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INSTRUMENTATION AND CONTROL MANUAL

Volume 1: Part 1: Engineering Guidelines and Appendices

CHEVRON RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY COMPANY


RICHMOND, CA

July 1999

Manual sponsor:

For information or help regarding this manual, contact M.S. (Mike)


Shigemura, (510) 242-4551

Printing History
Instrumentation and Control Manual
First Edition
First Revision
Second Revision
Third Revision
Second Edition

June 1989
May 1992
June 1993
July 1996
July 1999

Restricted Material
Technical Memorandum
This material is transmitted subject to the Export Control Laws of the
United States Department of Commerce for technical data. Furthermore,
you hereby assure us that the material transmitted herewith shall not be
exported or re-exported by you in violation of these export controls.

The information in this Manual has been jointly developed by Chevron Corporation and its Operating
Companies. The Manual has been written to assist Chevron personnel in their work; as such, it may be
interpreted and used as seen fit by operating management.
Copyright 1989, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1999 CHEVRON CORPORATION. All rights reserved. This document contains proprietary information for use by Chevron Corporation, its subsidiaries, and affiliates. All
other uses require written permission.

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July 1999

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Instrumentation and Control Manual
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CRTC periodically publishes a Consultants Card listing primary contacts in the CRTC specialty divisions. To order a Consultants Card, contact Ken Wasilchin of the CRTC Technical Standards Team at
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July 1999

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Instrumentation and Control Manual
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100 System Design


Abstract
This section discusses the major phases of the design of instrumentation and control
systems. It references other sections of the manual for detailed information on
each aspect of the design process. It presents the overall picture of how the many
components of an instrumentation design develop, from job scope to turnover to
Operations.

Chevron Corporation

Contents

Page

110

Introduction

100-2

120

Preliminary Design Considerations

100-2

121

Getting Off on the Right Foot

122

Designing the Better Control System

123

Choosing a Control System

124

Evaluating Viable Alternatives

125

Life Cycle Costs

130

Instrumentation Design Engineering

131

Detailed Design Development

132

Design Specifications

133

Specification of Instrumentation

134

Documentation

135

Instrumentation Database

140

Construction and Startup

141

Documenting Field Changes

142

Commissioning

143

System Startup

144

Closing Documentation

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110 Introduction
The Instrumentation and Control Manual is intended to help engineers and
designers design, construct, start up, and maintain typical Company instrumentation
systems. It is intended to be used as a guide, with the understanding that no guide
can replace sound engineering judgement.
This section introduces the many aspects and procedures involved in designing an
instrumentation system. Whether designing a small field job or a large facility, the
elements of system design are similar.
Protecting People and the Environment is a cornerstone of how Chevron does business, and must become an integral part of the design of any Chevron facility.
With this commitment firmly in mind, a structured approach to defining, designing,
and implementing a control system must be used to ensure success.

120 Preliminary Design Considerations


121 Getting Off on the Right Foot
For the Control Systems Engineer, this first step is defining the objectives of the
system he/she intends to install. This is a function embedded in the Chevron Project
Development and Execution Process (CPDEP), and the analyses described below
form an integral part of Chevrons Policy 530.
The Control Objectives Analysis (COA) is a facilitating process for defining what a
control system does. The process consists of plant operators, process engineers, and
control engineers reviewing plant process flow diagrams and defining the objective
of each regulating device (control valve, damper, variable speed drive, etc.) on the
drawing. The format of the objective is a single-sentence statement, defining what
the regulating device always does to a process variable. (Example: CV-1002 maintains overhead pressure between limits.)
In the case of a new process on which plant engineers and operators do not have
hands-on experience, the Control Objectives Analysis should be done with the assistance of engineers and operators from other facilities presently operating the
process. Finally, experience operating similar processes should serve as a basis for
the COA.
Similar facilitating processes define the objectives of safety shutdown systems
(Shutdown Objectives Analysis, or SOA) and alarm systems (Alarm Objectives
Analysis, or AOA).
Only after these objectives have been defined and agreed to by Operations and
Engineering, can the design of the control, safety, and alarm systems begin.

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100 System Design

122 Designing the Better Control System


With Objectives firmly in hand, the Control Systems Engineer needs to define the
HOW of the control system.
Items which are defined in the Control Design Analysis process include:

Chevron Corporation

System Geography - is control hardware in the field, in remote instrument


enclosures or in a rack room in the control center? Will there be multiple sites
where the operator can access the control system? Will multiple sites be peer or
hierarchical?

System Architecture - what will be the defined and potential data transfer links
to other control systems? To control and/or monitoring computers? To a
Management Information system?

Control Architecture - how much of the control will be done by the systems
front end? Will there be advanced control such as DMC? Will there be a separate computer for advanced control?

Environmental - what is the Area Classification for the plant and for field sites
where controls will be located? For the area where operator interfaces will be
located? What are the measurable airborne contaminants for these locations?

Operator Interface - does the operator see the process via a CRT, an array of
controller faceplates, or field indicating controllers? Or via a combination of
two or three of these methods?

Operability - can the process be manually controlled in the field using a manual
bypass around the regulating valve? Will there be field operators to perform
this function when required?

Reliability - what is the minimum acceptable operating factor for the control
system? What is the economic incentive for increasing reliability by a defined
percentage?

Failure Modes - what will be the status of the control system if individual
instruments fail? Do all failures result in the control system going to (or tending
to) the defined Fail-Safe condition of control valves and drives?

Expandability - if the control system intended for a mature, well-defined


process with little potential for expansion, or is this a pioneering process or first
step in a multiphase project?

Cutover Plans - for reinstrumentation projects, the plan for cutting over from
existing to new instrumentation should be a part of the control design process.

Hot cutovers are typically more labor intensive than conversion en masse
during a planned shutdown; however, most plants opt for the hot cutover, since
it allows a more gradual conversion, and results in one less unknown during a
plant startup.

Urban Renewal - the amount of re-engineering of existing facilities (reverification of the suitability of reused field instrumentation such as orifice plates

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and control valves) needs to be determined at the initial design phase. This
process is labor intensive if done properly - process conditions need to be field
verified.

123 Choosing a Control System


Digital technology now dominates the control hardware market. Electronic analog
controls have all but vanished from the scene, and pneumatic controls are viable
only in specialized applications where reliable electric power is not available, or
where the Area Classification prevents installation of electronic controls without
using elaborate cabinet or control room purging.
Note current environmental regulations in California virtually prohibit the existence of Class 1 Division I areas.

Control & Operator Interface


Digital electronic control should be considered as the default selection for all
control systems installed in strategic facilities. With the exception of projects adding
to existing control systems, solid justification must be given for deviating to electronic analog or pneumatic controls.
Digital electronic control is available on a broad spectrum of platforms, from Single
Loop Digital Controllers (SLDCs) through Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)
to multi-plant Distributed Control Systems (DCS).
Note most SLDCs currently offered are in fact multi-loop digital controllers, with
the capacity to control up to four valves from a 3-inch x 6-inch panel mounted faceplate.
Operator interfaces range from panel mounted faceplates (which emulate traditional
panel-mounted controllers) to color CRTs using interactive graphics for display and
control of operating parameters. The industry trend is toward the use of generic
color CRTs running system-specific display and control software.

Transmitters
Smart process variable transmitters should also be considered as the default standard. These instruments offer higher accuracy and reliability than their electronic or
pneumatic analog counterparts, and add the bonus of remote diagnostic data acquisition and calibration checking.

Control Valves
Smart control valves are an emerging technology which offers extensive valve and
process diagnostics, using the valve positioner - actuator as a sensor, or using pressure and temperature sensors embedded in the control valve body, or a combination
of both. This technology should be considered on installations where maintenance
access to control valves and drives is restricted.

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100 System Design

Field Communications
Communications between Smart field instrumentation (transmitters and/or valves)
and the control room are typically done over the same twisted pair of wires carrying
the transmitter output or valve positioner input signal. Communications protocols
range from vendor proprietary systems such as Honeywell DE- 6 Byte to multivendor open systems such as HART.
The Fieldbus communications protocol, which is being developed by an international consortium of instrument manufacturers, will offer the ability to link field
instrumentation (transmitters, controllers, field indicators, valve positioners, and
auxiliaries) on a multidrop power - communications wire pair. Control functions
(algorithm execution) will be downloaded to the lowest possible tier of the system
architecture, freeing up higher level computation capacity for running advanced
control strategies.

Intrinsic Safety
Intrinsically Safe (I. S.) construction is intended to prevent sources of ignition (electric sparks) in Hazardous Areas by limiting the transmission of power from nonHazardous areas and by limiting the storage of energy in field devices.
Use of I.S. construction permits opening field enclosures (including transmitter and
valve positioner housings) without first powering down circuits or sniffing the area
to verify the absence of flammable mixtures.
There is no necessary correlation between I. S. construction and Hazardous Area
Classification ratings nor between I. S. construction and Explosion-proof housing
construction.
Because Intrinsically Safe construction severely limits the voltage and current
which can be transmitted into Hazardous Areas, special attention must be given to
limiting the number and type of field devices which cause voltage drops, and to the
quality of field terminations. (Corrosion on field terminals can cause indeterminate
voltage drops on current loops.)
Final determination of whether this level of protection is appropriate for an installation should be made only after an extensive review of local Electrical and Safety
Codes.
The use of Smart field instrumentation, which permits communications from a
non-Hazardous area, has diminished the use of Intrinsically Safe instrumentation
systems in domestic petrochemical installations.

124 Evaluating Viable Alternatives


Once the scope and function of the control system is defined, the control systems
engineer can focus on selecting hardware.
In all likelihood, more than one commercially available system will meet the
requirements of the project. Consider the following factors in evaluating viable,
competing systems:

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System Integration - determine how well a system integrates:

horizontal integration, or the breadth of control hardware (regulatory and


discrete control algorithms; continuous, batch, or state control operation)
from a single manufacturer.
vertical integration, or the depth of control hardware (transmitters and
valve positioners, controllers, network interfaces, operator consoles,
advanced control computers, MIS links) and software to tie the pieces
together.

Avoid the entanglements of multiple sources of interface software.

Uniformity - avoid putting one of everything in a control center. A strategic


objective should be to have a single type of operator interface for all controls in
a center; an absolute requirement should be a single operator interface for each
group of plants under the control of a single board operator.

System Maturity - reject sunset technology unless youre fitting in the last
piece of a multi-phase control replacement project. Recognize that even though
a manufacturer is legally bound to provide spare parts support for a limited
period of time following obsolescence of a product, he has limited control over
keeping competent engineers in a support function on an obsolete system.

Product Stability - avoid the control system which appears to be in a constant


state of evolution. (These are typically a maintenance nightmare.)

Technical Support - investigate the communications paths available for


connecting plant support personnel to technical resources at the Factory.
Consider also the level of local support you can expect, especially during the
first years of system operation.

Configurability - evaluate the magnitude of the configuration task. A system


requiring special-skills programmers for initial set-up will require these same
specialists, a significant expense to the plant, for every future modification. By
contrast, systems which configure with a higher level Operating System can be
set up and modified by plant control or process engineers, maintenance technicians, or selected operators.

Track Record - past performance is a valid indicator of future actions. Be wary


of born again control systems companies with a trail of dissatisfied clients
but a promise that all is changed. Check out recent references on a potential
vendors Happy Camper list; be prepared for candid dialog.

125 Life Cycle Costs


The quoted cost of a control system is the tip of a financial iceberg. Determine the
Life Cycle cost of a system by reviewing the other cost components:

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Training - engineers, maintenance technicians, trainers, and operators will all


need training on a new system. Significant cost sub-components are tuition,
time, travel, and frequency of refresher training courses.

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100 System Design

System Engineering - include an estimate of the cost of documentation, configuration, and commissioning services.

Acceptance Testing - this procedure persists in a quality-conscious world.


Determine where the system will be staged, how completely application software can be loaded, and how many User representatives will be needed to give
the system a thorough Factory Acceptance Test.

Spare Parts - request a realistic list of recommended spare parts/components


from the system vendor; advise him that the cost of these spares will be
factored into the cost evaluation of the overall system. (The magnitude of the
Recommended Spare Parts List increases once the basic system order is
placed.)

Redocumentation - how readily does the system adapt to self-documentation


for changes in field instrumentation, control strategy definition, or configuration? Does the system use a fill in the blanks configuration format, or does it
require proficiency in a high-level computer language?

Maintenance - how much maintenance effort is required to keep the system in


reliable operation? Can reliability be increased (and the cost of ownership
decreased?) through minor adjustments to system architecture?

130 Instrumentation Design Engineering


131 Detailed Design Development
Detailed design fleshes out the control system skeleton defined in the Preliminary
Design phase of the Project. Successful installationsand thus successful
projectsare rooted in the patient attention to an almost limitless number of details.

Designs Engineering Contractors


The detailed design of a system is labor- and document-intensive. For this reason,
detailed design work is frequently done by engineering contractors. They offer the
advantage of being able to supply skilled technical personnel at short notice, and
only for the duration of the project. The downside is that any technical expertise
paid for by the Client and acquired by the contractor vanishes at the completion of
the Project.
Engineering contractors must be provided with current Chevron or plant Standards,
Specifications, Drawings, and Forms, if the goals of Uniformity and Quality are to
be realized.

Systems Integrators
In a similar fashion, systems integrators and packaged systems suppliers must be
provided with Chevron or plant specifications stating minimum requirements for
controls which they provide, integration with other systems, documentation and all
other information normally supplied by vendors of non-packaged instrumentation.

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132 Design Specifications


Design specifications are used to guide system designers. The application and the
type of contract are important factors in determining the extent of design specification needed.
A typical design specification (Model Design and Construction Specification,
Section J, Instrumentation and Controls) is available from the Projects and Engineering Technology Group (P&ET) of CRTC. This specification is modeled to
allow for a number of options and is adaptable to fit specific jobs.
The design phase of a job produces the construction specification, which usually
comes in two parts: a written specification and a construction drawing package.
These two parts fully define how an instrumentation system is supposed to be built.
Changes in specifications after a bid has been awarded can be very costly. It is
therefore important to form an accurate bid package (specifications and drawings).
Because an instrumentation system has many inter-related components, a thorough
end-of-job review is recommended.

133 Specification of Instrumentation


The specification of individual instrumentation is usually done on ISA (Instrumentation Society of America) specification forms. These forms are widely used
throughout the industry, and most contractors and vendors are familiar with them.
These forms are found in ISA S20 which is included in Volume 2 of this manual.
The ISA form is used during design and construction and startup and by the maintenance group after startup.
The ISA instrumentation specification forms include brief instructions for filling in
the form. For additional guidance, this manual includes data sheet guides. Various
sections of this manual also discuss instrumentation selection and specification.
Consult with the Monitoring and Controls Unit of CRTC for the latest information
on computer generated ISA data sheets.

134 Documentation
A system designed in-house by Chevron, or designed by an engineering contractor,
or designed and built by a system integrator/packaged systems supplier generally
includes complete documentation for design, construction, operation and maintenance. These documents will usually satisfy the Federal and/or local safety and
health legal compliance requirements for critical instrumentation.
The following should be considered as minimum documentation requirements for
control systems installations:

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Area Electrical Classification maps

Plot Plans & Elevations, showing location of and access to major equipment
and critical instrumentation.

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100 System Design

Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs) - refer to Section 200.

Process Flow Diagrams, showing flow rates and conditions of pressure, temperature and chemical composition for all streams in the plant.

Process Control Diagrams, showing the configuration of front-end control strategies, as determined by the Control Objectives Analysis (COA), and verified by
the Control Designs Analysis (CDA).

Advanced Control Strategy documents, including Control Narratives,


describing Strategies for optimizing the Process. These would include complete
DMC documentation.)

Logic Diagrams, defining the functionality of Safety Interlock Systems, as


defined by the Safety Objectives Analysis.

Vessel Drawings, showing the elevation and orientation of nozzles and the
maximum, normal, and minimum levels of product and/or interfaces within the
vessel. (These are required for designing instrumentation bridles and ordering
level instruments.)
The vessel drawing shall also tabulate the following data for each level instrument connected to the vessel.
Type of instrument
Alarm setpoints
Specific gravity of process fluid(s)
Specific gravity of seal or capillary fluid
Instrument span with calculations
Zero suppression or elevation

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Instrument Data Sheets, describing the physical construction of the instrument


hardware items procured for the project. (These Data Sheets must be complete
enough to permit ordering instruments without additional descriptive documentation.)

Orifice Data Sheets, detailing flowing conditions for all orifice flowmeters.
These data should be supplied by Process Engineers familiar with the plant of
similar processes. Inaccurate process data will come back to haunt ALL engineering disciplines.

Loop Diagrams, showing the interconnections among all hardware specific


components in a control loop.

Junction Box Wiring Diagrams, showing the layout of termination strips and
their connection to Main or Branch cables or to field wiring.

Cable Schedules, listing the cables and pairs (or conductors) used for interconnection of instrumentation components. (In some cases, these may be combined
with Junction Box drawings described above.)

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Installation Details, showing the relative position of process connections,


instruments, and Utilities (power, heat tracing, vents, drains, etc.), and listing
the materials used for installation.

Configuration Forms, describing the software or firmware (or both) used for
creating Control Strategies, Operator Displays, and Reports.

Critical Alarm, Instrumentation, & Emergency Shutdown testing programs


(procedures and frequencies for testing).

Indexes, for cross-referencing all of the above.

Documentation may be developed and maintained using paper or electronic media,


or a combination of both. In all instances, current documentation must be available
to plant Operations, Maintenance, and Technical organizations.
Use of electronic documentation systems with relational data bases increases the
speed and accuracy of the documentation effort, since a single data entry event
generates (or edits) parameters on multiple, related data files.

Design Reviews
Periodic reviews of project design documentation ensures that costly rework or reordering of material is eliminated. The frequency of these design reviews is best determined by the Project Management team, to which the Control Engineer reports.

135 Instrumentation Database


The efficient handling of the vast array of instrumentation information for a project
is a key issue in any instrumentation design. It is desirable to create a Master
instrumentation database. Data need only to be entered once and changes are automatically updated for all sub-databases.
Software tools are available to control instrumentation information and generate
reports and schedules. An instrumentation schedule can be used to document most
of the instrumentation information.

140 Construction and Startup


141 Documenting Field Changes
A well-planned and designed control project minimizes the number and nature of
field engineering changes.
These field changes should be documented on a master markup set of Drawings
maintained in the Project Engineering Office, and should include all necessary
supporting documentation.
Field changes must be signed off by the same level of authority as original drawings or formal revisions thereto. Prior to issuing Field Change Orders, all appropriate Management of Change (MOC) requirements must be satisfied.

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142 Commissioning
The commissioning process consists of verifying the proper installation, connection, and calibration of all instrumentation items on the Project.
Specification ICM-MS-1586, Instrument Commissioning, is a guide for preparing
newly installed instrumentation prior to plant startup. It describes the contractors
responsibility for inspecting, checking, adjusting, and calibrating the instrumentation and documenting all of the work for approval by the Company.
Recent trends in instrumentation have eased the burden of the Commissioning
process:

Most Smart process transmitters can be interrogated from the control console
or from termination panels in the rack room, to verify that the right transmitter is connected to the right terminations. (Forcing the transmitter to identify itself by Tag Number is a technique for electronically ringing out a
transmitter installation.)

The accuracy of digital electronic transmitters far exceeds that of field test
equipment, and digital transmitters show no tendency to drift. Therefore, shop
or field calibration of transmitters becomes superfluous. Instruments can move
directly from the Tally Room to the installation site.

The increasing use of Smart valve actuators or positioners permits calibration


checks and recalibration of control valves from the rack room or marshaling
panel. This minimizes the requirement for cycling control valves through the
valve or instrument shop prior to installation.

All instrument installations should be signed off by the installer, the instrument
inspector, and an Operator. OSHA regulations (29 CFR 1910) require that Critical
instrumentation be installed and inspected by qualified workers.

143 System Startup


At the system startup phase, operation of final control elements is switched over to
the new control system.
A major effort is required to tune control loops, especially on a grass-roots project,
or loops on a reinstrumentation project which did not previously exist.
Prior to attempting to tune control loops, verify that any control configurations
which inhibit controller response on changes in set point have been disabled. (These
features will need to be re-enabled following controller tuning.)
The use of a high speed data recorder (with chart speed selectable up to 6 in. / min.)
will aid in the capture of process response to changes in set point or changes in
controller tuning constants. Use of high speed trending on a CRT display is acceptable, especially if the set point, process variable, and controller output can be
trended on the same display.

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A moderate amount of process variable damping is required for flow loops on


digital controllers, to prevent the control algorithm from chasing noise on the PV
signal. (The magnitude of this noise is not apparent on analog instrumentation, due
to the inherent damping of inputs from volumetric capacity (pneumatic controls) or
input R-C filters (electronic analog controls).
When tuning Cascade Controllers, tune the slave controller first, then the master
controller.
At the conclusion of controller tuning, note tuning constants in a secure logbook,
which can be used for future reference to determine is controller tuning constants
have been altered.

144 Closing Documentation


All field changes must be transferred to permanent documentation following turnover of the control system to the Proprietor of the project.
Final, As-Built drawing revisions must be provided to plant Operations, Maintenance, and Engineering offices as part of the projects documentation. In addition to
the documentation described on Section 134, this final documentation project must
include operating instructions, maintenance manuals, and spare parts lists for all
equipment installed.

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200 P&ID Development


Abstract
This section is an introduction and comprehensive guide to the planning, layout,
preparation, and review of piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs). It follows
the P&ID development process from start to finish and is applicable to drawings of
any scale and complexity. Piping, equipment, and instrumentation aspects of the
P&ID are given equal weight, and considerable attention is given to the inclusion of
specific elements on the drawing. Particular emphasis is given to the P&ID as a
major factor in determining the efficiency, operability, maintainability, and safety of
a facility.
Note The foldout P&ID drawings referred to in this section are located at the end
of this section.

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Contents

Page

210

The P&ID and Its Uses

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220

Planning the P&ID

200-3

221

Developmental Stages

222

Layout Styles

223

Types of P&IDs

230

P&ID Symbol Standards

231

Symbol StandardsPiping and Equipment

232

Symbol StandardsInstrumentation and Controls

240

P&ID Content

241

Instrumentation

242

Piping and Equipment

250

Numbering Systems

200-16

260

Additional Information

200-19

270

P&ID Review

200-21

280

P&ID Drawings and Engineering Forms

200-24

281

P&ID Drawings

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Engineering Forms

290

References

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200 P&ID Development

210 The P&ID and Its Uses


Piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) are the graphic and symbolic summation of the processing aspects of a facility. Although the piping, instrument and
equipment information collected on a P&ID can be found elsewhere in a facilitys
design records, only the P&ID displays them in comprehensive, coherent relationship to one another.
Activities in which P&IDs have a key role include the following:

Design and design review. Defines piping, instrumentation and control


systems

Design and construction progress. Provides a graphic framework in which to


monitor design and construction

Construction completion check. At plant completion, the construction agency


(either a contractor or Company) is responsible for delivering completed asbuilt P&IDs. This permits a piece-by-piece review of compliance with the
design

Startup. Provides critical information during startup of a new facility

Operation. Provides the primary source of operating information and training


aid for a plant or facility

New engineer training. Provides a sound example from which to design


similar facilities

Maintenance planning and safety. Provides a framework for planning and


monitoring cleanup and isolation, inspection, and similar work prior to startup,
as well as future maintenance

Governmental communications. Provides a vehicle for communication with


regulatory and governing agencies

Additions and modifications. Up-to-date P&IDs provide a basis for estimating, design and implementation of future additions and modifications

220 Planning the P&ID


All major P&ID decisions and approval should be secured early in the design
process to avoid costly changes. Because this isnt always practical, the P&ID must
usually accommodate some additions. Planning consists of determining the number
of P&IDs and their arrangement, content, and style. (For more on style see
Section 222.)

Safe Design Practices


Safe design practices promote operating continuity, prevent upsets and alarm failures, and reduce unnecessary shutdowns. They are the foundation for employee and
community safety.

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Space Allocation
To prevent overcrowding and a confusing process flow, 25% to 50% of the space on
drawings should be allowed for future equipment. Disorderly P&IDs may impede
the design process, and can be a liability during plant upsetswhen quick comprehension is important.
D-size (22-inch by 34-inch) drawings are commonly used for P&IDs because they
are a manageable desktop size; however, some systems would be seriously overcrowded on a single D-size drawing. For a grouped P&ID (see Section 222) a
longer R-size (28-inch-by-unlimited) drawing ensures that all closely related
processing equipment is included on the same P&ID. The longer drawing may be
avoided by separating stand-alone process, utility, or package systems and placing
them on their own major equipment or auxiliary P&IDs.

Arrangement of Elements
The initial arrangement of each process P&ID is submitted for owner/operator
approval. These P&IDs include equipment, piping and instrument manifolds, instrument symbols (or reserved areas for them), piping runs (or reserved areashorizontal and vertical), auxiliary systems and subsystems.
Arrangement of equipment and piping should follow a sequence that flows logically across the sheet from left to right; for example, feed comes in on the left, products go out on the right. The main flow lines should be heavier than secondary
process lines and utility lines, and should not double back. Lines should be spaced
evenly, with a minimum of lines crossing. In general, the P&ID should be kept
readable.

221 Developmental Stages


To avoid the need for extensive rework and decrease the chance of error, P&IDs are
usually revised and reissued several times during their development. This staged
approach also makes the job more manageable and allows critical path items to
proceed before all aspects of the P&ID are firm. The stages might proceed as
follows:

Preliminary stage (permits P&ID layout to proceed)


Stage 1 (permits facility layout and P&ID development to proceed)
This revision affects the following critical path elements: site preparation, foundations, underground features, structures and pipeways, piping, platforms, ladders and
walkways, power and utility supply and distribution systems, etc. This revision is
typically issued for design. P&ID elements necessary for this revision include the
following:

July 1999

Major process and utility systems equipment, including driver and numbering
system selection. Though not entirely a P&ID function, the estimated size and
location of major equipment such as the air cooler, furnace, reactors, etc., is
also required

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Estimated sizing and most major valving (with sizes) for major process lines
and utility and relief headers (with major supply and return branches)

Major piping and control valve manifolds

Instrumentation, including the majority of field sensors, transmitters, recorders


and controllers

Stage 2 (permits major instrumentation purchase and equipment fabrication)


The second P&ID issue follows closely upon the first. This issue permits major
instrumentation purchase and equipment fabrication to proceed, and finalizes the
plot plan. In addition, work starts on detailed piping design, and relief and utility
areas. P&ID elements necessary for this revision include the following:

Selection of instruments and numbering system, and approval of all equipment


and instrument connections

Platform layout and specification of platform attachment clips so that vessel


suppliers can begin fabrication

All revisions to previously approved elements

Columns, vessels, tanks, drums, and heat exchangers

Connection sizes and types (flanged or stub welded), location, flange facing
and ratings

Relief valve settings

Control valve failure mode: fail-OPEN (FO) or fail-CLOSE (FC)

Setpoints of critical shutdown instruments

All instrumentation. Control valve manifolds have been sized, all major instruments numbered. Shared-display mounting, board mounting, or field mounting
has been specified

Piping. Final valving and sizing of all process lines (and major utility connections) their numbers, insulation requirements and heat tracing. All small piping
and utility connections shown

Stage 3 (permits finished piping layout to be completed)


P&ID elements necessary for this issue include the following:

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All revisions to previously approved elements

Equipment, piping and instrumentation. All necessary additional detail. Sizing


and specifying of all relief, utility, and sample connections

All small piping sizes, connections, and fittings, including startup, shutdown,
pumpout, steamout, washdown, etc.

Plot limit block valves, fully detailed or on separate drawings, as warranted

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Stage 4 (receives approval for construction)


P&ID elements necessary for this issue include the following:

All revisions to previously approved elements


All operating elements
All maintenance elements
All safety elements

222 Layout Styles


Note

Figures 200-3 through 200-10 are 11x17 foldouts at the end of this section.

The three primary P&ID layouts used by the Company are the grouped equipment
layout, serial equipment layout, and geographical layout.

Grouped Equipment Layout


This layout style emphasizes processing interrelationships between closely associated, often interactive equipment. It is used for plants where several feed/product
streams are processed concurrently, such as on-plot process facilities (the major
manufacturing areas of plants, as opposed to off-plot, or support, areas), utility
generation facilities, water and waste treating facilities, etc. (see Figure 200-3). To
keep drawing lengths manageable, the facility is divided into essentially independent functioning elements. For a large processing plant these elements might
include furnaces, reactors, distillation columns (towers), compressors, etc., that can
be conveniently grouped on separate drawings. On the separate drawings, lines
handling lighter products are drawn along the top, lines handling the heavier products along the bottom.

Serial Equipment Layout


This is a convenient layout for plants with a single major process stream that is
acted upon sequentially at essentially independent stations, for instance, a packaging plant or production facility (see Figure 200-4). The P&IDs for plants laid out
in this style can be many feet long when on a roll or multifold paper. When properly laid out, these may be broken down into individual drawings to more easily fit
desktops or for inclusion in record books. Each segment holds usually one, sometimes two processing elements.
Serial-style P&IDs often have equipment information blocks along the top, process
gas, relief, vent and flare headers just below, the equipment in the middle, interconnection lines just below the equipment, and pumps and compressors along the lower
edge.

Geographical Layout
This layout is used for collections of independent processing elements that are not
linked by process relationships, such as tankfields, utility distribution systems, plot
limit manifolds, and interconnection diagrams. A roughly geographical layout is
often the most logical way to present them. (See Figure 200-5).

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223 Types of P&IDs


Main P&IDs
The main P&IDs show process flow, mechanical equipment, and instruments and
controls. For small plants the main P&ID is all that is required.

Major Equipment P&IDs


Major processing equipment such as compressors, reactors, furnaces, treaters, and
refrigeration systems are often placed on separate P&IDs (See Figure 200-6). This
accomplishes the following:

Provides the space to show the interrelationships of complex mechanical


elements with their instrumentation and supporting supply systems

Shows precise location details, particularly for critical temperature points

Unclutters the main P&IDs

Auxiliary P&IDs
Equipment not directly in the main processing stream is often referred to as auxiliary equipment. Examples are seal, flush, and purge systems; lube oil, hot oil, and
oil mist systems; and glycol heating systems (see Figure 200-7). These may be
placed on separate P&IDs to reduce crowding on the main P&ID or when they serve
equipment on different P&IDs. When small, they may be combined on a single
drawing with other auxiliary systems.
When auxiliary equipment is supplied assembled in a package unit from a vendor,
it should be depicted within a dashed-line box, with attention given to the following
Company/vendor interface areas:

Equipment supplied at the boundaries. Otherwise, pickled pipe may arrive


without mating flanges, the pipe material may be wrong, or both Company and
vendor may supply block valves

Instruments. Otherwise, both parties may supply duplicate sets, or Companysupplied instruments may not fit vendor-provided connections

Plot Limit Block Valve Manifold P&IDs


This is a type of geographical layout (see Section 222). In major petroleum and
petrochemical processing facilities individual plants or groupings of plants are set
up as isolable entities. A single major assemblage of block valves at the end of a
central pipeway, the plot limit block valve manifold (plot limit manifold), ties the
individual plant headers into an interconnecting pipeway system serving other facilities (see Figure 200-8). With a few exceptions (primarily underground lines) all
lines in the plant pass through the plot limit manifold. This facilitates supervisory
review of plant isolation prior to a major planned shutdown. For small plants the
plot limit block valves may be shown on the process P&IDs themselves. For larger
plants a plot limit manifold drawing is prepared.

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Interconnection Diagrams
These specialty drawings show, on one drawing, the relationship between control
systems located in different plants.

Utility Distribution System P&IDs


These are usually laid out geographically to preserve the sequencing and relative
locations of all elements (see Figure 200-5). In mid-sized plants, several utility
systems (steam and condensate, all gases, water, etc.) may either be layered on a
single drawing in separate well-defined strips or superimposed.
To reduce clutter, only the tie-in portions of utility systems should be shown on the
main P&IDs. These should include all valving and instrumentation associated with
the control or isolation of the processing equipmentchecks, block valves, flow
indicators, etc.; the utility P&IDs themselves show little valving. The tie-ins should
be labeled with the utility P&ID line and drawing numbers, and, if desired, their
service.
Small, in-plant utility facilities are usually shown on their associated utility
P&IDsinstrument air dryers, fuel gas knock-out drums (separators that remove
entrained water from the gas), condensate dryers, etc. Larger utility supply and
processing systems are usually shown on separate process P&IDswater treatment
plants, boiler plants, etc.

Relief System P&IDs


Figure 200-9 shows a typical geographical layout for a relief system. Relief valves
and bypasses are not shown here, but are included on the main process P&IDsthe
usual practice for process operations information.
All calculated relief loads should be recorded on this drawing, since they are not
always found in the plant design records. Relief system P&IDs are very helpful in
determining relief system modifications when adding major equipment in the future.

230 P&ID Symbol Standards


The following drawings show the P&ID symbols commonly used in newer plants.
These symbols are derived from the nationwide Instrument Society of America
(ISA) standards (see Standard Drawings and Forms):

ICM-EF-824A, Standard Piping and Equipment Symbols


ICM-EF-824B, Standard Instrument Symbols
ICM-EF-824C, Standard Logic and Instrument Symbols
ICM-EF-824D, Guidelines for P&ID Presentation of Level Instrumentation

EF drawings may be adapted and condensed to a single sheet for a major facility.

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231 Symbol StandardsPiping and Equipment


When making plant additions or modifications, it is sometimes best to continue
using the existing symbology familiar to plant personnel. However, new facilities
should use modern ISA symbology to ensure clear communications with installation personnel.
An ISA symbol exists or can be adapted for almost any instrument. Equipment
symbols are another matter. It is often necessary to elaborate on ICM-EF-824A for
complex machinery such as compressors, multistage pumps, and materials handling
equipment.
All project-specific symbols and other unusual symbology should be clearly
recorded either on the project P&ID symbol drawings (if incorporated as project
drawings) or in the notes column of the P&IDs themselves. Such symbols must also
be used consistently throughout the project. This is vitally important because P&IDs
may be the only drawings available to those unfamiliar with a particular project or
facility, such as engineers involved in facility additions and modifications. Often
what is regarded as a universal standard symbol by one organization is found to
be different elsewhere.

232 Symbol StandardsInstrumentation and Controls


The following should be agreed upon before much work is done on the P&IDs for a
project:

A standard for continuous modulating controls


A standard for process safety and sequencing logic
How to document P&ID special symbols
The degree of details to be shown on the P&ID

Continuous Modulating Controls


Modulating controls indicate and control variables that can change continuously
over a range of values. ISA Standard S5.1 (see Appendices) is the preferred
standard.

Process Safety and Sequencing Logic


Variables for process safety and sequencing logic can normally assume only two
states; a pump is either on or off; a temperature either is or is not too high; a burner
either is or is not lit; a filter is or is not ready to be backwashed.
The logic symbol standard used most often is ISA Standard S5.2, (see Volume 2,
Industry Codes and Practices). These symbols are most suitable for representing
binary process logic, thus for documenting most safety systems. They do not easily
represent sequencers such as drum programmers which have many output states.
In most cases the sequencing logic will be complex enough to require separate functional logic diagrams. The S5.1 symbols connect the individual instrument symbols
to a box labeled with the name of the logic system. For example, a boiler P&ID may

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show a box labeled BURNER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. There may be more


than one logic box shown on the P&ID to represent different logic systems (see ISA
S5.2, Appendix A, Figure 1).
The box should direct the reader to a logic document that is recoverable by future
users of the P&ID. This logic document might be a drawing, such as that shown
in S5.2, Appendix A, Figure 2. Note that this drawing is tied to Figure 1 by the
instrument balloons on the interlock system in Figure 1 and adjacent to the logic in
Figure 2.
Word descriptions can supplement or replace logic drawings such as that provided
in S5.2, Appendix A, Section 3.1.
Figure 200-1 is a type of word description called a control philosophy. This is a
very effective way to communicate complex or simple process control schemes.
Fig. 200-1

Control Philosophy
Dirty Water Tank

EQUIPMENT:

T-4

REFERENCES:

P&ID F-40001

PROCESS DESCRIPTION:

Tank T-4 is the dirty water surge tank for the produced
water plant. It is 38 feet diameter and 24 feet high. It
receives produced water from the FWKO vessels,
coalescers, and other locations. This water may contain
some oil that needs to be skimmed. From this tank the
liquid goes to the flotation units which further separate
the oil from the water.

PROCESS CONTROL
Level Control

Level control is very important in this tank. It is controlled


by LIC-T4 at 18 plus or minus 2 feet. There needs to be a
constant head in the tank so that relatively constant flow
can be supplied out of the tank to the flotation units. (See
the control philosophy of the flotation units.)

PROCESS UPSETS:

July 1999

High Level

High level could occur if there is a block in the outlet line,


the controller or control valve fails, or more water is
coming into the system than can be handled. LAH-T4 will
alarm at 22 feet in the control room if this happens. (The
operator may then decide to manually control the flow out
of the tank with the bypass valve to lower the level.) It will
also close FV-T5 to keep from transferring to T-4.

Low Level

The level may fall below the control range if there is a


controller or control valve failure or there is a leak. In this
case LAL-T4 will alarm at 7 feet in the control room.

Emergency S/D

LV-T4 closes during an ESD #1.

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Control philosophies (when used) are an integral part of the P&ID. They can be
placed in an expanded note section of a P&ID or on separate P&IDs.
Simpler safety and sequencing logic can be shown entirely on the P&ID using the
symbols of ISA Standard S5.1. For example, a low-level shutoff for a tank valve
actuated by a level switch may be depicted without the need for a separate logic
diagram.

Special Symbols
Any special symbols should follow the rules in ISA S5.1 and S5.2, and be defined
on each drawing.

Degree of Detail
ISA S5.1 identifies three levels of detail, depending on user requirements, as
follows:

Simplified loop. See ISA S5.1, Section 6.12, Figure 1. Simplified symbolism
and abbreviated identification identify the principal measurement and control
functions. Process control diagrams often use simplified loops

Conceptual loop. See ISA S5.1, Section 6.12, Figure 2. Functionally oriented
symbolism and abbreviated identification show the control function but not the
implementing hardware. Advanced process control diagrams and P&IDs
intended primarily for the process operator normally use conceptual loops.
Detailed loops are frequently shown on additional drawings

Detailed loop. See ISA S5.1, Section 6.12, Figure 3. Detailed symbolism and
more complete identification show the type of hardware and kinds of signals.
Detailed loops are often needed by the plant control engineer and the design,
control engineering and maintenance staffs. For operator training, the conceptual loops must frequently be shown on additional drawings

240 P&ID Content


241 Instrumentation
The development of process and equipment control schemes, and the placement of
minor instruments are discussed in this section and depicted in Figure 200-2.

Process Control Schemes


Process flow and control diagrams generally do not show equipment controls, safety
controls, and miscellaneous minor instruments. When incorporating process
controls on the P&ID, the plant designer makes hardware and software choices that
were unavailable to the process control designer. These choices can affect the function of the process controls and should be reviewed with the process control expert.

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Fig. 200-2

Development of the Instrumentation Portion of P&IDs

Equipment Control Schemes


If they are very simple, major equipment controls should be shown on the process
P&ID. Otherwise, they should be shown in detail on a separate equipment P&ID
and referenced on the process P&ID.
Equipment control schemes should be developed in coordination with equipment
vendors, and Company and design agency equipment control specialists. The
resulting P&IDs should be reviewed with an equipment control expert.
Review and approve equipment controls that are completely determined by the
Vendor in packaged systems. With packaged systems, a Company instrumentation
expert should be consulted before it is too late to make changes.

Minor Instrumentation
The P&ID designer is responsible for putting all minor instrumentation on the
P&ID, including the following:

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Locally mounted pressure gages


Remote temperature indicators
Local temperature indicators
Local level indication
Remote flow indicators
Alarm and shutdown systems
Pressure sensors for automatic pump starters
Toxic and combustible gas monitors
Transmitter output indicators

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The following paragraphs give guidance on the proper application of each of the
minor instruments listed.

Locally Mounted Pressure Gages


Pressure gages should be installed on the following process equipment and piping
locations to monitor operation and performance:

Discharges of pumps and compressors

Vessels and the bottom vapor space of columns

Near the process connection for nonindicating pressure transmitting


instruments

Furnace fuel oil, fuel gas and atomizing steam branch headers

Furnace draft. A single draft gage should be manifolded to the inlet of the
convection section and to a position below the stack damper on each furnace

Pressure test points consisting of a process connection with a plugged valve are
located in process equipment and piping, as follows:

Near the inlet and outlet of all packed vessels and columns
At all indicating pressure transmitter instruments
Inlets and outlets (both shell and tube side) of each heat exchanger and reboiler
Inlet and outlet of each air cooler

Remote Temperature Indicators (Thermocouples and Resistance


Temperature Devices [RTDs])
Remote temperature indication should be provided, as follows, on most process
equipment and piping:

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Columns. All inlet and outlet lines

Vessels. All inlet and outlet lines expected to have different temperatures

Fired heaters. Inlet line and outlets from each pass, header pass points from
the convection to the radiant section, on the tube wall as recommended by the
furnace supplier (a minimum of three per pass), and on the stack just ahead of
the damper

Process stream junctions. Downstream of the junction point of all important


process streams

Coolers. All liquid product inlets and outlets

Temperature controllers and transmitters. These instruments should have an


additional thermocouple and thermowell separate from the controller or transmitter. Instruments on high pressure piping and reactors may use a common
thermowell

Orifice flow meters. For heavy hydrocarbons. Used to estimate viscosity and
make flow corrections from fluid temperature changes

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Parallel piping lines. Temperature transmitter thermowells should be installed


in both lines, and the sensing bulb for the transmitter in one line. The installation should permit transfer of the sensing bulb to the other well

Process compressors or blowers. Inlet and outlet lines. One point is required
on the combined inlet and one on the combined outlet of compressors or
blowers in parallel on the same service

Local Temperature Indicators (Dial Thermometers)


Local temperature indication should be provided for process equipment and piping
where required for manual field control. Such temperature indicators should
measure outlet water temperature from all condensers or coolers, discharge of all
blowers, discharge of each compressor cylinder, and lube oil and water for pumps,
turbines, compressors and similar mechanical equipment.

Heat exchanger thermowells. Thermowells should be located at the inlets and


outlets of heat exchangers (shell side and tube side) that dont have remote
temperature indicators. If a thermocouple point or dial thermometer is present
temperature test points are not needed

Compressor temperature alarms and shutdowns. High discharge temperature alarms are necessary on each cylinder of a main reciprocating compressor
and, frequently, on other compressors as well. Thermocouples and thermistors
may be used for this service; filled thermal systems should not be. Because
high temperatures must be detected at very low or zero flow, the sensing point
should be either in the compressor nozzle or immediately downstream of it

Local Level Indication


Local level indication should be provided for all columns, vessels and drums to
determine total and interface (if any) level.

