EC: Tracerco Profiler

Sensors: The Tracerco Profiler is a unique high resolution instrument designed to measure real time vertical distribution of multiple phases in gravity separators at high temperature providing operator confidence to maximize an assets production capability. This is a Control Engineering 2015 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering October 20, 2014

Driven by the need for accurate and repeatable separator and de-salter phase control in evermore challenging process conditions, the Tracerco Profiler technology has been enhanced. The development has incorporated the use of an innovative sealed cooling system containing no moving parts, that allows heat to be transferred from the device to ensure its’ safe operation at elevated operating temperatures. The integration of this aerospace industry technology with proven nucleonic measurement capability has allowed the development of an instrument that can be used between temperature ranges of -148 to 380 F.

Collaboration with certification bodies has assured stability and safety at these extreme temperatures; that is far in excess of the normal temperature limits for intrinsically safe equipment.

The development of the new high temperature Tracerco Profiler, driven by our customers, has been adopted by a number of operators to better control their heavy oil separation needs allowing a virtual window into their process with unprecedented accuracy, unparalleled reliability and real time level and density information for multiple phases. This in turn has maximized production efficiency, reduced downtime, improved environmental compliance and enhanced plant safety in challenging gravity separation situations. In both upstream and downstream markets, environmental compliance is dramatically improved by exact measurement of the oil and water interface, drastically reducing oil carry under and demand on a water treatment plant. In the case of refinery applications, the use of this technology in high temperature de-salters allows more thorough washing and separation of impurities reducing corrosion potential resulting in reduced maintenance and shutdowns.

Due to the Profiler providing a true window into the vessel, operators can confidently monitor and control level and chemicals. Based on feedback from customers, savings in excess of $3.5m p/a can be achieved through chemical optimization with increased crude throughput of up to 20,000 bbl/d.