge to industry. This signal is then inputted to transmitters that send a signal to an instrument calibrated to read out the height or volume. In this module. As the level in the vessel rises.1 Level Measurement Basics Very simple systems employ external sight glasses or tubes to view the height and hence the volume of the fluid. 2.

the equalizing valve is closed and the two block valves are open. a pressure capsule has to be used. It consists of two block valves . ProcessHigh Pressure Side ProcessLow Pressure Side HP Block Valve LP Block Valve 3 Valve Manifold Equalizing Valve HP LT LP Signal Figure 1 A Three Valve Manifold During normal operation.3. system pressures are often much higher than the actual hydrostatic pressure that is to be measured. It also allows isolation of the transmitter from the process loop.and an equalizing valve.2 Three Valve Manifold A three-valve manifold is a device that is used to ensure that the capsule will not be over-ranged. over ranging of the capsule would occur and the capsule could be damaged causing erroneous indications. However.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 34 When a DP transmitter is used for the purpose of measuring a level. Revision 1 – January 2003 . the valves must be operated in such a manner that very high pressure is never applied to only one side of the DP capsule. it will be called a level transmitter. When the transmitter is put into or removed from service. To obtain maximum sensitivity. Note 2. If the process pressure is accidentally applied to only one side of the DP capsule during installation or removal of the DP cell from service. Figure 1 shows a three valve manifold arrangement.high pressure and lowpressure block valve . that has a sensitivity range that closely matches the anticipated pressure of the measured liquid.

check for leakage from both the high pressure and low-pressure side of the transmitter. Open the equalizing valve. The transmitter is now out of service. Close the high-pressure block valve. zero differential pressure.e. Close the equalizing valve – this locks the pressure on both sides of the transmitter. Close the low-pressure block valve. Revision 1 – January 2003 . The transmitter is now in service. Removing Transmitter from Service Reversal of the above steps allows the DP transmitter to be removed from service. Open the low-pressure block valve to apply process pressure to the low-pressure side of the transmitter and establish the working differential pressure. this will require bleeding. 5. 3. i. 1. 6. 2.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 35 Operational Sequences of Three-Valve Manifold Valving Transmitter into Service To valve a DP transmitter into service an operator would perform the following steps: 1. Open the equalizing valve – this ensures that the same pressure will be applied to both sides of the transmitter. 2. Note Check all valves closed. Open the High Pressure block valve slowly. Note it may be necessary to bleed any trapped air from the capsule housing. Note the transmitter capsule housing still contains process pressure. 4. 3..

the high-pressure side of the level transmitter will be connected to the base of the tank while the low-pressure side will be vented to atmosphere. Atmospheric Pressure P atm Note H Liquid of Weight Density S Vented to Atmosphere HP Isolating Valve LT LP Figure 2 Open Tank Level Measurement Installation If the tank is open to atmosphere. This cover gas pressure is thus used as a back pressure or reference pressure on the LP side of the DP cell.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 36 2. Compensation can be achieved by applying the gas pressure to both the high and low-pressure sides of the level transmitter. the gas pressure must be compensated for. Moreover. A change in the gas pressure will cause a change in transmitter output. the pressure exerted by the gas phase may be so high that the hydrostatic pressure of the liquid column becomes insignificant. One can also immediately see the need for the three-valve manifold to protect the DP cell against these pressures. We have: Phigh = Patm + S ⋅ H Plow = Patm Differential pressure ∆P = Phigh .Plow = S ⋅ H The level transmitter can be calibrated to output 4 mA when the tank is at 0% level and 20 mA when the tank is at 100% level.3. Figure 2 shows a typical open tank level measurement installation using a pressure capsule level transmitter. whereas the steam pressure is typically 5 MPa.3. For example. the measured hydrostatic head in a CANDU boiler may be only three meters (30 kPa) or so.4 Closed Tank Measurement Should the tank be closed and a gas or vapour exists on top of the liquid. 2.3 Open Tank Measurement The simplest application is the fluid level in an open tank. Revision 1 – January 2003 . the level transmitter acts as a simple pressure transmitter. In this manner.