Gage glasses. Gage glasses are preferred for local level indication, with the
following exceptions:

July 1999

At pressures above 900 psig, except for steam or water service


Where they are unsuitable for the process fluid (dirty stocks that will coat
the glass, etc.)
Determine if a gage glass for an elevated vessel will be readable from
grade and, if not, include an additional indicator at grade

Displacer-type level transmitters. When level glasses cannot be used, include


a displacer-type level transmitter with a local receiver gage. Usually, any level
alarm should be taken from this transmitted signal. This transmitter should be
separate from the level controller loop

Differential pressure level transmitters. Use with a flange-mounted


diaphragm capsule when neither a gage glass nor a torque-tube displacement
type instrument is suitable

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Pyrometer-type level sensors (rams horns). Use for heavy oil columns (e.g.,
atmospheric and vacuum columns) if approved by the operations representative. No fewer than five should be used

Automatic tank gages. Tanks used for inventory control should have automatic tank gages readable from the ground, and level transmitters that display
in the central control house (if there is one). Heated tanks and tanks storing
product at above-ambient temperature should have remote readout of spot tank
temperatures. If there is an existing tank gaging system, a project decision
should determine whether automatic tank gages should read out on it

Remote Flow Indicators


All feed, product and utility lines should have remote flow indication.

Alarms and Shutdown Systems

Shutdowns and interlocks. Automatic shutdown and interlock systems (see


Section 1200) prevent the startup of equipment or portions of the plant when
operation would be a serious hazard. Alarms may be anticipatory or activated at
the time of shutdown, and are displayed on the central control room alarm
system

Alarm and safety setpoints. Setpoints for alarms and safety trips should be
recorded on the P&ID if they require setting in the field

Low flow shutdowns in high energy systems. When a centrifugal pump is


injecting liquid into a high energy system, shutdown of the pump can cause
disastrous reverse rotation if the check valve fails to hold. In such cases, a low
flow reading on the feed meter should close a control valve to prevent the
backflow

Computer communication. The process computer (if used) should monitor


alarm and shutdown status

Pressure Sensors for Automatic Pump Starters


In services where continuous flow is critical, drivers for spare pumps should automatically start on loss of flow from the prime unit.

Toxic and Combustible Gas Monitors


Toxic and combustible materials require special attention. Facilities handling
hydrogen sulfide (H2S) require an ambient H2S monitoring system. Monitoring
stations should be judiciously located around equipment handling high H2S
concentrations.

Transmitter Output Indication


Blind transmitters (except level) should have at least one indicating gage on the
transmitted signal. If a control valve is associated with several transmitted variables
(directly or indirectly as with flow and level indicators on the same stream) the
gages should be readable from the manual bypass valve. Gages for split range
instruments should be readable from each valve. A gage is not required for level

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transmitters if the gage glass can be read from the control valve. The same applies
to any indicating transmitter that can be read from the control valve.

242 Piping and Equipment


Physical Size and Mechanical Design Information
The physical size and mechanical design information almost universally found on
P&IDs for all major processing and production facilities is as follows:

Piping elements. Nominal pipe diameters and sizes of valves, flanges,


reducers, connections and miscellaneous and special fittings

Columns, vessels, tanks. Internal diameter(s) (ID), seam-to-seam height(s)


or length(s) and equivalent boot and dome dimensions

Relief valve setpoints

Additional Mechanical and Process Information


Major processing plants usually control operating conditions by varying feed stream
composition, throughput, heat input, etc. As a result, relief valve setpoints are
usually the only mechanical design information shown on the P&IDs. By contrast,
additional mechanical design and (sometimes) process information (such as design
temperatures and pressures, duties, horsepowers, speeds, capacities, and throughput)
are shown on production facility P&IDs, because actual conditions can be quite
different than anticipated.
Some operators of major processing facilities now request expanded equipment
information on their P&IDs. This information can be of considerable help in operations, and in estimating and designing additions and modifications.

250 Numbering Systems


Plant, Equipment, and Piping Numbering Systems
There are so many systems in use throughout the Company that it would serve little
purpose to discuss more than a few general principles here. API RP 14C, Table 2.2,
Component Identification is another system of line numbering and equipment
identification.

Facility Names and Plant Numbering Systems


Major facilities (both upstream and downstream) are generally named for their location. Small facilities such as small producing gas plants and small stand-alone
asphalt plants are not further subdivided. Larger processing facilities are broken up
into distinct plants. These plants are generally named for their function (crude unit,
gas dehydration, boiler plant, effluent treating plant, etc.). They are usually also
assigned a number. During construction and later, during maintenance, this provides
a rough-cut way of segregating, by construction area, the hundreds (and sometimes

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thousands) of items of delivered equipment. Local management should be consulted


in determining plant numbers for a new project.
Operations approval should be obtained for numbering systems (plant, piping,
equipment, and instruments) at the beginning of a new project. Once drawings and
specifications are issued for quotation, the cost of changing numbering systems is
surprisingly high. A confirming letter or memorandum emphasizing the importance
of this decision is helpful.

Equipment Numbering Systems


Where plant numbers are used, they should be incorporated into equipment
numbers, and, often, into the instrument numbers. Where plant numbers are not
used (such as for offshore platforms) many prefer that the instrument numbers relate
to uniquely numbered equipment. This method is used on platforms built to API RP
14C to associate safety devices with the equipment they protect. Some facilities
incorporate a plant number into the equipment number and associate instruments
with equipment.
Most facilities also use alphanumeric systems with a letter prefix that indicates the
type of equipment involved. For instance, the prefix MAF designates a 7-tray glycol
contactor for an offshore platform (see API RP 14C). The same equipment in a
downstream major processing plant would be denoted by a C for column.
The prefix system allows the number series to be restarted for each type of equipment, so that numbers can usually be limited to two digits. Equipment is numbered
serially or in decade steps for major equipment. Thus, for plant 20, three sequential
columns might be numbered 2010, 2020, 2030. P-2021 might be the reflux pumps
for column C-2020. Skipped numbers are acceptable in a system such as this.

Instrument Numbering Systems


Assignment of instrument numbers must be coordinated with all design agencies
that are developing P&IDs or subsections of P&IDs. A unique identification for
each instrument is assigned in accordance with ISA Standard S5.1 (see Appendices), as follows:
70-FIC-101
Reading left to right, the first element of the code is the plant number. This is
normally omitted on the P&IDs, but it is included in the instrument number for
other purposes such as ordering, I. D. tags, etc. The letters that follow represent the
instrument type according to ISA Standard S5.1. The final element is the loop identification common to all instruments and components in a loop. If possible, loop
identifiers should be in order of their positions upstream in the process flow; that is,
feed loops have the lowest numbers, and product and final effluent loops the
highest.

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Loop Identification Systems


For additions, the existing instrument numbering system is usually extended to
include new instruments. For new construction, the following methods are available:

Functional orientation. This system was developed for large distributed


control systems. Its restricted identifier size accommodates electronic databases. It is organized as follows:

Hardware orientation. This system was developed when individual controllers were mounted in control panels. Seven blocks of numbers are used:

100 to 899. Except for safety relief devices, major instrument loops take
their identifiers from this block. An alphabetical suffix is added where
more than one of the same component is present in a loop, as with split
range control valves. Temperature points that are part of the control
display system use this block
900-999. Safety relief devices, relief valves and bursting disks have 3-digit
groups from this block
Four-digit groups. Minor instruments have 4-digit identifiers

100 to 399. Loops monitored or controlled from the control center


400 to 499. Field controlling, recording and indicating loops, including
dial thermometers
500 to 599. Field contacts for alarms
600 to 699. Pressure gages
700 to 799. Level gages
800 to 899. Board temperature points, including test wells
900 to 999. Relief valves and bursting disks

Major equipment orientation. This system provides much information to the


plant operator. However, it is unwieldy and is not recommended except where
already used

Line Labeling Systems


Lines generally require four to seven identifying elements. Symbology depends on
the facility and organization involved. These elements are as follows:

July 1999

Plant number

Service. Also called a line identification letter (i.e., process, instrument air,
caustic)

Line number. Often (and best) a separate unbroken series restarting with each
service designation (critical for large jobs to keep number length reasonable)

Nominal line size

Piping classification. Service classification, service, etc. Specifies pipe, valves


and fittings

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Insulation

Heat tracing

200 P&ID Development

See Standard Drawing ICM-EF-824A. For major processing plants in which many
additions and changes are anticipated during the design phase and later, sequential
line numbering that follows process and utility flow is recommended.

Processing Facilities
To minimize line numbers and better indicate process relationships, line numbers at
processing facilities usually run unchanged from one piece of equipment to the next,
including branches to multiple or similar pieces of equipment such as a pump and
its spare. Also, the number is not changed for a change in pressure or materials.

Producing Facilities
COPI and some producing organizations change line numbers when the pressure
classification (piping classification) changes, on branches to multiple or similar
equipment, and when a materials change is required. Their requirements differ from
major processing plants. They have many fewer piping classifications and much
larger pressure changes that need to be clearly indicated. COPI assigns a different
series of sequential numbers for each service, and has a very organized numbering
procedure.

Line Schedules
In larger plants (particularly those constructed by large contractors) it is necessary to
keep track of assigned line numbers using line schedules. Otherwise, accidental reuse of the same number would surely occur. In addition, line schedules are required
by some governmental agencies for permitting.
A line schedule often becomes a valuable control document summarizing all piping
design criteria, including the following:

Design/process information critical to line design and specification (service


flow, pressures, temperatures, viscosity, density, pour point, etc.)

Resulting design information (pipe size, piping classification, insulation, heat


tracing specifications, etc.)

Line connection points (to/from)

260 Additional Information


Miscellaneous Elements
A variety of components, details, and descriptions are shown on typical P&IDs,
including the following:

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P&ID revisions. Changes should be clearly identified by sequentially


numbered symbols, such as diamonds, to pinpoint the location of each revision on the drawing. These changes are listed in the revision block or on a

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separate sheet issued and filed with the P&ID. Avoid the use of vague terms
such as general revision

Line classification changes. Line classification changes may occur where


different streams join, for instance:

Where utility piping ties into process lines with a higher corrosion rate,
temperature or pressure
Lines entering and leaving a vessel where processing changes occur that
require additional valves of a higher class than dictated by conditions
within the line

P&IDs should be carefully reviewed to ensure that all line classification change
symbols are shown. This is particularly important when the plant is modeled,
because there are no piping layout drawings (plans and elevations). The model,
piping isometrics (spool drawings) and P&IDs are then the only records of line
classifications.

Level, alarm, and shutdown setpoints and operating ranges. Although often
shown on other drawings, such as vessel drawings (see Section 134) and the
level instrument piping drawings, these should be shown on the process P&IDs
when they are critical to the safe or proper operation of the process

Flanges. Most often, all 2-inch and larger equipment connections and valves
are flanged, but there are some which are not, such as welded stub nozzles (a
welded line-to-equipment connection often used on high, hard-to-reach vessel
connections and between stacked exchanger pairs) and weld-in valves used in
higher pressure services
To distinguish welded from flanged connections, either show all the flanges or
stipulate that all 2-inch and larger connections are flanged except where a
symbol (sometimes WE for weld-end) is placed adjacent to the connection.
The P&IDs may then be used as a blinding control drawing during shutdowns,
and to indicate flanged connections to the design draftsman. When different
from the piping classification, flange sizes and rating are also shown on the
P&IDs.

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Entering and leaving line designations. Careful labeling of lines as they enter
and leave the P&ID allows good continuity from one P&ID to another.
Labeling includes the reference P&ID drawing number, the line identification
(noted along the line or enclosed in a rectangular tag or balloon), the
to/from equipment number, and a service description

Equipment internals. P&IDs should include a graphic representation of vessel


internals whose function (or lack of it) may impact the operation of the facility.
Examples include column and vessel internals, gas and liquid distribution and
segregation mechanisms, internal level floats, heat exchanger overflow weirs
and tubes, furnace tubes and dampers, and many more. For complicated equipment such as reactors, a separate major equipment P&ID is often prepared to
document critical bed temperature points, process gas flow path, quench feed
points, etc.

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Detail reduction. Level, pressure, and flow instrument piping details on


process P&IDs (e.g., testing and maintenance isolation valving and
connections) can be greatly reduced by using auxiliary instrumentation drawings (see Figure 200-10). Repetitive (and sometimes complicated) vent, drain,
and sample system details may also be included on a separate schedule

Reference Drawings. A reference drawing block is often incorporated along


the lower edge of the P&ID. It lists major associated drawingsplot plans,
piping layout, electrical, etc., with type of drawing, item or area covered, and
drawing number. This can help locate associated drawings that may be scattered among hundreds of project drawings. When modifying a facility it is
equally important to add new reference drawings to the drawing reference
blocks

Drawing Titles. Many styles are used throughout the Company for drawing
titles. Titles may contain helpful information on the type of drawing (P&ID,
instrument, piping, etc.) the item or area covered, the project title or plant
name, and the name of the facility or division. Depending on the organization,
title blocks may be sequenced differently or omit some items

Information Not Shown on P&IDs


The following information is usually not shown on P&IDs:

Pipefitting details are not shown, except for reducers. These details include
hydrotest high- and low-point vents and drains, elbows, tees, other joints, and
(sometimes) unions

Pipe supports are not shown. These supports include hangers, anchors, guides
and pipe expansion loops

Structural information is usually not shown. This information includes most


support structures, platforming, ladders, etc.

Electrical information is not shown, except for special controls such as threeway switches

Instrument piping/tubing is not shown, except for level instrumentation


piping. In major processing facilities, level piping valves and details are placed
on auxiliary P&IDs or piping drawings, leaving only a skeletal piping outline
on the main process P&IDs. By contrast, producing organizations usually retain
valving and level piping details on the main P&IDs

270 P&ID Review


Various P&ID review techniques may be used to ensure full consideration of facility
design, including safety, operability, maintainability, reliability, etc. These techniques include the following:

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Parallel element review. A comparative analysis of all occurrences of a single


detail to verify design consistency. The types of review should be discussed and
agreed upon

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Line-by-line review. A stepwise review of small related groupings of design


elements (such as all the elements associated with a single line). It is used
primarily to obtain owner/operator approval of the design

Design practices review. Focuses on all features ensuring operating continuity


(the foundation for employee and community safety). Covers piping, equipment, and instrumentation and control systems that protect against upsets and
failures

Hazard Assessment, Mitigation, and Hazard Abatement. An evolving set of


lengthy, formal techniques (both qualitative and quantitative) being adopted on
a national scale. Primarily intended for the analysis of new or untried processes
or facilities (or elements thereof) where there is a potentially significant hazard
to employees or the community.

Parallel Elements Review


This technique involves the comparative analysis of all occurrences of a single
design element on all P&IDs. These elements are easily located even on complex
P&IDs by the design engineers or an individual familiar with the type of facility.
Parallel element review is fast, thorough, and very revealing of errors and omissions. It works well with groups and for individual review.
Optimally, only one element at a time is selected for analysis, because several
aspects of each element may need examination simultaneously, such as use, need,
aptness, and engineering rationale. One might take several passes through the
P&IDs to review the following equipment connections: vessel drain size for each
vessel, flanged versus stub weld connections, all flanged thermocouple locations,
piping classification changes for lines tying into vessels in corrosive service, etc.

Line-by-Line Review (Operational and Maintenance Review)


Conducted by the design/operations team, line-by-line review is the stepwise review
of related groupings of design elements. Groupings may comprise an individual
piece of equipment or a line with its valving, drains, sample connections, piping
classification, insulation, heat tracing, etc. The review follows the general path of
process flow.
This review is often used to obtain acceptance or approval by operations. It is
logical and sequential (often a yellow marking pencil shows progress, a red pencil
additions or changes). However, since the elements in each grouping usually have
different functions, the immediate impact of a parallel element review is lost.
Further, the process can be tedious, particularly when involving many lines with
repeating features. Suggestions for conducting a line-by-line review:

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Break up sessions with parallel element review to dispose of the most repetitive elements

Use interactive role playing, in which the operator walks through all steps
needed to start up, run and shut down the plant. Design engineers, process
representatives, etc., point out erroneous or missing piping, equipment and
instrument elements

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Design Practices Review


This is employed, particularly in larger, more complex facilities, to confirm that
good design practices have been used. It is best conducted using finished P&IDs. Its
objectives are as follows:

Identify elements whose failure could, through malfunction or human error,


endanger operating continuity, employees, or equipment

Confirm that good design practices have been incorporated, including safety
systems, mitigating systems, alarms and shutdowns, etc., to eliminate or reduce
the consequences of failure to acceptable levels

Estimate the potential for alternate failure modes

Determine whether the consequences of failures constitute an acceptable risk

Modify (or provide additional) design features or safeguards to reduce consequences to acceptable levels

Design practices review focuses on the active elements of the facilityinstruments


and controls, pumps and drivers, furnaces, compressors, utility supply systems, etc.
These elements are examined in brainstorming sessions that consider both historic
and unusual equipment and control system failure modes. Techniques of inquiry
include the what if method and the related, more powerful Hazard and Operability Study Method (see the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE)
Hazard Evaluation Procedures and, in this manual subsection, Hazard Assessment). Usually an abbreviated, verbal run-through of these techniques resolves
concerns or identifies problem areas for later evaluation.

Hazard Assessment
When used in the early design phase, hazard assessment review techniques uncover
necessary changes that can be made at minimum cost. Later, errors may be
extremely costly to correct.
Almost without exception a representative of the owner/operator/client must be
present at every review meeting. Other interested organizations include process,
designs, maintenance, operations, safety, reservoir engineering, plant or drilling
foremen, area superintendent, other management, etc.
Hazard assessment may also include mitigation and abatement techniques such as
the Hazard and Operability Study, Failure Mode and Effects Study, Fault Tree Analysis, SAFE charts, Blast Effect Analysis, Atmospheric Dispersion Study, Radiant
Heat Study, etc. These can be quite costly, particularly when full documentation is
required. They are used when mandated by federal, state or local laws and regulations or as judged appropriate by the responsible manager.
California and New Jersey have passed legislation requiring the application of these
techniques to plant processes and equipment for stipulated toxic or flammable materials whose catastrophic release could impact the general population (see API RP
14C, Analysis, Design, Installation, and Testing of Basic Surface Safety Systems for
Offshore Production Platforms). AIChE has published Vapor Cloud Dispersion,

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Vapor Release Mitigation, Guideline for Safe Storage and Handling of High
Toxic Hazard Materials, and Hazard Evaluation Procedures. The Hazard and
Operability Study covered in Hazard Evaluation Procedures has been accepted by
the EPA as definitive. Future publications planned are: Quantitative Risk Assessment and Guidelines for Process Control.
Because of the many safe design practices built into Company standards and procedures, these AIChE Proceduresand their reporting requirementsmay be found
to be unnecessarily formal and lengthy. Modification and shortening should be
considered if the full procedure is not legally mandated.
The AIChE guidelines do not define what level of risk is acceptable, and this is a
complex subject affected by conditions peculiar to a facility such as closeness to a
population, amounts and types of materials involved, and regulatory emission limits.
A guideline recommending applicable projects, techniques, sources of help, references, suitable consultants, waiver procedures, and other appropriate guidance to
operating company personnel is under consideration by the Hazard Assessment
Steering Committee. Contact HE&LP for an update.

280 P&ID Drawings and Engineering Forms


281 P&ID Drawings
The end of this section contains the following figures referred to in the text of
Section 200:
Figure 200-3

P&IDGrouped Equipment Layout

Figure 200-4

P&IDSerial Equipment Layout

Figure 200-5

P&IDGeographical Layout

Figure 200-6

Major Equipment P&IDFurnace

Figure 200-7

Auxiliary P&IDTempered Oil

Figure 200-8

P&IDPlot Limit Manifold

Figure 200-9

P&IDRelief System

Figure 200-10

Auxiliary Instrumentation Drawing

282 Engineering Forms

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ICM-EF-824A

Standard Piping and Equipment Symbols

ICM-EF-824B

Standard Instrument Symbols

ICM-EF-824C

Standard Logic and Instrument Symbols

ICM-EF-824D

Guidelines for P&ID Presentation of Level Instrumentation

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290 References
Instrument Society of America (ISA)

ISA Standard S5.1, Instrument Symbols and Identification


ISA Standard S5.2, Binary Logic Diagrams for Process Operations

American Petroleum Institute (API)

API RP 14C, Analysis, Design, Installation, and Testing of Basic Surface


Safety Systems for Offshore Production Platforms, Table 2.2, Component
Identification

American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE)

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Guideline for Safe Storage and Handling of High Toxic Hazard Materials
Hazard Evaluation Procedures
Vapor Cloud Dispersion
Vapor Release Mitigation

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Fig. 200-3

200 P&ID Development

P&IDGrouped Equipment Layout

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Fig. 200-4

200 P&ID Development

P&IDSerial Equipment Layout

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Fig. 200-5

200 P&ID Development

P&IDGeographical Layout

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Fig. 200-6

200 P&ID Development

Major Equipment P&IDFurnace

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Fig. 200-7

200 P&ID Development

Auxiliary P&IDTempered Oil

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Fig. 200-8

200 P&ID Development

P&IDPlot Limit Manifold

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Fig. 200-9

200 P&ID Development

P&IDRelief System

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Fig. 200-10 Auxiliary Instrumentation Drawing

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Fig. 200-3 P&IDGrouped Equipment Layout

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Fig. 200-4 P&IDSerial Equipment Layout

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Fig. 200-5 P&IDGeographical Layout

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Fig. 200-6 Major Equipment P&IDFurnace

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Fig. 200-7 Auxiliary P&IDTempered Oil

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Fig. 200-8 P&IDPlot Limit Manifold

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Fig. 200-9 P&IDRelief System

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Fig. 200-10Auxiliary Instrumentation Drawing

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Abstract
This section is an introductory reference to process control. It discusses control
theory, control modes and problems and includes guidelines for typical process
control situations. This section also discusses controller tuning and control mode
selection.

Chevron Corporation

Contents

Page

310

Introduction

300-2

320

Control Loops

300-2

321

Open Loop Control

322

Closed Loop Control

330

Control Modes

331

Proportional Control

332

Integral Control

333

Proportional-Plus-Integral Control

334

Derivative Control

340

Advanced Control

341

Cascade Control

342

Feed-forward Control

350

Controller Tuning

351

Quarter Decay Method

352

Ultimate Sensitivity Method

353

Process Reaction Curve Method

360

References

300-5

300-14

300-18

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310 Introduction
Process control is fundamental to most industrial processes. Although control technology has evolved greatly in arriving at todays microprocessor and digital implementations, all control methods rely on the same basic structure, called a control
loop. Control loops have six basic constituents, as follows:

Controlled variable. The condition that is being controlled

Setpoint. The value at which a controlled variable must be maintained

Manipulated variable. A condition (variable) that can be changed to cause the


controlled variable to change

Controller. A device that keeps the controlled variable at the setpoint

Final control element. The device adjusted by the controller(s) to change the
manipulated variable

Disturbances. Process conditions that tend to change the value of the


controlled variable

320 Control Loops


Control loops can be either manual or automatic. A manual control loop requires a
human being to observe the value of the controlled variable. If this variable is not at
the setpoint, the human observer adjusts a manipulated variable (see
Figure 300-1).
An automatic control loop employs a controller to keep the controlled variable at
the setpoint. In Figure 300-2, the controller receives a signal from a transmitter (the
circled X) representing the condition of the controlled variable, and sends an output
signal to a valve regulating the manipulated variable.
Fig. 300-1

Manual Control

Fig. 300-2

Automatic Control

In a refinery furnace, a controller monitors the outlet temperature (controlled variable). If the outlet temperature is not at the desired value (setpoint), the controller

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changes the fuel flow (manipulated variable) by changing the position of the fuel
valve (final control element). Automatic control may be open loop (feed forward)
or closed loop (feedback).

321 Open Loop Control


In open loop control, the controller adjusts the final control element without
measuring the process. An example of open loop control is a cycle timer that operates a drain valve, as in the simple gas-liquid separation process shown in
Figure 300-3. At predetermined intervals, the timer causes the drain valve to open
even if there is nothing to drain.
Fig. 300-3

Open Loop Control

A more common example of open loop control would be an automatic lawn sprinkler system. Here a clock timer opens a water valve for several minutes each day. It
would not check to see if the lawn needed water and would even turn on the sprinklers in the rain. Open loop control like these examples is not widely used. Open
loop control operating in a feed forward mode is frequently used along with closed
loop control. Feed forward control is discussed in Section 342.

322 Closed Loop Control


Closed loop control, also known as feedback control, is the most widely used type
of automatic control. If feedback control were used in Figure 300-3, the controller
would open the drain valve only when the liquid level rose above the controller
setpoint and would continue to adjust the valve as needed to keep the liquid drained
from the vessel.
The gas separation process in Figure 300-4 has a feedback (closed loop) level
control system in which the controller LC receives a signal from the level transmitter LT. The controller compares this measurement with the setpoint and adjusts
the outlet valve as necessary. The difference between the controller measurement
and controller setpoint is the error signal. When the error is not zero, the level
controller opens or closes the outlet valve to return the level to the setpoint.

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Fig. 300-4

Closed Loop Control

On/Off Control
On/off control is the simplest mode of automatic control. It has only two outputs
on (100%) or off (0%)and only responds to the sign of the errorpositive or
negative; i.e., whether it is above or below the setpoint.
Because of an effect known as constant cycling, on/off control is not generally suitable for continuous automatic feedback control. If the control valve in Figure 300-4
were to remain completely open when the level is above setpoint, and completely
closed when the level drops below setpoint, a constant cycling of valve position and
level would result (see Figure 300-5). As with open loop control, the varying level
resulting from constant cycling may be acceptable in some noncritical level applications.
Fig. 300-5

On/Off Control

Differential Gap Control


Differential gap control is a refinement of on/off control. Instead of changing
output from on (100%) to off (0%) at a single setpoint, differential gap action
changes output at high and low limits called boundaries. As long as the measurement remains between the boundaries, the controller holds the last output. This

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300 Process Control

extends the period and limits the amplitude of the controlled variable oscillations
(see Figure 300-6). On many controllers the size and position of the differential gap
is adjustable, permitting fine-tuning.
Fig. 300-6

Differential Gap Control

Differential gap control is suitable for some continuous automatic feedback control
loops. It slows the rapid cycling of on/off control, reducing wear on the final
control element while maintaining much of the simplicity of on/off control. A
typical application of differential gap control is the operation of a dump valve or
pump to keep a vessel level within an acceptable range.

330 Control Modes


Controllers can be adjusted to function correctly in many different applications.
Each controller usually has three adjustment modes:

Proportional. Controller output changes by an amount related to the size of


the error

Integral. Controller output changes by an amount related to the size and duration of the error

Derivative. Controller output changes by an amount related to the rate of


measurement change

With pneumatic controllers and early electronic controllers, each mode added to a
controller made it more expensive. Most electronic controllers available today are
equipped with all three modes at no additional cost. The unneeded modes can be
turned off.
Most control applications use proportional-plus-integral control. Proportional-plusintegral-plus-derivative is sometimes used for temperature control with delays
(deadtime) of several minutes. Proportional-only control is sometimes used in
noncritical services such as draining vessels.

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Note that the proportional and integral actions depend on the error (defined as
setpoint measurement), but the derivative action only depends on the measurement.
Controllers are constructed this way so there will be no large change in controller
output when the operator enters a new setpoint for the controller.

331 Proportional Control


(Controller output can go directly to a valve or to the setpoint of another controller.
In the following discussions, it is assumed that controllers send their output directly
to a valve.)
Figure 300-7 shows the relationship between valve position and error that is characteristic of proportional control: The valve position changes in exact proportion to
the amount of error, not to its rate or duration. The response is almost instantaneous, and the valve returns to its initial value when the error returns to zero.
Fig. 300-7

Proportional Control Response

Control Algorithm
The linear relationship between the setpoint deviation (error) and the valve position
(controller output) for proportional action can be expressed as follows:
O = Kc E
(Eq. 300-1)
where:
O = Controller output
Kc = Controller Gain = Output / Error
E = Error = (Setpoint - Measurement)
This equation is called the control algorithm. The gain, Kc, is also called the
controller sensitivity. It represents the proportionality constant between the control
valve position and controller error.

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Proportional Band
Another way of characterizing a proportional controller is to describe its proportional band. The proportional band is the percent change in value of the controlled
variable necessary to cause full travel of the final control element. The proportional
band, PB, is related to its gain as follows:
Kc= 100/PB
(Eq. 300-2)
Both proportional band and gain are expressions of proportionality. Manufacturers
may call their adjustments gain, sensitivity, or proportional band. Figure 300-8
shows the relationship between valve opening and proportional bands of different
percentages. High percentage proportional bands (wide bands) have a less sensitive
response than low percentage proportional bands (narrow bands).
Fig. 300-8

Effect of Proportional Band

Bias
Bias is the amount of output from a proportional controller when the error is zero.
Equation 300-1 implies that when the error is zero, controller output is zero. The
valve is either fully open or fully closed and provides no throttling action. Adding a
bias provides this throttling action. Equation 300-1 then becomes:
O = Kc E + B
(Eq. 300-3)
where:
B = Bias (percent of full output)
Typically, manufacturers set the bias at 50%. To prevent a process bump, the operator is sometimes allowed to adjust the bias before putting the controller in automatic. Figure 300-9 shows controller output versus error at different proportional
bands with a 50% bias. At zero error, the controller output is 50% of full range for
any proportional band.

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Offset
A controllers error is the difference between its setpoint and measurement. In a
proportional-only controller, a change in setpoint or load introduces a permanent
error called offset (see Figure 300-10). It is impossible for a proportional-only
controller to return the measurement exactly to its setpoint, because proportional
output only changes in response to a change in the error, not to the errors duration.
Fig. 300-9

Effects of Proportional Band with 50% Bias

Fig. 300-10 Proportional Control Response to a


Load Change

Assume that a proportional-only controller controls the outlet temperature of a


furnace and that the temperature is at the setpoint. If the feed rate to the furnace
increases, more fuel will be needed. This disturbance represents a load change to
the furnace. To get more fuel, the fuel valve must be opened more. As is suggested
by Equation 300-3, the only way that the valve can be at some value other than its
starting point is for an error to exist. Thus, the proportional controller alone cannot
return the outlet temperature to its setpoint. As mentioned, some controllers allow
the operator to adjust the bias until the value of E (the error, or offset) is zero.
Offset is determined by the proportional band value for the controller and the
change in valve position that occurs when a disturbance takes place:
E = PB (O) / 100
(Eq. 300-4)
where:
E = Change in error
PB = Proportional band
O = Change in valve position
The proportional-only controller is the easiest continuous controller to tune. It
provides rapid response and is relatively stable. If offset can be tolerated (loose
control), proportional-only control can be used.

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332 Integral Control


Integral (reset) action is the result of an integration of controller error with time.
With integral action, controller output is proportional to both the size and duration
of the error. As long as a deviation from setpoint exists, the controller continues to
drive its output in the direction that reduces the deviation. The rate of change of
controller output is proportional to the magnitude of the error. Figure 300-11 illustrates the open loop response of integral action.
Fig. 300-11 Integral Controller Response (Open Loop)

Integral action is normally used in conjunction with proportional action; it is rarely


used by itself. Integral action is quantified as the time (the reset time) required to
change controller output by an amount equal to the change caused by proportional
action. In other words, it is the time required to repeat the contribution of the
proportional action.
On some controllers, integral settings are in repeats, meaning repeats per minute;
on others, settings are in minutes, meaning minutes per repeat. One setting is the
reciprocal of the other; decreasing the integral time increases the amount of integral
action.

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333 Proportional-Plus-Integral Control


Proportional-plus-integral control is the recommended control action for most applications. Often called PI control, it combines proportional action and integral action
in one controller. The resulting control action has the fast response and stability of
proportional action, but no offset. In eliminating offset, integral action serves as an
automatic bias adjustment.
The output from a proportional-plus-integral controller may be expressed as
follows:
n

1
ET
m = K c E + ------

TR

(Eq. 300-5)
where:
O = controller output
Kc = controller gain
E = error
TR = reset time, minutes per repeat
= summation from time 0 to time n
T = interval between summations
Figure 300-12 shows the open loop response of proportional-plus-integral control.
Proportional control immediately acts to reverse the error. Integral action then
continues to change controller output until the error equals zero.
Fig. 300-12 Proportional-Plus-Integral Control Response (Open Loop)

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Figure 300-13 depicts proportional-plus-integral control for a closed loop. In


response to a step change in load (top graph), the controlled variable (middle graph)
falls below the setpoint. The integral action adjusts the bias from 50% initially to
about 75% after the load change and shifts the position of proportional band
(shaded area) on the scale. Notice that the percentage value of the proportional
band is not changed. The lower graph shows the output of the controller.
Fig. 300-13 Proportional-Plus-Integral Control Response (Closed Loop)

Wind-up
A basic problem with integral controllers is that integral action continues as long as
an error exists. Assume a proportional-plus-integral controller is used to maintain
the level in the gas-liquid separator vessel in Figure 300-4. If a valve is closed
upstream of the vessel, the level drops below the setpoint. The controller then
closes the control valve in the outlet line to maintain the level setpoint. With no
inlet flow, the control valve closes completely and the vessel level is still less than
the setpoint.
A pneumatic control valve will typically be fully closed at a controller output of 15
psig. Since the measured vessel level is less than the setpoint, the integral action of
the controller continues to increase the controller output to the air supply pressure
(typically 20-30 psig). The action of the integral controller trying to exceed the
normal range of the controller output is called wind-up.
If the upstream valve is opened and flow is restored, the vessel level will rise above
the setpoint. The response of the controller to this high level will be delayed by the
wind-up. When the controller does respond, the output goes to the opposite limit. In
this case, the control valve will fully open and the vessel level will drop sharply.
The controller may oscillate through several cycles, stroking the control valve from
stop to stop on each cycle, before the oscillations cease and control is restored.

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Such oscillations overwork the control valve and, depending on the fluid and pressures involved, can cause mechanical damage and seriously disrupt the process
downstream on the valve. An anti-wind-up feature may be included on controllers
that are frequently subject to this type of disturbance. This limits the controller
output range and thus prevents wind-up. When the process returns to normal, the
controller lag is eliminated and the oscillations are no worse than those in a proportional controller.

Integral Time
Integral time should be proportional to the time it takes for the process to respond
to control action. When the process responds quickly, the integral time can be
shorter. If the integral time is too short, the control valve reaches its limit before the
measurement has time to respond. When the measurement does respond, it will
overshoot the setpoint, causing the integral to drive the valve to its opposite limit.
The time lag built into the gradual response of integral action lengthens the period
of oscillation of a loop. For a loop with proportional-plus-integral control, the
period of oscillation after a load change is longer than for proportional alone.
For loops where the exact value of the controlled variable is not critical, the shorter
period of the proportional-only controller can be an advantage. For example, a
vessel may operate within a wide range of liquid level without adversely affecting
pressure or gas quality. Therefore, the system level does not have to be accurately
controlled, and proportional control is often sufficient.

334 Derivative Control


With derivative action (also called rate action), the controller output is proportional
to the rate of change of the error. This means the faster the change in level, the
faster the change in controller output and control valve settings. By the same token,
if the level remains constant, even with a large error, the controller output would be
zero. This makes the use of derivative action by itself impractical.
Derivative action is normally combined with proportional action or proportionalplus-integral action. Derivative action, being proportional to the rate of change of
the measured variable, introduces a lead (anticipation) element into the controller.
This increases the speed of response of the controller and compensates for the lags
introduced by proportional and integral actions. Figure 300-14 illustrates derivative
action.
The output from a proportional-plus-derivative controller may be expressed as
follows:
M n Mn 1
O = K c E n + T D -----------------------------

S
(Eq. 300-6)
where:
O = controller output

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Kc = controller gain
En = error at time n
TD = derivative time, minutes
Mn = measurement at time n
Mn-1 = measurement at previous sampling time
S = Time between measurements (sampling time)
The derivative action is greatest when integral and proportional action are just
beginning to respond. Derivative action also responds to the change in sign of the
measured variable. This opposes the tendency of integral and proportional action to
overshoot the setpoint and enables the controlled variable to settle out faster than
with either proportional or proportional-plus-integral action.
In Figure 300-14, area A represents the proportional component of controller
output. Note that the proportional response is a function of the difference between
the setpoint and the measured variable. Areas B and C represent the component
added or subtracted by derivative action. As the measured variable stops decreasing
and starts increasing, the sign of the derivative function changes. The integral
action (area D) eliminates offset by not returning to zero when the proportional and
derivative actions return to zero output. Areas E and F represent the corrections that
result from all three actions taken together.
Fig. 300-14 Proportional-Plus-Integral-Plus-Derivative-Control Action (Closed Loop)

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Derivative action, being sensitive to the rate of change of the measured variable,
cannot be used in processes that require fast response, or that have rapid fluctuations or high noise levels. These conditions cause instability through large increases
in the derivative gain, and rapidly change direction (sign). Although derivative
action is difficult to tune because of its extreme sensitivity to measurement noise
and other high frequency disturbances, it does have some applications. Most importantly, it is used with proportional and integral action in temperature processes that
have large time lags.
Derivative action can be very helpful in controlling processes that have significant
deadtime, but using it can be difficult. Sometimes adding derivative action can
make the control loop appear slow and inactive with some types of process disturbances. This sluggishness might lead one to increase the amount of derivative and
perhaps also increase the controller gain. However, these new tunings might make
the controller unstable when a different disturbance occurs in the plant.

340 Advanced Control


Because this section of the Instrumentation and Control Manual is meant to be
introductory in nature, we will define the term advanced control to be anything
more sophisticated than simple, single-loop feedback control. Advanced control
would therefore include cascade control, feed forward control, signal selector
control, adaptive gain control, self-tuning controllers, multivariable control, matrix
control, and many other techniques too numerous to mention.
We will only deal here with cascade. The reader is encouraged to consult the references listed in Section 360 for additional information. The Monitoring and Control
Systems Division in the Engineering Technology Department is also available for
consultation.

341 Cascade Control


Cascade control should also be considered when the primary control variable is
slow to react to disturbances. Like any feedback control loop, a cascade control
loop has a controlled variable, a setpoint and a controller. However, instead of
having a valve as its final control element, a cascade controller sends its output to
the setpoint of another controller, adjusting this setpoint to correct an error in the
controlled variable. This other controller is called the secondary or slave
controller. The cascade controller is called the primary or master controller.
If disturbances in the process can be recognized and quickly corrected, the primary
control loop will not be affected. This suggests that the secondary control loop must
operate faster than the primary loop. In fact, general guidelines suggest that the
secondary loop should respond at least five times faster than the primary loop.
Looking again at the example of the furnace, let us assume that the fuel system
provides fuel to several other furnaces as well. Over the course of hours, the pressure in the system might well vary as the fuel demand in all of the furnaces
changes. A change in the fuel header pressure changes heat transfer in the furnace.

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Because heat transfer is a slow process, the outlet temperature controller cannot be
tuned well enough to eliminate the effect of changing fuel flow (see Figure 300-15).
(For details on controller tuning, see Section 350.)
Fig. 300-15 Feedback Control Performance

On the other hand, if the fuel flow remains steady while the pressure is changing,
the furnace temperature will be more constant. Fuel flow changes almost immediately when the control valve is moved. Therefore, the flow controller can be tuned
to eliminate most of the disturbances in fuel flow.
Such circumstances lend themselves to the use of cascade control: a fast process
(fuel flow), a slow process (furnace heat transfer), and a disturbance (fuel pressure)
that affects the fast loop. Figure 300-16 shows the cascade control system for the
furnace.
Fig. 300-16 Cascade Control

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Compare Figure 300-17 to 300-15. With cascade control the outlet temperature is
much more steady. The fuel gas controller (secondary controller) has eliminated
almost all fuel pressure disturbance from the furnace.
Fig. 300-17 Cascade Control Performance

342 Feed-forward Control


Feed-forward control measures a disturbance before it can affect the controlled variable, and changes the manipulated variable to compensate for the disturbance. Of
course, for feed-forward control to work properly, the magnitude and timing of the
effect on the controlled variable must be known. The process might be worse off if
the manipulated variable is changed too much or too quickly.
In Figure 300-18, a gas-fired furnace process is equipped with a temperature
controller (TC), a feed-forward controller (FFC), and a summer, which adds the
two controller outputs together. The feed-forward controller, also called a flow fraction controller, operates like a simple multiplier: The output of the FFC consists of
its input (from the flow transmitter FT) multiplied by a ratio entered by the operator.
Fig. 300-18 Feed-forward Control

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Figure 300-19 shows what might happen in a real furnace as the feed rate is
changed. In the top graph, the feed rate to the furnace is raised at time 1. By time 2,
the furnace outlet temperature begins to drop below setpoint. The fuel valve then
begins to open and raises the outlet temperature back to the setpoint by time 3. In
the bottom graph, the fuel valve has begun to open by time B, and by time C the
furnace temperature is back to the original setpoint. With feed-forward and feedback control, the process has recovered from the feed rate disturbance much faster
than with feedback control alone. Note that the temperatures period of oscillation
is the same in both cases. This period is a dynamic characteristic of the furnace and
cannot be changed by the control system. However, the feed-forward controller has
been able to reduce the size of the temperature disturbance and has speeded up the
recovery.
Fig. 300-19 Feedback/Feed-forward Control Performance

Feed-forward control should not be used by itself, but always with feedback
control, because the rate and magnitude of the reaction of a process to a disturbance
is rarely consistent.

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350 Controller Tuning


Several methods are available to tune a controller to function in a specific loop. The
following discussion considers some of the methods commonly used. Several of the
references in Section 360, particularly Reference 5, should be useful when difficult
situations are encountered.

351 Quarter Decay Method


The quarter decay method is a closed loop controller tuning method. This means
that the controller remains in automatic while tuning adjustments are made.
The quarter decay method defines the ultimate limit for tight controller tuning.
Often, the tuning constants it produces are too tight (too sensitive) in processes that
have sticky valves and noisy measurements.
To prevent controllers from going unstable unexpectedly, tuning constants should
be set to values one-half as sensitive as those obtained with the quarter decay
method. After these less sensitive tunings are exposed to actual upsets and irregularities, and the operators gain confidence in the controller tuning, it may be appropriate to make the tunings more sensitive.
The general tuning sequence is as follows:
1.

With the controller in automatic, adjust all tuning constants to their least sensitive (least effective) setting. Proportional band should be at its highest value
(proportional gain should be at its lowest value). Integral time should be at its
highest value (most minutes per repeat or least repeats per minute). Derivative
time should be at its highest value.

2.

Make a small step change in controller setpoint and record the controller
measurement until it settles out.

3.

Change the setpoint back to its original value. Record the measurement as
before.

4.

Increase the proportional gain (reduce the proportional band) in small steps
and repeat steps 1-3 until the recording of the output resembles Figure 300-20,
curve B; that is, until the amplitude of the first positive excursion of curve B is
approximately four times that of the second (thus the name, quarter decay
method).

5.

Measure the period of oscillation. Set the reset and derivative:


TR = P/1.5 minutes
(Eq. 300-7)
TD = P/6 minutes
(Eq. 300-8)

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Fig. 300-20 Quarter Decay Method Tuning

6.

With TR and TD set at above values, reestablish controller gain for quarter
decay.

Figures 300-21, 300-22, and 300-23 show how the three tuning parameters affect
the response of a controller. With proportional-only control, settling time is fairly
long and there is a permanent offset from the setpoint. Adding integral control
reduces settling time and eliminates offset. Adding derivative control to proportional control reduces settling time but not offset. Only integral control eliminates
the offset.
Fig. 300-21 Proportional-only Controller Response

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Fig. 300-22 Proportional-Plus-Integral Controller


Response

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Fig. 300-23 Proportional-Plus-Derivative Controller Response

352 Ultimate Sensitivity Method


The ultimate sensitivity method ( Figure 300-24) is also a closed loop test. Adjust
the integral time and/or the derivative time to their minimum values. Then narrow
the proportional band (increase gain) in small steps, each time changing the
setpoint as described in Section 351, until the controller measurement just begins to
cycle continuously. This proportional band setting is called the ultimate proportional band, denoted PBu. The period of oscillation at the ultimate proportional
band is called the ultimate period, measured in minutes and denoted Pu. The
amplitude of the oscillations in Figure 300-24 has been exaggerated for clarity.
The ultimate proportional band, PBu, and the ultimate period, Pu, are then used to
calculate tuning constants as shown in Figure 300-25. These constants give the
quarter damping response already discussed.
Note that Figures 300-25 and 300-26 show two sets of equations for a proportionalplus-integral-plus-derivative controller. The set identified as Commercial should
be used for controllers encountered in industry. The set identified as Ideal is
based on an ideal control algorithm equation commonly used in universities. They
are included here for completeness.

353 Process Reaction Curve Method


This is an open loop tuning method. The controller remains in manual while
response tests are made. The tuning method measures two parameters to describe
the response characteristic of the process: process deadtime and process time
constant.
The deadtime is the delay between a change in valve position and the resulting
change in the controlled variable. The process time constant is the time required for
the controlled variable to reach approximately 60% of its final value.

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Fig. 300-24 Ultimate Sensitivity Method

Fig. 300-25 Ultimate Sensitivity Method Tuning Constants


Proportional Band
(%)

Reset Time
(minutes)

Derivative Time
(minutes)

Proportional Controller

0.5 PBu

Proportional + Integral Controller

0.45 PBu

Pu / 1.2

Proportional + Integral + Derivative


Controller
Ideal

0.6 PBu

Pu / 2.0

Pu / 8.0

Proportional + Integral + Derivative


Controller
Commercial

0.3 PBu

Pu / 4.0

Pu / 4.0

Notes

PBu = Ultimate Proportional Band, %


Pu = Ultimate Period, minutes

To perform this test, change the controller valve position by a small amount and
record the controlled variable. The deadtime, TD, and time constant, TC, are
measured and their values used to calculate the controller tuning constants.
Figure 300-26 shows how the measurements are made and used.

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Fig. 300-26 Open Loop Reaction Curve Method Tuning Constants

Note that the process reaction curve method cannot be used to integrate processes
such as level control; when a valve controlling a level is changed the level
continues to change until the vessel overflows or empties. Level controllers can be
tuned using the ultimate sensitivity method or more advanced methods discussed in
Reference 5.
Figure 300-27 gives typical ranges of controller tuning constants for various
processes. Use these values with caution; your process might not be typical. The

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exact values must be determined by one of the above methods. For future reference,
always record the control loop ID number (e.g., FRC-123), the date, and the tuning
constant when you have finished tuning a control loop.
Fig. 300-27 Tuning Constants for Typical Process
PROPORTIONAL
BAND %

RESET TIME
(MINUTES)

DERIVATIVE TIME
(MINUTES)

Flow

100 - 500

0.02 - 0.1

none

Liquid Pressure

100 - 500

0.02 - 0.1

none

Gas Pressure

1- 50

0.1 - 0.5

none

Level

1- 50

0.05 - 0.25

none

10 - 100

1 - 10

0.5 - 20

LOOP TYPE

Temperature

360 References

Chevron Corporation

1.

Fundamentals of Process Control Theory. Instrument Society of America,


1981.

2.

Process Control Systems. McGraw-Hill, 1979.

3.

Process Instruments and Controls Handbook. McGraw-Hill, 1974.

4.

Controllers & Control Theory. Production Facility Bookware Series, International Human Resources Development Corp., 1987.

5.

Tuning and Control Loop Performance. Instrument Society of America, 1983.

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400 Pressure Measurement


Abstract
This section is a practical guide to the selection, specification, and installation of
instruments for indicating, recording, and controlling pressure. Section 410
discusses general concepts of pressure measurementparticularly-as they bear on
selecting a pressure instrumentdescribes and discusses specific devices and
provides guidance in their application and specification. Section 420 gives general
and specific guidance for the installation of pressure instruments. Section 440 lists
reference material for further reading.

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Contents

Page

410

Application and Specification of Pressure Instruments

400-2

411

General Information

412

Pressure Elements

413

Pressure Gages

414

Field Pressure Recorders

415

Field Pneumatic Pressure Controllers

416

Pressure Transmitters

417

Pressure Switches

418

Draft Gages

419

Diaphragm Seals

420

Installation of Pressure Instruments

421

General RequirementsField Pressure Instruments

422

Specific RequirementsPressure Instruments

430

Model Specifications, Standard Drawings, and Engineering Forms 400-18

431

Standard Drawings

440

References

400-16

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410 Application and Specification of Pressure Instruments


411 General Information
Pressure instruments should be suitable for the process pressure, the process fluid,
and the environment for which they are installed.

Range
Field indicators, recorders, and transmitters should have ranges approximately
double the expected operating pressure. The field pressure controller range should
cover the minimum and maximum operating pressures.

Units of Calibration
Pressure instruments should read in the following units:

Above atmospheric: Pounds per square inch gage (psig), inches of water
(inches H2O), or inches of mercury (inches Hg)

Below atmospheric: Pounds per square inch absolute (psia), ounces per square
inch, inches H2O vacuum, or inches of mercury vacuum (inches Hg vac). Absolute pressure instruments should be ordered with compensation for barometric
pressure changes

Force-Balance vs. Motion-Balance


Pressure instruments with Bourdon tube, bellows, or diaphragm sensing elements
may use either force-balance or motion-balance mechanisms to convert the element
movement into an output signal. In a motion-balance transmitter (Figure 400-1), the
moving tip of the element is connected to an indicator, the flapper of a pneumatic
transmitter, or the current-producing section of an electronic transmitter. In a forcebalance transmitter (Figure 400-2), the force that tends to move the element is
opposed by an equal force generated by the electronic or pneumatic output signal. A
force-balance transmitter has no moving parts and therefore is not subject to hysteresis or dead band effects.

Overrange Protection
Pressure instruments should withstand the maximum operating pressures encountered. Under unusual conditions, such as thermal expansion, the instrument may
exceed its range. Most instruments can withstand overpressures up to 1.4 times their
maximum range. Instruments exposed to a vacuum should be selected to withstand
full vacuum. Certain pressure elements can withstand high overrange. Diaphragm
elements with capsules backed up by a metal housing have a high overrange
capacity, and many modern electronic pressure transmitters can withstand extreme
overpressure. Pressure limiting valves, or gage savers, block the inlet pressure at a
preset limit, but are rarely used.

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Fig. 400-1

400 Pressure Measurement

Motion-Balance Pressure Sensor

Fig. 400-2

Force-Balance Pressure Sensor

Pressure Element Materials


Pressure elements should be designed to minimize corrosion. Unless the process
fluid requires better corrosion resistance, pressure elements should be 316 stainless
steel (316 SS). For salt water or services where chloride stress corrosion is possible,
pressure elements should be Monel. Pressure elements for instrument air or sweet
water should be bronze. Most other process fluids require better corrosion resistance, for which 416 SS is usually acceptable. Consult a materials engineer
regarding highly corrosive services. See API RP 551, Section 4.2.10.

Connection Size
The process connection for all pressure instruments should be -inch male or
female National Pipe Thread (NPT). Receiver gages should have a -inch NPT
process connection.

412 Pressure Elements


Pressure instruments may use mechanical sensing elements such as Bourdon tubes,
bellows, or diaphragms. These elements are mechanically connected to an indicator, recorder, controller, or transmitter.
Electronic pressure transmitters, on the other hand, have sensing elements such as
resonant wires, strain gages, capacitors, and piezoelectric crystals that convert pressure into an electronic output signal. Specific techniques are often proprietary. The
Company has not established a preference.
Field pressure switches (see Section 417) may use Bourdon tube, bellows,
diaphragm, spring piston, or spring disk sensors. Spring disk pressure switches are
preferred for most applications.
The following descriptions and comparisons for different sensing methods are for
information only. In practice, the design engineer may have little or no say over the
type of element that the manufacturer has utilized for the selected instrument.
However, it may sometimes be necessary for a measurement to be performed that

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requires a specific type of sensing element. In this case it is important to know the
differences between various instruments.

Manometers
A manometer is a U-shaped tube filled with a liquid, usually mercury or water. A
differential pressure will cause the column on the high-pressure side to fall and the
column on the low-pressure side to rise. The value of the differential pressure equals
the difference in hydrostatic head between the two columns of liquid. Manometers
are used to indicate low pressures, such as furnace drafts, and to calibrate low-pressure instruments.

Bourdon Tubes
A Bourdon tube (Figure 400-3) is a curved metal tube closed at one end and fixed to
a pressure source at the other. Application of pressure at the fixed end results in
movement at the free end as the tube cross section deforms. Bourdon tubes come in
a C shape, spiral, or helix, depending on the pressure to be measured. The Bourdon
tube is the most commonly used element for pressure gages.

Bellows
A bellows pressure element expands when pressure is applied to the inside, actuating an indicator, transmitter or controller. Bellows elements are generally used in
pressure ranges from 0 to 10 inches H2O and from 0 to 10 psig, and for vacuum
ranges from 10 to 20 inches H2O. In pneumatic instruments, bellows usually operate
at approximately 3 to 15 psig.

Diaphragms
The diaphragm sensor is a thin flexible metal disk. Pressure applied to one side of
the disk causes a deflection that actuates the indicator, transmitter, or controller.
Diaphragm elements are used to measure very low pressures, and vacuums
from inch to 5 inches H2O. They are commonly used to measure furnace draft
pressures.

Resonant Wire Pressure Sensors


The resonant wire electronic pressure transmitter operates on the principle that a
taut wire vibrates at a natural frequency that varies with wire tension. Resonant wire
transmitters are accurate and stable. Ranges are 0 to 5 inches H2O and 0 to 6000
psig (Figure 400-4).

Strain Gage Pressure Sensors


Strain gage electronic pressure transmitters operate on the principle that metallic
conductors subject to strain exhibit a change in electrical resistance. The application of pressure bends the measuring element, and the resulting change in resistance
is converted to an output signal. Ranges are 0 to 30 inches H2O and 0 to 18,000
psig. Strain gages require regulated power supplies. They are very compact and
have a high speed of response.

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Fig. 400-3

400 Pressure Measurement

Three Types of Bourdon Tubes

(a) C SHAPE

(b) SPIRAL

(c) HELICAL

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Fig. 400-4

Instrumentation and Control Manual

Resonant Wire Pressure Transmitter (Courtesy of The Foxboro Company)

Capacitance Pressure Sensors


Capacitance pressure sensors operate on the principle that the change in capacitance of an elastic element is proportional to the applied pressure. Ranges are 0 to 3
inches H2O and 0 to 5000 psig. Capacitance pressure transmitters have good
linearity and frequency response.

Spring-piston Pressure Sensors


Spring-piston elements consist of a piston opposed by a spring. The application of
pressure moves the piston. The position of the piston opens or blocks instrument air
ports in the cylinder wall, changing the pneumatic output signal. These sensors are
used in pneumatic pressure switches, which are often called pressure pilots or stick
pilots. See Figure 400-5.

Spring-disk Pressure Sensors


The spring-disk pressure sensor (Figure 400-6) is used in pneumatic and electronic
pressure switches (see Section 417). The sensor is a convex metal spring disk
(Belleville spring). Pressure applied against the convex side gradually deflects the
disk until it snaps to a concave shape. When the pressure is released, the disk snaps
back to its original shape. The snap action is connected to an electrical or pneumatic switch. The switch usually includes a helical spring behind the disk for adjustment of the trip point. The switch contacts can be ordered to close or open at the set
pressure on either an increasing or decreasing pressure. Pressure switches may be
either field-adjustable or preset at the factory. This type of pressure switch is
dependable and has good repeatability.

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400 Pressure Measurement

Fig. 400-5

Pressure Pilot (Courtesy of the Cooper Cameron Corporation, owner of the


W-K-M trademark.)

Fig. 400-6

Spring-disk Pressure Switch (Courtesy of Custom Control Sensors, Inc.)

413 Pressure Gages


It is recommended that locally mounted pressure gages be installed at the following
locations to monitor the performance of equipment and pressure instruments:

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Pump and compressor discharges

Pump and compressor interstages

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Many pump and compressor suctions

Vessels and the vapor spaces of columns

Nonindicating pressure transmitters

The sensing side of each direct-operated pressure regulator and field pressure
controller

Each field pressure switch

Each field pressure recorder

Across filters

Furnace fuel oil, fuel gas, and atomizing steam branch headers

Each furnace, using a single draft gage manifolded to the convection section
inlet, bridgewall, and below the stack damper

Any application where local pressure indication is desirable, such as inlets of


production manifolds

Pressure Gage Specification


Pressure gages are available in a wide range of qualities and prices. Standard quality
pressure gages with blowout backs are acceptable. The Richmond Refinery has
standardized on stainless steel liquid-filled pressure gages, some of the other locations use a combination of stainless steel liquid filled and unfilled gages.

Rating
For most process applications, pressure gages with an accuracy grade 2A in accordance with ANSI B40.1, GaugesPressure Indicating, Dial Type, Elastic Element,
are acceptable. Grade 2A means the pressure gage is accurate to 0.5% of span.

Gage Construction
Pressure gages should have 4-inch dials, -inch gage connections, and stainless
steel movements (gages with 6-inch dials are also acceptable in most locations). The
case can be cast iron or cast aluminum with a blowout plug or plastic (fiberglassreinforced polypropylene or phenolic) material with a blowout back. The gage
connection should have wrench flats. The lens should be shatterproof glass. White
dials with black figures and letters are standard. Other colors and graphic designs
are available. Adjustment of the zero should be possible without removing the
pointer from its shaft.
All pressure gages should display the tube, tip, and socket material on the front dial.
The information should be imprinted by the manufacturer and should clearly
describe the materials.

Range
Pressure gage range should be selected so that the gage operates in the middle third
of the scale. Overrange and underrange travel stops should be provided.

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When the maximum scale reading is 1000 psig or higher, metal case gages should
have solid fronts separating the dial from the movement (this is standard with plastic
cases). Also, the Bourdon tube should be bored instead of drawn, and the connection between the Bourdon tube and the socket and tip should be threaded and backwelded.

Liquid-filled Gages
The cases of liquid-filled gages are filled with a viscous lubricating fluid. Such
gages maintain their accuracy much longer than conventional gages. They should be
used in pulsating or vibrating services, such as the discharges of reciprocating
pumps and compressors, and should be considered for other severe services. The fill
liquid should be glycerine for ambient temperatures above 0F and silicone oil for
ambient temperatures below 0F, or if the process fluid and glycerine are incompatible. Mineral oil (sometimes specified under the brand name Kaydol) is acceptable for services above 0F. Liquid-filled gages should be filled until only a trace of
a bubble is left in the face, to allow for thermal expansion and to show that the gage
case is filled. The maximum temperature for liquid-filled gages is 150F.

Receiver Gages
Receiver gages should have 4-inch diameter dials, bronze Bourdon tubes and
stems, and -inch NPT process connections. Local instrument air pressure gages on
control valves, pneumatic transmitters, and controllers should have 1-inch or
2-inch diameter dials. Receiver gages and instrument air pressure gages should be
rated Grade B in accordance with ANSI B40.1. Grade B pressure gages are accurate to 2%.

Instrument Air Pressure Gages


Instrument air pressure gages are usually installed in the following locations:

Each instrument air header (manifold)

Each instrument air supply regulator outlet (if the regulator does not have a
pressure gage)

Control valve diaphragm actuators (where there are no positioners)

Pressure Test Points


Pressure test points consisting of a process connection with a plugged processquality root valve should be provided on process equipment and piping at the
following locations:

Chevron Corporation

Inlet and outlet of packed vessels and columns

Indicating pressure transmitters, controllers, and recorders. The pressure test


point is the same as the calibration connection on the instrument manifold

Inlets and outlets (both shell and tube side) of all heat exchangers and reboilers

Inlet and outlet of each air cooler

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414 Field Pressure Recorders


Field pressure recorders should have weatherproof cases of fiberglass-reinforced
plastic or aluminum. Colored epoxy or baked vinyl is used to provide a textured
finish. If the case contains electrical components, it should meet the electrical classification requirements for the area. The pressure element should be suitable for the
process pressure and fluid.
The range should be selected so that the normal process pressure is in the middle
third of the chart. If suppressed-range pressure recorders are specified on critical
applications, such as compressor suction or discharge, a full-range pressure recorder
should also be provided. A dual-pen, dual-range recorder may be used instead of a
full-range recorder.
The process connection should be -inch female NPT. The chart should be
12 inches in diameter. The case should include a socket or yoke for mounting on a
2-inch pipe. The typical chart drive has a 7-day rotation and a clockwork drive with
an 8-day wind. Electric and pneumatic chart drives are also available.

415 Field Pneumatic Pressure Controllers


The field pneumatic pressure controller (pressure controller) compares the measured
process pressure to a setpoint and sends an output signal to a final control element
(control valve) which acts to hold the process pressure at the setpoint. Field pressure controllers are used when local control of pressure is required and the
following conditions hold:

It is not necessary to change the pressure setpoint from a central control house
It is not necessary to record the pressure from a central control house
It is not necessary to change the controller tuning from a central control house
The controlled pressure is not part of a cascade loop

Field pressure controllers may be either indicating controllers or recording controllers. Blind controllers are rarely used.

Specification of Field Pressure Controllers


Field pneumatic pressure controllers should have weatherproof cases of fiberglassreinforced plastic, or aluminum. Colored epoxy or baked vinyl is used to provide a
textured finish. If the case contains electrical components, it should meet the electrical classification requirements for the area. The pressure element should be suitable for the process pressure and fluid. The controller should include an indicator
for the process pressure and setpoint. The setpoint should be easily adjusted using a
knob either inside or outside the case, depending on the need to make adjustments.
The controller should operate on an instrument air pressure of 18 to 22 psig. The
output should be 3 to 15 psig. (Although some locations have safely used other
supply mediums such as natural gas, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, caution is
advised since some instrument components may be incompatible with the medium
selected. When available, instrument quality air is preferable.)

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The controller should include a two-position, bumpless, auto/manual switch that is


internally mounted to avoid accidental switching. The controller action should be
specified as either direct or reverse acting, and it should be possible to change the
action in the field. The controller should include supply and output pressure gages.
The process connection should be -inch female NPT. The case should include a
socket or yoke for mounting on a 2-inch pipe.

Control Mode
The control mode is normally selected from the following options:

On/off control. For alarms, protective devices, and startup and shutdown of
equipment

Proportional only control. For simple pressure control where small variations
from the setpoint are unimportant. The proportional band should be adjustable
at least from 0% to 200%

Proportional plus reset control. This is the usual control mode for field pressure controllers. The proportional band should be adjustable at least between
0% and 200%. For applications where the controller occasionally operates
above or below setpoint or in intermittent service, it should be specified to
include anti-reset windup

416 Pressure Transmitters


Process fluids should not be piped directly to a control building. Pressure transmitters permit the control, recording and indicating of pressure at a central location.

Electronic Pressure Transmitters


The electronic pressure transmitter is used to transmit a signal to a remote electronic receiver. The receiver may be a controller in a remote building, a remote
marshalling cabinet for numerous signals, or a remote terminal unit (RTU). Transmitters should be compatible with the remote control house instrumentation. Indicating transmitters should not be specified; they generally use Bourdon tube
pressure elements and motion-balance mechanisms, and are not as reliable as forcebalance transmitters.
An electronic pressure transmitter may be specified with a suppressed range to
allow for range and span adjustments without changing electronic or mechanical
components. Transmitters should include adjustable damping to smooth out the
noise from high frequency pressure transients. The accuracy of electronic transmitters has drastically improved since the introduction of smart transmitters. Accuracy should be within 0.25% of calibrated span for standard electronic transmitters
and 0.1% of calibrated span for smart transmitters. It is advisable to consult individual manufacturers specifications; for example, Rosemount gage-pressure transmitters have a span accuracy of 0.05% of span.
The transmitter signal may be digital or 4 to 20 milliamps DC. The transmitter
should be loop powered, which means that the operating voltage is carried on the

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same two wires that carry the output signal. Smart transmitters that operate on a
24-volt DC power supply are preferred. Some advantages of smart transmitters
include lower cost of ownership, improved diagnostic capabilities, ease of calibration and commissioning. The electronics enclosures for newer transmitters minimize the effects of radio frequency interference (RFI). In addition, much of the RFI
in the signal wiring can be eliminated by metal conduit.
Electronic pressure transmitters must be specified to meet the appropriate electrical
classification. Intrinsically safe transmitters must be specified as such and so labeled
by the manufacturer. Transmitters should be supplied with linear output meters and
with accessories for mounting on a 2-inch pipe.

Pneumatic Pressure Transmitters


Pneumatic pressure transmitters transmit pressure signals to remote pneumatic
receivers. Both blind and indicating transmitters are available. Blind transmitters are
preferred because they use force-balance mechanisms (See Section 411). Accuracy
should be within 0.5% of the calibrated span.
Pneumatic pressure transmitters should have weatherproof cases of fiberglass or
aluminum. The pressure element should be compatible with the process pressure
and fluid.
The transmitter should be designed to operate on an instrument air supply pressure
of 18 to 22 psig. The output pressure should be 3 to 15 psig. Output is typically
specified as direct acting, but reverse acting is an available option. The transmitter
should have supply and output pressure gages. The process connection should be
-inch female NPT. The case should include a socket or yoke for mounting on a
2-inch pipe.

Receiver Pressure Gages


A receiver pressure gage operates on the 3 to 15 psig pneumatic signal from a pneumatic transmitter. It provides a local indication of the transmitters performance.
The dial is specified to match the range of the transmitter.
All blind pneumatic transmitters except (in most cases) level transmitters should
have at least one receiver gage on the transmitted signal. The receiver gage should
be mounted at a location convenient for the operator. For instance, if a control valve
is associated with the transmitted variable, the gage should be readily visible from
the manual bypass valve for field manual control. For split-range instruments, a
gage should be visible from each bypass valve. A receiver gage is not required on
level transmitters if the gage glass is readily visible from the bypass valve. Indicating pressure transmitters should have receiver gages if the transmitter cannot be
easily read from the bypass valve.

417 Pressure Switches


Field pressure switches protect equipment and machinery from overpressure and
underpressure without reliance on a remote control house. Hermetically sealed

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switch contacts are used in many producing applications. They are usually electrical but can be pneumatic.

Electrical Pressure Switches


Electrical pressure switches provide on/off contact closures for use with equipment
or an alarm or shutdown system. They should have one of three standard case
designs, depending on the electrical classification where they are installed:

Explosionproof (NEMA 7)
Weather-resistant (NEMA 3 & 4)
General purpose (NEMA 1)

Electrical pressure switches should have snap-acting, dual, single pole double throw
(SPDT) or double pole double throw (DPDT) contacts. The contacts should be rated
to supply the operated device with a minimum of 10 amperes at 115 volts AC and
5 amperes at 28 volts DC. For potentially corrosive environments and for intrinsically safe systems, hermetically sealed switch contacts should be specified. The
engineer should study the switch specifications to verify that its ratings are compatible with the application. Switch contacts should be open in the alarmed condition.
Terminal blocks or terminal strips should be provided. Dead front or shrouded
terminal blocks are acceptable.
The electrical conduit connection should have a minimum diameter of inch. If the
switch contacts are handling milliamp signals, the contacts may be specified with a
gold or other conformal coating to minimize oxidation. This usually adds only about
20 dollars to the cost of the switch.
The pressure element may be a Bourdon tube, a bellows diaphragm, or a spring
disk. Spring disks are preferred if the application permits a relatively large dead
band (about 7% to 8% of the differential pressure range). Otherwise, specify
Bourdon tubes for set pressures above 100 psig and bellows diaphragms for set
pressures less than 100 psig. The pressure switch setpoint should be in the middle
third of the range. Proof pressure should be higher than the maximum process pressure.
Electrical pressure switches are available with either a fixed or an adjustable dead
band between the setpoint and the reactivation point (see Figure 400-7). Closedifferential switches are generally factory set at 0.5% to 1% of the span. On double
adjustment switches, both the set and reactivation points can be adjusted. The
minimum differential varies from 2% to 8% of the span. The type of switch depends
on the application.
Electrical pressure switches should have internally adjustable setpoints with calibrated scales. Dual control electrical pressure switches are available with two independent switches in the same housing.
Selection of the adjustable range for a specific installation should consider both the
setpoint actuation accuracy and the life factor. For greatest accuracy, the setpoint
should fall in the upper half of the range. For the most favorable component life, it

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Fig. 400-7

Instrumentation and Control Manual

Pressure Switch Dead Band

should be in the lower half. The usual compromise is to specify a setpoint in the
middle third of the range.

Pneumatic Pressure Switches


Pneumatic pressure switches are on/off pneumatic controls used to operate equipment, alarms, and shutdown systems. Pneumatic pressure switches are also called
pressure pilots and are of two basic types: stick pilots and Bourdon tube pilots.
Stick pilots are spring piston sensors with a three-way spool valve block-and-bleed
device. Spring and piston size is determined by the pressure range. They are used in
wellheads and flow lines in production fields because they are resistant to plugging
by solids. Stick pilots should be constructed of 316 stainless steel with Viton
O-rings. The trip point should have a repeatability of 3% of the set pressure or 5 psi,
whichever is least. The connection for the transmitted air signal should be -inch
NPT.
Bourdon tube pressure pilots are pressure switches with a 0% to 2% proportional
band to give on/off control. The range is determined by the Bourdon tube. They are
available in high switch point only, low only, and high/low configurations. Bourdon
tube pressure pilots are used in producing applications that are not subject to plugging by solids.

418 Draft Gages


Draft gages are low-pressure indicators or transmitters that are installed on process
furnaces to measure draft. To improve accuracy, a single draft gage is normally
piped to various locations on the furnace.

419 Diaphragm Seals


Diaphragm seals, also called chemical seals or gage protectors, use a thin flexible
diaphragm to isolate the pressure element from the process fluid (see Figure 400-8).
The space between the diaphragm and the sensing element is filled with a suitable

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noncompressible liquid. Diaphragm seals can be an integral part of the pressure


instrument or be connected by capillary tubing. Capillary tubes up to 25 feet long
Fig. 400-8

Typical Diaphragm Seal (Used with permission. Ashcroft is a registered


trademark of Dresser Industries Instrument Division.)

are available. In vibrating service, diaphragm seals should be remotely mounted and
have armored stainless steel capillary tubing. Diaphragm seals have the following
applications:

Steam

Water, if the leads are subject to freezing

Process streams that are corrosive to the pressure element

Dirty process streams containing solids that can plug the pressure element

Viscous process streams that can solidify in the pressure system

High-temperature process streams that exceed the maximum temperature rating


of the instrument

Diaphragm seals can be used at temperatures ranging from -40F to 1500F. They
can have either a -inch or 1-inch NPT screwed or flanged process connection,
depending on the piping classification. The bottom housing and the diaphragm
material should be 316SS or better and should be compatible with the process fluid.
Filling fluid identification or maximum temperature limit should be stamped on the
body or nameplate. The diaphragm should be welded or attached to the body so that
fluid will not escape when the diaphragm is disassembled.

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420 Installation of Pressure Instruments


421 General RequirementsField Pressure Instruments
Field pressure instruments may be affected by ambient conditions such as humidity,
dust, and airborne corrosive vapors and mists. Temperature extremes will also affect
performance. For example, a pneumatic pressure transmitter may show as much as a
3% zero shift in span for a 75F rise or fall in ambient temperature.

Accessibility and Visibility


Pressure instruments should be located so that they are easy to observe, calibrate,
and repair. Figure 400-9 gives the access recommendations for specific kinds of
pressure instruments.
Fig. 400-9

Access Requirements for Pressure Instruments


Acceptable Means of Access
Platform or
Grade

Stepladder or
Rolling Platform(1)

Permanent
Ladder

Pressure Transmitter

Yes

Yes

No

Field Pressure Controller

Yes

No

No

Field Pressure Recorder

Yes

No

No

Field Pressure Switch

Yes

No

No

Field Pressure Gage

Yes

Yes

Yes

Instrument Type

(1) Provided the instrument is less than 10 feet above grade and the site is safe for a ladder or platform.

Pulsation and Vibration


Pressure instruments for lines or equipment such as reciprocating compressors,
high-pressure pumps, and high-pressure drop control valves whose vibration can
impair instrument performance or cause connection failure should be remotely
mounted, with tubing or a diaphragm seal and capillary between the instrument and
the root valve. See API RP 551, Sections 4.2.5 and 4.2.6.

Heat Tracing, Purges, and Seals


Pressure leads handling fluids that may solidify or become viscous enough to impair
measurement should be heat traced. Alternatively, the process fluid can be isolated
from the pressure instrument by diaphragm seals, seal pots, flowing seals, or other
means. Diaphragm seals and heat tracing up to the seal are preferred. If heat tracing
is provided, the viscosity of the process fluid in the leads to pressure instruments
should be maintained at 4000 centistokes or less at the plant minimum recorded
ambient temperature. The process fluid should not be traced at a temperature higher
than the maximum working temperature of the pressure instrument.

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For process leads, pretraced, preinsulated tubing bundles, heated either by steam or
electricity, are preferred. In liquid service where plugging is likely (i.e., heavy fuel
oil) pressure taps should be located in the top half of the pipe.

Siphons
Siphons, or pigtails, should be provided for vapor services above 150F and for
steam service to prevent the condensing vapor from overheating the instrument. In
liquid service, if the pressure gage is mounted above the pressure tap, a siphon
should be provided when the process fluid temperature exceeds 300F. See
Standard Drawings GB-J1143, GB-J1146, and GB-J1147. See also API RP 551,
Section 4.3.4.

Tubing
AP RP 551 recommends -inch or 3/8-inch O.D. tubing to connect remote-mounted
pressure instruments to process connection block valves. For manufacturing applications, -inch O.D. stainless steel tubing should be used. For production applications, many facilities have standardized on 3/8-inch O.D. stainless steel tubing.

Pressure Instrument Piping


Root valves should use -inch process connections and -inch process valves to
the process tap. Normally, gate valves are used, but the valve should match the
piping classification. Do not install valves that can trap pressure without bleedoff
when the pressure gage or switch has been removed.

Restriction Fittings
Restriction fittings are installed at the root valve to minimize the release of process
fluid should the instrument or instrument tubing fail. They are subject to plugging
and are generally used only in toxic (H 2S), corrosive (NH3), hazardous (LPG) and
clean refinery stock services. Remotely mounted pressure instruments should
include a restriction fitting screwed into the outboard end of the root valve. The
fitting should be a special blind tubing fitting with a small-diameter drilled hole.
(See Standard Drawing GB-J1223). Pressure instruments mounted directly on the
root valve should include a restriction adapter screwed into the outboard end of the
root valve. The adapter should be made of steel barstock with NPT threads at both
ends.

422 Specific RequirementsPressure Instruments


Pressure Gages
Direct-mounted pressure gages may be installed with a -inch root valve that meets
the piping standards or with proprietary pressure gage block and bleed valves or
approved equivalent. See Standard Drawings GB-J1143 and GB-J1144.
Remote-mounted pressure gages should be installed with a -inch root valve that
meets the piping standards. See Standard Drawing GB-J1146.

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Field Pressure Recorders, Controllers, and Transmitters


Field pressure recorders, controllers, and transmitters should be piped in parallel
with a process pressure gage and should include a three-valve manifold to facilitate
field calibration. See Standard Drawings GB-J1145, GB-J1146, and GB-J1147.

Pressure Switches
Facilities for testing alarms and shutdowns should include but not be limited to:

Field High Pressure Switch. A pressure gage on the switch process lead and a
valved connection should be provided to permit testing with a portable pressure source. See Standard Drawings GB-J1146 and GB-J1147

Field Low Pressure Switch. A pressure gage on the switch process lead and an
atmospheric bleed connection should be provided to bleed off pressure and
permit testing against the pressure gage reading. In LPG, high H2S, and other
hazardous services, the bleed should be piped to the relief system or another
safe place. See Standard Drawings GB-J1146 and GB-J1147

Draft Gages
See Standard Drawing GB-J1148 for typical installation.

Automatic Pump Starters


The process connection for a pressure-operated automatic pump starter (APS)
should be made between the prime pump unit discharge and its check valve (first
valve).
The APS pressure pilot should be located at the process connection if the steam
APS control valve is visible from that location. If the steam valve is not visible from
the process connection, the pressure pilot should be located where the steam valve
can be observed.
Steam-driven APS pumps are used in refineries where the process must keep
running through power failures. Most other plants use a pressure switch on the
common discharge line and select between the main pump and a standby motordriven pump with HOA (Hand-Off-Auto) switches.

430 Model Specifications, Standard Drawings, and Engineering Forms


431 Standard Drawings

July 2000

GB-J1143

Instrument Installation Details


Pressure Gage Installation" Root Valve

GB-J1144

Instrument Installation Details


Pressure Gage with Diaph. Seal" Root Valve

GB-J1146

Instrument Installation Details


Remote Mounted Pressure InstrumentWith Pressure Gage

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GB-J1147

Instrument Installation Details


Two Remote Mounted Pressure Instruments with Pressure Gage

GB-J1148

Instrument Installation Details


Draft Gage

GB-J1223

Details for Gage Adapters and Restriction Fittings

440 References
The Company employs the following industry codes, standards, and recommended
practices for the design, specification, and installation of pressure instrumentation:

Chevron Corporation

1.

API Recommended Practice 551, Process Measurement Instrumentation,


American Petroleum Institute.

2.

ISA S20, Specification Forms for Process Measurement and Control Instruments, Primary Elements and Control Valves, Instrument Society of America,
1981.

3.

Pressure Instrumentation, Production Facility Bookware Series, Paragon Engineering Services, Inc., 1987.

4.

ANSI B40.1, GaugesPressure Indicating, Dial Type, Elastic Element.

5.

PIP PCCPR001, Pressure Measurement Criteria.

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Abstract
The term flow measurement covers volume and mass measurement for liquid,
gas, and vapor (steam). Many new flow measurement technologies have been developed in the past 25 years, and the accuracy of traditional flow measurement devices
has improved. This section is primarily concerned with plant, or process, flow
measurement. Custody transfer flow measurement is briefly discussed, with reference to the appropriate chapters of the API Manual of Petroleum Measurement
Standards (MPMS) and to the standards of the American Gas Association (AGA).
The section gives technical information for the selection, application, and installation of flow measurement devices, or flow meters, that are commonly used in the
petroleum and petrochemical industries. Operating principles, performance characteristics, and applications and limitations are discussed.

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Contents

Page

510

Introduction

500-3

520

Selection of Flow Measurement Devices

500-3

521

Differential Pressure (Head-type) Flow Meters

522

Positive Displacement (PD) Meters

523

Turbine Flow Meters

524

Magnetic Flow Meters

525

Ultrasonic Flow Meters

526

Variable Area Meters (Rotameters)

527

Vortex Shedding Flow Meters and Swirl Flow Meters

528

Mass Flow Meters

530

Other Flow Measurement Devices

531

Open Channel and Partially Filled Pipe Flow Measurement

532

Flare Flow Meters

533

Two-Phase and Multi-Phase Flow Metering

534

Other Flow Meters

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540

Meter Provers

500-102

541

Proving Liquid Flow Meters

542

Proving Gas Flow Meters

543

Proving Mass Flow Meters

550

Flow Switches

560

Model Specifications, Standard Drawings, and Engineering Forms


500-104

561

Model Specifications

562

Standard Drawings

570

References

571

Included Materials

572

Other References

500-103

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510 Introduction
In this section, all of the flow meters covered in API Recommended Practice 551,
Section 2, Flow (API RP 551) are discussed, with additional information supplemental to the RP.
As stated in its scope, API RP 551 is primarily concerned with refinery process flow
measurement. It is, however, also applicable to gas and chemical plants and to other
production facilities. For entry level engineers and those with limited experience
with flow meters, API RP 551 is a good document to start with. It provides a basic,
unbiased view on commonly used flow meters. A copy of API RP 551 is included in
Volume 2 of this manual.

520 Selection of Flow Measurement Devices


Once the need for flow measurement and the location for a flow meter have been
determined, the first question usually is what type of device should be used. The
first consideration in selecting a suitable flow measurement device is the service, or
the type of fluid for which the flow meter will be used.
Figure 500-1 is a chart for preliminary selection of flow meters based on their
intended service. Keep in mind that there are often exceptions.
Figure 500-2 provides a quick comparison of the main types of flow meters on the
basis of typical performance criteria, design conditions, and cost of equipment.
Each of the flow meters listed in Figures 500-1 and 500-2 will be discussed in more
detail below.
Once a flow meter is selected on the basis of the service, other considerations are as
follows:

Type of fluid to be handled


Process conditions under which the flow meter will be operating
Performance requirements
Electrical area classification and safety
Installation conditions and maintenance requirements
Economics

Type of Fluid To Be Handled


Characterize the fluid: Is it liquid, gas or steam, or two-phase? Clean, dirty, or a
slurry? Corrosive or noncorrosive?
For steam flow metering, Appendix D describes, in a flowchart, the process of
selecting the right type of flow meter.

Process Conditions
Each of the following criteria should be considered. Note that the maximum value
for a particular criterion or the extreme process conditions are often used as the
design conditions.

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Fig. 500-1

500-4

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Flow Meter Selection Table

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Fig. 500-2

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Normal and extreme operating conditions

Minimum and maximum flow rates

Physical properties of the fluid, such as viscosity and entrained solid particles
or air

Pressure and temperature

Dynamic properties of the fluid, characterized by the Reynolds number (Re)

The accuracies of many flow meters can be affected by the velocity profile of the
fluid, which is measured by a nondimensional number called Reynolds number
(Re). Reynolds number is the ratio of the inertia forces to viscous forces, and is
defined by the following equation:
VD
Re = -----------
(Eq. 500-1)

where:
= density of the fluid
V = average velocity of the fluid
D = inside diameter of the pipe
= absolute viscosity of the fluid.
Up to approximately Reynolds number 2,000, the flow is called laminar, viscous, or
streamline flow. The flow profile in this regime is not affected by the wall roughness of the pipe. Above 10,000, the flow is called fully developed turbulent. The
region between 2,000 and 10,000, where the flow is shifting from laminar to turbulent, is not clearly defined and is called transitional. Within the transition regime,
the flow profile exhibits a flat parabolic geometry and is called plug flow.
Generally speaking, the velocity profile in the transition between laminar and turbulent flow regimes can be unstable and difficult to predict, as the flow may exhibit
properties of both laminar and turbulent regions or oscillate between them.

Performance Requirements
The performance of a flow meter is often described by its accuracy, linearity, repeatability, flow range (rangeability), and resolution. These are defined below.
Accuracy. Accuracy is a measure of how close to true or actual flow the instrument
indication may be. It is often expressed as a percent of full scale (FS) and/or of
reading (rate). Accuracy at a particular flow rate may be an order of magnitude
better than rated flow range accuracy. Accuracy is specified for a given turn-down,
or flow range. Generally speaking, the accuracy of a flow meter decreases with
increased turn-down.

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500 Flow Measurement

Unless a flow meter can be proved by another device, such as a master meter or a
prover traceable to the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), now called National
Institute of Standards Technology (NIST), accuracy is often difficult to prove.
Furthermore, improper installation may adversely affect the accuracy of a flow
meter.
The term accuracy may not always appear on a vendors performance specification sheet but may be expressed as repeatability and linearity. These two terms
are discussed below.
Repeatability. Repeatability is the ability of a flow meter to indicate the same
reading each time the same flow conditions exist. It is usually expressed as percent
of full scale. Often, repeatability in a vendors specifications is based on shop tests
conducted by the manufacturer of the flow meter within its recommended range of
flow, temperature, pressure, and viscosity for a given type of fluid (e.g., air, water,
or other solvent).
Linearity. Linearity measures how linear the output signal is expected to be in
proportion to flow rate. The output signal from a flow meter may or may not be
linear depending upon the operating principle of the flow meter used. For example,
the output signal of the primary element of a differential pressure flow meter is not
linear to flow rate. Rather, the square root of the differential pressure produced by
the meter is linearly proportional to the flow rate. Therefore, the raw signal
produced by a differential pressure flow meter has to be conditioned (scaled) by
another device to provide a linear signal.
Flow Range (Rangeability). The maximum and minimum flow rates must be determined. The ratio of these two rates, often called turndown, flow range, or
rangeability of a flow meter, depends upon the operating principle of the flow
meters primary element. The flow range of a particular flow meter may make it
unsuitable for some applications.
Resolution. Resolution is a measure of the smallest increment of total flow that can
be individually recognized.

Installation Conditions and Maintenance Requirements


Consideration must be given to how the flow meter and accessories are to be
installed and what is required for maintenance and calibration. Availability of parts
and vendor support are also factors. Sometimes, even if a flow meter meets all the
process conditions and performance requirements, it may not be suitable for a
particular job because of difficulty of installation (e.g., requiring plant shutdown or
too much space) or maintenance.
Finally, the flow meter and its installation must be acceptable to operators and must
be maintainable, preferably by local personnel.

Electrical Area Classification and Safety


The meter and accessories must be checked for proper electrical area classification
in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC), API Recommended Practice (RP) 500, and Section 300 of the Electrical Manual, as appropriate.

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In addition, personnel safety should be considered for proper installation, especially


in high temperature and high pressure applications.

Economics
As shown in Figure 500-2, the cost of a flow meter ranges from a few hundred to
tens of thousands of dollars. Sometimes, several types of flow meters could do the
jobat significantly different costs.
Installation is often a major portion of the total installed cost. Installation costs can
vary significantly depending upon the flow meter selected, its location, installation
method, auxiliary components needed, and utility requirements.
Operating cost is another consideration. The energy cost resulting from permanent
pressure loss is often significant. For example, pumping costs could be significant in
larger sizes of differential pressure flow meters with higher permanent head loss.
Where large meters are needed, therefore, the selection of a more expensive flow
meter that has a lower permanent pressure loss coefficient or that is obstructionless
might be justified.
It is difficult to identify all the factors that an engineer must consider when selecting
a flow meter for a particular application. In some situations, factors which are
usually of minor significance may become relatively important.
For custody transfer, the contract often specifies the type of flow meter, the
minimum accuracy specifications, piping configuration, auxiliary equipment, and
meter proving. Consult the API Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards,
Chevron Petroleum Measurement Manual, Part C, and Company specialists for this
special application.