Revision 1 – January 2003 . it is called a dry leg. Figure 3 shows a typical closed tank installation. When the low-pressure impulse line is connected directly to the gas phase above the liquid level. Isolation Valve Note P gas Low Pressure Impulse Line Isolation Valve LT High Low 4-20mA Signal Figure 3 Typical Closed Tank Level Measurement System We have: Phigh = Pgas + S ⋅ H Plow = Pgas ∆P = Phigh .Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 37 The different arrangement of the sensing lines to the DP cell is indicated a typical closed tank application (figure 3).Plow = S ⋅ H The effect of the gas pressure is cancelled and only the pressure due to the hydrostatic head of the liquid is sensed.

In most closed tank applications. a dry leg is seldom used because frequent maintenance is required.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 38 Dry Leg System A full dry leg installation with three-valve manifold is shown in Figure 4 below. Periodic draining of the condensate in the knockout pot will ensure that the impulse line is free of liquid. a wet leg level measurement system is used. Isolation Valve Note P gas Low Pressure Impulse Line Isolation Valve 3 Valve Manifold Low High LT Isolating Valve (normally open) Knock-out Pot Drain Valve (normally closed) Figure 4 Dry Leg Installation with Three-Valve Manifold If the gas phase is condensable. In practice. One example of a dry leg application is the measurement of liquid poison level in the poison injection tank. A technique to solve this problem is to add a knockout pot below the transmitter in the lowpressure side as shown in Figure 4. condensate will form in the lowpressure impulse line resulting in a column of liquid. say steam. Revision 1 – January 2003 . where the gas phase is noncondensable helium. which exerts extra pressure on the low-pressure side of the transmitter.

is used in an identical manner to the dry leg system. being a constant. A level transmitter. the low-pressure impulse line is completely filled with liquid (usually the same liquid as the process) and hence the name wet leg. maintains a constant hydrostatic pressure on the low-pressure side of the level transmitter.) Revision 1 – January 2003 . can easily be compensated for by calibration. This pressure. with the inclined interconnecting line. Figure 5 shows a typical wet leg installation. with the associated three-valve manifold. Pressure Release Valve Note Isolating Valve 1 P gas Sloped towards main tank Steam or Electric Heating Isolating Valve 2 Drain Valves 3 Valve Manifold High LT Low Transmitter Drain Valves Figure 5 A Wet Leg Installation At the top of the low pressure impulse line is a small catch tank. The catch tank.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 39 Wet Leg System In a wet leg system. (Note that operating the three-valve manifold in the prescribed manner helps to preserve the wet leg. The gas phase or vapour will condense in the wet leg and the catch tank.

the level transmitter has to be mounted X meters below the base of an open tank as shown in Figure 6.P. Say for maintenance purposes. the measuring system has to consider the hydrostatic pressure of the fluid in the sensing lines themselves. The transmitter drain valves would be used to drain (bleed) the transmitter only. The two drain valves located immediately above the three-valve manifold are used for impulse and wet leg draining and filling. These isolating valves. Note Level Compensation It would be idealistic to say that the DP cell can always be located at the exact the bottom of the vessel we are measuring fluid level in. are used to isolate the transmitter for maintenance. Hence. Note the two sets of drain valves. trace heating of the wet leg might be necessary to prevent it from freezing. This leads to two compensations required. Steam lines or an electric heating element can be wound around the wet leg to keep the temperature of the condensate above its freezing point.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 40 If the tank is located outdoors. In addition to the three-valve manifold most transmitter installations have valves where the impulse lines connect to the process. Zero Suppression In some cases. sometimes referred to as the root valves. H Isolating Valve H. Impulse Line Vented to Atmosphere Xm HP LT LP Figure 6 Level Transmitter with Zero Suppression Revision 1 – January 2003 . it is not possible to mount the level transmitter right at the base level of the tank.