521 Differential Pressure (Head-type) Flow Meters


Many types of differential pressure (d/p) flowmeters are available. Some of the
commonly used types (including orifice plates, flow nozzles, venturi tubes, flow
tubes, pitot tubes and pitot venturi tubes) are described in API RP 551, included in
Volume 2 of this manual.
Outside the U.S.A., ISO 5167 Standard is widely used for orifice meters. It also
covers other types of d/p flow meters.
This section gives information about these flow meters and describes three additional d/p flow meters: annubar, elbow, and wedge.
When selecting d/p flow meters, note that the rangeability of the differential pressure transmitter is limited to approximately 10:1, while the flow turndown is usually
limited to 3.5:1 due to the nature of a squared output. Differential pressure transmitters with different calibrated ranges can be stacked or installed in parallel across
the orifice plate to achieve flow turndowns of 10:1 or better, when the orifice plate
is operated within its operating constraints. However, care must be taken in
measuring fractional inches of water column in developed differential.

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Piping requirements (meter runs) are very important for the accuracy and repeatability of differential pressure flow meters.

Orifice Meters
Orifice meters are perhaps the most commonly used d/p flow meters in refineries,
production facilities, and chemical plants. The accuracy of an orifice meter depends
on many factors, such as fluids, upstream piping configuration, Beta ratio (d/D, or
, the ratio of orifice bore to pipe size), Reynolds number limits, and correction
factors used. The overall accuracy ranges from 0.5 to 5%.
The overall accuracy of orifice metering can be affected by:

improper meter run design (i.e. insufficient flow conditioning or straight run of
pipe)

incorrect installation of the plate (e.g., backward) and sensing line (e.g., trapped
vapor in liquid service)

rough meter tube surface

problems of the plate (as described later)

high or low beta ratio

pulsating flow

liquid entrained in gas flow

transmitter problems (e.g., drift)

inadequate secondary element (e.g., should it be a chart recorder or an electronic flow computer)

gas sampling and analysis for specific gravity measurement used in the
calculation

the inherent accuracy limitation (uncertainty) of the orifice discharge coefficient in the calculation. The orifice coefficients used in the industry standards
were developed based on limited lab and field test data.

Improperly designed and installed orifice meter systems tend to under-measure flow
because of the inherent characteristics and imperfections of the current industry
standards. Orifice meters tend to over-measure flow in a pulsating-flow situation.
Orifice Bore. The standard thin plate orifice comes in three basic throat configurations: concentric, eccentric, and segmental (Figure 500-3).
The concentric throat design is the most common. Used for clean fluids in one fluid
state, it is ideally suited for gas, steam, water, air, and clean liquid hydrocarbon and
chemicals.
The eccentric throat design is used primarily for liquids that contain gas. The eccentrically located orifice bore allows free passage of gas.

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Fig. 500-3

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Orifice Bores

Segmental throat design is used when liquids containing solids are measured. The
opening allows for free passage of the solids because the bottom of the segment is
tangential to the lower circumference of the pipe.
The accuracy of concentric orifice meters is generally better than that of the eccentric and segmental meters.
Edge. Two orifice edge configurations are in general use in the United States. The
square-edge type is commonly used with gas, steam, and low viscosity liquids. The
edge is sharp and can be straight or bevelled. The quadrant-edge type is a better
choice for lower Reynolds numbers (i.e., below 10,000). It is recommended if the
viscosity of the liquid is above 10 centipoise (Cp) but does not exceed 50 Cp.
The conical-edge type is similar to the quadrant-edge type but is not commonly used
in the United States.
As a rule-of-thumb, Reynolds (Re) number constraints are as follows:
Re Constraint
Concentric (under 2 in.)

1000+

(2 in. and over)

5000 d+

Conical

250 < RD <200,000

Eccentric

10,000 1,000,000

Integral

1000 d/D

Quadrant

250 3200 < RD <60,000 280,000

Segmental

10,000 1,000,000

The document entitled Orifice Design Calculations by Mainframe Computer,


included as Appendix A, in Volume 1, Part I, of this manual, provides more information on applications and limitations of both designs.
Orifice Plate Specifications. Orifice plate specifications are covered in API
MPMS, Chapter 14.3/AGA Report No. 3 (1992) and include for example, the
following:

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Plate thickness: The minimum and maximum thickness depend on plate size,
but 1/8 inch is the minimum.

Plate flatness tolerance: The maximum departure from flatness varies with
orifice diameter (d) and size (D). It may be calculated as 0.005(D-d).

Roughness: The orifice plate surface roughness should not exceed 50 microinches.

Upstream edge: The square-edge (sharp-edge) type should not show a beam of
light when checked with an orifice edge gage. Alternately, the square-edge type
should not reflect a beam of light when reviewed without magnification. The
orifice should not have a burred or feathered edge. Nicks on the edge can be
expected to increase the measurement uncertainty.

Centering: The concentric orifice should have the bore centered within 3% of
the inside diameter of both the upstream and downstream sections of the orifice
meter run.

Beta ratio: A recent study by Chevron Petroleum Technology Company (CPTC)


suggests that the optimal beta ratio is 0.4 to 0.55 for natural gas. Beta ratios
departing from this range increase measurement uncertainty.

Bent orifice plate: According to a CPTC study, the measurement error of a bent
orifice plate in gas service was up to 4.5% lower than the true flow rate. A bent
orifice plate may be caused by plant upset, sudden valve opening or closure, or
other reasons.
Materials. Orifice plates are made of zero-corrosion materials, usually stainless
steels (304SS, 316SS), monel, or other alloys, depending on the service.
Pressure Tap Locations. The choice of pressure tap locations is dependent on
many factors, such as flow conditions, pipe size, cost, and accuracy required.
Orifice taps may be located as flange taps, corner taps, radius taps, vena contracta
taps, and pipe taps. Their applications are discussed in Appendix A.
Piping Specifications. API Standard 2530/AGA Report No. 3, ASME Standard
MFC-3M-1984, and ISO 5167 specify meter run requirements for orifice meters
used in custody transfers. Plant-type orifice meters that do not require 0.5 to
1.5% accuracy may require less stringent flow conditioning.
The minimum length of upstream and downstream meter runs varies depending on
piping configurations and beta ratio. Use of flow straightening vanes reduces the
meter run length requirement. Consult the industry standards (API/AGA and
ISO/ASME) for details.
Secondary Elements. Secondary elements are required to perform one or more of
the following functions:

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Convert the differential pressure measurement to electrical or digital output


signal

Transmit the signal to a remote readout

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Record the signal

For higher accuracy, flow computers may be justified, especially when dealing with
large volumes.
Specifying and Sizing. Copies of the ISA S20 Specification Forms with instructions for specifying orifice meters and secondary elements are provided in Volume 2
of this manual.
Sizing can be accomplished by any of the following three methods:
1.

By manual calculationMethods of manual sizing are given in Appendix B,


Volume I, Part I, of this manual. Understanding the manual sizing methods will
give the engineer a better sense of what the computer programs are doing.

2.

By consulting vendorsSome vendors may size an orifice meter for you;


some will charge a fee while others will not. If sizing is done by the user, ask
vendors to confirm the calculation.

3.

By computerA mainframe computer program called ORIFICE is available. The users manual, Orifice Design Calculations by Mainframe
Computer, is included as Appendix A in Volume 1, Part I, of this manual.
Users can run the calculations in two ways:

Through VM mainframe computer program ORIFICE. The logon procedure is described in Appendix A.
Through Plant Equipment Information System (PEIS), which is used by
some Refining locations in Chevron1.
A number of PC-based (personal computer) orifice design calculations - both
inside and outside Chevron - have been developed and some are being used.
For example,

The Orifice program by Pascagoula refinery as part of the plant meter database. The program was written based on the ISO/Miller equations as used
in the mainframe program, and it also includes other calculations
TechData (Kyle)
ISAs FLOWEL by Kenonics Controls Ltd.
Gulf Publishings INSTRUCALC

These programs are in general suitable for plant orifice meter design calculations. Since it is not practical to keep track the accuracy of various PC-based
orifice programs on a continuous basis, the following criteria may be helpful to
evaluate the accuracy of a new PC-based orifice calculation.
If a new PC-based orifice program is based on ISO 5167/ASME-MFC 3M,
it can be tested to determine if the calculations and implementation are accurate and consistent with the ISO/ASME equations by comparing the results
from the mainframe ORIFICE program.
1.

PEIS will be replaced by Meridium system in 1996 as part of the implementation of the Chevron AFIS.

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In general, the following criteria can be used to evaluate the calculations by a


new PC-based orifice program to determine if it is adequately accurate for plant
operations:
a.

Multiple test cases should be included covering normal and worst situations (e.g., low Re, small pipe sizenear the limits of the equations in the
industry standard).

b.

If the PC-based program is supposed to be based on ISO-ASME/Miller


equations, the difference between the orifice discharge coefficients calculated by the PC-based program and by the mainframe ORIFICE program
should be within 0.1%, and the difference on flow rates within 0.15%.

c.

If the PC-based program is supposed to be based on the API MPMS,


chapter 14.3/AGA-3 (1992) equations, the orifice discharge coefficients
calculated by the PC-based program and by the GAZ program (for gas
flow) should be within 0.1% and the difference on flow rates within
0.15%.

Note For custody transfer gas flow calculations, the GAZ program developed by
CPTC follows the equations in the current API Manual of Petroleum Measurement
Standards (MPMS), Chapter 14.3 (and AGA 3). It can be used for custody transfer
orifice calculations. The GAZ calculations can also be used to verify calculations by
a gas supplier or buyer, or the calculations by commercially available electronic
flow computers.
Appendix A in Volume I, Part I of this manual provides test cases with results
calculated by the mainframe VM ORIFICE program, for users who want to test
their new PC-based programs.
Integral Orifice. An orifice meter comprises an orifice installed integrally with a
differential pressure transmitter (Figure 500-4). Although it provides for a compact
installation, the overall accuracy is lower: 2% to 5%.
Fig. 500-4

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Integral Orifice Assembly (Courtesy of the Foxboro Company)

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Integral orifices are used for 1 inch, 1 inch and inch pipe and will work on the
same fluids as standard orifice assemblies. Care must be taken when using orifices
under 0.125 inch bore; 0.125 inch and smaller bored orifices are vulnerable to plugging or dirty fluids.
At present, no API, ASME, or ISO standards for integral orifice are available.

V-Cone Meters
Like an orifice meter, a V-Cone meter is a differential type meter based on the principle of correlating the observed pressure drop due to an obstruction in the line to
the volumetric flow rate. As the name implies, the obstruction is a V-shaped cone
hanging in the center of the pipe (Figure 500-5). The size of the central V-Cone
determines the beta ratio of the meter which is so defined as to have the same
opening area as a same-size orifice meter at the same beta ratio.
Fig. 500-5

Cutaway Drawing of V-Cone Differential Pressure Flow Meter (Courtesy of


McCrometer)

Discharge Coefficient. While the discharge coefficient of an orifice meter (which is


approximately 0.6) is calculated by an elaborate equation based on various parameters about the meter and the fluid properties, the discharge coefficient of a V-Cone
meter (which is approximately 0.85) is usually supplied by the manufacturer based
on factory calibration.
Performance. One manufacturer claims a 0.5% accuracy of reading for the
primary element. Depending on secondary instrumentation, possible V-Cone meter
system accuracy ranges from 1% to 2%. The V-Cone primary element exhibits
repeatability to 0.1% or better. The turndown of the V-Cone meter is claimed to be
15 to 1exceeding the traditional differential head type meters.
The V-Cone meter is not significantly affected by non-ideal flow conditions. This is
in contrast to orifice meters which are known to be sensitive to non-ideal flow
conditions that are usually caused by upstream elbows, valves, and other fittings.
Tests conducted at CPTC in 1995 have showed that the V-Cone flow rate measure

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ments are within 0.5% of the no-swirl baseline measurement even in highly swirling
flow (e.g., swirl angles up to 40 degrees).
Applications. Since their accuracy is not compromised by short pipe lengths
between the disturbances (elbows, valves, etc.), V-cone meters may find process
measurement applications at locations where long meter runs are not available due
to space limitation, for example, on platforms and congested process plants. On an
offshore platform, with shorter pipes, the space and weight requirement of a
metering system can be reduced. This is a very important consideration for offshore
platform construction and maintenance. The cramped platform deck area precludes
long straight pipes to condition the gas flow before being measured by the traditional orifice meters.

Flow Nozzles
The ASME Flow Nozzles are the most commonly used. The standard published by
the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), ASME MFC-3M-1984,
Measurement of Fluid Flow in Pipes Using Orifice, Nozzle, and Venturi, covers
the following three types of ASME Flow Nozzles.

ASME high beta ratio nozzle: for beta between 0.50 and 0.80
ASME low beta ratio nozzle: for beta between 0.20 and 0.50
ASME throat tap flow nozzle: for beta between 0.25 and 0.50

These flow nozzles, shown in Figure 500-6, are elliptical-inlet, long-radius, wall-tap
style nozzles.
Another standard flow nozzle is the ISA 1932 type, which is widely used in Europe
but uncommon in the U.S. This type of flow nozzle is described in the ISO Standard 5167. It is not covered in the ASME standard or in this manual.
Applications and Limitations. Flow nozzles are generally used in steam (vapor) at
high pipeline velocities (over 100 feet per second) as well as in water and light
slurry. They are selected for these applications because their rigidity makes them
more stable at higher temperatures and velocities than orifices.
A special type of flow nozzle, the critical flow nozzle, is used to operate at critical
(choked or sonic) flow for flow limiting or as a secondary flow standard, for
example, in proving natural gas flow meters.
When a flow nozzle and a square-edge orifice are sized to create the same differential at the same flow rate, the pressure loss of both is approximately the same.
Performance Characteristics. Properly installed and calibrated flow nozzles are
nearly equal in accuracy to sharp-edge orifices. As with orifice meters, a major
factor affecting accuracy of flow nozzles is the uncertainty of the discharge coefficient. Typically, this uncertainty is 2.0% for the high beta ratio and low beta ratio
nozzles with wall taps. For ASME throat tap flow nozzles, consult ASME Performance Test Codes (PTC) 6 and 19.5 for more information.
Sizing. The procedure for sizing a flow nozzle is similar to that for sizing an orifice
meter. The ASME flow nozzle discharge coefficient for wall taps is given in the

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ASME Nozzles (From ASME: Std. MFC-3M-1984, Measurement of Fluid Flow in Pipes Using Orifice, Nozzle, and Venturi. Courtesy of ASME.

500 Flow Measurement

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Fig. 500-6

500-16
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standard. The discharge coefficient of an ASME flow nozzle with throat taps is
given in the ASME Performance Test Codes.
Usually, major suppliers can either size the flow nozzle or verify your calculations.
Installation. A flow nozzle can be mounted between two piping flanges, or welded
in the pipe, or installed with the curved nozzle inlet facing upstream in a section of
internally bored pipe. Figure 500-7 shows a typical type of mounting. Tap requirements are similar to those for orifice meters.
Fig. 500-7

A Typical Flow Section with Flange-Type Flow Nozzle (Courtesy of Badger


Meters, Inc.)

Piping Requirements. Like an orifice meter, a flow nozzle requires adequate


straight pipes (meter runs) to achieve the best accuracy. Figure 500-8, from
ASME Fluid Meters (1971), presents the piping requirements for orifice, flow
nozzles, and venturi tubes (discussed below).

Venturi Tubes
The most commonly used venturi tubes are of the ASME classical or Herschel style
(Figure 500-9). Venturi tubes are used primarily in low static line pressure applications where high pressure recovery is important. They may be used in air, steam,
water, gas, chemical, and light slurry.
The long-term permanent head loss is typically between 10 to 14% of the measured
differential. Figure 500-10 compares the overall pressure loss through several
primary elements.
Piping Requirements. Generally, a venturi tube requires about one-half of the
upstream and downstream runs of an orifice meter (Figure 500-8). Figure 500-11
presents information on meter run requirements, reprinted from the ASME Fluid
Meters publication (1971).
The accuracy of a venturi tube is nearly equal to that of a thin plate orifice meter.
For pipe Reynolds numbers greater than 100,000, discharge coefficients for the

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Fig. 500-8

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Instrumentation and Control Manual

Piping Requirements for Orifices, Flow Nozzles, and Venturi Tubes (From ASME Fluid Meters, 1971.
Courtesy of ASME.) (1 of 2)

500-18

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Fig. 500-8

500 Flow Measurement

Piping Requirements for Orifices, Flow Nozzles, and Venturi Tubes (From ASME Fluid Meters, 1971.
Courtesy of ASME.) (2 of 2)

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ASME Venturi Tube (From ASME Fluid Meters, 1971, Piping Requirements for Venturi Tubes. Courtesy of ASME.)

500 Flow Measurement

July 1999

Fig. 500-9

500-20
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Fig. 500-10 Pressure Loss vs. Beta Ratio (From ASME


Fluid Meters, 1971, Courtesy of ASME.)

500 Flow Measurement

Fig. 500-11 Piping Requirements for Venturi Tubes


(From ASME Fluid Meters, 1971, Courtesy of
ASME.)

venturi tubes are constant and predictable to within 0.5% to 2%, depending on
design.
Venturi tubes can be sized using the ASME Standard MFC-3M-1984, or ISO Standard 5167. The discharge coefficient can be calculated if the following limitations
are not exceeded:

Size: 4 to 48 inches. Smaller sizes (down to 2 inches) or larger sizes (up to 84


inches) are also commercially available.

Beta ratio (d/D): between 0.40 and 0.75.

Reynolds number (RD, based on pipe diameter): between 200,000 and


6,000,000.

Usually, major suppliers can size venturi tubes or verify calculations.


For more information on sizing, construction, and installation, consult ASME Fluid
Meters (1971) and ASME Standard MFC-3M-1984.

Pitot Tubes and Annubars


These devices are used for larger pipe sizes when the fluid (gas, steam or liquid) is
clean.
For a pitot tube, the difference between the total (stagnation) pressure at the tip of
the pitot tube and the static pressure outside the pitot tube follows the square-root
relationship. Flow rates are thus measured.

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An annubar is a multiple-ported pitot tube that attempts to provide the average


velocity.
A typical pitot tube is shown in Figure 500-12. Figure 500-13 is a schematic of an
annubar.
Fig. 500-12 Pitot Tube

Applications. The main reasons for choosing pitot tubes or annubars are as follows:

Very low pressure loss


Ease of installation (i.e., they may be inserted into existing piping or duct)
Relatively low cost

Pitot tubes and annubars can be inserted into process lines through either flange or
threaded connections. Various connections and mounting techniques are usually
available in vendor technical brochures and manuals.
The accuracy of a pitot tube is often lower than that of orifices and venturis. Typical
accuracy is 5% to 10% on volume measurement. (The velocity measurement
made by the pitot tubes may be accurate to within 1%, but this measurement is not
often of interest.)
The accuracy of an annubar may be better than that of the pitot tube. Some vendors
claim 1% accuracy for the primary element over a turndown of 10 to 1. With the
transmitter, the combined accuracy may be between 1.5% and 2%, provided a
uniform velocity profile is available.
Limitations. The minimum Reynolds number based on pipe diameter is 10,000.
Because annubars have pressure sensing ports facing flow, clean fluids are
preferred. Because pitot tubes are single-point measuring devices, it is important to
have a uniform velocity profile when using them. Figure 500-13 shows typical
upstream and downstream piping requirements.

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Fig. 500-13 Annubar Piping Requirements (Courtesy of Dieterich Standard)

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Specifying and Sizing. Vendor technical data are usually used to select a pitot tube
or to size and select an annubar.
When specifying an annubar, its structural compatibility (i.e., the maximum allowable differential pressure) must be known. This information, which varies from one
design to another, can be found in vendors product brochures.
All annubar sensors are subject to resonance vibration. A vibration force perpendicular to the flow stream occurs due to the shedding of alternate vortices. It is important to check the frequency of the shedding against the natural resonance frequency
of the sensor. A resonance calculation may be done either by the vendor or by the
user, provided the equations and sensor design data are available. In any case, if the
calculated differential pressure at maximum flow rate for an application is below
25% of the total maximum differential pressure allowed for the selected sensor, no
resonance calculation is required.

Elbow Taps
A typical elbow, or elbow tap, is shown in Figure 500-14. The pressure taps are
located along a radius that is at a 45-degree angle to the face of the flange. Generally speaking, elbows that measure 4 inches and larger are of the short radius
type, in which the radius of the elbow equals the inside diameter of the elbow.
Elbows that measure less than 4 inches are usually the long radius type, in which
the elbow radius equals one and one-half (1.5) times the inside diameter of the
elbow.
Fig. 500-14 Elbow

Because the elbow depends on centrifugal force to develop a differential pressure,


measuring the flow of gas, with its inherent low density, is not practical. Liquids,
with their much higher densities, develop reasonable differentials. The radius of
curvature has a considerable effect on the differential. Thus, a short radius elbow
will develop more differential than a long radius elbow.
Elbows are not adversely affected by changes in viscosity because both pressure
taps are located along the same diameter.

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Uncalibrated elbows typically measure flow within 5% of upper range value.


Better accuracy can be obtained for calibrated elbows.
The minimum Reynolds number (based on pipe diameter) for elbows is typically
10,000.
Although elbows are often sized by vendors, a simple formula for measuring flow
through an elbow is provided below.
Q = 5.663 K D2 (h/gf)
(Eq. 500-2)

where:
Q = flow rate in gallons per minute (gpm) at flow temperature
K = flow coefficient for given elbow
D = pipe inside diameter of elbow in inches
h = differential pressure in inches of water
gf = specific gravity at flow conditions
Figure 500-15 gives the flow coefficient K for various elbow sizes and radii of
curvature. These are nominal values, subject to a tolerance of up to 5%.
Fig. 500-15 Elbow Flow Coefficient K
Pipe Size (Inch)

Short Radius (R = D)

Long Radius (R = 1.5D)

0.850

0.975

0.800

0.920

0.780

0.895

0.760

0.875

0.730

0.840

0.710

0.815

10

0.695

0.800

12

0.685

0.785

24

0.660

0.760

Wedge Flow Meters


A wedge element is nothing more than a V shaped restriction welded to the top of
the pipe with a segmental opening at the bottom of the pipe to allow for free passage
of any solids present in the process fluids.
Wedge flow meters come in various designs. They are used in liquid or gas service
where orifice meters are not suitable because of entrained solid or gas; for example,
they are used in production field gathering systems. The chemical tee type
(Figure 500-16) with its associated remote seal transmitter is used for liquids with

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solids, dirty viscous fluids, and hot fluids which tend to solidify when cooled. The
pipe tap type is used for clean viscous fluids which can be dead-ended in conventional lead lines.
Fig. 500-16 Tee Type Wedge Flow Element Configurations (Courtesy of ABB Kent-Taylor)

The smaller integral elements, typically limited to to 1 inch size, are also used
for clean viscous fluids. They are usually mounted directly to conventional d/p
transmitters.
Wedge flow meters are of the d/p type, in which the square root of the differential is
linearly proportional to volume flow rate within a certain range (or Reynolds
number range). Wedge flow meters maintain this square-root relationship over much

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lower values of Reynolds numbers than many other differential producing


elements.
The flow coefficient for wedge flow meters remains relatively constant in the
lower Reynolds number ranges. For example, a 1-inch segmental wedge flow
coefficient is constant from Reynolds numbers of 40,000 down to 2,000, as
compared to the change on flow coefficient (K) for a 1-inch orifice plate with
flange taps (Figure 500-17).
Fig. 500-17 Flow Coefficient K Compared to Reynolds Number (Courtesy of ABB-Kent
Taylor)

The accuracy of uncalibrated wedge flow meters is typically 3% of upper range


value. Calibrated meters may achieve 0.5% accuracy.
CPTC tested a 4-inch Combustion Engineering/Taylor Wedge meter in 1988 with a
high gravity natural gas. The results revealed the following:

Taylor Wedge meters should be properly calibrated against a suitable reference


flow device before use. The flow coefficients supplied by the manufacturer
cannot be relied upon to provide accurate (0.5%) flow rates. Rather, they were
found to undermeasure flow by 2 to 8%.

The meter showed acceptable repeatability and its flow coefficients have a
weak dependency on flow rate, making flow rate calculation relatively simple.

The wafer-type wedge meter should be avoided if frequent change of the wedge
element is required, because this is time-consuming.

Included in the following figures are a few typical sizing charts and equations,
based on product brochures from vendors. For help in sizing and specifying a wedge
flow meter, consult the manufacturer.

Chevron Corporation

Figure 500-18: Determination of Integral Wedge Element H/D Ratio and


Differential Pressure (in three parts)

Figure 500-19: Integral Wedge Capacity Table

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Figure 500-20: Wedge Element Capacity Tables ( inch to 12 inches)

Lo-loss Meters
The Lo-Loss flow meter (Figure 500-21) is a proprietary design of Badger Meter
Inc. (Tulsa, OK). Figure 500-22 shows a plan view of a PMT Lo-Loss flow meter.
The Lo-Loss flow meter is a modification of the venturi design. The major advantages of the Lo-Loss are as follows.

It produces high differentials with lower permanent pressure loss. This high
pressure recovery feature can greatly enhance operating economy.

It is lower in weight.

It requires shorter overall laying lengths.

Several designs are available. Construction materials vary from exotic alloys to cast
iron and plastic. Selection of material is based on operating temperature and fluid
type.
The accuracy of uncalibrated Lo-Loss flow meters is claimed to be 0.75% of rate.
Calibrated meters may achieve 0.25%according to Badger Meter. The manufacturer should be consulted for help in sizing and specifying a Lo-Loss flow meter.
Outside the U.S.A., a similar meter called Dall Tube is also available.
Installation Of Secondary Devices
To optimize the accuracy of differential pressure flow meters, the secondary devices
(field flow controllers, transmitters, recorders, and indicators) should be installed
such that the inaccuracies of the flow measurement will be minimized.
The installation must also provide reasonable access for routine operator functions
and maintenance procedures.
Secondary devices must be installed to keep the piping (tubing) between them and
the primary element clear of trapped material. If the measured stream is hot, the
measuring element of the secondary devices must be protected from the direct
contact of the hot fluid. The secondary devices and the tubing connecting it to the
process must also be protected against freezing (solidifying) of the measured or
sealing fluid.
Supports for secondary devices, piping and tubing methods, as well as sealing,
purging and winterizing are covered in detail in Chapters 1500 and 1600 of this
manual.
In the following paragraphs, the word flow meter will be used to refer to the
secondary devices.
Flow Meter Location and Accessibility
Location. Use the following guidelines to determine the location of the flow meter:

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Fig. 500-18 Determination of Integral Wedge Element H/D Ratio and Differential Pressure (1 of 3) (Courtesy of ABBKent Taylor)
H/D Ratio
To determine the H/D ratio for a particular application, use the following procedure:
1. Multiply a given maximum flow rate by appropriate correction factor below:
Liquid (U.S. gpm): Correction Factor = 1.0
(Eq. 500-3)
0.216 T
Gas (scfh): Correction Factor = --------------------P
(Eq. 500-4)
Steam (lb/hr):

Correction Factor = 0.3634 V


(Eq. 500-5)

where:
P = process pressure in psia (psig + 14.7)
T = process temperature in R (F + 460)
V = specific volume of steam (cu ft/lb)
2. Match this corrected flow rate to values shown in the Capacity Table (Figures 500-19 or 500-20) to determine
H/D ratio required to produce a desired differential pressure.
Example:
8000 scfh of CO2 gas at 50 psig and 90F in a 1-inch line.
We want to choose an H/D ratio to produce a desired differential pressure of approximately 100 inches H2O.
0.216 ( 90 + 460 )
8000 ------------------------------------------- = 14 ,689 scfh
( 50 + 14.7 )

(Eq. 500-6)

From the Capacity Table, a 1-inch integral Wedge element having an H/D of 0.50 will produce 100 inches H2O
of differential pressure for 14,926 scfh. We would choose a 0.50 H/D ratio.
Wedge element ratio (H/D) is ratio of Wedge element height to pipe inside diameter.
Differential Pressure
To determine the differential pressure for a particular application, use the following procedure:
1. To correct a value for differential pressure (h), read directly from Capacity Table for actual flowing conditions;
use the following:
Liquid: h = h (from chart) *gf
(Eq. 500-7)
Gas:

G T 0.216
h = h ( from chart ) ----------------------------P
(Eq. 500-8)

Steam: h = ( from chart ) V 0.3634


(Eq. 500-9)

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Fig. 500-18 Determination of Integral Wedge Element H/D Ratio and Differential Pressure (2 of 3) (Courtesy of ABBKent Taylor)
2. To calculate exact differential pressure produced at known flow rate, use one of the following equations:
q ( in U.S. gpm ) 2
Liquid: h = g f ----------------------------------------5.663 F a Kd 2

(Eq. 500-10)

2
GT
Q ( in scfh )
Gas: h = ------------- -------------------------------------------------P 7727 F Y Kd 2
a

(Eq. 500-11)

2
W ( in lb/hr )
Steam: h = V ----------------------------------------------359 F Y Kd 2
a

(Eq. 500-12)

where:
Kd2 =

integral Wedge element coefficient

Fa = expansion factor
G = specific gravity of gas
h = differential pressure in inches H2O
gf = specific gravity of liquid at flow conditions
P = process pressure in psia (psig + 14.7)
Q = flow rate of gas in scfh
q = flow rate of liquid in U.S. gpm
T = process temperature in R (F + 460)
V = specific volume of steam in ft3/lb
W = flow rate of steam in lb/hr
Y = correction factor
Example:
Continuing with the preceding example, having selected an H/D ratio of 0.500 (Kd2 = 0.440), we find, from the
charts below, that:
Fa = 1.0002
Y = 0.9917
2
8000
1.517 550
Therefore: h = -------------------------- -----------------------------------------------------------------------64.7
7727 1.0002 0.9917 0.440
h =

July 1999

(Eq. 500-13)

72.57 inches H2O

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Fig. 500-18 Determination of Integral Wedge Element H/D Ratio and Differential Pressure (3 of 3) (Courtesy of ABBKent Taylor)

Field indicators, recorders and controller should be located adjacent to the


process equipment of interest to the flow measurement and should be installed
for easy operator viewing of the indicated or recorded flow value.

Flow transmitters should be specified with integral output meters and located so
that the output meter is visible from the related control valve or drive. Where
such orientation is not practical, a remote output meter should be installed adjacent to the related control valve or drive.

In an integrated operating facility, plot limit field indicators and recorders


should be located adjacent to major process and utility plot-limit manifolds,
away from areas of high fire or corrosive potential. One of the vital uses of the
flow information displayed on these meters is to verify the function of emergency block valves and utility stream supply to plants during major plant upsets
or mishaps.

Accessibility. To optimize flow measurement accuracy, flow meters should be


installed as close to the process connection as possible. Process piping and tubing
leads should be kept to a minimum.

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Smart flow transmitters, which require little routine maintenance, should be


mounted adjacent to the flow elements in pipeways, provided they can be
accessed using ladders, portable staging, or mechanical lifts.

Analog flow transmitters, indicators, recorders, and controllers require more


frequent access. Consideration should be given to locating these instruments at
grade or adjacent to a stairway-accessible platform. When these instruments are
used for process balance or utilities hard charge service, frequent maintenance calibration checks are required, and accessibility is an absolute requirement in planning the installation.

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Fig. 500-19 Capacity Table for a Typical Integral Wedge (Courtesy of ABB Instrumentation)

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Fig. 500-20 Capacity Table for Typical Wedge, " to 12" (In Gallons per Minute of Water) (Courtesy of ABB
Instrumentation)

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Fig. 500-21 Lo-Loss Flow Meter (Courtesy of Badger Meters, Inc.)

Fig. 500-22 Plan View of PMT Lo-Loss Meter (Courtesy of Badger Meters, Inc.)

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Orientation of Flow Meters


Use the following guidelines to determine the location of the flow meter relative to
the primary measuring element.
Gas Flow Meters. This section applies to non-condensing gases.
(Refer to Standard Drawing No. GB-J1177 for details of installation of field
mounted flow controllers, indicators, and recorders. Refer to Standard drawing
No. GB-J1182 for details of installation for flow transmitters.)
The objective of this orientation is to ensure that all condensed liquids will drain
back into the process line.

Locate the flow meter above the line. For vertical lines, locate the flow meter
above the orifice plate.

For horizontal meter runs, use the flange taps located above the center line of
the pipe.

Mount the flow meter and install the three- (or five-) valve manifold so that the
flow meter and manifold are self-draining.

Route the tubing leads between the flow meter and the root valves so that they
slope continuously downward toward the root valves and are, therefore, selfdraining. Ensure that there are no pockets where condensing vapors can get
trapped.

(Refer to Gas Flow Meters Installed Below the Process Line, below, for installations where the layout of plant piping, structures, and equipment prevent use of the
flow meter orientation described above.)
Liquid Flow Meters (Low Pour Point). This section applies to liquids having a
pour point significantly below the lowest ambient temperature encountered at the
field location of the process line and the flow meter.
(Refer to Standard Drawing No. GB-J1178 for details of installation of field
mounted flow controllers, indicators, and recorders. Refer to Standard Drawing No.
GB-J1183 for details of installation of for flow transmitters.)
The objective of this orientation is to ensure that all non-condensable gases
entrained or dissolved in the process liquid will vent back into the process line.

Chevron Corporation

Locate the flow meter below the line. For vertical lines, locate the flow meter
below the orifice plate.

For horizontal meter runs, use the flange taps located below the center line of
the pipe.

Mount the flow meter and install the three- (or five) valve manifold so that the
flow meter and manifold are self-venting.

Route the tubing leads between the flow meter and the root valves so that they
slope continuously upward toward the root valves and are, therefore, selfventing. Ensure that there are no pockets where gases can get trapped.

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Vapor Flow Meters. This section applies to steam and to gases which will
condense at the highest expected ambient temperature.
(Refer to Standard Drawing No. GB-J1181 for details of installation of field
mounted flow controllers, indicators, and recorders. Refer to Standard Drawing
No. GB-J1186 for details of installation for flow transmitters.)
The objective of this orientation is to maintain a constant liquid static head (from
the condensed steam or gas) on both impulse leads while ensuring that all entrained
non-condensable gases will vent back to the process line.

Locate the flow Meter below the line. For vertical lines, locate the flow meter
below the orifice plate.

For horizontal meter runs, use the flange taps located above the center line of
the pipe.

Install condensation chambers above the orifice plate root valve. Locate the
condensate chambers so that they are self-draining back to the process line.

Mount the flow meter and install the three- (or five) valve manifold so that the
flow meter and manifold are self-venting.

Route the tubing leads between the root valves and condensate chambers so that
they slope continuously downward toward the root valves. Slope the tubing between
the condensate chambers and the flow meter downward toward the meter. Ensure
that the leads are self-venting with no pockets where vapor can be trapped.

Application Note
Use of Condensation Chambers in Steam Service. Condensation chambers are
required for all high-displacement meter bodies (bellows-type controllers, indicators, and recorders) and are recommended for all other steam flow meters.
Condensation chambers perform the following functions in steam metering:

Their large volume provides a reservoir for supplying condensate to the


impulse leads on high displacement flow meter bodies.

Their large surface area permits the rapid generation of cool condensate for
filling the impulse leads and permits the meter to be returned to service faster.

Excess condensate backflushes the lines between the chambers and the root
valves, preventing the concentration and crystallization of soluble salts in
impulse lines.

Flow meters installed with condensation chambers may require winterizing protection to prevent freezing of impulse leads and meter bodies. Refer to Section 1500,
Instrument Seals, Purges, and Winterizing, for additional details.
Gas Flow Meters Installed Below the Process Line. This section applies to noncondensing gas flow meters where the physical layout of plant piping, structures, or
equipment requires that the flow meter be mounted below the line. In these installations, condensate accumulators must be installed.

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(Refer to Stadard Drawing No. GB-J1180 for details of installation of field mounted
flow controllers, indicators, and recorders. Refer to Standard Drawing No. GBJ1185 for details of installation for flow transmitters.)
The objective of this orientation is to ensure that all condensed liquid will drain out
of the impulse leads and into the condensate accumulators. The condensate will
have to be periodically manually drained or pressured out of the accumulators.

For horizontal meter runs, use the flange taps located above the center line of
the pipe.

Locate condensate accumulators below the flow meter, in an area accessible for
periodic draining of the condensate.

Mount the flow meter and install the three- (or five-) valve manifold so that the
flow meter and manifold are self-draining to the condensate accumulators.

Route the tubing leads between the flow meter and the root valves so that they
slope continuously downward toward the condensate accumulators and are,
therefore, self-draining. Ensure that there are no pockets where condensing
vapors can get trapped.

Route the accumulator lines to an environmentally acceptable drain system or


sump. (Frequently accumulators are under pressure and the drain system is not.
When such condensate is emptied into a low pressure system it can vaporize.
The vapor must be vented into a closed system. This is especially a concern if
the condensate contains dissolved toxic gases, e.g., H2S.)

Special Case Flow Meter Installations. Flow meter installations not described
above require special installation designs to ensure that the accuracy of measurement and reliability are maintained. If the measured fluid has a low pour-point,
contains solids, is viscous, etc., refer to Section 1500, Instrument Seals, Purges,
and Winterizing to determine the type of special treatment that must be applied.

522 Positive Displacement (PD) Meters


General
Positive displacement (PD) meters measure volumetric flow directly by continuously separating (isolating) a flow stream into discrete volumetric segments and
counting them. Therefore, PD meters are not inference-type meters, as are turbine
meters and d/p meters. PD meters are often used in refineries, chemical plants, pipeline pump stations, marine loading terminals, and marketing truck loading racks.
They are commonly used in liquid service, and in the gas industry, gas PD meters
are used as domestic gas meters by utility companies. This section is primarily
concerned with liquid PD meters for use by the petroleum and petrochemical
industries.

Design and Construction of PD Meters


The three basic subassemblies in a bare PD meter are the external housing, internal
measuring element, and counter drive train.

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External Housing. PD meters are usually built with inlet and outlet connections
from inch to 16 inches in diameter and are designed to handle pressures to 1440
psi (600 pounds ANSI) and flow rates to 12,500 BPH. Typical housing materials are
carbon steel, cast iron, ductile iron, aluminum, bronze, or stainless steel. Consult the
manufacturer for help in selecting the proper material.
PD meters may be of single- or double-case construction. The advantages of doublecase construction are that (1) piping stress is not transmitted to the measurement
element; (2) the measuring element can be easily removed for service or inline
flushing on startup; and (3) the differential pressure across the measuring element
walls is minimal, thus eliminating the possibility of dimensional changes in the
measuring element due to system pressure variations. Small meters of materials
other than carbon steel are normally single-case. Meters over 6 inches almost
always use carbon steel double-case construction.
Internal Measuring Element. Six types of internal measuring elements
(Figure 500-23) are in general use. These designs are discussed below in
Applications and Limitations.
All PD meters have some clearances between moving and stationary surfaces, with
differential pressure across the clearances. Thus there will always be some fluid that
bypasses the measuring chamber by slipping through these clearances.
Counter Drive Train. A typical counter drive train is shown in Figure 500-24. The
counter drive train consists of a gear train, a rotary shaft seal or magnetic coupling,
and a calibrator.
The gear ratio of the gear train is chosen to convert the fixed volume per revolution
of the measuring element to some nominally convenient volume per revolution of
the counter input shaft.
The rotary shaft seal is required where the counter drive train penetrates the meter
internal housing or measuring chamber. It is normally designed as a module or
gland for easy access. Alternately, a magnetic drive coupling can be used instead of
a packing gland to eliminate the need for frequent servicing of a shaft seal.
A meter calibrator is a device containing gears for adjusting in fine (e.g., 0.05%)
increments the output speed (RPM) from a meter counter drive train over a relatively narrow (e.g., 1.0%) total adjustment range. Use of a calibrator may produce
error; therefore, it should be used only when necessary.
A calibrator is necessary whenever the mechanical counter on the meter must
register actual volume throughput. If a meter factor (ratio of actual/registered
volume) is to be applied to the registered volume (a common practice with pipeline
and bulk marine custody transfer meters), nominal 100% meter gearing and no calibrator (or a dummy calibrator) would typically be used.
One or more pulse transmitters can be connected to the output shaft. The pulse
transmitters are used to generate high and low resolution pulses to a remote receiver
or computer that performs calculations and operates the metering system.

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Fig. 500-23 Six Types of Measuring Elements (Figures 1 and 6 are Courtesy of Smith Meter, Inc.; Figures 3 and 4 are
Courtesy of Brooks Instrument Division, Emerson Electric)

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Fig. 500-24 Typical Counter Drive Train (Courtesy Smith Meter, Inc.)

Performance Characteristics of PD Meters


PD meters can achieve better than 0.05% repeatability accuracy. Linearities of
0.15% to 0.5% are typical over flow ranges of 8:1 to 12:1, with a normal range
of 10:1. Figure 500-25 shows the accuracy of a commonly used PD meter.
Fig. 500-25 Typical Accuracy Curve (Courtesy Smith Meter, Inc.)

The dominant factor affecting meter accuracy is the amount of slippage (bypass)
through the meter clearances. Ideally, if the amount of slippage remains constant, no
error would occur and the meter would be perfectly repeatable. In reality, this is
often not the case because of the variation of fluid dynamic properties (e.g.,
viscosity) and operating conditions (e.g., flow rate, pressure and temperature).
To meet the specified linearity accuracy, a minimum flow rate is often required.
Because of the viscosity effect, the lower the fluid viscosity, the higher the
minimum flow rate.

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Applications and Limitations of PD Meters


Applications. Applications for various types of PD meters are as follows.
Rotary vane. The rotary vane PD meter is the most common design. It is widely
used for crude oil, mid-weight and heavy distillates, lube oil and additives, and
chemicals of similar viscosity. The rotary vane meter is also used for asphalt (iron
trim required). Many custody transfer measurements use rotary vane PD meters.
Bi-rotary lobed. The applications for rotary lobed (also called bi-rotor) meters are
similar to those for rotary vane meters. They are both considered to be the most
accurate of all PD meter designs (see the discussion of Performance Characteristics above).
Piston. Oscillating piston and rotary piston PD meters are used for chemicals, LPG,
and batching processes with 0.5% to 1% accuracy. They are available in small
sizes (1-inch to 3-inch sizes are typical) and are used as dispensing meters at service
stations.
Oval gear. Oval gear PD meters can be used for heavy oils with higher viscosity
and for corrosive liquids but not for asphalt service. Typical designs allow
maximum viscosity of 200 to 300 CP (1,000 to 1,599 SSU), at maximum flow rate.
Higher viscosity, up to 1,000 to 1,500 CP (4,800 to 7,00 SSU), may be possible but
the maximum flow rate has to decrease proportionally and special clearance must be
used.
Nutating disc. The nutating disc PD meter is primarily used in water meters and
sometimes for chemical batchings. Accuracy is approximately 1%.
Rotating paddle. Rotating paddle PD meters often come in small sizes (1 to
2 inches). They are used in oil fields for water flooding. Accuracy is usually 2%
or less.
In summary, liquid PD meters can be used for measuring the flow of a wide range of
fluids from LPG to asphalt. They are used instead of inferential type (e.g., orifice,
turbine) meters where one or more of the following circumstances obtains.

Requirement for higher accuracy

Requirement for wider rangeability (10:1)

Fluid viscosity too high for turbine meters

Lack of space for long meter runs as required by differential pressure meters
and turbine meters (PD meters do not need flow straightening devices)

Specification by parties involved in custody transfer

Rotary vane and bi-rotor PD meters generally provide better accuracy than inferential flow meters, which include differential pressure (e.g., orifice) and velocity (e.g.,
turbine) meters.

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Minimum accuracy requirements depend upon applications or contractual agreements. Typical minimum accuracy requirements for PD meters are shown in
Figure 500-26.
Fig. 500-26 Typical Minimum Accuracy Requirements for a PD Meter
Applications

Accuracy
Specifications

Custody Transfer

Non-Custody Transfer

Linearity as percent of flow


rate

0.15%

1.0%

Repeatability as percent of
flow rate

0.05%

0.05%

5:1 to 8:1

8:1 to 12:0

Rangeability

With the exception of the nutating disc meter, PD meters are ideal for viscous
liquids not suitable for turbine meters. Generally speaking, PD meters are ideal for
fluid viscosities greater than about 4 CP (typical for No. 2 fuel oil or 40 API
gravity crude oil) because at these viscosities PD meters are relatively insensitive to
flow rate and viscosity variations that may occur during operation. In other words,
the accuracy and rangeability of a PD meter increase at higher viscosities (opposite
to that of a turbine meter) because the meter factor shift due to bypass decreases
with higher viscosities. Figure 500-27 shows graphically the effects of viscosity on
PD meter accuracy.
Fig. 500-27 Effects of Viscosity on PD Meter Accuracy

Heavier high viscosity oils will tend to cling to the internals of meters. Oils which
are not effectively wiped off the blades and other moving parts of a PD meter will
form a coating on the meters internal surfaces and reduce the volume of the
measuring chamber.

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The maximum viscosity for a typical 4-inch rotary vane PD meter is 400 CP
(2,000 SSU), considered standard by the manufacturers. Higher viscosity is obtainable by using wider blade clearance.
Until now, many pipeline meters have been designed and operated at 30% to 80% of
the manufacturers specified maximum. This figure is too conservative, even for
custody transfer applications. PD meters usually stay near or within the linearity
specification at 70% to 100% of the maximum flow rate.
At low flow rates (i.e., less than 20% of maximum), however, the linearity of a
PD meter becomes unpredictable. Therefore, a more practical view is to allow the
meters to operate between 20% to 90% of their maximum flow rates.
A meter should operate at the flow rate at which it was calibrated (proved). It
should be recalibrated whenever the flow rate changes more than 10% of the
maximum flow rate (full scale). In some places, the practice of recalibration is
10% of the operating flow ratea conservative and sometimes impractical
practice.
Lubricity has a significant effect on wear and meter life. Low lubricity usually
causes increased friction between moving parts and accelerates wear. PD meters
should run at lower rates with low lubricity fluids (note: turbine meters may perform
better at higher rates with low lubricity fluids because the rotor tends to float better
at higher rates).
LPG, condensates, and water generally exhibit low lubricity. Most crude oils and
diesel oils usually exhibit good lubricity. Gasolines and jet fuels are intermediate.
Crude oils containing corrosive water and/or sand should flow through PD meters at
fairly high rates and as continuously as possible to keep those materials from
settling out in the bottom bearing.
Cyclic operation with short run periods and long dormant periods tends to distort the
meter factor and permit abrasive materials to build up in the bottom of the meter. If
an automatic temperature compensator (ATC) is used, it may not be able to
adequately compensate in short cycle operations because of lack of response time.
Limitations. A PD meter is often more expensive than a turbine meter for the same
rated capacity. This is generally true for sizes greater than 4 inches.
For the same size meters, a turbine meter has a much higher rated capacity than a
PD meter. For example, a typical 6-inch inline turbine meter has a maximum flow
rate of about 3,000 GPM as compared to 1,000 GPM for a 6-inch rotating vane PD
meter. The maximum pressure rating is usually lower for PD meters, as compared to
turbine meters. PD meters require more maintenance than turbine meters and meters
with no moving parts.

Specifying and Sizing


A copy of the Instrument Society of America (ISA) Standards and Practices for
Instrumentation, Specification Form S20.25, and instructions for completing it are

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included in Volume 2 of this manual. When specifying a PD meter, consider the


following criteria:

Meter Design

ServiceThe type of liquid(s) and the nature and approximate amount of abrasives and corrosives must be specified. The application (process, custody
transfer, pipeline, or load rack) and service (continuous or intermittent) must be
known. Use the space at the bottom of the form as needed.

TemperatureSpecify normal and maximum temperatures (in degrees F or


C). These temperatures have direct impact on the range of viscosities at which
the meter will be operating. Temperature and fluid type also affect selection of
materials for the meter.

SizeThe capacity of a PD meter may vary by manufacturer and type. Obtain


information from the manufacturers technical specification. Consider multiplemeter configuration for cost effectiveness and operating flexibility. It is usually
better to over-range than to under-range a PD meter if a choice is necessary.

Temperature and Pressure RatingSpecify normal and maximum temperatures and pressures so that proper material for and construction of the meter can
be evaluated. Consider pressure drops across the strainer, deareator, meter, and
other piping components to determine back pressure control.

Enclosure ClassIn most cases, housings for electrical outputs are required to
be explosionproof. As a minimum, the housings should be suitable for NEC
Class I, Group D, Division 2 areas and should meet the specifications of NEC
Article 500, Hazardous (Classified) Locations.

Materials of ConstructionConsult the manufacturer concerning metallurgy.


Smaller meters (e.g., under 4 inches) usually have iron (ductile or cast) or
carbon steel housing. The larger sizes (6 inches and up) are usually carbon
steel. A wide variety of trim materials is available for different types of internals. Trims are typically categorized as standard trim, all iron trim, or
LPG trim. They are made of aluminum, bronze, iron, steel, stainless steel, or
alloys. Seals are usually Viton or Teflon. Consult the manufacturer for recommended materials.

Counter
When specifying counter components, do not put excessive weight on the meter and
piping. Stress due to excessive load on the meter and piping may degrade measurement accuracy and cause fatigue.

July 1999

Register TypeSpecifying a register on the meter that indicates gross volume


is a common practice. A second register on the meter stacking indicating net
or standard volume may be necessary in remote custody transfer locations.
This second register puts additional weight on the meter (and piping) and therefore should be avoided unless necessary.

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Totalizer TypeA local flow totalizer may not be required if the pulses only
need to be totalized remotely, for example, in the control room by a panelmounted totalizer or a flow computer.

Reset, Capacity, Set-StopThese items are particularly related to marketing


terminal meters used for truck or tank car loading.

Fluid Data

Minimum and Maximum Flow RateSpecification of the minimum flow


rate is a requirement for meeting the specified linearity. Maximum flow rate is
based on continuous and intermittent ratings. Commonly used engineering units
are gallons per minute (GPM) and barrels per hour (BPH).

ViscositySpecify normal and maximum viscosity. These parameters are used


to determine clearances, type of external housing (single or double) and type of
rotary shaft seal. The engineering units and conversion factor are as follows.
Cs = (Cp)/(SG)
SSU 0.21589 = Cs (approximate)
(Eq. 500-14)

where:
Cs = Kinematic viscosity in centistokes
Cp = Absolute viscosity in centipoise
SSU = Saybolt Universal Unit
SG = Fluid Specific Gravity (water = 1 at 60F)

Options

Chevron Corporation

Temperature CompensatorTemperature compensation (to provide standard


volume) can be achieved by using a temperature sensor (e.g., RTD), a temperature transmitter, and a computer. This arrangement is the preferable method for
large facilities. For remote, stand-alone LACT units, the traditional filled
temperature bulb with an automatic temperature compensator (ATC) may be
a better choice. The disadvantages of the bulb are that it is less accurate and it
adds the weight of stacking on the meter.

Transmitter TypeUse a high resolution pulse transmitter when high resolution of the output signal is required. Sometimes, a high resolution pulse transmitter and a low resolution pulse transmitter are usedone to pace an
automatic in-line sampler.

Transmitter OutputThe format of the output signal must be compatible


with the receiving unit that will scale it to volumetric units.

Air EliminatorAn air eliminator (de-areator) is needed where the piping


configuration or operation may allow gas or air to be trapped in the metering
system.

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StrainerA strainer upstream of the meter must be provided to protect the


meter from abrasives and foreign objects. Determine the pressure drop across
the strainer. A differential pressure gage (or two pressure gages) often can be
very useful in determining the pressure drop across the strainer. (Sometimes, a
d/p transmitter is used to remotely monitor the pressure drop across the
strainer.) Consult the meter manufacturer for type, size, basket design, and
mesh (typically 4, 10, 20, 40, or 80 mesh are standard sizes).

Note Mounting ConfigurationPD meters are usually installed horizontally. In


some truck loading racks, PD meters are installed vertically because of space
requirements.

Installation
The API Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards, Chapter 5, Section 2,
provides a standard for a liquid PD meter system for custody transfer measurement.
Some of the design criteria described in the standard are applicable in non-custody
transfer measurements. Figure 500-28 is a typical schematic arrangement of a meter
station with three positive displacement meters. Figure 500-29 shows a PD meter
with peripheral equipment for LPG at a gas plant or marketing terminal.
Fig. 500-28 Typical Schematic Arrangement of Meter Station with Three
Displacement Meters

Meter Provers and Proving


A liquid PD meter can be proved by a pipe prover, a master meter, or a tank prover.
The frequency of proving depends upon the application of the meter. For example, a
custody transfer meter should be proved more frequently than a process stream
meter.

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Fig. 500-29 PD Meter with Auxiliary Equipment for LPG at Gas Plant or Marketing Terminal

Refer to Chevron Petroleum Measurement Manual, Part C for more information on


meter proving and meter provers.
Guidelines for Meter Prover Design, included as Appendix C of this manual, and
Specification ICM-MS-2498, also included in Volume 1, provide more details.

523 Turbine Flow Meters


Unlike positive displacement (PD) meters, turbine meters are inferential-type meters
that infer volumetric flow rate from the measurement of rotational movement
(angular velocity) of a bladed rotor or impeller suspended in the flow stream. Two
basic assumptions are necessary to obtain volumetric flow rate from a turbine meter:
1.

Volumetric flow rate is proportional to the average stream velocity.

2.

Average stream velocity is proportional to the rotor (blade) angular velocity.

As fluid passes smoothly through the meter, it causes the rotor to revolve with an
angular velocity proportional to flow. The rotor blades, passing through the
magnetic field of the pick-up, generate a pulsing voltage in the coil of the pick-up
assembly. Each voltage represents a discrete volume. The frequency of the voltage
generated is proportional to the rotor speed or the rate of flow. The number of pulses
per unit of flow is termed the K factor. The actual K factor for each meter is determined by factory calibration and is provided with each meter. The total number of
pulses, integrated over a period of time, represents the total volume metered.
Turbine meters can be either in-line or insertion type. In-line turbine meters are
commonly used in both liquid and gas service. Insertion turbine meters are used in
gas, steam, air, water, or oil. In liquid service, they may be used to pace automatic
line samplers. A bi-directional flow option is often available on each of these
meters.

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Turbine Meter vs. PD Meter


To determine whether to use a turbine meter or a PD meter for a particular application, consider the following:
1.

Maximum Viscosity: If the maximum viscosity exceeds 10% of the Reference


Viscosity for the sizes of turbine meters to be considered (Figure 500-30), PD
meters would normally be more accurate (which is important in custody
transfer).

Fig. 500-30 Effect of Viscosity on Linear Range of Meter (Used with permission from Smith
Meter, Inc.)

If only low-viscosity refined products such as propane, gasoline, kerosene, or


diesel are being metered, turbine meters normally would be selected because
of their longer service life for continuous duty operation and because their
accuracy is normally equal to or better than that of PD meters for these types of
products.
Field tests indicate that dual-bladed helical turbine meters (see Figure 500-32)
are able to maintain good repeatability and linearity for crude oils with a
viscosity range of 4 to 32 Cs.
Figure 500-31 is a selection guide based on flow rate and viscosity (in centipoise) for PD meters and conventional turbine meters.

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2.

Maximum Flow Rate: If the total flow rate required at the metering station
exceeds about 100,000 BPH, many parallel PD meter runs of the maximum size
(typically 16 inches) would be required. In this case, turbine meters would
normally be considered. Generally speaking, mid-size and large-size PD meters
are more expensive than turbine meters for the same design flow rate.

3.

Maximum Pressure: If the meter pressure rating must be greater than


600 pounds ANSI (1440 psig), a PD meter cannot be used.

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Fig. 500-31 P/D and Conventional Turbine Meter Selection Guide (Used with permission
from Smith Meter, Inc.)

4.

Back Pressure: For a turbine meter, the back pressure (i.e., meter outlet pressure) should be at least 25 psig at maximum flow rate for low vapor pressure
fluids, and 1.25 times the maximum vapor pressure for high vapor pressure
fluids (e.g., propane). Low back pressure is of particular concern if the turbine
meter is to be located close to a receiving tank. With PD meters, the back pressure must only exceed the vapor pressure by a small amount.

5.

High Paraffin Content: Turbine meters should not be used with liquids
containing paraffin or other similar substances that can precipitate out on the
surfaces of the meter, changing its cross-sectional flow area. Waxy crudes, for
example are not suitable for conventional turbine meters.

In-line Liquid Turbine Meters


Design and Construction. The three basic sub-assemblies in an in-line liquid
turbine meter are the housing, internal parts, and detector. (See Figure 500-32).
The housing is normally constructed of a flanged pipe spool in sizes from inch
to 24 inches with pressure ratings from 150 pounds to 2400 pounds ANSI (275 to
6000 psi working pressure).
Internal parts include the bladed rotor suspended or supported on a bearing and
shaft and the upstream and downstream stators.
The detector normally consists of a magnetic or RF pick-up coil, explosionproof
junction box, and optional pre-amplifier (if the signal cable exceeds a certain
length).
Two types of bearing design are common: journal bearing and ball bearing. Journal
bearings are usually made of cemented tungsten carbide. Ball bearings are made of
stainless steel or special plastic material.

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Fig. 500-32 Turbine Meters

Conventional In-Line Liquid Turbine Meter


(Courtesy of Daniel Industries, Inc.)

Dual-Bladed Helical Turbine Meter


(Courtesy of Faure Herman Meter, Inc.)

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Journal-bearing meters are often used in process plants, pipelines, and marine
loading terminals for more continuous services. Ball-bearing meters have been
mainly used for intermittent services (e.g., at truck loading racks).
Performance Characteristics. Linearity accuracy of 0.15% over the reduced flow
range of 7:1, 0.25% over the normal flow range of 10:1, and 0.5% over the
extended flow range (12:1) is typical. Repeatability of 0.05% to 0.1% is
commonly seen in vendors specifications. Rangeability may be increased to above
12:1, but overall accuracy will decrease.
Minimum accuracy requirements depend upon the applications and contractual
agreements. Typically, the minimum accuracy specifications are as shown in
Figure 500-33.
Fig. 500-33 Typical Minimum Accuracy Specifications for an In-Line Liquid Turbine Meter
Applications
Custody Transfer

<2-in. Sizes and


Non-Custody Transfer

Linearity as percent over


normal flow range

0.15%

0.5%

Repeatability as percent
over normal flow range

0.05%

0.05%

4:1 to 7:1

7:1 to 12:1

Accuracy Specifications

Rangeability

Figure 500-34 illustrates the effect of fluid dynamic properties, as implied by the
Reynolds number (Re):
( Velocity ) ( Diameter ) ( Density )
Re = ---------------------------------------------------------------------------( Viscosity )
(Eq. 500-15)

Design temperature of turbine meters varies from 40F to +500F depending upon
the material of construction. Pressure ranges are usually available for all ANSI and
API flange ratings.
Fig. 500-34 Universal Turbine Meter Performance Curve

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Applications. In-line liquid turbine meters are used primarily because of their accuracy and rangeability. They are used in light, thin (not viscous) products, chemicals,
and crude oil custody transfer measurement. For example, in-line liquid turbine
meters are used for in-line product blending, additives, NGL, LPG, ammonia, and
high API gravity crude oil.
Many industrial users consider minimum allowable flow rates to be in the 30% to
40% zone, and maximum flow rates to be up to 100% of manufacturers specified
maximum. Some meter manufacturers consider 50% to be a reliable minimum, with
40% an absolute minimum. Manufacturers also claim that for many applications
turbine meters can run at 120% (the extended range).
At this time, the data are not sufficient to make a quantitative evaluation to run at
120%; therefore, use as a maximum 40% to 100% of the manufacturers specified
maximum, with the qualification that the maximum may be extended to 120% in
clean service.
Limitations. The limitations of liquid turbine meters include the following:

Higher cost (compared to orifice meters)


Susceptibility to wear or damage due to dirty or nonlubricating streams
Unsuitability for viscous liquids
Susceptibility to rotor damage from over-speeding
Need for flow straightening devices and air-eliminators
Need for more maintenance than other nonmoving-type meters

Specifying and Sizing. A copy of the ISA Specification Form (S20.24) with
instructions is included in Volume 2 of this manual. When specifying a turbine
meter, consider the following criteria:

Minimum back pressure


Materials for internal parts (bearing, blade, etc.) and body
Strainer and air-eliminator requirements
Pressure drop of meter run
Maximum and minimum flow rates
Proper meter size
Pulse security (i.e., single- or dual-pulse transmitters)
Pre-amp and resolution of pulse transmitter(s)
Uni- or bi-directional flow

Minimum Back Pressure: The meter must be protected from air trapped and
entrained and from vapor developed in the fluid as a result of vaporization or cavitation. Therefore, the metering system must, under all conditions, have a pressure
sufficiently high due to flow separation.
The API Standard recommends that the minimum back pressure (BP) be as follows:
BP = 2 (dP) + 1.25 (Vp)
(Eq. 500-16)

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where:
Bp = Minimum back pressure at a distance of 5 pipe diameters downstream of the meter.
dP = Pressure drop through the meter at the maximum rate of flow.
Vp = Absolute vapor pressure of the liquid at the highest operating
temperature.
Figure 500-35 shows how the meter K factor could be affected if the back pressure
is too low.
Fig. 500-35 TM Performance with Cavitation

Maximum Viscosity: The maximum viscosity for liquid turbine meters varies by
make, model, and options. Consult the manufacturer for the limits. Figure 500-31
can be used as a general guide for preliminary selection of a meter. Turbine meter
manufacturers often quote higher viscosity limits.
Field tests conducted by a number of oil companies in early to mid 1990s indicated
that the dual-bladed helical turbine meters were able to maintain good repeatability
(0.05%), and linearity (0.15%) over a 4 to 1 turndown for crude oils with
viscosity ranges of 4 Cs to 32 Cs. One of the meters was even tested with crude oil
of high viscosity of 115 Cs. The helical meter outperformed the conventional
turbine meters, especially in moderate to high viscosity applications, and was found
less susceptible to filamentary debris.
Specific Gravity: Changes in specific gravity, or density, do not affect the average
meter K factor value; however, such changes do affect the overall linear range of the
meter. The maximum flow rate rating increases with decreased specific gravity. The
minimum flow rate rating is lower with higher specific gravity.
Strainer: Turbine meters should be protected by use of an adequate strainer
upstream of the meter run. The strainer mesh depends on the meter size and the
cleanliness and viscosity of the liquid.

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Caution The strainer is used to protect the meter from damaging objects in the
liquid stream; it is not intended for filtering the liquid. To use a strainer as a liquid
cleaning filter requires an extremely fine mesh screen that will cause a high pressure drop. Consult the manufacturer for the proper strainer size, basket mesh, and
pressure drop.
Air Eliminators (Deareators): The presence of gas or vapor, either bulk or
entrained, degrades meter performance and can cause damage. An air eliminator
upstream of the meter run is required where air or vapors are present.
Proper Meter Size: Usually, turbine meter manufacturers provide capacity tables
in their technical catalogs. Find out the pressure drop through the meter to calculate
the back pressure requirement. Figure 500-36 shows typical pressure drop at
different flow rates. Usually, the pressure drop at maximum flow ranges from 4 to
6 psi.

Fig. 500-36 Pressure Drop through Meter vs. Flow Rate for Typical Liquid Turbine Meters (Courtesy of Daniel Industries, Inc.)

Flow Conditioner: The accuracy of a turbine meter can be adversely affected by


swirls and irregular flow patterns caused by valves, elbows, and other pipe fittings.
Sufficient length of straight pipe spools and/or straightening vanes upstream and
downstream of the meter should be provided (see Installation below).

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Installation. The API Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards (MPMS),


Chapter 5, Section 3, Turbine Meters, should be used as the standard for proper
installation.
Turbine meters are usually furnished with journal bearings. They are usually
installed horizontally. Whenever vertical installation is needed, consult the manufacturer. Generally, only ball-bearing types can be installed vertically.
Turbine meters require proper upstream and downstream flow conditioning assemblies to reduce or eliminate the swirl or irregular flow patterns. API MPMS recommends the use of a pipe spool of 10 pipe diameters containing a straightening vane
section immediately upstream of the meter and a pipe spool of 5 pipe diameters
downstream of the meter (Figure 500-37).
Fig. 500-37 Recommended Flow Conditioning Assemblies with Straightening Elements (From
Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards Ch.5, Sec. 3, Courtesy of
American Petroleum Institute)

In some process plant applications where high accuracy is not required and the
available space makes the meter runs described above impractical, shorter meter
runs may be usedat the cost of accuracy.
As stated earlier, a strainer is required to protect the meter from damage from
foreign objects in the fluid. A deareator is needed if air may be trapped in the meter.
A back pressure control valve should be provided to maintain proper back pressure
to avoid cavitation. Figure 500-38 shows a typical piping schematic with connections for proving.
Proving. Liquid turbine meters can be proved by a pipe prover, a master meter, or a
meter prover.

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Fig. 500-38 Turbine Meter System Schematic Diagram (Used with permission from Smith Meter, Inc.)

The frequency of proving depends upon the application of the meter. For example,
custody transfer meters are proved more often than process stream meters.
Refer to Chevron Petroleum Measurement Manual, Part C for more information or
meter proving and meter provers.
The API Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards, Chapter 4, Proving
Systems, provides detailed requirements and procedures for meter proving.
ICM-MS-2498, Stationary Meter ProverDisplacement Type Conventional Pipe
Prover, and Appendix C of this manual, Guidelines for Meter Prover Design,
provide more details on pipe provers. These guidelines cover the selection, sizing,
and proving procedures for both conventional pipe provers. The specification covers
requirements for design, fabrication, inspection, and calibration of conventional uniand bi-directional pipe provers.

In-line Gas Turbine Meters


Design and Construction. Axial-flow in-line gas turbine meters are commonly
used in the industry. The American Gas Association standard designated as Report
7 (AGA 7) should be used to specify the design and construction of this type of
meter.
In an axial-flow gas turbine meter (Figure 500-39), gas entering the meter increases
in velocity through the annular passage formed by the nose cone and the interior
wall of the body. The movement of gas over the angled rotor blades imparts a force
to the rotor, causing it to revolve. The rotational speed is directly proportional to the
flow rate. The actual rotational speed is a function of the passageway size and shape
and the rotor design. It is also dependent upon the load imposed due to internal
mechanical friction, external loading, and dynamic properties (e.g., gas density and
fluid drag) of the fluid.

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Fig. 500-39 Axial Flow Gas Turbine Meters (Courtesy of Equimeter, Inc.)

Rotor bearings should be stainless steel with factory-sealed or continuous lubrication. Rotor hubs and blades should be constructed in one piece and from the same
material.
Gas turbine meters are usually available in sizes ranging from inch to 24 inches
and of various materials (aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, or alloy body with
metal or non-metal rotors). They are constructed to meet ANSI ratings from 150 to
2500 pounds.
Performance Characteristics. Repeatability accuracy of 0.1% to 0.15% over
the normal flow range is usually required. Rangeability of most gas turbine meters
is 10:1 or higher, with decreased accuracy. The overall accuracy should be better
than 1.0% of the flow rate for a calibrated meter.
Applications. In-line gas turbine meters are used in gas pipelines, gas plants, largevolume production facilities, and refineries. Generally speaking, a properly installed
gas turbine meter offers better accuracy than an orifice meter. In addition, turbine
meters offer better rangeability (10:1 or higher) than differential-pressure meters
(4:1).
Limitations. Like liquid turbine meters, gas turbine meters have the following
limitations:

Susceptibility to wear or damage due to dirty streams

Higher cost (compared to orifice meters; this may not be true if a senior orifice
fitting is needed)

Need for flow straightening devices (meter runs and straightening vanes which
are required for orifice and other d/p type meters)

Susceptibility to rotor damage from over-speeding

Need for more maintenance than other non-moving-type meters

Specifying and Sizing. The considerations for specifying a gas turbine meter are
similar to those for liquid turbine meters.
Gas turbine meters are generally designed for a maximum flow rate not to exceed a
certain rotor speed in rpm. This maximum flow rate of the meter remains the same

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for all pressures within the stated maximum meter operating pressure, i.e., the
maximum rotor speed remains the same regardless of the pressure. Manufacturers
specifications should be consulted when sizing a gas turbine meter.
Installation. AGA 7, Section 3, describes recommended installation for in-line gas
turbine meters. Figure 500-40, which illustrates various piping configurations, is
based on AGA 7.
Fig. 500-40 Piping Configurations for In-Line Gas Turbine Meters (1 of 2)

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Fig. 500-40 Piping Configurations for In-Line Gas Turbine Meters (2 of 2)

Proving. As described in AGA 7, a gas turbine meter can be calibrated and proved
by a bell prover, a master meter, a sonic-nozzle prover, or a critical-flow-orifice
prover.
Generally speaking, both the critical-flow-orifice and sonic-nozzle are capable of
calibration at operating conditions to an accuracy of 0.25% of actual flow rate.

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The method and frequency of proving depends upon the availability of proving
device(s), installation configurations, and accuracy requirements.

Insertion Turbine Meters


Construction. An insertion turbine meter (Figure 500-41) typically consists of two
major components: (1) a rotor head and (2) a retractor. The rotor head is inserted in
the process line. The retractor provides the basic means of support for the rotor
head, mounting fitting, pressure seal, pick-up coil, and pre-amp.
Fig. 500-41 Typical Insertion Turbine Meters (Courtesy of the FMC Corporation)

Principle. The underlying principle of operation for insertion turbine meters


assumes the average velocity of flow can be inferred from a measurement of the
local velocity. In other words, it is assumed that the angular velocity of the rotor is
proportional to the average flow velocity in an ideal fluid.
In reality, the flow rate, Q, is related to the local velocity by the following equation:
Q = (A) (Fp) (Fo) (Vy)
(Eq. 500-17)

where:
Q = flow rate, in ft3/min
A = Insertion area, in ft2

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Fp = Profile Factor, which relates to the fluid dynamic properties


(Reynolds number)
Fo = Obstruction factor due to the effect of the rotor
Vy = Local velocity, in ft/min
The average velocity can be measured at a position at which it equals the local
velocity (i.e., at critical position). The average velocity can also be measured at
the centerline position because it is proportional to the centerline velocity.
Installation. The rotor can be located in either of two positions:

Center Position: This position is usually chosen for large pipe sizes. The basis
for selecting center positioning varies among manufacturers. As a general rule,
center positioning is used when the diameter of the velocity detector (rotor)
becomes significant compared to the cross-sectional area of the pipe. A major
advantage of center positioning is the comparatively low sensitivity to
positioning error, which has one-to-one impact on linearity accuracy.

Critical Position: This position is usually chosen for small pipe sizes. By definition, the critical position is that position in the pipe at which the local velocity
is equal to the average velocity. Critically positioned meters are nearly independent of flow. For a wide range of fluids and flow rates, critically positioned
meters usually exhibit comparable or better linearity than in-line meters.

Obviously, center position is easy to locate. Two ways to locate the critical position
are to calculate the location based on the Reynolds number (equations are not
shown in this manual) or to consult with the manufacturer. Usually, major suppliers
are able to provide users with this information if they have the flow conditions and
pipe size.
Both fixed and retractable insertion turbine meters are available. Fixed type
meters should only be installed or removed from service when the meters are
isolated from the fluid and de-pressured (e.g., for a new plant, during plant shutdown, blind-off, or block-and-bleed).
Retractable type meters are designed to allow installation or removal under normal
operating conditions. Sometimes, the meters can be installed by hot-trapping.
Performance Characteristics. Typically, insertion turbine meters can achieve
1% of full scale. Rangeability is 10:1 to 50:1. Some turbine rotors can operate at
temperatures as high as 750 degrees Fahrenheit.
Applications and Limitations. Insertion turbine meters are used to measure steam
flow, relief gas in a header, and other gas and air flow parameters. Liquid insertion
turbine meters have been used to pace automatic line samplers in custody transfer
applications. They are acceptable only if the liquid is clean.
The limitations of insertion turbine meters are similar to those for in-line meters.

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Specifying and Sizing. Many of the criteria described for in-line turbine meters are
applicable for insertion turbine meters. Consult the manufacturer for proper selection and size.

524 Magnetic Flow Meters


An electromagnetic flow meter measures volumetric liquid flow rate. Its fundamental operating principle is based on Faradays law of electromagnetic induction.
That is, the voltage induced across any conductor, as it moves through a magnetic
field at right angles to the lines of flux, is proportional to the velocity of that
conductor.
In an in-line magnetic flow meter, a straight tube is located in a magnetic field
created by the coils on the tube. Electrodes, mounted in a plane at right angles to the
magnetic field, contact the liquid and act like brushes in a generator. They provide a
means by which the voltage induced in the moving liquid is brought out for external
measurement. This induced voltage is the flow signal. It is linearly proportional to
the velocity of the liquid. For a full pipe, the measured voltage is a direct indication
of the volume flow rate through the pipe. This relation can be expressed by the
formula:
E =k(v)(B)(D)
(Eq. 500-18)

where:
E = signal generated by conductive liquid flow through the pipe
k = a calibration constant
v = velocity of fluid at the sensing point
B = density of magnetic flux generated by means of field coils
D = pipe diameter
Two types of designs are commercially available today:
1.

In-line magnetic flow meterUsually a spool flanged on the process pipe.

2.

Insertion magnetic flow meterFlow sensor mounted on a probe


(Figure 500-42) to measure local velocity. The local velocity is considered
representative.

Applications and Limitations


Applications. Magnetic flow meters are typically used to measure slurries, acid
streams, and viscous fluids (conductive). In the petroleum and chemical industries,
magnetic flow meters are used in water, waste water (effluent) and sludge, acids,
alkalies, and other chemicals.

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Fig. 500-42 Insertion Magnetic Flow Meter (Courtesy of Monitek Technologies)

One of the advantages of magnetic flow meters is that they are obstructionless; they
have no head loss except due to pipe friction. In addition, they may be used in slurries and in dirty and corrosive liquids.
Magnetic flow meters have a wide flow range and are independent of the density,
viscosity, and static pressure of the fluid.
Some probe-type magnetic flow meters are designed for open channel (or partially
filled pipe) flow measurement, as discussed in Section 531.
Limitations. In-line magnetic flow meters are relatively expensive, especially if
line size is large. The accuracy of magnetic flow meters may be affected by change
of fluids, and the process fluid typically must have a minimum conductivity of 5
micromhos per centimeter. Some models may have a lower minimum conductivity
(2 micromhos per centimeter).
Most aqueous liquids can easily meet the minimum conductivity requirement. Pure
liquid organic chemicals may or may not be sufficiently conductive. Crude oil and
refined petroleum products are electrically nonconductive and therefore not suitable
for use with magnetic flow meters.
Magnetic flow meters cannot be calibrated in place.

Performance Characteristics
Accuracies of 0.5% to 1% of full scale are typical. Linearities of 0.5% of full
scale and repeatabilities of 0.2% to 0.5% are also common. Rangeability may be
as high as 30:1.

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The results from a test conducted in 1985 by the International Instrument Users
Association (SIREP WIB) on an in-line magmeter suggest that:
1.

The repeatability may achieve 0.03% of rate above 10% of full scale.

2.

The accuracy may achieve 0.03% of full scale, 0.35% of rate at 10% of full
scale, and 0.65% of rate at 10% of full scale.

3.

The accuracy can be affected by the following factors:

Shift of frequency of power supply


Distorted flow profile due to upstream valves and piping elements
Misalignment of the flow meter
Magnetic interference from external magnetic field

The installed accuracy may, therefore, be affected by these factors.


At present, commercially available insertion magmeters are less accurate than inline meters. In a test on an insertion probe magmeter by SIREP, the accuracy of the
flow meter was approximately 5% at 1 foot per second or less. Insertion magmeters can be used in open channels or partially filled pipes (Section 531) where high
accuracy is often not a concern.

Specifying and Sizing


Consult the manufacturer when specifying and sizing magnetic flow meters. A copy
of the ISA Specification Form with instructions is included in Volume 2 of this
manual.

Installation
Installation methods may vary according to the type and make of the magnetic flow
meter. The manufacturer should be consulted to ensure proper installation.

525 Ultrasonic Flow Meters


The two most common principles of operations used by ultrasonic flow meter
manufacturers are transit time and Doppler effect. A schematic of a typical flow
meter is shown in Figure 500-43.

Transit Time Ultrasonic Flow Meters


Principle of Operation. A transit time ultrasonic flow meter uses two transducers installed on the process line at an angle (usually 45 degrees) to the flow
(Figure 500-44). The transducers function as pulse transmitters and receivers. Sonic
pulses are alternately sent and received between the transducers in opposite directions. Because the pulses travelling upstream (i.e., against flow) take more time to
reach the receiver than those traveling downstream (i.e., with flow), the alternate
pulses yield a frequency difference. This difference is proportional to the average
flow velocity, independent of the specific fluid being measured.

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Fig. 500-43 Ultrasonic Flow Meter Schematic

Fig. 500-44 Transit Time Ultrasonic Flow Meters

Because the measurement is based on frequency shift or time delay, the transit time
type of flow meter is also called time-of-flight or contrapropagating.
Applications. Transit time ultrasonic flow meters are used in gas and liquid
service. In gas service, they are used in natural gas (not for custody transfer
measurement) and air. One application is for flare flow measurement, discussed in
Section 532.
In liquid service, transit time flow meters are limited to relatively clean liquids with
less than 0.2% (by volume) of entrained gas bubbles and solid particles combined.
The flow meters rely upon ultrasonic signals traversing the pipe; therefore, the
liquid must be relatively free of solids and air bubbles. Bubbles in the flow stream
seem to cause more attenuation of the acoustic signals than solids do. Consult the
manufacturer to determine the type of flow meter to use.

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Limitations. A uniform velocity profile is required for both gas and liquid flow
meters. Typically, they perform better at turbulent flow with a Reynolds number
greater than 100,000 and fluid velocity greater than 1 foot per second.
Like turbine meters, both gas and liquid flow meters require a minimum straight
pipe (meter run) from valves, tees, elbows, pumps, compressors, etc., to meet
performance specifications. Typically, 10 to 20 diameters upstream and 5 diameters
downstream are required.
Performance Characteristics. For liquid flow meters, accuracy is typically 1.0 in
turbulent flow (a Reynolds number greater than 100,000 and a fluid velocity greater
than 1 foot per second). The accuracy would be reduced to 2.5% of rate over a
10:1 flow range if these conditions are not met. Repeatability is typically better than
0.5% of rate, depending upon velocity range and manufacturer.
The accuracy of gas flow meters is typically 2% to 5% of rate over 50:1 flow
range. Repeatability is 0.5% of rate.
The accuracy of ultrasonic flow meters may be affected by changes in viscosity and
temperature. A test conducted by an independent testing agency in 1983 revealed
that higher liquid viscosities caused positive shifts in the output. In general, transit
time ultrasonic flow meters are more accurate than Doppler meters.
From 1973 to 1974, the Company and another major oil company conducted separate tests on ultrasonic flow meters. The Company tested a flow meter against two
16-inch positive displacement meters for custody transfer at a liquid pipeline
terminal. The test results indicate that the ultrasonic flow meter tested meets its
factory specified 0.5% accuracy, but it is not accurate enough for normal
(1/20%) custody transfer measurement. It is, however, a reliable, rangeable, low
maintenance meter for applications such as in-line blending or run-down
accounting, where its apparent 1% accuracy is acceptable. It was found that the
meter factor shifted with flow, viscosity and gravity.
In another test conducted in the El Segundo refinery in the mid-1970s, an ultrasonic
flow meter produced erroneous output when the medium changed from crude oil to
water.
In 1993, the company tested a clamped-on ultrasonic flow meter on a crude oil line
against a positive displacement (PD) meter. The average error, from measurement of
multiple batches of transfer, was found to be 3%. With a meter factor, which is from
using a pipe prover, applied to the ultrasonic flow meter, the average error was
0.3%.
In Europe, multi-path transit-time ultrasonic flow measurement is now available for
certain custody transfer applications.

Doppler Effect Ultrasonic Flow Meters


Principle of Operation. A Doppler effect ultrasonic flow meter uses one or two
transducers to send ultrasonic waves, typically at about 500 kHz frequency, at an
angle through the pipe wall (Figure 500-45) into the fluid (usually liquid). Part of
the energy is reflected by particles or bubbles in the fluid and is returned through the

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Fig. 500-45 Doppler Effect Ultrasonic Flow Meter

pipe wall to a receiving transducer. The receiving transducer may or may not be the
same one transmitting the wave.
Because the reflectors are travelling at the fluid velocity, the frequency of the
reflected wave is shifted according to the Doppler principle. The velocity is proportional to the difference between transmitted and received frequency.
An insertion ultrasonic flow meter is a special design. Its hardware and installation
are similar to those for insertion turbine meters. Given a known pipe diameter, flow
rate can be measured.
Applications. Doppler effect ultrasonic flow meters are used in aerated fluids or in
slurry with a particle concentration of 0.2% (to 50%) by volume and approximately
100-micron-sized particles. The flow meters are used in most petroleum products
and chemicals and in brine, liquid sulfur, sulfuric acid, plant effluent, and sewage.
Consult the manufacturer to determine the type of flow meter to use.
Limitations. Like transit time flow meters, Doppler effect flow meters require a
minimum straight pipe (meter run) from valves, tees, elbows, pumps, and compressors to meet performance specifications. Typically, 10 to 20 diameters upstream and
5 diameters downstream are required. In addition, the outside pipe diameter must be
at least 1 inch.
Doppler effect flow meters are susceptible to the velocity profile of the fluid. Even
distribution and uniform size of particles in the fluid helps to improve meter accuracy. The flow meters generally perform better in turbulent flow at higher Reynolds
numbers (i.e., over 100,000).
Pipe vibration at no-flow conditions can sometimes cause an upscale flow indication due to particle or bubble motion. Some manufacturers simply turn down the
sensitivity of the detection circuitry, while others have proprietary circuitry that
ensures a zero indication at no-flow conditions.

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As with the transit time and other flow meters, the pipe must be full in order for the
Doppler effect flow meter to properly indicate volumetric flow. A Doppler effect
flow meter will, however, indicate velocity in a partially full pipe as long as the
transducers are mounted below the liquid in the pipe. Further information on open
channel or partially full pipe flow measurement is provided in Section 531.
The acoustic waves from the transducer of a Doppler effect flow meter do not penetrate air. This type of meter, therefore, cannot be used with porous pipe materials,
such as concrete, concrete-line, cast iron, or many types of fiberglass.
Generally speaking, ultrasonic flow meters with clamp-on transducers are less
accurate than wetted flow meters because the errors introduced by wave reflection in pipe walls due to wave path-length change with temperature (pipe and fluid),
acoustic short circuits, and limitations due to critical angle.
Insertion ultrasonic flow meters to date have limited application. One application is
for pacing an automatic line sampler in crude oil custody transfers. The user should
consult Company specialists and the manufacturer of the automatic line sampler
selected.
Performance Characteristics. Typically, accuracy is 1% to 3% of rate over a
10:1 flow range for liquid flow meters in turbulent flow. Repeatability is typically
better than 0.5% of rate, depending upon velocity range and manufacturer.
Transducer Mounting. Usually, the manufacturers recommended mounting
method should be followed. Basically, the clamp-on style is designed for convenient mounting to the users flow tube in the field, for temporary installation, or as a
portable device. The wetted flow meter is designed to be a permanent part of a fully
assembled flow tube and is usually prefabricated by the flow meter manufacturer.
Wetted transducers can also be applied to pipe walls made of sonically opaque
materials such as concrete, which will not accommodate clamp-on transducers.
The transducers should be mounted sideways (i.e. not top and bottom in liquid
service where debris may accumulate on the bottom of the pipe.
The transducers should also be located where no (or a minimum amount of) air or
vapor is entrained in the liquid.

526 Variable Area Meters (Rotameters)


Operating Principle
A rotameters operation is based on the variable area principle, where the flow
raises a float in a tapered tube and consequently increases the area for passage of the
flow. The greater the flow, the higher the float is raised. The height of the float is
directly proportional to the flow rate.
With liquids, the float is raised by a combination of buoyancy and velocity head.
With gases, the buoyancy is negligible and the float responds to the velocity head
alone. The float moves up and down in the tube in proportion to fluid flow rate. Its
movement is also proportional to the annular area between the float and the tube

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wall. The float reaches a stable position in the tube when the upward force exerted
by the flowing fluid equals the downward gravitational force exerted by the weight
of the float. A change in flow rate upsets this force balance. The float then moves up
or down, changing the annular area, until it again reaches a position where the
forces are in equilibrium.

Types of Rotameters
The two general types of rotameters are as follows.
Glass Tube Rotameters - The basic rotameter is the glass tube indicating type. The
tube is made of precision-machined borosilicate glass. The float is also very accurately machined, usually from metal or plastic. Stainless steel is often used to
provide corrosion resistance. Safety-shielded glass tube rotameters are in general
use throughout industry for measuring both liquids and gases. Figure 500-46 shows
typical glass tube rotameters.
Fig. 500-46 Typical Glass-Tube Rotameters (Courtesy of Brooks Instrument Division,
Emerson Electric)

Metal Tube Rotameters (Armored Meters) - For higher pressures and temperatures beyond the practical range of glass tubes, or for meeting electrical area classification requirements, metal tube rotameters are used. They are usually
manufactured of stainless steel, and stainless steel floats are often standard. A
version of the armored rotameter is the straight-through flow type, which is most
often used for dirty or viscous liquids. Figure 500-47 shows typical metal tube rotameters.

Performance Characteristics
The accuracy of a rotameter is 2% to 10% of full scale over a 10:1 flow range.
Repeatability is typically 1% to 2% of indication.