the pressure on the high-pressure side is always higher than the actual pressure exerted by the liquid column in the tank (by a value of S ⋅ X ).Plow = S ⋅ H + S ⋅ X That is. the low-pressure side of the level transmitter will always experience a higher pressure than the high-pressure side.Plow = S ⋅ H . The liquid in the highpressure impulse line also exerts a pressure on the high-pressure side. low pressure side is at a higher pressure than high pressure side). This is due to the fact that the height of the wet leg (X) is always equal to or greater than the maximum height of the liquid column (H) inside the tank.S ⋅ X to P = -S (X-H) as the tank level rises from 0% to 100%.e.S ⋅ X = . This constant pressure would cause an output signal that is higher than 4 mA when the tank is empty and above 20 mA when it is full. we have: Phigh = Pgas + S ⋅ H Plow = Pgas + S ⋅ X ∆P = Phigh . This procedure is called Zero Suppression and it can be done during calibration of the transmitter.S ⋅ X so that the output of the transmitter is proportional to the tank level ( S ⋅ H ) only. ∆P increases from P = . However. The transmitter has to be negatively biased by a value of . Revision 1 – January 2003 . Zero Elevation When a wet leg installation is used (see Figure 7 below). When the liquid level is at H meters. this pressure is a constant (P = S ⋅ X ) and is present at all times.. When the liquid level is at H meters. pressure on the high-pressure side of the transmitter will be: Phigh = S ⋅ H + S ⋅ X + Patm Plow = Patm ∆P Note = Phigh .Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 41 The liquid in the tank exerts a varying pressure that is proportional to its level H on the high-pressure side of the transmitter. A zero suppression kit can be installed in the transmitter for this purpose.H) The differential pressure ∆P sensed by the transmitter is always a negative number (i.S (X .

a positive bias (+ S ⋅ X ) is needed to elevate the transmitter output. the transmitter output would read low at all times. Steam Outlet Condensate Pot Note Steam (Pgas) L. To properly calibrate the transmitter. This positive biasing technique is called zero elevation. Impulse Line filled with H2O Xm Hm Hot Water H L Water Inlet Figure 7 Requirement for Zero Elevation 2. which utilizes a purge gas.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 42 If the transmitter were not calibrated for this constant negative error (S ⋅ X ). a bubbler level measurement system. In these cases. it is desirable to prevent it from coming into direct contact with the level transmitter. can be used. Revision 1 – January 2003 .3.P.5 Bubbler Level Measurement System If the process liquid contains suspended solids or is chemically corrosive or radioactive.

a bubbler tube is immersed to the bottom of the vessel in which the liquid level is to be measured. A level transmitter (DP cell) can be used to monitor this backpressure. However. the gas pressure in the bubbler tube will continue to increase until it just balances the hydrostatic pressure (P = S ⋅ H ) of the liquid. A gas (called purge gas) is allowed to pass through the bubbler tube. Any excess supply pressure will escape as bubbles through the liquid. which restricts the escape of. the gas will escape freely at the end of the tube and therefore the gas pressure inside the bubbler tube (called back pressure) will be at atmospheric pressure. The hydrostatic pressure of the liquid in effect acts as a seal. as the liquid level inside the tank increases. the backpressure in the bubbler tube increases proportionally. In this case. Consider that the tank is empty. purge gas from the bubbler tube. while the low pressure side is vented to atmosphere. As a result. Constant Differential Pressure Relay 4-20mA Signal Note H L Purge Gas Supply Bubbler Tube Vented to Atmosphere H Reference Figure 8 Bubbler Level Measurement System in Open Tank Application As shown in Figure 8. At this point the backpressure in the bubbler tube is exactly the same as the hydrostatic pressure of the liquid and it will remain constant until any change in the liquid level occurs. The output of the transmitter will be proportional to the tank level. As the liquid level rises. Revision 1 – January 2003 . the bubbler tube is connected to the high-pressure side of the transmitter.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 43 Open Tank Application for Bubbler System Figure 8 illustrates a typical bubbler system installation. pressure exerted by the liquid at the base of the tank (and at the opening of the bubbler tube) increases. since the density of the liquid is constant. In an open tank installation.