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Fig. 500-47 Typical Metal Tube Rotameters (Courtesy of Brooks Instrument Division,
Emerson Electric)

Applications and Limitations


Applications. Rotameters have been used in liquid and gas service in various
process plants. They are used as bypass meters, or indicators in analyzer sample
systems, or as purge flow indicators. They can be made with integrated transmitters, alarm switches, and controllers, and coupled with magnetic indicators.
Limitations. All rotameters should be installed vertically.
Glass tube rotameters often have been used in areas where explosionproofing is not
required. They should not be used in liquids which attack the glass metering tube.
For example, a glass tube rotameter should not be used in boiling water with high
pH, which softens the glass; in a wet steam, which also softens the glass; in caustic
soda, which dissolves glass; or in hydrofluoric acid, which etches glass.
Rotameters have a so-called viscosity immunity ceiling. Below this ceiling, the
meter is not influenced by the viscosity of the liquid. When the viscosity immunity
ceiling is exceeded, the rotameter calibration will be influenced by the viscosity.
Glass tube rotameters have temperature and pressure limits. The safe working pressures of borosilicate glass tubes recommended by ISA (ISA RP16.1,2,3) are listed in
Figure 500-48.
Up to the maximum temperatures borosilicate glass tubes are resistant to thermal
shock, but not to hydraulic shock. The maximum working pressure ratings are for
non-shock (no water hammer) conditions.

Specifying and Sizing


Consult an applications engineer or a knowledgeable sales representative to determine the required size and features of the rotameter. To size a rotameter use the

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calculation methods given in Figure 500-49 (5 sheets) as a sizing guide. The guide
was prepared by a domestic rotameter supplier. A chart showing the limit of
viscosity immunity for rotameters is included.
Fig. 500-48 Typical Safe Working Pressures of Borosilicate Glass Tubes
Nominal Tube
Inlet Bore (Inches)

Max. Working
Press.
(psig) Up to 200F

Press. Reduction
Above 200F
(psig/F)

Maximum
Temperature F

1/16 1/8

550

0.75

400

1/4

450

0.75

400

3/8

350

0.75

400

1/2

300

0.75

400

3/4

240

0.60

400

200

0.45

400

130

0.33

400

100

0.25

400

70

0.15

300

50

0.10

300

A copy of the ISA Rotameter Specification Form S20.22 with explanatory instructions is included in Volume 2 of this manual. Because design and rated capacity
vary from one manufacturer to the other, consult the vendor for the proper size.

Industry Standards
ISA has published the following four Recommended Practices (RPs) on rotameters.

ISA RP16.1,2,3, Terminology, Dimensions and Safety Practices for Indicating


Variable Area Meters (Rotameters, Glass Tube, Metal Tube, Extension Type
Glass Tube)

ISA RP16.4, Nomenclature and Terminology for Extension Type Variable Area
Meters (Rotameters)

ISA RP16.5, Installation, Operation, Maintenance Instructions for Glass Tube


Variable Area Meters (Rotameters)

ISA RP16.6, Methods and Equipment for Calibration of Variable Area Meters
(Rotameters)

These RPs should be used to supplement the information provided in this section.

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Fig. 500-49 Rotameter Sizing Guide (Courtesy of Brooks Instrument Division, Emerson Electric) (1 of 5)
Sizing Rotameters
Rotameters are sized by converting the flow rate of the fluid to be metered to an equivalent flow rate of water or
air. The manufacturers capacity tables give meter capacities in GPM water and SCFM air. The conversion may be
computed mathematically with sizing equations, or a table showing sizing factor versus specific gravity may be
used. When a rotameter is shifted to a different service, the capacity change or applicable correction factor may
also be computed using the conversion equations. Sizing factors are given below, and complete sizing equations
follow, based on Brooks Instrument.
Sizing Equations for Rotameters with Stainless Steel Floats
1. Liquid Flow
To obtain equivalent flow rate in GPM water, multiply process flow rate in FPM by the sizing factor corresponding
to Specific Gravity of the process fluid.
(GPM water equivalent = GPM process flow rate sizing factor)
Sp. Gr.

Sizing Factor

Sp. Gr.

Sizing Factor

0.60

0.75

1.00

1.00

0.65

0.79

1.05

1.03

0.70

0.82

1.10

1.06

0.75

0.85

1.15

1.08

0.80

0.88

1.20

1.11

0.85

0.91

1.25

1.14

0.90

0.94

1.30

1.17

0.95

0.97

1.35

1.19

The flow rate of the V float rotameter is independent of the viscosity of the liquid, provided the viscosity does
not exceed the value shown (viscosity ceiling).
Glass Tube

Metal Tube

Tube Size

"

"

1"

1"

2"

"

1"

1"

2"

3"

Brooks Size

10

12

13

10

12

13

15

Viscosity Limit, 5
centistokes

10

20

30

45

15

25

60

125

2. Gas Flow
To obtain equivalent flow rate in SCFM air at STP, correct the process SCFM for operating temperature and pressure as shown.
SCFM air equivalent =
SCFM process flow rate

SG To 14.7
------- -------- --------1.0 530 Po
(Eq. 500-19)

where:
SG = is specific gravity at STP (14.7 psia and 70F).

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Fig. 500-49 Rotameter Sizing Guide (Courtesy of Brooks Instrument Division, Emerson Electric) (2 of 5)
To = Temperature at operating conditions, in R (F + 460)
Po = Pressure at operating conditions, in psia (psig + 14.7)
Viscosity Considerations When Sizing Rotameters
The sharp edge metering float gives a range of viscosity immunity to the rotameter. The degree of this immunity is
dependent on meter size and float weight and therefore the meter capacity.
When sizing meters, compare the viscosity of the fluid being metered to the so-called viscosity immunity ceiling
of the meter selected to be sure the viscosity of the fluid does not exceed that ceiling. When the fluid viscosity is
less than the ceiling, the meter will not be influenced by the viscosity, even though viscosity might vary within the
immunity range or be different from the value actually specified. In this case the capacity data from manufacturers bulletins may be used directly. (The table under Sizing Equations above gives the rotameter viscosity
limits.)
Where the fluid viscosity is greater than the viscosity immunity ceiling, the rotameter calibration will be influenced by the viscosity. In this case, each meter must be individually calibrated to determine the precise calibration at the particular fluid viscosity. It is then important that the meter be used only at the viscosity for which it has
been calibrated.
The guide below, based on the water equivalent flow rate, shows the viscosity immunity ceiling or viscosity
value above which the rotameter is subject to viscosity effect. Regardless of the style of meter, this curve gives
the viscosity with respect to flow rate, below which the meter may be purchased without an individual viscosity
calibration.

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Fig. 500-49 Rotameter Sizing Guide (Courtesy of Brooks Instrument Division, Emerson Electric) (3 of 5)
Complete Sizing Equations for Rotameters
1. Liquids
GPM water equivalent = GPM metered liq. flow

( 7.04 ) ( Sp. gr. liq. )


-----------------------------------------------------------( Sp. gr. float - Sp. gr. liq. )
(Eq. 500-20)

Sp. gr. liquid = Specific gravity (water equals 1.0) of metered liquid at operating conditions
Sp. gr. float = Specific gravity (water equals 1.0) of rotameter float
This equation converts the metered flow to an equivalent flow of water through a rotameter with 316 stainless
steel float, and making allowance for the specific gravity of the metered liquid at operating conditions and the
specific gravity of the float to be used. Brooks capacity tables give the following water flows for rotameters with
316 stainless steel floats.
Specific gravities of float materials:
Aluminum 2.80 Hastelloy B 9.24
Durimet

8.02 Hastelloy C 8.94

Monel 8.84

316 Stn. Stl. 8.04

Teflon

Nickel 8.91

Tantalum

Titanium 4.50

16.60

2.20

2. Gases
SCFM air equivalent = SCFM metered gas flow
( SG ) ( To ) ( 14.7 ) ( 8.04 )
--------------------------------------------------------------------( 1.0 ) ( 530 ) ( Po ) ( Sp. gr. float )
(Eq. 500-21)
SG = Specific gravity (air equals 1.0) of metered gas (at STP)
To = Temperature at operating conditions, R (F + 460)
Po = Pressure at operating conditions, psia (psig + 14.7)
This equation converts the metered flow to an equivalent flow of air in SCFM at 70F and 14.7 psia making allowance for the operating temperature and pressure. Brooks capacity tables are in scfm at standard temperature and
pressure of 14.7 psia and 70F.
For flow in gravimetric units, the basic sizing factor portions of the equations remain unchanged. The flow portion
is modified to confirm to gravimetric flow units.
lbs. per min. liq.
GPM water equivalent = -----------------------------------------( 8.33 ) ( sp. gr. liq. )

( 7.04 ) ( Sp. gr. liq. )


-----------------------------------------------------------( Sp. gr. float - Sp. gr. liq. )
(Eq. 500-22)

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Fig. 500-49 Rotameter Sizing Guide (Courtesy of Brooks Instrument Division, Emerson Electric) (4 of 5)
( lbs. per min. gas (13.34 )
SCFM air equivalent = ---------------------------------------------------------SG
( SG ) ( To ) ( 14.7 ) ( 8.04 )
--------------------------------------------------------------------( 1.0 ) ( 530 ) ( Po ) ( Sp. gr. float )
(Eq. 500-23)
3. Steam
Steam rotameters are sized by a conversion equation showing specific volume, available directly from the steam
tables.
SCFM air equivalent = (lbs. per min.) (3.65)

Specific Volume
(Eq. 500-24)

This equation may also be used for other gas or vapor where the specific volume (or its reciprocal, density in
pounds per cubic foot at operating conditions) is known.
Sizing Equations for Ball Float Rotameters
The capacity tables for the low flow, 150 mm, indicating rotameters using spherical floats, give rotameter capacities for the various individual float materials. Because these meters are sensitive to viscosity, for both liquid and
gas service sizing should be left to the manufacturer.
Changing Rotameter Metering Conditions, Liquid Flow
(Does not apply to small Ball Float Rotameters)
The change in rotameter capacity as a result of a change in fluid being metered (a change in fluid specific gravity)
may be calculated from the equation below. The equation assumes there is no significant change in viscosity.
Q 2 = Q1

( Sp. gr. float Sp. gr. liq. 2 ) ( Sp. gr. liq. 1 )


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------( Sp. gr. float Sp. gr. liq. 1 ) ( Sp. gr. liq. 2 )
(Eq. 500-25)

where:
Q1 = GPM flow rate of rotameter as originally calibrated
Q2 = GPM flow rate for new fluid conditions
Sp. gr. float = specific gravity (water = 1.0) of float
Sp. gr. liquid 1 = specific gravity (water = 1.0) of liquid for which the meter was originally calibrated
Sp. gr. liquid 2 =

specific gravity of liquid for new conditions

Note that the above equation is for volumetric flow rate or GPM. The equation below applies for gravimetric units.

( Sp. gr. float Sp. gr. liq. 2 ) ( Sp. gr. liq. 2 )

= W 1 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------( Sp. gr. float Sp. gr. liq. 1 ) ( Sp. gr. liq. 1 )
(Eq. 500-26)

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Fig. 500-49 Rotameter Sizing Guide (Courtesy of Brooks Instrument Division, Emerson Electric) (5 of 5)
Changing Rotameter Metering Conditions, Gas Flow
(Does not apply to small Ball Float Rotameters)
The correction factor for a gas rotameter used at a temperature, pressure, and specific gravity (Condition 2) other
than the originally specified temperature, pressure, and specific gravity (Condition 1), may be determined mathematically as shown below. This correction applies for scales etched in standard volume units, such as scfh or
scfm.

Correction Factor =

SG1 T1 P2
-----------------------SG2 T2 P1
(Eq. 500-27)

where:
T =

absolute temperature R (F + 460)

P = psia (psig + 14.7)


SG = specific gravity (air equals 1.0)

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527 Vortex Shedding Flow Meters and Swirl Flow Meters


Vortex Shedding Flow Meters
Vortex shedding flow meters were first introduced in the late 1960s. A schematic of
a vortex shedding meter is shown in Figure 500-50. Basically, a vortex shedding
flow meter is a short section of pipe flanged at both ends for direct insertion in a
pipe line. Some forms are not flanged but rather consist simply of a wide ring
mounted between standard pipe flanges of various pressure ratings.
Fig. 500-50 Schematic Vortex Shedding Meter

Principle of Operation. Figure 500-51 shows that when a fluid stream flows
around a bluff body (vortex shedder), viscosity-related effects produce vortices
downstream. The vortices are formed against the bluff body and are shed off its
downstream faces in a regularly oscillating pattern. The fluid velocity is directly
proportional to the frequency of oscillation.
Fig. 500-51 Vortex Shedder and Vortices

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Mathematically, the Von Karman vortex shedding frequency (f), flow velocity (v),
and shedder width (d) relate as follows:
f = (St)(v)/(d)
(Eq. 500-28)

Where the dimensionless constant St is called the Strouhal number and is a significant parameter in vortex flow measurement.
Figure 500-52 shows a typical graph of Strouhal numbers vs. Reynolds numbers for
a cylindrical vortex shedder. Within a wide range of Reynolds numbers, vortex
shedding frequency is directly proportional to fluid velocity and is unaffected by
changes in density and viscosity. If the Strouhal number for a given vortex shedder
is known, flow rate can be measured by means of the vortex shedding frequency.
Fig. 500-52 Strouhal Number vs. Reynolds Number

Vortex shedding frequency of oscillation can be sensed by many different sensors,


including:

Thermistor
Piezoelectric
Ultrasonic
High frequency pressure transducer
Magnetic pick-off
Differential switched capacitor

Applications. Vortex shedding flow meters are used in many liquid, gas, and steam
services to replace orifice meters for better flow range (typically 10:1 as compared
to 3:1 for orifice meters). The head loss to a typical vortex flow meter is usually
smaller than that to an orifice plate.
Limitations. Viscous fluids can not normally be metered by vortex shedding flow
meters because of the minimum Reynolds number constraint. The minimum
Reynolds number must be maintained, and it varies with the shape of the bluff
body, typically ranging from 4,000 to 40,000 for common shapes (e.g., triangular,

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rectangular, square, trapezoidal, and tee). Figure 500-53 shows a graph of typical
minimum flow velocity vs. viscosity (in centistokes) for 1- to 4-inch meter sizes.
Fig. 500-53 Minimum Flow Velocity vs. Viscosity

Installation. Upstream and downstream straight pipes are required. The length of
the straight pipe (i.e., meter run) depends mainly on the piping elements upstream
of the meter. Typical requirements are shown in the table below.
Upstream Piping
Elements

Length of Upstream Meter Run


(as x Pipe Diameters)

Length of Downstream Meter


Run (as x Pipe Diameters)

Reducer

15

Expander

35

Single 90 elbow

40

Two or more 90
elbows in the same or
different plates

40

Globe/gate
valve - full open

35

Control Valve

50

8 after the straightener

Flow straightener

Most vortex shedding flow meters have maximum flow velocities. Typically they
are: 250 feet per second (fps) for gases and steam and 25-30 fps for liquids. These
maximum flows sometimes limit the rangeability of vortex shedding flow meters to
less than 10:1.
It is important to select the proper type of sensor for the process. Sensors with ports
can clog when used with dirty fluids. Sensors with moving parts can have maintenance problems if operated at high frequencies. Wetted sensors must be able to

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withstand the extremes in recalibration of electronics. Sensors which require a


process shutdown and draining of the line for maintenance may not be practical.
Performance Characteristics. Above their minimum flow rates, most vortex shedding flow meters can achieve an accuracy of 1% or better over a 10:1 flow range.
Actual rangeability may be reduced (e.g., to 8:1) because of the minimum Reynolds
number constraint.
During the period of 1985 to 1988, WIB-SIRED tested five vortex meters: Foxboro,
Yokogawa (Japan), Neptune, Kent (U.K.) and Bopp and Reuther (West Germany).
The test results indicate the following.
1.

The accuracies based on the meter factors provided by vendors range from
1 to 2% of rate. The repeatabilities of most of the meters were within 0.2%.
Only some of the meters tested met manufacturers accuracy specification.

2.

Meter factors provided by vendors may not always be accurate. The calibration
curve of vortex flow meters can be determined most accurately by performing a
wet calibration with the medium to be used under operating conditions. A
different fluid can be used to accurately calibrate the meter, provided the flow
rate of the calibration fluid covers the same Reynolds number range as the
actual operating fluid under operating conditions.

3.

Low viscosity fluids, like propane, yield rather high Reynolds numbers at
which the vortex flow meters perform well.

4.

Installed accuracy can be adversely affected because of misalignment of the


meter, upstream valves, and piping elements. Use of Schedule 80 pipe may also
degrade accuracy.

Sizing. Following is a size selection guide prepared by a vortex shedding manufacturer (Figure 500-54). The minimum and maximum flow rates may vary by make
and model, but the information in this guide gives a good example of how to size a
vortex shedding flow meter.

Swirl Flow Meter


A swirl flow meter or Swirlmeter uses its stationary swirl blades to force the
axial flow of fluid into a rotation (Figure 500-55). A vortex generated at the center
of the rotation is forced by a backflow into a secondary rotation that is proportional
to the flow rate and linear within a broad measuring range.
This frequency is measured by a piezosensor. The frequency signal is then
converted in the converter to an electrical or digital signal output.
Performance. The accuracy of a Swirlmeter is similar to that for a vortex shedding
flow meter - 0.5 to 1% of the rate.
Applications. Swirlmeters have been in use in gas, oil and chemical (liquid) applications. Company experience is limited.

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Fig. 500-54 Vortex Shedding Flow Meter Sizing Guide (1 of 4) (Courtesy of Endress + Hauser)
The operating range of a vortex shedding flow meter depends on the characteristics of the fluid being monitored.
The following size selection guide is designed as a general guide for properly sizing the flow meter.
1. General Criteria
Maximum Flow velocity: Steam and gas, 246 fps (75 mps); liquids, 30 fps (9 mps).
Minimum flow velocity is dependent upon three criteria:
a. Fluid density (influences sensor sensitivity).
b. Minimum Reynolds Number of 3800.
c. Minimum vortex frequency of 1 Hz, for large sizes (8-12 inches).
2. Saturated Steam Flow
Minimum and maximum mass flow rates by meter size are shown in Figure 500-54A below.
Example: What is the measuring range for 60 psig saturated steam in a 4-inch line?
a. From Figure 500-54A, scan across the 4 inch row and read the measuring range under the 150 psig column
(1100 to 28,580 lb/hr).

Figure 500-54A
b. The saturation temperature is 366F and the density is 0.363 lb/ft3 (last two lines of Figure 500-54A).
3. Superheated Steam Flow
a. Read the density from Figure 500-54B based on operating temperature and pressure (interpolation may be
required).

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Fig. 500-54 Vortex Shedding Flow Meter Sizing Guide (2 of 4) (Courtesy of Endress + Hauser)

Figure 500-54B
b. If flow rate is known only in lb/hr, convert to volumetric flow rate using the formula below.
m
q = -----------------( 60 ) ( )
(Eq. 500-29)
where:
q = volumetric flow rate in ACFM
m = mass flow rate in lb/hr
= density in lb/ft3
c. Refer to Figure 500-54C for minimum/maximum flow rates by meter size.
Example: Determine the proper line size and measuring range for superheated steam at 500F and 200 psig,
flowing at 20,000 lb/hr.
a. From Figure 500-54B, the steam density is 0.396 lb/ft3
20 ,000
b. q = --------------------------- = 842 ACFM
( 60 ) ( 0.396 )

(Eq. 500-30)

c. From Figure 500-54C, a 4-inch meter would be a good choice, offering a 17.5:1 turndown. The measuring
range for a steam density of 0.396 lb/ft3 is 48-1300 ACFM, or 1150-31,000 lb/hr.

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Fig. 500-54 Vortex Shedding Flow Meter Sizing Guide (3 of 4) (Courtesy of Endress + Hauser)

Figure 500-54C
1. Gas Flow
a. If the flow rate is only known in SCFM, convert to ACFM:

( qs )( T )
= ---------------------A
( 35.4 ) ( p )
(Eq. 500-31)

where:
qA = Actual volumetric flow in ACFM
qs = Volumetric flow rate at standard conditions (60F, 14.7 psia)
T = Actual process temperature in R (F + 460)
p = Actual process pressure in psia
b. Determine the actual gas density. Standard densities of some common gases are shown in Figure 500-54D.
Calculate actual density as:

( s ) ( p ) ( 35.4 )
= --------------------------------A
(T )
(Eq. 500-32)

where:
A = Actual density in lb/ft3
s = Density at standard conditions (60F, 14.7 psia) in lb/ft3
p = Actual process pressure in psia
T = Actual process temperature in R (F + 460)

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Fig. 500-54 Vortex Shedding Flow Meter Sizing Guide (4 of 4) (Courtesy of Endress + Hauser)

Figure 500-54D
c. If the density is unknown, it can be determined from the molecular weight or specific gravity of the gas as:
M
G
= -------- = --------381
13.1
(Eq. 500-33)
where:
= Density in lb/ft3
M = Molecular weight of the gas
G = Specific gravity of the gas
d. Refer to Figure 500-54C for minimum/maximum flow rates by meter size.
Example: Determine the proper line size and measuring range for air at 70F and 100 psig, flowing at 5000
SCFM.
a. Converting from SCFM to ACFM:
( 5000 ) ( 70 + 460 )
q A = ------------------------------------------ = 653 ACFM
( 35.4 ) ( 100 + 14.7 )
(Eq. 500-34)
b. Actual gas density:
( 0.0761 ) ( 100 + 14.7 ) ( 35.4 )
A = -------------------------------------------------------------- = 0.583lb/ft 3
( 70 + 460 )
(Eq. 500-35)
c. From Figure 500-54C, a 4-inch meter would be a good choice, offering a 16:1 turndown. The measuring
range for a gas density of 0.583 lb/ft3 is 40-1300 ACFM.

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Fig. 500-55 Swirlmeter Operating Principle (Courtesy of Bailey, Fischer & Porter Co.)

Installations. The upstream and downstream straight run requirements are much
less stringent than vortex meters. A manufacturer recommended the following:
Length of Upstream
Meter Run (as x Pipe
Diameters)

Lengths of Downstream
Meter Run (as x Pipe
Diameters)

Reducer

Expander

Single 90 elbow

Globe/gate valve - full open

Upstream
Piping Elements

The thermowell, if needed, should be installed at least 2D downstream of the


process connection of the meter.

528 Mass Flow Meters


A mass flow meter is one that measures mass directly. Mass flow meters can be
classified by operating principle as the Coriolis effect and Thermal types. Coriolis effect mass flow meters are often used in liquid and slurries. Some can be used
in compressed gases. Thermal mass flow meters are used in gas and liquid.
This section discusses Coriolis effect mass flow meters. Thermal mass flow meters
are discussed in Section 532.

Principle of Operation
Typically, a Coriolis effect mass flow meter consists of a flow sensor unit and an
electronic transmitter unit. The flow sensor unit is made of one or more flow tubes.
Figure 500-56 is one of many flow tube assembly designs. Each sensor utilizes a
magnetic coil mechanism to vibrate the flow tubes. The tubes vibrate at their natural
or harmonic frequency like a tuning fork. The peak amplitude is typically less than
one-tenth of an inch.

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Fig. 500-56 Typical Flow Tube Assembly (Courtesy Micro Motion, Inc.)

As fluid flows through the tubes, it generates a so-called Coriolis force. This Coriolis force always opposes entering fluid and aids departing fluid. As the fluid accelerates on the inlet side and decelerates on the outlet side, it causes the tubes to twist.
The amount of twist is directly proportional to the mass flow rate of the fluid
flowing through the tubes. Two position detectors, located on each side of the flow
tubes, send this information (as a difference of phase shift) to the electronic transmitter unit, where it is processed and displayed.
A Coriolis force mass flow meter may also be configured to indicate volumetric
flow rate. In this case, the frequency of the vibrating tube or tubes is measured and
used to determine the density of the fluid. The density is determined in the same
manner as other types of vibrating tube densitometers, and is independent of the
mass flow rate determination. By dividing the mass flow rate by the measured
density, the actual volumetric flow rate is determined.

Applications and Limitations


Applications. Coriolis effect mass flow meters are relatively new and are still being
developed. They are used for chemicals and plastics, slurries, produced oil, liquefied petroleum gases, and and wherever mass flow measurement (i.e., by weight) is
desirable or where volumetric flow measurement is difficult. For example, the
Company has been using a number of mass flow meters to measure unstabilized
liquid flow of produced oil. Installing a stabilizer at each wellhead, the alternative to
using mass flow meters to measure this nearly two-phase flow, would be very
expensive.
A Coriolis effect mass flow meter can also be used to measure net oil in producing
fields. From 1986 to 1987, Chevron Petroleum Technology Company used Micro
Motion mass flow meters and an electronic unit to develop a Net Oil Computer
(NOC) system. The NOC can measure water (in percentage) for production well
testing and product allocation. Since then, the Company has licensed several meter
manufacturers to use NOC calculations in their products.

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Limitations. The cost of a mass flow meter rises rapidly with size; 4- to 6-inch
meters are usually considered the large standard size. Large meters are very
heavy. The flow tube assembly for a typical 3-inch flow meter (0 - 7000 lb/min flow
range) weighs over 200 pounds. The weight of a typical 6-inch meter may exceed
1400 pounds.
Although there is currently no API standard governing field proving of Coriolis
force mass flow meters, API published a technical report (in 1995) outlining procedures for proving this type of flow meter. In general, if the Coriolis flow meter is
configured to indicate volume, the same proving equipment and procedures for
conventional volumetric flow meters (i.e., PD and turbine meters) can be adapted. If
the Coriolis meter is configured to measure mass, then the density of the fluid would
need to be measured and incorporated in the proving calculations.

Performance Characteristics
Accuracy of 0.2% to 0.4% of rate is common for typical Coriolis effect mass
flow meters. Rangeability of 20:1 and repeatability of 0.1% are common for most
meters.
As the process pressure increases, the stiffness of metering tubes also increases,
causing a negative measurement error if not compensated. The magnitude of pressure effect ranges typically from nil to - 0.009% per psi, depending on the size, wall
thickness and design of the meter. In general, meters with smaller tubes or thicker
tube walls have negligible or very low pressure coefficients. Large size meter and/or
meters with thin tube walls would have higher pressure coefficients.
Operating temperature ranges from -400F to 400F for the flow tube assembly. The
electronic control unit is typically limited to -40F to 140F.

Specifying and Sizing


Flow range, fluid type, and operating temperature and pressure must be provided
when specifying a mass flow meter. Wetted material ranges from carbon steel to
stainless steel to alloys, depending upon its intended application. Consult the manufacturer for help in the proper selection of materials.
Figure 500-57 is a specification for a typical Coriolis effect mass flow meter. Sensor
sizes shown are for inch to 6 inch tube size (same size flanges are usually used
for end connections).
Figure 500-58 shows typical pressure drops versus flow rate. This chart is only valid
for process fluids with viscosities near 1 Cp. For specific gravities other than 1,
divide by the specific gravity (based on water at 70F). Consult flow meter manufacturer for higher viscosities and gases.

Installation
Manufacturers recommendations on installation, specifically mounting and
orientation of the meter should be followed. Since vendor instructions may not be

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Fig. 500-57 Specifications for a Typical Coriolis Mass Flow Meter (Courtesy of Micro Motion, Inc.)

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Fig. 500-58 Pressure Drop vs. Flow Rate for a Typical Mass Flow Meter (Sensor Size (DXX) Explained in
Figure 500-57) (Courtesy of Micro Motion, Inc.)

available or sufficient, the following are some general considerations on installation


of Coriolis mass flow meters:
1.

Locate the meter flow sensor at a low point of the piping, or pipe drop to
avoid air or vapor trapped in the meter.

2.

Use an air eliminator or other control devices to liquid-pack the meter.

3.

Avoid installing the meter flow sensor in a vertical line to avoid particle accumulation in the flow tubes when measuring liquid slurries. This orientation also
facilitates cleaning, if the process lines are purged with gas or steam.

4.

Locate the flow sensor unit at least two feet from any large transformer or
motor to reduce electromagnetic interference from other electrical equipment.

5.

Secure the flow sensor unit and avoid excessive vibration.

6.

Locate the flow meter sensor at a location with minimum pressure fluctuation,
if practical. Avoid locations where large pressure changes occur due to control
valves, change of pipe size, and piping elements. Avoid locations where a large
pressure drop may occur which can cause cavitation.

Figure 500-59 shows the orientation guidelines recommended by Micro Motion for
their Elite series mass flow meters larger than inch.

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Fig. 500-59 Orientation of Flow Sensors (Courtesy of Micro Motion, Inc.) (1 of 2)

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Fig. 500-59 Orientation of Flow Sensors (Courtesy of Micro Motion, Inc.) (2 of 2)

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530 Other Flow Measurement Devices


531 Open Channel and Partially Filled Pipe Flow Measurement
Fluid flow in an open channel can be measured by the following methods.

Measurement of the fluid depth (i.e., head) to infer volumetric flow rate
Measurement of the fluid depth plus velocity to calculate flow rate

Fluid flow in a partially filled pipe (closed conduit) can also be measured by these
methods.
A prerequisite for open channel or partially filled closed conduit flow measurement
is that a free flow condition must exist at all flow rates. If this condition is met, the
Manning/Chezy Equation can be used:
Q = 1.49 (R0.167)(S0.5)(A)/(n)
(Eq. 500-36)

where:
Q = flow rate in appropriate engineering units
1.49 = constant, dimensionless
R = the hydraulic radius
( area of stream cross section )
= ----------------------------------------------------------------------( wetted perimeter )
S = slope or gradient of the channel/pipe
A = channel/pipe cross sectional area
n = roughness factor of the channel or pipe wall; e.g., n is 0.015 for a
concrete surface and 0.014 for cast iron pipe in fair condition
The equation and the constants are based on experimental data with water in turbulent flow. The flow rate measurement accuracy is typically 5% to 10% for the first
method (level-only) and 3% to 5% for the second method (velocity plus level),
provided other parameters in the equation are comparably accurate.
Open channel flow meters based on the measurement of level only include those
with flumes, weirs, flow tubes, static pressure sensors, and capacitance and ultrasonic level sensors as the primary element.
Flow meters based on the measurement of velocity plus level typically consist of
one of the primary elements for fluid depth from those listed above, plus an ultrasonic or a magnetic flow meter as the velocity sensor. This section briefly describes
some of the most commonly used open channel flow meters: flumes, ultrasonic and
magnetic open channel flow meters, combination of velocity and level measurement flow meters, and weirs.

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Flumes
The Parshall flume and the Palmer Bowlus Flume are two major types of flumes
with a long history of use in waste water flow measurement. Flumes are not often
used in Chevron applications. See Weirs and Flumes by P. Ackers for more
information.

Ultrasonic Open Channel Flow Meters


Figure 500-60 shows some typical open channel applications using ultrasonic flow
meters for fluid depth and velocity measurements. Rangeability of this type of flow
meter may be as much as 200:1.
Fig. 500-60 Various Mounting Methods for Ultrasonic Open Channel Flow Meters (Courtesy
of Badger Meters, Inc.)

Magnetic Open Channel Flow Meters


A magnetic flow probe can be used for velocity measurement. It creates a magnetic
field through which fluid (usually conductive) cuts the fields lines of force. Thus a
voltage is created proportional to velocity, in accordance with Faradays Law.
As is typical for magnetic flow meters, the measurement is unaffected by bubbles.
Like ultrasonic flow meters, magnetic open channel flow meters can detect flow
direction and have wide flow range (typically, 100:1).

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Combination of Velocity and Level Measurements


A number of commercially available open channel flow meters utilize a velocity
sensor (e.g., ultrasonic, magnetic) and a level measurement device (e.g., ultrasonic,
static pressure sensor, flume, flow tube, or weir) to achieve better accuracy (3%
to 5%) as compared with the level-only open channel flow measurement (5% to
10%).
These flow meters are usually unaffected by solids or air bubbles or by backwater
(back flow) effects. They can detect flow direction. The flow meters provide much
better accuracy than the level-only type when flow velocity is not constant.

Weirs
A weir is a partial obstruction in an open channel over which the fluid accelerates
with a free surface. Weir plates are simple head-producing primary devices for open
channel flow measurement. They are suitable for clear fluids where hydraulic conditions are stable.
Operation of the weir is sensitive to the approach velocity of the liquid, often necessitating a stilling basin or pond upstream of the weir. Such a basin reduces the fluid
velocity and provides a place for debris to settle out. Accumulation of foreign material and debris adjacent to the flow meter will affect the operation of the flow meter.
Self-cleaning bar screens well upstream of the flow meter may be considered if
debris is a persistent problem.
To avoid submergence of the weir, the crest must be located higher than the
maximum possible downstream elevation of the fluid surface. The head measurement should be made far enough upstream from the weir so that it will not be
affected by the downward curve of the fluid surface.
Weirs can achieve accuracies of 2% to 5% of rate and turndowns of as high as 25:1.
However, the reduced accuracy of the level transmitter may become significant in
the lower portion of the flow range. The V-notch weir has a very good turndown and
its coefficient does not vary excessively over a wide range of flow.
Figure 500-61 illustrates three types of weirs: rectangular, Cipolletti, and triangular
or V-notch. Weir size may be estimated by using the graphs of the relationship
between flow and the liquid head upstream of the flow meter as shown in
Figure 500-62. Information on flow measurement for open channels and partially
filled pipes can be obtained from the following references and standards.
Ackers, P., et al., Weirs and Flumes (Wiley, New York, 1978).
ISO, Standard 1438, Liquid Flow Measurement in Open Channels Using Thin Plate
Weirs and Venturi Flumes (ISO 1438-1975E, 1975).
ISO, Standard 1438/1, Water Flow Measurement in Open Channels Using Weirs and
Venturi Flumes, Pt. 1, Thin Weirs (ISO 1438/1-1980E, 1980).
National Bureau of Standards, A Guide to Methods and Standards for the Measurement of Water Flow (NBS Publication 421, 1975).

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Fig. 500-61 Common Types of Weirs (Courtesy of Bailey, Fischer and Porter, by W. H. Nagel, P. E.)

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Fig. 500-62 Relationship of Flow and Liquid Head (Weirs) (Courtesy of Bailey, Fischer and Porter,
by W. H. Nagel, P. E.)

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532 Flare Flow Meters


A flare flow meter is needed for energy conservation and for environmental compliance. Flare flow meters provide the following essential information.

Energy conservationBy measuring relief rates of individual process plants,


operators may be able to identify and improve processing at troubled plants.
Flare gas flow measurement may also be required by local regulatory authorities in Europe.

Control of LeaksSome flare flow meters can calculate molecular weight of


the gas in the stack. Molecular weight may be used to identify sources of leaks
into the flare system. Quick identification of leak sources, such as partially
unseated relief valves, often produces significant savings.

Environmental complianceMass flow rate measured by a flare flow meter


may be used to control flare tip steam injection. If the mass flow in the stack is
known, the correct amount of steam required at the flare tip may be accurately
controlled, reducing steam usage while maintaining compliance with pollution
control regulations.
With a fast-acting steam control valve, the flare flow meter can be used for
automatic flare control to reduce the extent of or to prevent a smoking stack
during a process surge.

Several types of flare flow meters have been tried in the past decade. At present, the
most commonly used flare flow meters are ultrasonic (transit-time) and thermal
(thermistor) types.

Ultrasonic Flare Flow Meters


A transit-time (time-of-flight) ultrasonic flare flow meter uses two ultrasonic
transducers in the gas flow. Each transducer is capable of sending and receiving
ultrasonic pulses. A pulse travelling in the direction of flow arrives at the opposite
transducer in a shorter period than a pulse travelling against the flow. The measured
time difference can be used to calculate the velocity of the flow.
Ultrasonic flare flow meters operate in both laminar and turbulent flow regions.
Their velocity range is typically 0.1 to 50 feet per second, bi-directional. If the pipe
diameter is known, the volumetric flow rate can be calculated.
With temperature measured by a thermocouple or RTD and with pressure measured
by a pressure sensor, the flow meter can use average velocity to calculate molecular
weight and then mass flow rate of the gas.

Thermal (Thermistor) Flare Flow Meters


The operating principle of a thermal flare flow meter is based on the measurement
of heat dissipated by one or more pairs of matched thermistors. A thermistor is a
detector that uses a temperature-sensitive resistor as its sensing element. Infrared
radiation causes the temperature of the resistor to change. The single-point flow
meter uses a pair of thermistors while the multi-point uses multiple pairs.
Figure 500-63 shows the mounting for a typical thermistor flare flow meter.

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Fig. 500-63 Direct Insertion FM713 MKII Thermistor Flare Flow Meter Installation (Courtesy of Peek Measurement,
Sarasota Products)

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Single-point mass flow meters are more suitable for smaller relief lines, relief
headers with sufficient straight runs, and higher flow velocities. In other words, they
are suitable for even flow profiles in which the actual flow can be inferred by the
average linear velocity at a point selected locally. In a fully developed flow, this
point is at approximately two-tenths of the pipe diameter if measured from the inner
wall of the pipe. Figure 500-64 conceptually compares the single-point against the
multi-point design by a thermal mass flow meter supplier.
Fig. 500-64 Typical Single-point vs. Multi-point Thermal Mass Flow Meter (Courtesy of Fluid
Components, Inc.)

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Multi-point mass flow meters are better suited for installations where an irregular
flow profile is anticipated.

Other Comments
In 1987, an ultrasonic and a single-point thermal mass flow meter were tested sideby-side at Chevron USAs Richmond refinery. Following are some findings of
interest.

The realistic accuracy of the flare flow meters tested was 5% to 15% of rate.
This accuracy depended upon piping configuration, range of flow rate, and how
well the meters were calibrated.

In practice, it is almost impossible to physically calibrate and prove a flare flow


meter in the field. If this were possible, the accuracy would improve.

The typical response time of both flow meters was 30 to 60 seconds.

The molecular weights measured by the ultrasonic flow meter (with temperature and pressure inputs) were found to be 11% to 19% lower than those
analyzed by a laboratory gas chromatograph with grab samples.

Stratification may exist as a result of very low flow and a large relief header. If
this is the case, accuracy of the flow meter will be adversely affected.

If the response time is acceptable, the mass flow rates measured by these flare
flow meters may be used to set steam injection rates for flare control.

Thermal (mass flow) instrumentation is usually applied as a switch indicating


flow or no-flow. See Section 550.

In 1988, Chevron USAs Pascagoula refinery replaced the thermal pile on a relief
line with a thermal mass flow meter and reported satisfactory performance.

Other Flare Flow Meters


In addition to the ultrasonic (transit-time) and thermal flow meters, vortex and
annubar flow meters have been tried for flare flow measurement. The results have
been fair to relatively unsatisfactory because of their low rangeability (3:1 for
annubar and 10:1 for vortex) and the minimum Reynolds number (10,000) required
by both flow meters.

533 Two-Phase and Multi-Phase Flow Metering


Two-phase Flow Meters
Two-phase flows are difficult to measure directly. It is difficult to accurately
measure the total flow (i.e., two phases combined), and more difficult to measure
each phase accurately.
For two-phase flow application which does not require measuring each phase, some
conventional flow meters can be used with a reasonable degree of success, for
example, a wedge meter in a wet gas stream.

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For a two-phase flow application which requires measuring each phase, commercially available flow metering systems include:

Coriolis mass flow meters which have been successfully used in oil-water flow
measurement, as net oil computer (NOC), in various upstream applications.

Combination of microwave technology and conventional meters (e.g., turbine


meter) as an NOC for two-phase meter for oil/water measurement.

The accuracy of these two-phase flow meters ranges from 2 to 5%.

Multi-phase Flow Meters


Direct measurement of multi-phase (i.e., oil, gas and water) production flows offers
potentially large savings in facilities and operating costs. In the past several years,
various multi-phase metering systems were tested and developed by a number of
flow meter system vendors and oil companies. One of them is the Chevron Multiphase Metering Loop (CMML) by Chevron Petroleum Technology Company
(CPTC).
These multi-phase flow meters usually employ more than one measurement technology, and some designs require the physical separation of gas from liquid in a slip
stream. The accuracy of these metering systems ranges from 1% to 10%, and the
accuracy varies with each of the three phases.
For more information, consult with fluid measurement specialists in CPTC.

534 Other Flow Meters


Other flow meters have been used by the industry to overcome specific problems
and for special purposes. These include target flow meters and unconventional flow
meters.
Target Flow Meters. The target flow meters (Figure 500-65) were developed to
overcome the problems of dirt buildup in front of an orifice in liquid streams and of
liquid buildup in a moist gas stream. These meters also eliminate freezing or plugging of lead lines.
The primary element of a target flow meter consists of a sharp leading edge disk
(target) tied to a supporting rod or bar. The differential pressure produced by the
reduced annular area creates a disk drag force. This pressure is transmitted through
a bar to a secondary device. Like all other d/p flow devices, the square-rooted
output is linearly proportional to the volume flow rate.
Target flow meters are well suited for dirty flows and for flows with low-Reynolds
number (RD>100), as well as for clean fluids.
Accuracy of uncalibrated target flow meters ranges from 1% to 5% of upper
range value, depending on line size, beta ratio, and Reynolds number.
Unconventional Flow Meters. In addition to those covered so far, a number of
unconventional, high-tech flow measurement technologies are available. Some of
them are being tested or developed. These technologies include neutron

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Fig. 500-65 Target Insertion Flow Meter

bombardment/gamma re-radiation tagging, nuclear, and others. They are not


discussed in detail here because they have not yet gained industry acceptance.

540 Meter Provers


541 Proving Liquid Flow Meters
Liquid flow meters can be proved by one of the following uni-directional prover
devices: a pipe prover, a tank prover, or a master meter.

A pipe prover is a type of continuous flow volumetric prover comprising a


length of pipe from which a known volume is displaced by a displacer to or
from a meter being proved at normal operating conditions.

A tank prover is an open or closed vessel of known capacity designed for the
accurate determination of the volume of liquid delivered into or out of it during
a meter proving operation. The prover tank is typically an upright cylindricalshaped tank.

A master meter is a meter that has been previously proved by another certified prover. The master meter can then be used either to prove a flow meter or
to prove a prover.

The API Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards (MPMS), Chapter 4,


Proving Systems, and Chapter 12, Calculation of Liquid Petroleum Quantities
Measured by Turbine or Displacement Meters, should be read for additional information on meter proving. The Chevron Petroleum Measurement Manual, Part C
also provides information of meter provers and meter proving.

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A document entitled Guidelines for Meter Prover Design is included as Appendix C


in Volume 1 of this manual to provide more details on typical applications of each
of these provers. The design guide also discusses typical meter/prover systems for
custody transfer, with emphasis on conventional pipe provers. In addition, a model
specification, Stationary Meter ProversDisplacement Type Conventional Pipe
Provers (ICM-MS-2498), is included in the Specification section of this manual.

542 Proving Gas Flow Meters


Gas flow meters used for custody transfer can be proved by a master gas turbine
meter, a sonic nozzle prover, a bell prover, or a critical-flow orifice prover. These
devices are discussed briefly in Section 523. Because proving gas flow meters is a
specialized topic, this subject is not covered in depth here. More information on
proving gas turbine meters can be found in American Gas Association (AGA)
Report No. 7.

543 Proving Mass Flow Meters


To date, no industry standard on proving mass flow meters is available. No continuous field proving technique or device has yet been developed. Currently, mass flow
meters are calibrated in the shop through the use of weights certified by NIST.

550 Flow Switches


Thus far, we have described the most commonly used flow meters. This section
briefly describes flow switches, two-phase flow measurement, and other unconventional flow measurement technologies.

Flow Switches
Three basic types of flow switches have been available for many years: mechanical,
magnetic, and thermistor or thermal.

Chevron Corporation

1.

Mechanical: The flow physically moves a paddle, a float, or a similar device,


thereby opening or closing a contact closure in a switch at the preset flow rate.
Another widely used flow switch uses a differential pressure transmitter with an
orifice.

2.

Magnetic: Two designs are available. The first design uses a magnetic piston
that is moved by the flow to activate the switch. The second design operates on
Faradays Law of Magnetic Induction by measuring electrically conductive
fluid that moves through a magnetic field to induce a voltage proportional to
flow. This design is virtually a magnetic flow meter with a set-point.

3.

Thermistor or thermal: This switch measures rate of heat dissipation


(thermal dispersion) in the surrounding area. The temperature differential
between a reference sensor and the measuring sensor is the greatest in a noflow condition and decreases as the flowing fluid passes across the sensing
assembly. Flow can be measured by the rate of heat dispersion.

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Of these three basic types, the thermal or thermistor flow switches have been found
to be accurate, reliable, and easy to install.
Flow switches can be used in liquid, gas, and air. The set-point of some flow
switches is field-adjustable.

560 Model Specifications, Standard Drawings, and Engineering Forms


561 Model Specifications
Specification ICM-MS-2498 Stationary Meter ProverDisplacement Type
Conventional Pipe Prover.

562 Standard Drawings


The following standard drawings are included Volume 1, Part 2, of this manual.

July 1999

GB-J1177

Differential Pressure Flow Instrument Gas ServiceInstrument


Above Taps

GB-J1178

Differential Pressure Flow Instrument Liquid ServiceInstrument


Below Taps

GB-J1179

Differential Pressure Flow Instrument Dry GasInstrument Below


Taps

GB-J1180

Differential Pressure Flow Instrument Wet GasInstrument Below


Taps

GB-J1181

Differential Pressure Flow Instrument Steam ServiceInstrument


Below Taps

GB-J1182

Differential Pressure Flow Transmitter Gas ServiceMeter Above


Taps

GB-J1183

Differential Pressure Flow Transmitter Liquid ServiceMeter


Below Taps

GB-J1184

Differential Pressure Flow Transmitter Steam ServiceWithout Seal


Pots

GB-J1185

Differential Pressure Flow Transmitter Gas ServiceMeter Below


Taps

GB-J1186

Differential Pressure Flow Transmitter Steam ServiceWith


Condensate Pots

GB-J1187

Differential Pressure Flow Throat Tap Connections

GB-J33475

Piping Requirements for Meter Runs

GC-J99504

Standard Orifice Plates

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570 References
571 Included Materials
The following appendices are included in Volume 1 of this manual.
Appendix A, Orifice Design by Mainframe Computer
Appendix B, Hand Calculation Method for Orifice Design
Appendix C, Guidelines for Meter Prover Design
Appendix D, Flowmeter Selection Charts for Process Plant Meters
The following materials are included in Volume 2 of this manual.
ISA S20

Specification Forms for Process Measurement and Control Instruments, Primary Elements and Control Valves (with instructions):

S20.20

Orifice Plates and Flanges

S20.21

Differential Pressure Instruments

S20.22

Rotameters

S20.23

Magnetic Flow Meters

S20.24

Turbine Flow Meters

S20.25

Positive Displacement Meters

572 Other References


Ackers, P., et al. Weirs and Flumes. New York: Wiley, 1978.
AGA, Report No. 7, Measurement of Fuel Gas by Turbine Meters.
API RP 500, Classification of Locations for Electrical Installations at Petroleum
Facilities Classified as Class I, Division 1 and Division 2.
API RP 551, Process Measurement Instrumentation
API RP 505, Classification of Locations for Electrical Installations at Petroleum
Facilities Classified as Class I, Zone 0, Zone 1, and Zone 2.
API, Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards.
ASME, Standard MFC-3M-1984, Measurement of Fluid Flow in Pipes Using
Orifice, Nozzle, and Venturi.
ASME Publication, Fluid Meters - Their Theory and Application.
Chevron Petroleum Measurement Manual, Part C
Chevron Corporation, Natural Gas Measurement Manual, 1988.
ISA Standards and Practices for Instrumentation, particularly the following:

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ISA RP16.1, 2, 3 Terminology, Dimensions and Safety Practices for Indicating Variable Area Meters (Rotameters, Glass Tube, Metal Tube, Extension Type Glass Tube)
ISA RP16.4 Nomenclature and Terminology for Extension Type Variable Area
Meters (Rotameters)
ISA RP16.5 Installation, Operation, Maintenance Instructions for Glass Tube Variable Area Meters (Rotameters)
ISA RP16.6 Methods and Equipment for Calibration of Variable Area Meters
(Rotameters)
ISO, Standard 1438, Liquid Flow Measurement in Open Channels Using Thin Plate
Weirs and Venturi Flumes (ISO 1438-1975E, 1975).
ISO, Standard 1438/1, Water Flow Measurement in Open Channels Using Weirs and
Venturi Flumes, Pt. 1, Thin Weirs (ISO 1438/1-1980E, 1980).
ISO, Standard 5167, Measurement of Fluid Flow by Means of Orifice Plates,
Nozzles and Venturi Tubes in Circular Cross-Section Conduits Running Full.
Miller, R. W. Flow Measurement Engineering Handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill.
National Bureau of Standards, A Guide to Methods and Standards for the Measurement of Water Flow (NBS Publication 421, 1975).

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600 Temperature Measurement


Abstract
This section is a practical guide to the application, selection, specification, and
installation of instruments for measuring, indicating, recording, and controlling
temperature in refineries, chemical plants, and producing facilities. Section 610
discusses general concepts of temperature measurement, particularly as they bear on
selecting a temperature instrument. It also describes and discusses specific devices
and provides guidance in their application and specification. Section 630 gives
general and specific guidance for the installation of temperature instruments.
Section 650 lists reference material for further reading.

Chevron Corporation

Contents

Page

610

Application and Specification of Temperature Instruments

600-3

611

General Information

612

Temperature Primary Elements

613

Bimetallics

614

Filled Thermal Systems

615

Thermocouples

616

Resistance Temperature Devices (RTDs)

617

Thermistors

618

Thermowells

619

Furnace Skin Points

620

Local Temperature Indicators (Dial Thermometers)

621

Remote Temperature Indicators (Thermocouples)

622

Temperature Test Points (Thermowells)

623

Compressor Temperature Alarms and Shutdowns

624

Self-contained Temperature Regulators

625

Temperature Transmitters

626

Field Temperature Recorders

627

Field Pneumatic Temperature Controllers

600-1

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628

Temperature Switches

629

Multipoint Temperature Systems

630

Installation of Temperature Instruments

631

General RequirementsField Temperature Instruments

632

Specific RequirementsTemperature Instruments

640

Model Specifications, Standard Drawings and Engineering Forms 600-41

641

Model Specifications

642

Standard Drawings

650

References

600-39

600-42

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610 Application and Specification of Temperature Instruments


611 General Information
Temperature instruments should be suitable for the process temperature, the process
fluid, and the environment where they are installed. Temperature can be measured
electrically or mechanically. The following paragraphs define some terms
commonly used in temperature measurement.

Units of Measurement
Several different units of temperature measurement have been established, but the
two most commonly used in oil and gas measurement are Fahrenheit and Centigrade (or Celsius). Fahrenheit arbitrarily assigns the number 32 to the freezing point
of water and 212 to the boiling point of water, dividing the interval into 180 equal
parts. Centigrade sets the freezing point of water at 0 and the boiling point at 100.
The conversion between Fahrenheit and Centigrade degrees is as follows:
TC = 5/9 (TF 32)
TF = (9/5 TC) + 32
where:
TF = Temperature, degrees F
TC = Temperature, degrees C
In the United States, temperature instruments are normally ordered to read in
degrees Fahrenheit (F). Canada and most overseas locations use degrees
Centigrade (C).

Ranges
The range of a temperature instrument is defined by the minimum and maximum
temperature that it can indicate, record, measure, or transmit within a specified
accuracy. Primary temperature elements have an element rangethe range of the
thermocouple, resistance bulb, or filled thermal system. Temperature controllers and
recorders also have an element range (inherent range limits of the primary element
in the controller or recorder due to its construction) and a calibrated range that is
adjusted to match the required measurement. Temperature instruments may be calibrated for full range or for a narrower suppressed range. The calibrated range is
usually adjusted by the instrument manufacturer before the instrument is shipped.
Field indicators, recorders, and transmitters should have ranges approximately one
and one-half times the expected operating temperature. The upper end of the range
for temperature controllers should be as close to the maximum operating temperature as practical. A typical choice of elements would be a 0F to 200F filled
thermal system with a calibrated range of 50F to 150F and a scale to match.

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Scales
The calibrated marking of an indicating, recording, or controlling temperature
instrument is called the scale. The scale should match the calibrated range.

Spans
The span is the difference between the maximum and the minimum values of the
calibrated range of a temperature instrument. The minimum span is the smallest that
the manufacturer can accurately calibrate within the instruments element range.
The span of the element should match that of the process. Narrow span instruments
allow more readability and control on critical process control loops.
Span selection should be based on operating conditions, but the following usually
apply:

The span should be 100F if the normal operating temperature is 200F or less.
If a 100F span is not available, select the narrowest span available.

The span should not exceed 50 percent of the operating temperature, if the
operating temperature is higher than 200F.

Accuracy
The accuracy of a temperature instrument depends on the selection of the temperature element and the frequency of calibration. For most applications, resistance
temperature devices (RTDs) are most accurate. Thermocouple instruments and filled
thermal systems are intermediate. Dial thermometers are least accurate.

Stability
Temperature instruments that use filled thermal system elements or thermocouples
tend to drift and require periodic recalibration. Filled thermal system temperature
instruments should include ambient temperature compensation for best accuracy and
stability.

612 Temperature Primary Elements


Every temperature instrument requires a primary element to convert the temperature of process fluid into a measurable form. Many different primary elements are
available but the five most widely used in the petroleum/petrochemical industry are:

Bimetallic sensors
Filled thermal systems
Thermocouples
RTDs
Thermistors

These are discussed in varying detail in the following subsections.

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613 Bimetallics
The sensing element consists of a strip of two different metals welded together. The
metals have a large difference in thermal expansion coefficients. When the temperature changes, one metal expands more than the other. This causes the strip to deflect
and drives a pointer or other mechanism. The bimetallic element is often shaped
into a spiral or a helix for compactness. See Figure 600-1.
Fig. 600-1

Bimetallic Ambient Air Thermometer

Bimetallic temperature elements are less accurate than most others, however they
are very reliable. They are most often used for dial thermometers or temperature
switches. They are often used for local temperature indication and control in
offshore production.

614 Filled Thermal Systems


Filled Thermal Systems vs Electronic Measurement
For most applications, electronic temperature measurement elements are more accurate, more stable, and less expensive than filled thermal systems. Field electronic
instruments are less practical because of Electrical Area Classification restrictions
and because they should be protected from the environment. Electronic temperature
instruments also require electric power and do not function during a power outage.
The availability of reliable electric power, the location, and the Electrical Area Classification are the key considerations in the decision. Electronic control systems
should use electronic temperature measurement. Pneumatic control systems should
use filled thermal systems.

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Selection of Filled Thermal Systems


Filled thermal systems sense temperature by measuring the change in either the
volume or the pressure of the fill fluid as the temperature changes. The basic system
consists of a temperature sensor, or bulb, connected by a small bore tube, or capillary, to a bourdon, bellows, or diaphragm motion element. The system is filled with
a suitable fill fluid. The temperature sensor is inserted into the process (in a thermowell) where the temperature is to be measured. When the fill fluid expands, it
deforms the motion element, which is connected to an indicator, a controller, or a
pneumatic or electronic transmitter.
There are two basic classes of filled thermal systems. Liquid filled systems contain
an incompressible fluid whose thermal expansion changes the volume of the motion
element. Gas or vapor filled systems contain a gas or a volatile liquid/vapor mixture.
Thermal expansion increases the pressure in the motion element, with similar
results.
Ambient temperature variations affect the accuracy of filled thermal systems. The
size of the error depends on the type of system, the temperature range, the length of
the capillary tubing, the size of the thermal bulb, the fill fluid and its pressure, and
other factors. In liquid and gas-filled systems, both the ambient changes of the
motion element and of the capillary can be compensated (full compensation), or just
the motion element can be compensated (case compensation). Vapor systems do not
need compensation because they are unaffected by ambient temperature changes.
The Scientific Apparatus Makers Association (SAMA) divides filled thermal
systems into four major classifications, according to the fill fluid, as follows:

SAMA Class I, Liquid Filled


SAMA Class II, Vapor Pressure
SAMA Class III, Gas Filled
SAMA Class V, Mercury Filled

These four classes of filled thermal system are further subdivided according to their
design details and their ambient temperature compensation.

SAMA Class I, Liquid Filled Systems


SAMA Class I systems are completely liquid filled. The fill fluid is usually a hydrocarbon such as xylene or ethylbenzene. The fill fluid should remain in the liquid
phase over the entire temperature range. The vapor pressure of the fill fluid should
be below the maximum pressure of the filled thermal system at maximum temperature to prevent bubbles. The fill fluid should never freeze or solidify because this
would change the calibration. See Figure 600-2A. Class I systems are subdivided as
follows:
SAMA Class IA systems are fully compensated for ambient temperature changes.
This is accomplished with a second bourdon tube and capillary. See Figure 600-2B.
SAMA Class IB systems are case compensated for ambient temperature changes at
the instrument case. This is usually accomplished with a bimetallic mechanism in
the case. See Figure 600-2C.

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Fig. 600-2

Chevron Corporation

600 Temperature Measurement

Liquid Filled Thermometers (From Process Instruments and Controls Handbook,


D.M. Considine, Editor, 2nd Ed., 1974. Used with permission from McGraw Hill.)

600-7

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Instrumentation and Control Manual

SAMA Class II Vapor Pressure Systems


SAMA Class II systems are partially filled with a volatile fluid. The interface
between liquid and vapor should occur in the bulb. The vapor pressure increases
with temperature and the pressure acts on the pressure element. The fill fluid should
have a vapor pressure-temperature relationship that is both large and linear. There
should be a measurable vapor pressure at the lowest usable temperature. The useful
temperature range of the various fill fluids is limited.
SAMA Class II is divided into Class IIA, IIB, IIC, and IID categories, based on the
temperature of the bulb relative to the rest of the system.
SAMA Class II systems do not require ambient temperature compensation.

SAMA Class III, Gas Filled Systems


SAMA Class III systems are entirely filled with gas. The gas pressure varies
directly with temperature according to Charles Law. The deviation of the gases
used from a perfect gas are slight enough to permit acceptable accuracy.
Nitrogen is the favorite fill gas because it is inert, inexpensive, and has a linear
temperature-pressure relationship for normally encountered temperatures. Helium is
sometimes used for temperatures below 400F or above 800F.
SAMA Class IIIA systems are fully compensated for ambient temperature changes
with a second bourdon tube and capillary.
SAMA Class IIIB systems are case compensated for ambient temperature changes
at the instrument case with a bimetallic mechanism in the case.
The additional expense of Class IIIA compensation is rarely justified because the
error caused by ambient temperature changes is very small.

SAMA Class V, Mercury Filled Systems


SAMA Class V systems are seldom ordered today because of environmental and
safety concerns with mercury. The following information is applicable if you have
an existing system.
SAMA Class V systems are fully filled with liquid mercury. They are similar to
Class I systems except for the unique thermal properties of mercury. The coefficient
of expansion of mercury is nearly uniform, which allows the use of linear charts and
scales. Class V systems respond rapidly and they have enough power to operate
control elements.
SAMA Class VA systems are fully compensated for ambient temperature changes
with an Invar wire inside the capillary and a bimetallic mechanism in the case.
SAMA Class VB systems are case compensated for ambient temperature changes at
the instrument case with a bimetallic mechanism in the case. All Class V systems
require case compensation to neutralize the effect of bourdon element thermal
expansion.

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600 Temperature Measurement

Force- vs Motion-Balance
Filled thermal system transmitters may use either force-balance or motion-balance
mechanisms to convert the element movement into an output signal.
Motion-balance transmitters are often indicating. In a motion-balance transmitter,
the moving tip of the element is connected to an indicator, or to the flapper of a
pneumatic transmitter, or to the current producing section of an electronic
transmitter.
Force-balance transmitters are always blind. A receiver gage or field ammeter is
required if the transmitter output is to be read in the field. In a force-balance transmitter, the force that tends to move the element is opposed by an equal force that is
generated by the electronic or pneumatic output signal. Because a force-balance
transmitter has no moving parts, it has less hysteresis and is more accurate.

Specification of Filled Thermal Systems


Selection of the filled thermal system depends on required range, span, capillary
length, accessibility, and space limitations for the placement of the sensor. For
routine applications, only SAMA Class IA (liquid filled) or SAMA Class IIIB (gas
filled) should be specified. The two systems are compared in Figure 600-3. Selection depends on the ambient temperature, the height of the bulb and the accuracy
required. ISA Specification Form S20.11a should be used to order these systems. A
copy of the form and instructions for completing it can be found behind Tab
DS-4780.

Capillaries
The capillaries should be all-welded 304 or 316 stainless steel with flexible corrosion-resistant armor. The maximum capillary length should not exceed 20 feet.

615 Thermocouples
If an electrical circuit is made of two wires of different metals, and the junctions
where the different wires are joined are at different temperatures, an electrical
voltage will be generated. This voltage or electromotive force (EMF) is caused by
the Seebeck Effect. Thermocouple instruments measure temperature by measuring
the EMF. See Figure 600-4.

Types of Thermocouples
A thermocouple consists of two wires of different materials that are joined at the hot
junction where the temperature is to be measured. The other end of the wires, the
reference junction, is joined at the thermocouple measuring instrument.
The instrument measures the temperature of the reference junction and the small
voltages generated by the temperature difference between the two junctions.
Any two dissimilar metals can be used to make a thermocouple. The Instrument
Society of America (ISA) has selected a small number of combinations of precise
composition and assigned letters to them. They prepared millivolt output versus
temperature tables for these combinations. EMF values are tabulated with the

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Fig. 600-3

Instrumentation and Control Manual

Application Data for Filled Thermal Systems


Type

Gas Pressure

Liquid Expansion

IIIB

IA

460F to +1400F

300F to +600F

200F(2)

40F

1000F

600F

1400F

100% of span

100 feet

100 feet

10 7/8 in.

6 3/8 in.

6 5/8 in.

3 1/4 in.

2 to 8 seconds

6 seconds

Medium Low

High

Uniform

Uniform

SAMA Class
Temperature Limits(1)
Minimum Span
Maximum Span
Limits of Overrange

(3)

Max. Tubing Length(4)


Max. Bulb Size
Min. Bulb Size(5)
63% Time Constant

(6)

Relative Cost
Scale

(1) The maximum bulb temperature is generally limited to 600F. However when necessary, maximum bulb
temperatures up to 1000F may be specified.
(2) The minimum span for a force-balance transmitter is 50F.
(3) The limits of overrange protection are reduced for the narrowest spans.
(4) Limit capillary length to 20 feet. Longer lengths may result in larger bulbs, slow response, and poor
ambient temperature compensation.
(5) Minimum bulb sizes are available only with force-balance transmitters.
(6) Time constant is the time for the temperature to reach 63% of a step change. Short capillary lengths and
minimum bulb diameters give minimum time constants.

Fig. 600-4

Thermocouple Principle

reference junction at 32F (0C), also called ice-point. When both the hot junction
and the reference junction are at the same temperature, no EMF is generated. The
tables thus show that at 32F all thermocouples generate zero EMF. Most measuring
instruments have cold junction compensation built into their circuitry. Cold junction compensation corrects the thermocouple readout for the temperature of the
reference junction at the readout electronics. The ISA Standard has been adopted by
the American National Standards Institute as ANSI/MC 96.1-1982.

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600 Temperature Measurement

Thermocouple instruments are calibrated to match the EMF ranges. Most installations in the petroleum/ petrochemical industry use Iron-Constantan, (Type J);
Chromel-Alumel, (Type K). Copper-Constantan, (Type T) is used occasionally.

Recommended Temperature Limits for Thermocouples


Figure 600-5 is taken from American National Standard ANSI/MC96.1-1982. These
upper temperature limits are only for thermocouples that are made up in the field.
The intent of this table is to show typical temperatures at which thermocouples
fabricated from the wire sizes listed may be expected to provide satisfactory service.
Fig. 600-5

Thermocouple Upper Temperature Limits

Thermocouple Type

No. 8 Gage

No. 14 Gage

No. 20 Gage

Type J Iron-Constantan

1400F (760C)

1200F (650C)

895F (480C)

Type K Chromel-Alumel

2300F (1260C)

1995F (1090C)

1795F (980C)

700F (370C)

500F (260C)

Type T Copper-Constantan

Prefabricated, swaged, magnesia-insulated thermocouples should normally be used


because they are better protected from oxidation. Type J swaged thermocouples are
normally used from -300F to 1400F. Type K swaged thermocouples are normally
used from 32F to 2300F. Type T thermocouples are sometimes used for temperatures below 0F because they have better corrosion resistance than Type J.
Type J thermocouples have traditionally been specified instead of Type K thermocouples at lower temperatures because Type K generates such a low EMF signal.
With todays solid-state readouts, many locations use Type K thermocouples at all
temperatures from ambient up to the upper limit of Type K, thus avoiding Type Js
problems with corrosion and oxidation.
There are many other types of thermocouple materials available for special services,
but Types J, K, and T fill the vast majority of our needs.

Advances in Thermocouple Technology


In recent years, thermocouple design has improved:

Type N Thermocouples
In the 1980s, Incotherm Pty. Ltd. of Hereford, England introduced the Type N
thermocouple, consisting of a Nicrosil positive wire and a Nisil negative
wire.
Type N thermocouples with Inconel-600 sheaths are capable of sustained operating temperatures at 1,850F. The main objection to using Type N is that, when
retrofitted into existing installations designed for Type K thermocouples, Type
N requires extensive rewiring between field junction boxes and T/C
multiplexers.
Most process-plant thermocouple multiplexers are now smart enough to calculate temperatures of all common types of thermocouples, including Type N.

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Incotherm also introduced a series of Nicrobel metal sheaths, which have


extended temperature ratings. These exhibit coefficients of linear expansion
virtually identical to those of Type K and Type N thermocouple wires. They
claim an upper temperature limit of 2,340F for the combination of Type N
couple and Nicrobell-B metal sheath. Note that Type NN (Nisil) wire melts at
2,280F.

High Performance Type K Thermocouples


In the early 1990s, both Incotherm and Hoskins Manufacturing Co. of
Hamburg, Michigan announced the development of high-performance ISA
Type K thermocouple wires, which they claim overcome most of the objections to standard Type K couples. These are called SuperK thermocouples.
Calibration stability to temperatures in excess of 2,000F is achieved by eliminating the trace metals that can migrate between thermocouple wires and the
sheath metal, while maintaining the Type K calibration curve. This practice
permits reuse of existing Type K thermocouple extension wire and multiplexers on existing installations when retrofitting to the high performance thermocouple material.

Thermocouple Accuracy
Thermocouples are relatively inaccurate. Thermocouples suffer from calibration
drift and corrosion as they age. The millivolt output signal is quite low and subject
to noise pickup. Figure 600-6 is taken from American National Standard
ANSI/MC96.1-1982.
Fig. 600-6

Initial Calibration Tolerances for Thermocouples

Thermocouple
Type

Temperature
Range

Standard
Tolerance

Special
Tolerance

Type J Iron-Constantan

0 to 1400F
0 to 750C

4F or 0.75%
2C or 0.75%

2F or 0.4%
1C or 0.4%

Type K Chromel-Alumel

0 to 2300F
0 to 1250C

4F or 0.75%
2C or 0.75%

2F or 0.4%
1C or 0.4%

Type T Copper-Constantan

0 to 660F
0 to 350C

2F or 0.75%
1C or 0.75%

1F or 0.4%
0.5C or 0.4%

Cryogenic Range

-330 to 0F
200 to 0C

2F or 1.5%
1C or 1.5%

The length, composition, and condition of the thermocouple lead wires also affects
the accuracy of the measurement. However, the initial material cost and the installed
cost of thermocouple measurement are lowest as compared to other systems. This is
particularly true when a large number of thermocouples are multiplexed into a
single receiver.

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600 Temperature Measurement

Extension Wire Selection


The extension or lead-in wiring from the thermocouple in the field to the thermocouple measuring instrument should be of material similar to that of the thermocouple. Otherwise, each field termination would generate a false EMF. The
extension wire can be either thermocouple wire, i.e., iron-constantan, or it can be a
proprietary alloy extension wire that has the same properties as the thermocouple
wire.

Field-made vs Prefabricated Thermocouples


Thermocouples can be (and in the past, were) field fabricated by welding the wires
together and insulating them with ceramic beads. This is rarely done today. Prefabricated mineral insulated, metal sheathed, swaged, thermocouples should be used.

Duplex Thermocouples
Duplex thermocouples consist of two separate thermocouple elements contained in
a single mineral insulated, metal sheath. The intent is to have a single thermocouplethermowell assembly provide separate control and monitoring signals, or to have a
backup element for a measurement point in the event of failure of the primary
element.
CRTC discourages the use of duplex thermocouples for the following reason. In
order to fit two thermocouple junctions and lead wires in the same interior volume
as a simplex thermocouple, smaller diameter wire has to be used. The thinner wires
are less robust and more prone to burning out or breaking than the heavier simplex
element. It is apparent that any thermal stress which causes the failure of one of the
elements would cause the other element to fail as well.
Whenever multiple discrete temperature measurements are required at one location
(e.g. for measurement validation, or to separate monitoring from control), multiple
thermowells with simplex thermocouples located in proximity are recommended.
Duplex thermocouples should only be used as a last resort, for example, when it is
impossible to install another thermowell; or when it is necessary to validate the
measurement of localized hot spots or severely stratified temperature patterns.
CRTC instrumentation specialists should be consulted for these applications.

Thermocouple Specification
ISA Form S20-12a is used to order thermocouples. A copy of the form and instructions on how to complete it can be found behind the Tab labeled DS-4780. The
following information may also be helpful.
Prefabricated thermocouples for general services should be a minimum 0.25-inch
outside diameter, sheathed with 304 or 316 stainless steel (or better), and mineral
insulated. The sheath material should terminate with suitable sealing material to
keep the mineral insulation dry. The thermocouple should allow positive grounding
at the thermocouple well. See Figure 600-7.
Thermocouple properties, color coding, and limits of error should conform to
ANSI/MC96.1, Temperature Measurement Thermocouples. The measured resistance between the leads and the sheath should be in accordance with ASTM E236,

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Fig. 600-7

Instrumentation and Control Manual

Thermocouple Grounding

Specification for Thermocouples, Sheathed, Type K, for Nuclear or Other HighReliability Applications. Thermocouples can be specified as assemblies with the
head mounted on the thermowell, or the head can be mounted remotely on conduit.
Assemblies are used most often and are described below.

Thermocouple Head Specifications


Thermocouple heads should be weatherproof, epoxy-coated, cast aluminum. They
should be mounted directly on the thermowell with a union and a spring-loaded
thermocouple. The thermocouple head should provide a grounded terminal for
connecting the ground wire from the thermocouple and the drain wire from the
extension wire shield. Connection to the thermowell should be -inch NPT. The
head cover should be threaded and gasketed with a stainless steel retaining chain
connected to the body.

616 Resistance Temperature Devices (RTDs)


As the temperature of a conductor increases, its electrical resistance also increases.
Resistance temperature devices (RTDs) are calibrated resistors that are used to
measure temperature.
RTDs are more accurate than thermocouples and almost all other temperature
elements and they maintain their accuracy for long periods. The current flow of an
RTD is much higher than that of a thermocouple so they are less subject to noise
pickup or errors from lead-in wires. The change in the ice-point resistance (at 0C)
of the RTD should not exceed 0.5F in the first year of service.
RTDs should be used in place of thermocouples:

December 1999

For highly accurate temperature measurement, such as custody transfer service


For narrow span temperature measurement (under 100F)
For temperature difference measurement
For control and for other critical applications

600-14

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600 Temperature Measurement

Two-wire, Three-wire and Four-wire RTDs


RTDs are available for connection to the readout devices with two, three or four
wires. The three-wire system essentially eliminates the error caused by the ambient
temperature changes in the resistance of the lead-in wires. Three-wire sensors are
preferred because they maintain the high inherent accuracy of the RTD. The lead-in
wiring error can be entirely eliminated by using a four-wire system. Four-wire
systems are mostly used for extremely accurate laboratory type measurements.
Figure 600-8 shows the connections for three- and four-wire RTDs.

Types of Resistance Temperature Sensors


RTDs are commonly made of copper, nickel, or platinum. Nickel elements may be
used from -40F to +500F. Platinum elements, enclosed in 316 stainless steel or
Inconel sheaths, may be used from -320F to +1200F.

Specification of Resistance Temperature Sensors


Although expensive, platinum RTDs are preferred because platinum has a higher
maximum temperature limit, a longer service life, and the resistance versus temperature curve is extremely linear. Platinum RTDs should conform to International Standard DIN 43760, calibrated for 100 ohms at 0C, and with a slope defined by an
alpha of 0.00385 ohms/ohms/degree C. Open circuit protection should be provided.
Nickel elements are calibrated with a resistance of 120 ohms and cannot be interchanged with platinum elements.
Scientific Apparatus Makers Association (SAMA) also publishes RTD curves like
those published by the International Standard Organization. Most RTD manufacturers, however, reference the International Standard curves because they are more
universally accepted.

617 Thermistors
Thermistors are very small ceramic resistors with a high temperature coefficient of
resistance. Thermistors are usually made of a sintered mixture of metallic oxides.
For a given change of temperature, the resistance of a thermistor changes approximately 10 times as much the resistance of a platinum RTD. Thermistors are sensitive to very small changes in temperature. When mounted in small thermowells,
they respond very quickly because of their small thermal mass.
Thermistors are usually made in the form of a tiny bead, which is encapsulated in
glass. Disc thermistors are also available. Thermistors are usually not interchangeable and the temperature instrument should be calibrated to match the specific thermistor. Thermistors are subject to long term drift due to aging. Their accuracy and
ambient temperature compensation are usually less than conventional temperature
sensors. Thermistors are normally used in lower priced digital temperature indicators or temperature switches.

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Fig. 600-8

Instrumentation and Control Manual

Resistance Temperature Devices; Diagrams for Three- and Four- Wire Systems

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600 Temperature Measurement

618 Thermowells
Few temperature sensors can withstand continuous exposure to process fluids. Additionally, it is desirable to be able to remove the sensor without shutting down the
process unit. Therefore, temperature sensors should be installed in thermowells to
protect the temperature sensor from direct exposure to the process fluid and to allow
removal of the sensor.
Thermowells provide mechanical protection from the static and dynamic forces of
the process stream, and they provide chemical protection from corrosive process
fluids. The same basic types of thermowells are used for thermocouples, RTDs,
filled thermal systems, and bimetallic thermometers.
Test thermowells are sometimes provided to allow the process to be checked with
either a mercury-in-glass test thermometer or a portable electronic temperature indicator. Test thermowells should be provided with a stainless steel plug and chain to
keep dirt out of the bore of the thermowell.

Thermowell Length
Thermowells and temperature sensors are normally available in lengths ranging
from 2 inches to 12 inches and longer for special orders. The minimum length for
use in piping should be 9 inches, which provides about 4 inches of immersion. Refer
to Standard Drawings GB-J1196 and GB-J1198.
For vessels, the minimum length should be 9 inches and the maximum length
should be 12 inches, unless special designs with provision for thermowell support
are used. For the maximum thermowell length (U) should be 9 inches. U is
defined on Standard Drawings GB-J1195 and GB-J1197. These thermowell lengths
provide approximately 6 inches of immersion when installed as shown in Standard
Drawings GB-J1196 and GB-J1198.
For vessels or tanks where the fluid is not flowing or agitated, the thermowell
should be long enough to provide at least 9 inches of immersion into the process
fluid, measured from the inside face of the vessel or tank wall.
Longer thermowells may be required for specific applications, such as FCC or Isocracking reactors, or asphalt storage tanks. They should be specially designed for the
application.
The selection of a thermowell length should be based on the geometry of the installation and on a calculation of the forces acting on the thermowell under flowing
conditions as described below.

Harmonic Vibration
Long thermowells that extend into high velocity process fluids are susceptible to
vibration induced by the Von Karman vortex frequency. If the thermowell is longer
than a certain critical length, it may vibrate at its natural frequency, causing noise
and possible failure due to metal fatigue.

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The fluid velocity of a gas should be calculated as follows:


0.086Q g T
U = -----------------------P ( D )2
(Eq. 600-1)

where:
U = Fluid velocity, ft/sec
Qg = Gas flow rate, SCFM
T = Operating temperature, degrees R
R = t(F)+459.69
P = Operating pressure, psia
D = Pipe inside diameter, inches
The fluid velocity of a liquid should be calculated as follows:
0.41Q L
U = -----------------D2
(Eq. 600-2)

where:
U = Fluid velocity, ft/sec
QL = Liquid flow rate, gpm
D = Pipe inside diameter, inches
The Von Karman wake vortex frequency is a function of fluid velocity, the outside
diameter of the thermowell, and the Reynolds Number. Calculate it as follows:
A. Calculate the Reynolds Number (N R)
for the flowing fluid:

N R = 3163QG b ( dG f )

(Liquids)

where:
Q = Flow rate (gpm)
Gb = Liquid specific gravity at 60F
d = Thermowell diameter (inches)
Largest diameter in flow
= Kinematic viscosity (centistokes)
Gf = Liquid specific gravity at flowing temperature

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N R = 0.48297QG/ ( dZ b )

(Gases)

where:
Q = Flow rate (SCFH)
G = Gas specific gravity at 60F and 1 atm.
(air = 1.00)
d = Thermowell diameter (inches)
Largest diameter in flow
= Absolute viscosity (centipoises)
Zb = Compressibility factor

NR = 6.316 W/(d)

(Steam)

where:
W = Mass flow rate (lbs/hr)
d = Thermowell diameter (inches)
Largest diameter in flow
= Absolute viscosity (centipoises)
B. Determine the Strouhal Number (NS):
For NR < 40,000: use NS = 0.21
For 40,000 NR 400,000:
use NS = 0.24 (log10 NR) - 0.894
For NR > 400,000:

use NS = 0.45

Note For NR < 40,000, this Harmonic Vibration analysis is nearly identical to the
results obtained by the ASME method (reference 3, ASME Performance Test Codes,
Supplement on Instruments and Apparatus, Part 3: Temperature Measurement).
For NR > 40,000, this Harmonic Vibration analysis is more conservative than the
ASME method, i.e., the thermowell must be shorter. This is because a larger NS
gives a higher vortex frequency (f v) which means the thermowell length must be
shorter in order to meet the 0.8 ratio requirement for fv/fn. Reference 8, Brock, J.E.,
Stress Analysis of Thermowells, is the source for NS when NR > 40,000.
C. Calculate the vortex frequency (f v, Hertz) as follows:
fv = 12 NS U/dt
(Eq. 600-3)

where:
U = Fluid velocity (feet/second)

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dt = Thermowell diameter at the tip (inches)


Calculate the lowest natural elementary frequency (fn) of the thermowell:
fn = (Rf)(Ff)(dr/L2)

E ( + )
(Eq. 600-4)

where:
Rf = Frequency response factor = [1 - 0.4(dr+dt)/L]
Ff = Frequency factor = [1.65 + 1.21(dr/dt)(1.0 - 0.094 dr/dt)]
dr = Outside root diameter of thermowell (inches)
L = Length of thermowell (root to tip), (inches)
E = Youngs modulus (28.6 x 106 for stainless steel)
= Specific weight of well material (lbs/in3)
= Specific weight of fluid (lbs/in3)
The vortex frequency (fv) should never exceed 80 percent of the natural frequency
(fn) of a thermowell.
fv 0.8 fn
(Eq. 600-5)

Thermowell lengths that meet these criteria should not be subject to fatigue failure.
Alternatively, Figures 600-9 and 600-10 show the maximum fluid velocity for standard screwed thermowells of various lengths, based on water at 68F. [Reference 8]
Fig. 600-9

Allowable Lengths for 1-Inch NPT Screwed Thermowells

Maximum Fluid Velocity, ft/sec

Thermowell Length, in

193

93

54

40

10

30

12

17

18

10

24

Fig. 600-10 Allowable Lengths For -Inch NPT Screwed Thermowells

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Maximum Fluid Velocity, ft/sec

Thermowell Length, in

115

54

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Fig. 600-10 Allowable Lengths For -Inch NPT Screwed Thermowells


Maximum Fluid Velocity, ft/sec

Thermowell Length, in

32

24

10

18

12

11

18

24

Response Time
For rapid response to changes in temperature, the thermowell should locate the
active portion of the measuring element in the flow stream. Mechanical strength
requires thick, short, thermowells. These factors tend to reduce the accuracy of the
temperature measurement and the response time to react to temperature changes.

Thermowell Specifications
ISA Form S20.12a is used to order thermowells alone, thermocouples alone, or
complete thermocouple/thermowell assemblies. A copy of the form and instructions
for completing it are found behind Tab DS-4780.
The basic thermowell materials are usually 304 or 316 stainless steel. Other stainless alloys can be used for thermowells in high temperature applications, e.g., type
309 stainless steel for furnace convection section thermowells. Exotic alloy thermowells, e.g., Alloy 20 or Hastelloy, are frequently used for corrosive services.
Tantalum sheathing is used in services corrosive even to exotic alloys (spray-on or
electro-plated applications of tantalum are usually porous and are not acceptable).
Ceramic wells are used where the process is at a low pressure and may be both
corrosive and hot, e.g., chemical waste incinerators. Thermowell material should
always be selected for nil or near nil corrosion.
Flanged thermowells should be used for the following services:

Chevron Corporation

Alloy and alloy-clad vessels

Coking service lines and vessels, such as crude unit atmospheric and vacuum
column bottoms, residuum stripper columns, thermal cracking vessels, FCC
fractionators, etc.

Columns and vessels where it is specified that all connections should be


flanged

Any location where severe vibration is expected, such as reciprocating


machinery, high pressure drop control valves, etc.

All services, except flue gas, if the temperature is above 750F

Columns, vessels and piping in LPG, H2S, Freon, or hydrogen services.


Hydrogen service is defined as 50% or more volume percent hydrogen

Caustic at temperatures above 140F

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Steam at 400 psig or higher

Flanged thermowells should be 1 or 2 inch. Flanged connections similar to Van


Stone type flanges should be used. Refer to Standard Drawing GB-J1197. The
internal thread for mounting the head should be inch NPT.
Screwed thermowells (not to be seal-welded) should be used for all services not
requiring flanged thermowells.
Screwed thermowells should be a tapered design machined from 11/16-inch
minimum hex 304 or 316 stainless steel bar stock with a -inch NPT process
connection. Refer to Standard Drawing GB-J1195.
Thermowell bores should be specified as the diameter of the sensing element (Ds)
plus one hundredth of an inch (Ds + 0.010 in.).
The internal bore diameter for test thermowells should be 3/8 of an inch.
Throwaway plastic plugs for internal thread protection should be furnished with
thermowells which will contain a thermal element. Test thermowells should be
furnished with a steel plug.

619 Furnace Skin Points


Summary and Recommendations
The key to successful Skin Point Thermocouples (referred to below as SPTCs) is
selecting the right materials and installing them properly at the right places in the
fired heater.

Material
At the present time, Chevron has not standardized on a particular material for
SPTCs. Due to manufacturing inconsistencies with Hoskins-2300 and
resultant problems with installed SPTCs in Chevron facilities, the Company no
longer recommends the use of this material. Pending performance testing on
other high-temperature alloys, the Company is specifying 310 stainless steel
and Inconel 600 as sheath materials for mineral insulated metal sheathed
(MIMS) thermocouple wire. The Gay Engineering & Services Co. (Gayesco)
Refractopad SPTC design remains the recommended standard for fired heaters
at Company facilities. Extreme-service units such as CCR units and ethylene
crackers require the use of retractable SPTCs, such as the Gayesco Retractopad. CRTC instrumentation specialists should be consulted for all SPTC
applications.
Services which form a coke layer on the tube ID may require special consideration. Contact the CRTC furnaces or instrumentation specialist.

Installation
To achieve the longest possible service life, use the standard drawing, GDJ1201, for planning the installation of SPTCs.

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Each installation is unique and requires fine-tuning of the basic design. Fullservice engineered equipment manufacturers such as Gayesco can provide a
range of services from consultation to physical installation and testing.
Thermal-scanning services can be helpful in identifying the hottest areas of a
fired heater and in spotting sites for SPTC installation. They can also be used as
a tool to diagnose burner and/or air-register problems.

SPTC Construction
The Gayesco Refractopad SPTC used on fired heaters today consists of the
following components:

A low-mass, weld pad, approximately -in. 1/8-in. square and radiused to the
O.D. of the tube. The thermocouple assembly is factory-welded to the pad, and
the pad is shop- or field-welded to the tube at the point of temperature
measurement.

A thermocouple assembly, consisting of measuring junction, connecting thermocouple-grade wires, surrounding magnesia insulation, and protective
metallic sheath.
The T/C assembly is factory pre-formed to fit the tube being measured and
includes sufficient sheathed thermocouple wire to exit the furnace setting at a
predetermined point. Where required, a coil is formed in the MIMS cable to
allow for thermal expansion of the furnace tube. Alternately, sufficient MIMS
cable is installed outside the furnace to account for expansion inside the
furnace.

A radiation shield and thermal insulation to protect the measuring junction and
weld pad from radiant and convective heating at the point of measurement.

Mechanical supports and mounting clips to provide mechanical integrity to the


assembly when installed in the fired heater.

Fittings and transition wire to permit routing the MIMS cable outside the fired
heater to the junction box for connection to monitoring instrumentation.

Failure Mechanisms on Conventional SPTCs


At the elevated temperatures encountered in refining and chemicals fired heaters,
several failure mechanisms combine to shorten the life of SPTCs:

Internal Differential Expansion


Ideally, sheath/thermocouple wire-pair wires have identical coefficients of
thermal expansion and can withstand temperature fluctuation. When the coefficients differ, stresses are imposed on the assembly as temperature rises from
ambient to operating and encounters the normal cycling from changes in firingrate and flame-patterns. Both 300-series stainless steel and the common Inconel
alloys have a higher coefficient of thermal expansion than the Chromel and
Alumel pair. The different coefficients cause a strain at the tip, where the thermocouple pair and sheath cap are welded into a single sensing point. With time

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and thermal cycling, this repeated strain can cause one of the thermocouple
wires to break, thus opening the thermocouple.

External Differential Expansion


SPTC cables are secured to the measured furnace tube (ideally, on the dark
side) with a series of metal clips, which hold the sheath snug against the tube.
This arrangement provides a heat sink to conduct away any heat absorbed from
reflected radiation. Because the common sheath materials all have a coefficient
of thermal expansion higher than that of tube metals, the sheath portion of the
SPTC tends to pull away from the furnace tube at elevated temperatures,
moving the thermocouple sheath away from its needed heat sink.