This ensures that bubbling will occur to maximum tank level and the flow rate does not increase at low tank level in such a way as to cause excessive disturbances at the surface of the liquid. the gas bubbling through the liquid will pressurize the gas space to a point where bubbler supply pressure cannot overcome the static pressure it acts against. as in the case of a closed tank inferential level measurement system. The transmitter can be mounted some distance from the process.6 Effect of Temperature on Level Measurement Level measurement systems that use differential pressure ∆P as the sensing method. Note Closed Tank Application for Bubbler System If the bubbler system is to be applied to measure level in a closed tank. the exact location of the level transmitter is not important.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 44 A constant differential pressure relay is often used in the purge gas line to ensure that constant bubbling action occurs at all tank levels.3. since it measures only the backpressure of the purge gas. are by their very nature affected by temperature and pressure. The constant differential pressure relay maintains a constant flow rate of purge gas in the bubbler tube regardless of tank level variations or supply fluctuation. some pressure-regulating scheme must be provided for the gas space in the tank. Recall that the measured height H of a column of liquid is directly proportional to the pressure P exerted at the base of the column and inversely proportional to the density ρ of the liquid. An additional advantage of the bubbler system is that. inaccurate measurement signal. The result would be no bubble flow and. Some typical examples of closed tank application of bubbler systems are the measurement of water level in the irradiated fuel bays and the light water level in the liquid zone control tanks. the low-pressure side of the level transmitter has to be connected to the gas space in order to compensate for the effect of gas pressure. therefore. Otherwise. Also. Open loop bubblers are used to measure levels in spent fuel bays. 2. H α P/ρ Density (mass per unit volume) of a liquid or gas is inversely proportional to its temperature. ρ α 1/T Revision 1 – January 2003 . Note that bubbling action has to be continuous or the measurement signal will not be accurate.

A given amount of liquid in a container [figure 9(a)] is exposed to higher process temperatures [figure 9(b)]. Atmospheric Pressure P atm Note H1 Vented to Atmosphere Liquid of Density ρ 1 Temperature T 1 HP Isolating Valve LT LP Figure 9(a) Low Process Temperature Atmospheric Pressure Patm Vented to Atmosphere H2 Liquid of Density ρ2 Temperature T2 HP Isolating Valve LT LP Figure 9(b) High Process Temperature As the amount (mass) of liquid does not change from figure 9(a) to 9(b). for any given amount of liquid in a container. Consider a level transmitter calibrated to read correctly at 750C.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 45 Thus. HαT Consider the following scenario. The above scenario of figure (9) is a common occurrence in plant operations. but the height will vary directly with the temperature. the pressure exerted on the base of the container has not changed and the indicated height of the liquid does not change. the volume occupied by the liquid has increased and thus the actual height has increased. the pressure P exerted at the base will remain constant. Revision 1 – January 2003 . However.

However. as the process temperature increases. As temperature falls and the wet leg cools off. while the temperature in the tank remains practically unchanged (because of a much bigger volume and connection to the process). False high level indication can be caused by an increased wet leg temperature. while the indicated measurement remains unchanged. the density of the liquid inside it increases. consider temperature changes around a liquid storage tank with a wet leg. the actual level will be higher than indicated. The temperature error can also occur in wet-leg systems (figure 10). Isolating Valve Note P gas Process Temperature T H1 LP 1 Liquid of Density ρ 1 HP Isolating Valve LT Figure 10 Temperature Effect on Wet-Leg System If the reference leg and variable leg are at the same temperature that the level transmitter (LT) is calibrated for. If it happens to the boiler level measurement for a shutdown system it can even lead to an unnecessary reactor trip on boiler low level. However. Revision 1 – January 2003 . the system will accurately measure liquid level. high-level trips may be prevented under these circumstances. In an extreme case the wet leg may freeze invalidating the measurement scheme completely. the actual process fluid level increases (as previously discussed). gas or vapour bubbles or a drained wet leg. but it could be easily prevented with trace heating as indicated earlier (Figure 5). As an example. Further errors can occur if the reference leg and the variable (sensing) leg are at different temperatures. The level indication will have increasing positive (high) error as the temperature of the wet reference leg increases above the variable (process) leg. As a result the pressure of the reference leg rises and the indicated level decreases.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 46 If the process temperature is increased to 900C as in figure 9 (c).

If the pumps are associated with a safety system like ECI or a safety related system like PHT shutdown cooling. Again the measured height H of a column of liquid is directly proportional to the pressure PL exerted at the base of the column by the liquid and inversely proportional to the density ρ of the liquid: H α PL/ρ Density (mass per unit volume) of a liquid or gas is directly proportional to the process or system pressure Ps.8 Level Measurement System Errors The level measurement techniques described in this module use inferred processes and not direct measurements. H α 1/Ps Most liquids are fairly incompressible and the process pressure will not affect the level unless there is significant vapour content. The real level may even get sufficiently low to cause either the cavitation of the pumps that take suction from the tank or gas ingress into the pumps and result in gas locking and a reduced or no flow condition. it can lead to possible safety system impairments and increased probability of resultant fuel damage. may prevent the actuation of a safety system on a low value of the trip parameter. for any given amount of liquid in a container. Namely. This places great importance on the physical and environmental problems that can affect the accuracy of this indirect measurement. Revision 1 – January 2003 . the pressure PL (liquid pressure) exerted at the base of the container by the liquid will remain constant. ρ α Ps Thus.3. with the real level being dangerously low.3. the indication of fluid level is based on the pressure exerted on a differential pressure (DP) cell by the height of the liquid in the vessel. although not to the same degree as temperature mentioned in the previous section.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 47 A high measured tank level. 2.7 Effect of Pressure on Level Measurement Level measurement systems that use differential pressure ∆P as the sensing method. Note 2. but the height will vary inversely with the process or system pressure. are also affected by pressure.

With an incorrectly connected DP cell the indicated level would go down while the true tank level increases. Revision 1 – January 2003 . condensate must be removed regularly to prevent fluid pressure building up on the low-pressure impulse line. the lines must be drained to remove any debris or particulate that may settle to the bottom of the tank and in the line. Incorrect procedures can inadvertently over-pressure the differential pressure cell. Note Over-Pressuring Three valve manifolds are provided on DP cells to prevent over-pressuring and aid in the removal of cells for maintenance. Note that if the equalizing valve on the three-valve manifold is inadvertently opened. many avoidable errors occur because the DP cell had the sensing line connections reversed. Draining sensing lines As mentioned previously.Science and Reactor Fundamentals – Instrumentation & Control CNSC Technical Training Group 48 Connections As amusing as it may sound. The measurements could read either high or low depending on the mode of failure. In systems that have high operating pressure but low hydrostatic pressure due to weight of the fluid. in closed tank dry leg systems. Failure to do so will of course give a low tank level reading. This is particularly important for closed tank systems. Also. with resulting inaccurate readings. this is easy to occur. Procedural care must be exercised to ensure the DP cell is not over-ranged inadvertently during draining. Some of the errors that can occur are: Obstructed sensing lines The small diameter lines can become clogged with particulate. Such could happen if the block valves are not closed and equalizing valve opened beforehand. Sensing lines The sensing lines are the umbilical cord to the DP cell and must be functioning correctly. the level indication will of course drop to a very low level as the pressure across the DP cell equalizes. Periodic draining and flushing of sensing lines is a must. Sometimes the problem is first noted as an unusually sluggish response to a predicted change in level. False high level indication can be caused by a leaking or drained wet leg. A leaking variable (process) leg can cause false low-level indication. If the cell does not fail immediately the internal diaphragm may become distorted.

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