Large Grain Growth


At elevated temperatures, commonly-available sheath metals exhibit large grain
growth. Such growth opens paths through the lattice structure to permit the
entry of molecular oxygen and weakens the structure of the sheath.

Oxidation
Oxidation of Type K thermocouple wires decreases the mV/F generated.
Oxidizing the Cr in the KP (Chromel) wire decreases the potential generated
for a given temperature; oxidizing the Al in the KN (Alumel) wire increases
the potential for a given temperature. Since the Alumel wire is negative with
respect to the Chromel wire, the net result is a loss in potential equal to the sum
of the component losses.
Preferential oxidation of the Cr in the KP wire is sometimes referred to as
green rot, after the color of the chromium oxide at the point of chemical
activity.

Corrosion
Fuels with high concentrations of sulfur or vanadium can cause severe corrosion of the SPTC sheath at elevated temperatures. For most refinery and chemicals applications, environmental regulations limit the amount of these elements
in fuel. However, plant incinerators or sulfur- recovery furnaces may have high
sulfur concentrations. Also, some offshore power plants can burn resid with
high heavy-metals concentrations.

Mechanical Damage
Most thermocouple failures occur in the sheath because of repeated bending
and movement. This usually occurs in the area where the sheath jumps from the
tube to the furnace roof, wall, or floor. It is therefore important that the sheath
exit the furnace as close as possible to where the tubes are anchored, to minimize sheath bending during tube expansion and contraction.
Thermocouple assemblies that are not properly supported inside the furnace of
the fired heater are also subject to mechanical damage during periodic inspection and maintenance.

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Transition Wiring Thermal Damage


At the transition piece, thermocouple wires inside the MIMS cable are
connected to more pliable thermocouple extension wire that carries a significantly lower temperature rating. Connections are insulated, and the overall
splices are epoxied into the transition piece for mechanical protection.
If this transition becomes overheated, the epoxy will ooze out of the fitting,
permitting shorting of the thermocouple wires and formation of a secondary,
low-temperature measuring junction.

Damage During Installation


Arc welding onto the sheath of the MIMS cable is a common failure mechanism on SPTCs and must be avoided.

Sources of Errors on Conventional SPTCs

Metal Migration
At elevated temperatures, metals with high vapor pressure (Mn and Al) can
migrate from the KN wire through the magnesia insulation to the KP wire,
altering the potential generated for a given temperature. Mn present in sheath
alloys (300-series stainless steels or Inconel) can migrate to either the KP or the
KN or both thermocouple wires, inducing errors not quantifiable by magnitude
or direction.

Thermocouple Shunt effect


Magnesia becomes a semi-conductor at elevated temperatures. A Chromel vs.
Magnesia and a Magnesia vs. Alumel thermocouple can form at a localized hot
spot. This volunteer thermocouple generates a potential equal to a Type K
couple for a given temperature and is electrically in parallel with the official
measuring thermocouple. In other words, the indicated temperature is somewhere between the official and volunteer actual temperatures.
If the hot spot becomes large and hot enough, the sheath becomes a continuous
averaging thermocouple. In this case, the indicated temperature is that of the
sheath, regardless of the temperature of the measuring junction. This abnormality is referred to as high-temperature shunt effect in scientific journals.
The severity of this interference is a function of the following factors:

sheath temperature: onset is above 1,500F.


length of sheath at elevated temperature: twice as long = twice the induced
error.
diameter of the thermocouple wires: more loop resistance increases the
severity.
dielectric constant of the magnesia insulation: higher resistance reduces
error.
In practice, the -in. O.D. MIMS cable used for fired-heater SPTCs does not
exhibit measurable shunt effect below a temperature of 1,850F. The error

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induced is fully reversible when temperatures return to normal, provided that


the thermocouple-wire metallurgy is not permanently altered during the hightemperature transient.

Long-Term Drift
At elevated temperatures, an ordering reaction common in all Ni - Cr systems
causes a positive drift with time. Positive drift means increased potential for a
given temperature.
Long-term drift tests of >20,000 hours at temperatures above 1,400F show an
initial downward drift (oxidation), followed by an upward drift from the
ordering reaction of the Ni - Cr system, and finally a second drift downward
(additional oxidation) prior to T/C failure. The speed or magnitude of this drift
cannot be predicted, but some errors of up to 25F have been noted.

Radiant Energy Interference


For SPTCs used on fired heaters, improperly installed radiation shields and the
high- temperature insulation they contain causes a measurement to indicate
higher than actual. The magnitude of error is typically 50F to 200F.
Use of a high-density insulation, e.g., castable refractory, instead of the recommended Kaowool low-density fiber insulation, slows down the SPTC speed
of response to changes in actual tube-metal temperature.

Secondary Junction Measurement


If MIMS cable is crimped or otherwise mechanically damaged during installation, one or both of the thermocouple conductors can come in contact with the
sheath or with each other. This contact forms a secondary measuring junction,
and the indicated temperature is somewhere between the temperatures of this
junction and the official measuring junction. The minimum bend-radius data
found in the specifications for various MIMS cables is quite conservative.
There is no evidence of secondary junctions forming when these limits are
adhered to during installation.

Vendor Recommendation - SPTCs


Gayesco has received a patent on the Retractopad removable SPTC assembly,
which permits replacement of thermocouple measuring elements and connecting
MIMS cable without re-welding on the furnace tubes. Consider this design a standard for all high-chrome furnace tubes that require elaborate pre- and post-weld heat
treating once the tube metal has been exposed to process conditions. They will
continue to be the sole source for this design for the remaining life of their patent.
(Gayescos patent on the Refractopad expired several years ago, giving rise to a
freshet of copied designs from their competitors.)

Installation Details
(See Drawing No. GD-J1201-1)
Every fired heater has unique requirements for installing SPTCs. The installation
details below are common to most applications. Services which form a coke layer

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on the tube ID may require special consideration, particularly with regard to the
radiation shield. Contact the CRTC furnace or instrumentation specialist.

Welding Procedures
Procedures for welding the SPTC weld pad to the tube at the point of measurement vary with the size, age, service, and material of the tube metal. Specifics
for these procedures must be developed for each furnace by the plant engineering department.

Radiation Shields
To protect the measurement from radiated-heat interference, radiation shields
are installed over the weld pad/thermocouple assembly after its attachment to
the tube being monitored. Shields are light-gauge, corrosion-resistant metal
channels, often 300-series stainless steel, formed to the radius of the tube and
filled with a high-temperature insulation, typically Kaowool rated to 3,000F.
Radiation shields extend from the point of measurement circumferentially
around the tube to its dark side.
Radiation shields should be installed over the weld pads as soon as possible
after completion of weld-pad welding. Verify that the Kaowool insulation
supplied with the radiation shield is in place prior to installing the shield.
Radiation shields are typically single-pass welded on the front and both sides,
leaving the back side, where the MIMS cable exits the radiation shield,
unwelded. To insure measurement accuracy, the weld bead geometry must be
exactly as the manufacturer specifies.

MIMS Cable Routing and Support


The MIMS cable runs between the point of heater-tube measurement and the
transition to outside the furnace. It should be routed along the coolest possible
route to minimize flame-impingement damage and high-temperature shunt
effect errors. Typically, this route is on the dark side of the tube, away from the
radiant energy of the fuel burners.
Also consider routing MIMS cables away from manways and hoisting-gear
access doors where they can be damaged during inspection or periodic
maintenance.
Stainless-steel weld clips are installed to hold the MIMS cable snug against the
heater tube on which it is routed, providing a heat sink to absorb as much
radiant energy as possible. The spacing of clips is a function of differential
expansion and temperature of the furnace tube and MIMS cable along the route
to the transition. For high-temperature fired heaters with both sides of the tube
fired, spacing of as little as 8 in. might be required.
Double-fired furnace tubes should be treated as a special case. Have the installation design and the MIMS cable routing and support reviewed by the SPTC
Manufacturer.

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All installations must provide access to the SPTC assembly at the point of
furnace entry and at the point of connection to thermocouple extension wire.
Install Junction Boxes at a point accessible from grade or from walkways or
platforms.
In general, MIMS cable on vertical-tube furnaces should exit the furnace in the
area of the tubing supportstop entry for top hung furnace tubes. This exit
location minimizes expansion-coil requirement; the coils must be able to handle
only the differential expansion between the fired heater tubes and the MIMS
cabletypically a differential of 0.5 -in./in./F.
For horizontal tube fired heaters, the wall tube SPTCs should exit adjacent to
the point of measurement (for single-side fired heater tubes) or at the coldest
end of the furnace (for double-side fired tubes).

Transitions
Wherever possible, use a Unistrut tubing clamp and strut to anchor the fixed
end of the expansion coil outside the furnace area. Otherwise, you must build
the transition between MIMS cable and low-temperature extension wire small
enough to pass through the tubing nut and ferrule of a thermocouple fitting or
bulkhead connector.
For the transition through the furnace setting and casing, use a 1-in. pipe
section packed with Kaowool or similar high-temperature mineral wool insulation. Use slotted-guide washers and a drilled-pipe cap on the outside of this
pipe section to prevent dropout of the mineral wool insulation.

Expansion Coils
Use sufficient expansion coil to accommodate the expansion (or differential
expansion) at the temperature limit of the tube being measured.
Wherever possible, locate the expansion coil outside the furnace to minimize
the amount of MIMS cable exposed to furnace heat. Doing so reduces the
potential for flame impingement damage or for high temperature shunt effect
errors. If expansion coils must be inside the furnace, locate them in the shadow
of the tube being measured.

Junction Boxes and Thermocouple Extension Cable


Junction Boxes for terminating MIMS cable and initiating runs of thermocouple extension wire should be used only for this purpose and should not be
shared with other signal cables. Because SPTCs are grounded at the field end
(at the weld pad on the furnace tube being measured), T/C extension-wire cable
and pair shields should be connected to MIMS cable sheaths in the Junction
Box.
The conductors in Type KX thermocouple extension wire have the same alloy
formula as conventional Type K thermocouple wire. Because of slight irregularities in alloying, and the use of low-temperature insulation, this wire cannot
be used to form bead-end thermocouples. Thermocouple extension wires carry

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the same conductor color-coding as the thermocouple: Yellow, Positive =


Chromel (KP); Red, Negative = Alumel (KN).
Note

Thermocouple and extension-wire color-coding is a national standard.

The following color codes for ISA Type K thermocouples are used by major
industrial nations outside the United States:
Nation

Chromel (KP)

Alumel (KN)

Germany

Red

Green

Japan

Red

White

United Kingdom

Brown

Blue

620 Local Temperature Indicators (Dial Thermometers)


Locally mounted dial thermometers should be installed on all points of process
equipment and piping, where such indication is required for hand control in the
field. This includes at least the following locations:

Outlet water streams from all condensers or coolers

Discharge of all blowers and each compressor cylinder

Lube oil and cooling water circulating systems for pumps, turbines, compressors and similar mechanical equipment

All tanks and storage vessels

At important points listed under Section 621 in locations where a multipoint


thermocouple indicator is not provided

Dial Thermometer Specification


ISA Form S20.14a should be used to order dial thermometers. A copy of the form
and instructions on how to complete it can be found behind Tab DS-4780.
Dial thermometers for process streams should be nonresettable, hermetically sealed,
heavy duty, industrial type with helical coil elements and five- or six-inch diameter
dials. Accuracy should be less than one percent of span. Smaller three-inch dials
with two percent accuracy may be used on auxiliary systems, such as lube or seal
oil. Dial thermometer cases should be stainless steel with an external adjustment
screw. Normal operating temperatures for dial thermometers should be in the center
one third of the scale.
Dial thermometers are available with back connections (angle form), bottom
connections (straight form), or every-angle (adjustable). Every-angle dial thermometers should be used to permit adjustment of the viewing angle in the field.

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621 Remote Temperature Indicators (Thermocouples)


If a facility has a centralized control room, remote temperature indication should be
provided on process equipment and piping to check on the operation and
performance of the equipment and the temperature instruments. This includes at
least the following locations:

Columns: All inlet and outlet lines.

Vessels: All inlet and outlet lines (where different temperatures are expected).

Heat Exchangers including reboilers: Inlet and outlet lines from the shell and/or
tube sides. Multiunit heat exchangers should have test thermowells between
units, and thermocouples only on the inlet and outlet of the exchanger train.

Fired Heaters: The inlet line, the outlets from each pass, header pass points
from convection to radiant sections, tube wall temperatures on representative
radiant section tubes as recommended by furnace supplier (minimum of three
per pass), stack flue gas just ahead of the damper.

Process Stream Junctions: Downstream of the junction point of all important


process streams.

Coolers: All liquid product inlets and outlets.

All temperature controlling and transmitting instrument locations (as a check


for each instrument). A thermowell separate from the controller or transmitter
thermowell is required, except in high pressure piping.

Each heavy hydrocarbon line having an orifice flow meter. The purpose is to
approximate flow corrections with fluid temperature change.

If an electronic control system is used and advanced control strategies are


implemented to optimize the process, thermocouples or RTDs should be
provided at every orifice flow meter in the process.

Both lines, when parallel piping is used, such as the twin vapor lines from a
large fractionating column. Temperature transmitter thermowells should also be
installed in both lines, with the sensing bulb for the transmitter installed in one
of the lines. The installation should permit transfer of the sensing bulb from one
thermowell to the other.

Process Compressors or Blowers: All inlet and outlet lines. Only one point is
required on the inlet and outlet of compressors or blowers in parallel on the
same service.

Duplication of remote temperature indicating points resulting from a combination or


series arrangement of any of the above requirements is not intended.

622 Temperature Test Points (Thermowells)


Temperature test points (thermowells) should be provided on process equipment and
piping to check on equipment performance and operation on an occasional basis.

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Locations of such temperature points should generally include, but should not be
limited to, the inlet and outlet of all heat exchangers, shell side and tube side, that
are not provided with remote temperature indicators. Duplication of temperature test
points with a thermocouple point or a dial thermometer is not intended.
Temperature test points that check temperature sensing points should be located
within 12 inches of the sensing point. Thermowell specifications are covered in
Sub-section 618.

623 Compressor Temperature Alarms and Shutdowns


Rotating machinery requires extensive monitoring to assure that operating problems do not develop unexpectedly. The Machinery and Electrical Systems Team
determines the extent of monitoring that is required to ensure reliability. Where
temperature instrumentation is required, the following instruments are typically
used:

Electric motors are normally furnished with RTDs embedded in motor


windings.

High-discharge temperature alarms should be provided on each cylinder of


important reciprocating compressors. They may also be necessary on less
important compressors. The temperature can rise very rapidly, particularly if a
discharge valve fails closed. The temperature element should provide rapid
response (less than 60 seconds). Thermocouples, not filled thermal systems,
should be used for this service. The sensor should be located either in the
compressor nozzle or immediately downstream of it, so that it will detect the
high temperature, even with blocked flow. The Company prefers a suitably
designed internal sensing arrangement.

624 Self-contained Temperature Regulators


Self-contained temperature regulators combine a filled thermal system with a direct
operated control valve. The fluid in the thermal system operates directly on the
metal diaphragm of the control valve. They are relatively inaccurate and subject to
temperature droop as the load increases. They are normally specified for simple
field temperature control applications such as steam coils on tanks.

625 Temperature Transmitters


Temperature transmitters should be specified and installed where it is desirable to
control, record, or indicate the temperature at a central location. Field-mounted
RTDs or thermocouples can be wired directly to remotely mounted indicators,
recorders, or controllers, but this is rarely done (except with the modern distributed
control systems) because of possible noise pickup.
Temperature transmitters or converters should be used to transmit the temperature
signal. The transmitted signal may be either converted to pneumatic (3 to 15 psig) or
electronic (4 to 20 mA). The transmitter output should be compatible with the
receiver instrument. Descriptions of several types follow.

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Pneumatic Temperature Transmitters


Pneumatic temperature transmitters should be used when transmission of a temperature signal to a remote pneumatic receiver is required. Pneumatic temperature
transmitters should have weatherproof cases of fiberglass, aluminum, or steel coated
with epoxy paint.
Both blind and indicating transmitters are available. Blind, suppressed range, filled
thermal system transmitters should be used because their force-balance mechanisms are more reliable and have fewer moving parts. Thermal lag compensation
(rate action) should be provided when fast response is required.
The filled thermal system sensor should be connected to the transmitter with capillary tubing. Capillary tubing should be 316 stainless steel with 316 stainless steel
armor. Capillary length should be kept as short as possible (maximum of 20 feet) to
minimize ambient temperature errors. Accuracy should be within 0.5 percent of the
calibrated span.
The transmitter should be designed to operate on an instrument air supply pressure
of 18 to 22 psig. The output pressure should be 3 to 15 psig. Output should be direct
acting. The transmitter should have supply and output pressure gages. The case
should include a socket or yoke for mounting on a 2-inch pipe.

EMF/Pneumatic Temperature Transmitters


EMF/pneumatic temperature transmitters may be used when a thermocouple signal
is available in a control house with pneumatic recorders and controllers. A reliable
source of AC power is required. The transmitter should have an output of 3 to 15 psi
for 0 to 100 percent of the calibrated range. Adjustable span and zero suppression is
required. The transmitters should meet the requirements for the National Electrical
Code (NEC) hazardous area where they are installed. This would normally be for
general purpose use.

Electronic Temperature Transmitters


Electronic temperature transmitters should be used when transmission of a signal to
a remote electronic receiver is required. Filled thermal system electronic transmitters are available but are rarely used. Best accuracy and reliability is obtained with
integral 100-ohm, three-wire, platinum RTDs. Less demanding services should use
thermocouples.
With modern distributed control systems (DCS), thermocouples and RTDs can
either be multiplexed or directly wired into the DCS. They can be used as process
measurement inputs without the need for a field transmitter.

Electronic Temperature Transmitter Specifications


Electonic transmitters with smart electronics are preferred. A single smart transmitter may be programmed for either thermocouple or RTD input, thus minimizing
spare parts inventories.
Thermocouple transmitters should ground the thermocouple at the thermowell. The
temperature measuring circuit for thermocouples should be a zero balance-type or

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600 Temperature Measurement

feedback balance-type with integral cold junction compensation for thermocouple


and millivolt inputs.
RTD transmitters should use resistance bridge-type temperature measuring circuits.
Temperature transmitters should have NEMA 4 housings with dual compartments
(or equivalent) to separate the electronics from the wiring connections, which
should be in an integral or attached junction box.
Temperature transmitters should be protected from radio frequency interference
(RFI) and electromagnetic and electrostatic interference. They should include
adjustable damping to smooth out transient signal noise.
Range and span should be adjustable without changing electronic components.
Inputs and outputs should be isolated. Burnout protection should be provided to
cause fail safe action of the final control element. Loss of input and indication
should be upscale for all input types.
The transmitter should be loop powered, which means that the operating voltage is
carried along the same two wires as the output signal and originates from the
receiver instrument. This is commonly referred to as a two-wire transmitter.
Transmitters that operate on 24-volt DC power are preferred. Consult the manufacturers literature for details concerning power requirements and electrical
connections.
Output should be 4 to 20 mA DC isolated. Other signals, such as proprietary digital
communication, are available if required. The transmitter output should be compatible with the receiver instrument.
Electronic transmitters should meet the requirements for the National Electrical
Code (NEC) hazardous area where they are installed. The minimum should be
explosionproof, Class I, Division 2, Group D. Intrinsically safe (IS) electronic transmitters are preferred, but they are not available from all manufacturers. When used
in IS systems, transmitters should be specified as IS and should have an IS certification label.

626 Field Temperature Recorders


Field temperature recorders should have weatherproof fiberglass, aluminum, or steel
cases coated with epoxy paint. If the case contains electrical components, it should
meet the electrical classification for the area.
The range should be selected so that the normal process temperature is in the middle
third of the chart.
Direct-connected field recorders with filled thermal systems may be used if instrument air is not available. If instrument air is available, pneumatic receiver recorders
should be used with a filled thermal system pneumatic transmitter.
Selection of the filled thermal system depends on the required range, span, capillary
length, accessibility, and limitations on the size and location of the sensor. The
capillary should be 316 stainless steel with flexible 316 stainless steel armor.

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The chart should be 12 inches in diameter. The case should include a socket or yoke
for mounting on a 2-inch pipe. The normal chart drive has a 7-day rotation with a
clockwork drive with an 8-day wind. Electric and pneumatic chart drives are also
available.

627 Field Pneumatic Temperature Controllers


A field pneumatic temperature controller compares the measured process temperature against a setpoint and sends a pneumatic output signal to a final control element
(control valve) which acts to hold the process temperature at the setpoint. These are
used when local control of temperature is required and the following conditions
hold:

It is not necessary to change the temperature setpoint from a central control


house

It is not necessary to record or trend the temperature from a central control


house

It is not necessary to change the controller tuning from a central control house

The controlled temperature is not part of a cascade loop. Temperature controllers may be either indicating or recording. Blind controllers are rarely used

For temperature control applications which require only local control and no transmission to a remote receiver, a pilot-operated pneumatic indicating controller with a
filled thermal system should be used. For applications that require a remote
controller mounted in a local panel or console, a pneumatic receiver indicating
controller and a pneumatic temperature transmitter with a filled thermal system
should be used. Refer to Sub-section 614 on filled thermal systems.
Span selection should be based on the following guidelines:
The span should be 100F if the normal operating temperature is 200F or less. If a
span of 100F is not available, select the narrowest span available.
The span should not exceed 60% of the operating temperature, if the operating
temperature is higher than 200F.

Field Pneumatic Temperature Controller Specifications


Temperature controllers should have weatherproof fiberglass, aluminum, or steel
cases coated with epoxy paint. If the case contains electrical components, it should
meet the electrical classification for the area.
Temperature controllers should be equipped with proportional plus integral (reset)
plus derivative (PID) control action. Proportional band should be at least 0 to 500%.
Reset action should be adjustable down to 20 minutes per repeat, or longer. Derivative action should be adjustable from 0.05 to 50 minutes. Controller output should
be 3 to 15 psig, or 6 to 30 psig, as required by the final control element. The
controller options should include anti-reset windup to prevent the integral action
from winding up when the controller is in manual.

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600 Temperature Measurement

Temperature controllers should include separate indicators for process temperature


and setpoint. The setpoint should be easily adjustable from either inside or outside
the case, depending on the need to make adjustments.
The controller should operate on an instrument air pressure of 18 to 22 psig. The
output should be 3 to 15 psig. For offshore applications, the output should be 6 to 30
psig and a higher supply pressure will be required. The controller should include a
two-position, bumpless, balanceless, auto/manual transfer switch that is internally
mounted to avoid accidental switching. The controller output should be either direct
or reverse acting and it should be possible to change the action in the field. The
controller should include supply and output pressure gages. The case should include
a socket or yoke for mounting on a 2-inch pipe.

628 Temperature Switches


Field temperature switches protect equipment or machinery from overtemperature
or undertemperature, without reliance on instrumentation located in a remote control
house. Signals from them are usually electric but can be pneumatic. Shutdown
switches should be independent of other devices.

Electrical Temperature Switches


Electrical temperature switches provide on/off contact closures for use either with
equipment or an alarm or shutdown system. Figure 600-11 defines the terminology
used in temperature switches.
Fig. 600-11 Temperature Switch Technology

Temperature switch cases should be either epoxy painted or all stainless steel. They
should have stainless steel exterior screws and a hermetically sealed electrical
assembly. They should be explosionproof (NEMA 7), weather-resistant (NEMA 4
and 4X), or general purpose (NEMA 1), depending on the electrical classification
where they are installed.

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The available circuit arrangements are very flexible. Standard arrangements include
single-pole, single-throw (SPST), single-pole, double-throw (SPDT), and doublepole, double-throw (DPDT) designs, but units are available with up to four poles.
Switches should normally be specified with snap-acting, dual, single-pole, double
throw (SPDT) contacts. The contacts should be hermetically sealed and rated to
supply the operated device with a minimum 10 amperes at 120 volts AC, and 6
amperes at 28 volts DC. Switch contacts should open in the alarm condition.
Terminal blocks or terminal strips should be provided. Dead front or shrouded
terminal blocks are acceptable. Entrance bushings to the temperature switch case
should be provided. The electrical conduit connection should be inch minimum.
The temperature sensor may be a filled thermal system or a bimetallic element
mounted in a suitable thermowell. Filled thermal system switches normally have a
slow response time, especially in vapor service.
Temperature switches should have an internally adjustable setpoint(s) with a calibrated scale. The setpoint should fall in the middle third of the range. Temperature
switches are available with either fixed or adjustable differentials between the
setpoint and the reactivation point. Fixed differential temperature switches have a
single adjustment for setpoint. They are factory set with differentials of 0.5% to 1%
of span. On double adjustment switches, both setpoint and reactuation point can be
independently adjusted. The maximum differential in such designs is the range of
the switch, while the minimum varies between 2 and 8% of span. The type of switch
should match the application.
Dual control electrical temperature switches are available with two independent
switches in the same housing.

Pneumatic Temperature Switches


Pneumatic temperature switches are on/off pneumatic controls used to operate
equipment, alarms, or shutdown systems. They are most frequently used in
producing applications and the output is a 0 to 60 psig pneumatic signal which is
part of the control or alarm and shutdown system of the facility. They are also used
for local control of packaged equipment.
Pneumatic temperature switches should be adjustable and they should use either
bimetallic or filled thermal system sensors. The pneumatic switch should be a stainless steel block and bleed-type valve.

EMF/Alarm Relays
EMF/alarm relays may be used in control houses where thermocouple signals are
available. A reliable source of AC power is required. Dual units should be provided
if high and low functions are required, except on shutdown service.
The EMF/alarm relay should meet the requirements for the National Electrical Code
(NEC) area where they are installed. This would normally be Division 2 or General
Purpose.

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600 Temperature Measurement

629 Multipoint Temperature Systems


Multipoint thermocouple temperature systems can be either:

An integral part of the main cathode ray tube (CRT)-based distributed control
system

A stand-alone thermocouple system that displays all thermocouple temperatures to the plant operators on demand and communicates to the process monitoring computer

Stand-alone, solid-state, digital temperature indicators mounted on the instrument panel

For all three systems, connected thermocouples should not use up more than 75% of
the systems installed capacity for thermocouple connections. Thermocouples linked
to the temperature system should not be connected to any other instrumentation.
Duplex thermocouples should be installed in a common thermowell to provide
parallel functions where necessary.

CRT-Based Distributed Control Systems


The current makers of distributed control systems can also provide multipoint thermocouple readout. The thermocouples should tie into the distributed control system
data highway and the temperatures should read out on the operators CRT/keyboard
work stations.
The temperature information should be accessible to the plant process computer (if
provided) through the common data communication system.
The system should be designed so that failure of any one component or subsystem
will not cause total failure of the temperature system and also so that any fault can
be cleared by the plant operators in less than 5 minutes. Techniques such as dual
redundancy, subsystem shedding, and self-diagnostics can be used to accomplish
this.

Digital Multipoint Temperature Systems (Digital TI System)


For the past twenty years, stand-alone digital TI systems have been available to
display thermocouple temperatures. The digital TI system should provide one or
more digital select and display stations mounted on the main control panel to
provide operator access to the temperature information. Each select and display
station should be designed to provide complete and independent access to all input
signals. These visual displays should show both the measured temperature and the
address or other identification of the point being measured. The select station should
have a ten-digit keyboard to address the temperature points on the system. Each
station should have access to all temperature points on the system. The system
should include a directory which lists all points accessible from that station.
Electromechanical devices such as stepping switches or relays should not be used
with the exception of the analog signal input multiplexer. The multiplexer may use
hermetically sealed, mercury-wetted relays or fully encapsulated contacts, such as
magnetic reed relays, to connect the analog signals to the digital TI system input.

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Contacts and connectors should be gold plated. Plugs and other electronic junctions
should be suited for the specified environment.
The system should be designed so that two input signals will not be connected in
parallel. Switching of thermocouple types and ranges should be fully automatic.
Automatic continuity checks to indicate thermocouple burnout or high loop resistance should be made when the thermocouple is selected. A visual alarm on the
display panel should indicate malfunction of the loop and/or the digital TI system.
Addition of alarms, computers, or other equipment in parallel with the input should
not interfere with the continuity checks, and conversely, the continuity checks
should not interfere with the function of the alarms, computers, or other equipment.
The digital TI system, including multiplexers, should be field expandable to accommodate additional inputs as specified. As a minimum, the digital TI system should
accommodate 10% additional inputs per process unit without additional hardware.
The digital TI system should be designed so that the temperature reading will not
vary by more than plus or minus 0.1% for the specified ambient temperature and
humidity ranges.
Remote stations and master stations should be equipped with double-pole circuit
breakers for disconnecting AC power from each station. Switches should be
provided to separate any remote station bus from the mainframe without affecting
the rest of the station.
A computer interface should be provided to make block transfers of temperature
data to the process computer on demand.
The system should be designed such that failure of any one component or subsystem
will not cause total failure of the temperature system and also so that any fault can
be cleared by the plant operators in less than 5 minutes. Techniques such as dual
redundancy, subsystem shedding, and self-diagnostics can be used to accomplish
this.
Field-mounted remote station cabinets should be weatherproof, designed for the
electrical area classification specified, and pressurized to prevent corrosive atmosphere from entering the cabinet.

Multipoint Digital Temperature Indicators (Digital TIs)


Small existing plants usually have thermocouples connected to toggle switches on
the control panel. Digital multipoint temperature indicators are available for temperature display. The digital TI should be solid-state digital indicators mounted on the
instrument panel. Console desks should not be used. The maximum number of
temperature points per indicator should be 100. Not more than 75% of the switch
capacity installed for each type of thermocouple should be used. Thermocouple
switches should be toggle switches (not pushbuttons), with spring-return to neutral
position. Switches should be mounted on a separate switch cabinet, and they should
be arranged so that additional switches up to full capacity can be added later.

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600 Temperature Measurement

630 Installation of Temperature Instruments


631 General RequirementsField Temperature Instruments
Field temperature instruments should be unaffected by ambient conditions such as
temperature extremes, freezing, excessive moisture, high humidity, dust, solar heat,
or corrosive vapors.

Accessibility and Visibility


Temperature instruments should be located so that they are easy to observe and
accessible for calibration and repair. Figure 600-12 gives the access requirements
for specific kinds of temperature instruments.
Fig. 600-12 Access Requirements for Temperature Instruments
Platform or
Grade

Stepladder or
Rolling Platform

Permanent
Ladder

Temperature Transmitter

Yes

Yes

No

Field Temperature Controller

Yes

No

No

Field Temperature Recorder

Yes

No

No

Field Temperature Switch

Yes

No

No

Field Dial Thermometer

Yes

Yes

Yes

Thermocouples and Resistance Bulbs

Yes

Yes

Yes

Thermowell Temperature Test Points

Yes

Yes

Yes

Instrument Type

Pulsation and Vibration


Temperature instruments with filled thermal systems use a capillary to connect the
thermal bulb to the instrument. The instrument should be separately supported when
vibration of piping or equipment could impair instrument performance. Instruments
using bimetallic elements are generally vibration resistant. Proper design of thermowells to resist harmonic vibration is covered in Sub-section 618.

632 Specific RequirementsTemperature Instruments


Dial Thermometers
Dial thermometers should be located so that they are readable from grade or platform (preferably grade). They should be readable from the control valves associated with temperature control to permit manual operation. Dial thermometers should
be installed in 304 or 316 (or better) stainless steel protective thermowells, which
should be specified with the dial thermometer.
Dial thermometers should be identified with stainless steel tags attached with wire.
The tag should list the instrument number. The indicating range should be printed
on the dial of the thermometer.

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Dial thermometers for tanks should be installed in accordance with Standard


Drawing GC-D99612 (see the Tank Manual).

Thermowells and Test Wells


All temperature sensing elements (filled thermal system bulbs, thermocouples, dial
thermometers, etc.) should be installed in thermowells. Installation of bare elements
is not recommended.
Screwed thermowells should be installed in accordance with Standard Drawing
GB-J1196. Flanged thermowells should be installed in accordance with Standard
Drawing GB-J1198.
Thermowells should be installed in self-draining positions when the process fluid is
at or below 32F. The adjustable threaded union between the thermowell and the
thermowell head is optional. It is required with filled thermal system bulbs. Thermowells should be stamped with material type, connection size and type, and the
nominal length.
Thermowells for furnace stacks should be installed in accordance with Standard
Drawing GB-J1200.

Thermocouples
Thermocouples should be installed in a suitable thermowell with a union and a thermocouple head. The head is sometimes installed on conduit remote from the thermowell. The tip of the thermocouple should make good thermal contact with the
thermowell.
The hot junction should be positively grounded to the thermocouple sheath unless
prohibited by the design of readout or transmission equipment. The thermocouple
should allow positive grounding at the thermocouple head.
Thermocouples should not be connected to more than one device. Duplex thermocouples installed in a common thermowell are recommended. Alternately, the thermocouple signals can be converted to 4 to 20 mA.
Take particular care with Iron-Constantan extension wire in wet climates. The iron
wire is subject to serious rusting unless it is protected with moisture-proof
insulation.
Thermocouples should be identified with stainless steel tags attached with wire. The
tag should list the thermocouple type and stem length.

Resistance Temperature Devices


Resistance temperature devices should be mounted in the same manner as thermocouples. The tip of the RTD should make good thermal contact with the thermowell.

Furnace Skin Points


Furnace skin points should be installed in accordance with Standard Drawing
GD-J1079. Failure of the lead-in wires is the main reason for premature failure of

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furnace skin points. The lead-in wire should have adequate flexibility and should be
protected from direct flame impingement.

Filled Thermal Systems for Temperature Recorders, Controllers,


Transmitters, and Switches
The filled thermal system capillary should be protected from mechanical damage by
proper supports. The maximum distance between capillary supports should be 18
inches.

Field Pneumatic Temperature Controllers


Field pneumatic temperature controllers should be located within 20 feet of the
point of temperature measurement.

Electronic Temperature Transmitters


Electronic temperature transmitters are normally mounted remote from their associated thermowells to protect against high ambient temperature. They may also be
mounted directly on the thermowell.

640 Model Specifications, Standard Drawings and Engineering Forms


641 Model Specifications
ICM-DG-4780

Instructions for Ordering Temperature Instruments

642 Standard Drawings

Chevron Corporation

GB-J1195

Inch Screwed Thermowell

GB-J1196

Screwed Thermowell Installations in Piping

GB-J1197

Flanged Thermowell Details for 1 Inch and 2 Inch Flanged


Connections

GB-J1198

Flanged Thermowell Installations in Piping

GB-J1199

Installation Details for Thermocouple Extension Wire and Cable

GB-J1200

Thermowell for Furnace Stack

GB-J1201

Installation Details for Furnace Tube Skin Point Thermocouple

GB-J1202

Installation Details for Reactor Skin Point Thermocouple

GB-J1203

Fabrication Details for Reactor Skin Point Thermocouple

GC-D99612

Standard Thermometer Assembly for Oil Storage Tanks (See the


Tank Manual)

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Instrumentation and Control Manual

650 References
Chevron employs the following industry codes, standards, and recommended practices for the design and installation of temperature instrumentation.
1.

API Recommended Practice RP 551, Process Measurement Instrumentation.

2.

Specification Forms for Process Measurement and Control Instruments,


Primary Elements and Control Valves, Instrument Society of America, 1975.

3.

ASME Performance Test Codes, Supplement on Instruments and Apparatus,


Part 3: Temperature Measurement, and Chapter 8, Bimetallic Thermometers.

4.

ANSI/MC96.1-1982, Temperature Measurement Thermocouples.

The following references are recommended:

December 1999

5.

Temperature Measurement in Engineering, Volume 1, by Baker, Ryder, and


Baker, (J. Wiley & Sons, Inc.).

6.

Fundamentals of Temperature, Pressure, & Flow Measurements, by R.P. Benedict, (J. Wiley & Sons, Inc.).

7.

Process Instruments and Controls Handbook, by Considine, (McGraw-Hill


Book Company, Inc.).

8.

Brock, J.E., Stress Analysis of Thermowells, Report No. NPS-59BC74112A


(Unclassified), Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, California, November
11, 1974.

600-42

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700 Level Measurement


Abstract
This section introduces common level measurement methods and equipment. It
describes various detecting devices for continous and point level measurement of
process vessels. It includes discussions of level gages, displacement transmitters and
controllers, differential pressure transmitters, capacitance level sensors, ultrasonic,
vibration, microwave, nuclear, float switches, level bridles and pyrometers (Rams
Horns).
Information on the application of automatic tank gages and level switches will be
found in the Section 700,Instrumentation/Measurement, of the Tank Manual.
The information in this section includes and adds to information provided about
level measurement in API RP 551. Along with discussions of level measurement
principles, are application guidelines reflecting Company experience. These guidelines will assist the engineer in the design of a liquid measurement system. This
section does not include all of the special methods for unusual situations or the
measurement of solid materials.

Chevron Corporation

Contents

Page

710

Gage Glasses

700-3

711

Construction and Operating Principles

712

Application Guidelines

713

Installation Guidelines

720

Float & Displacer Devices

721

Displacement Transmitters and Controllers

722

Float and Displacer Switches

730

Level Bridles

700-18

740

Pressure Transmitters

700-19

741

Principles of Operation

742

Application Guidelines

743

Installation Guidelines

750

Other Electronic Devices

700-1

700-8

700-29

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Instrumentation and Control Manual

751

Hydrostatic Level Measurement

752

Capacitance and RF Admittance Level Sensors

753

Ultrasonic

754

Vibration

755

Nuclear Level Measurement

756

Microwave Level Measurement

757

Pyrometers

760

Model Specifications, Standard Drawings, and Engineering Forms700-43

761

Standard Drawings

770

References

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700 Level Measurement

710 Gage Glasses


711 Construction and Operating Principles
For columns (towers), vessels, and small process tanks the most commonly used
gage glasses in the petrochemical industry are the armored type with tempered borosilicate glass. The liquid chamber and covers are usually made of steel, but a variety
of alloys is available. The covers, which are used to bolt the glass to the body, are
usually carbon steel, and have slots for viewing the fluid.
Armored glasses are usually specified in multiple sections, which are fabricated
together by the vendor to get the desired overall viewing length. Manufacturers can
supply these sections in nine glass sizes. However, most facilities try to standardize
to one of the larger sizes. The largest size has an overall length of 14-1/8 inches and
a viewing length of 12-5/8 inches. This means that when multiple sections are used
there are 1-1/2 inch blind spots between sections.
The overall length of a gage glass should be limited to five sections or about 69
inches of visible length. This limitation of length is imposed to limit the weight of
the unit and to control the stress imposed when gage glasses are mounted on a
vessel or tank.
Gage glasses are normally used to backup other level instruments when maintenance, calibration, or manual operation is necessary. Rarely are they used as the
primary level device, unless installed on small storage vessels containing low usage
chemicals. When used as the backup for level transmitters and/or switches, gage
glasses should cover the entire operating range, including the spans of the level
transmitters and high and low alarm and shutdown switches.
It is often desirable to install scales on gage glasses for the following reasons: (1) to
help operations keep track of level changes or product transfer rates; (2) to help
maintenance calibrate instruments; (3) or when gage glasses are used on small tanks
holding low usage chemicals.
The two types of armored gage glasses, reflex and transparent, are discussed below.

Reflex Gage Glasses


Reflex armored gage glass (see Figures 700-1 and 700-2) has a slotted cover on
only one side of the chamber. Longitudinal ridges on the liquid side of the glass act
as prisms to reflect light. Above the liquid level light is reflected and appears
mirror-like; below the liquid level light is not reflected and appears black in color.
Reflex gauges are used for gas-liquid interfaces when clean fluids are present.

Transparent Gage Glasses


Transparent armored gage glass (see Figures 700-3 and 700-4) has slotted covers on
opposite sides of the chamber to allow the operator to look through the unit. Transparent glasses are required to see the interfaces between two liquids, and when the
process fluid is viscous and coats the surface of the glass.

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Instrumentation and Control Manual

Fig. 700-1

Reflex Glass

Fig. 700-2

Reflex Armored Gage Glass Construction

Fig. 700-3

Transparent Glasses

Fig. 700-4

Transparent Armored Gage Glass


Construction

When transparent gauge glasses are used in steam service greater than 200 psig, or
to monitor caustics or hydrofluric acid, mica shields are required to protect the glass
from chemical attack and discoloration. Reflex gauges should not be used for these
services since the mica shielding would hinder the reflection of the prisims cut into
the gauge glass.
Backlighting with illuminators may be required in these cases. Critical levels which
must be continuously observed at night should also have backlighting. See
Figure 700-5, which shows typical multiple level gages with illuminators. Normally,
flashlights provide sufficient light for operators.

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Instrumentation and Control Manual

Fig. 700-5

700 Level Measurement

Typical Multiple Level Gages with Illuminators

Tubular Gage Glasses


Normally tubular gage glasses are not used because of their fragility. The typical
tubular gage may be adequate, however, for some minor utility applications on
skidded units. These cases should be carefully reviewed for safety and avoided
whenever possible.
Joggler gage glasses with thick walled borosilicate glass tubes and solid steel
armored shields have occasionally been used in the Company in services below
150 psig. These gages are constructed with continuous viewing, red-lined tubes for
gas-liquid interfaces, calibration strips, and corrosion-resistant process wetted
surfaces.
Halar tubular gage glasses with impact-resistant plastic tubes have also been used
for low pressure and temperature service (e.g., below 500 psig and 300F).

Magnetic Level Gages


Magnetic gages have been used where the fluids being handled are toxic or flammable, and a release of these fluids caused by glass failure would be hazardous to
personnel or the environment.
A float with an internal magnet is mounted inside a nonmagnetic chamber. The indicator assembly mounted on the outside has magnetized wafers which rotate 180
degrees as the magnet passes. The sides of the wafer are distinctly colored to indicate the level. The units have flanged end connections. Magnetic gages should be
used in clean services only.

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712 Application Guidelines


Refer to the project or plant piping classification to determine the temperature and
pressure requirements for the gage glass, materials of construction, and the type of
process connections. For steam applications be sure to check the Steam Working
Pressure (SWP) rating of the gage glass.
Coordinate the selection of the gage glass with the design of the piping and vessels.
It is most important to determine and document the physical elevations inside the
equipment that must be measured. This information will be used to set the elevation
and orientation of the vessel or tank connections.
If process fluids will foul or coat the glasses so badly they will not be usable,
consider another device as a backup, such as a capacitance level transmitter.
Gage glasses should cover the entire operating range of all the process instruments.
When the process viewing requirements exceed 69 inches, two shorter gage glasses
should be used. Each gage glass should have its own process block valves.
Backlighting requirements need to be determined with the operating personnel.
Backlighting is required on important transparent gage glasses when the liquid level
is checked frequently and/or the interface is hard to see because of film or other
deposits. When viewing reflex gages is important, increase the area lighting to
provide a higher level of visibility at night.
If a gage glass on a steam drum is not readable from grade, the ASME Boiler Code
requires an additional level indicator at grade. Mirrors for reading elevated gage
glasses on steam drums are not acceptable.
Vendor supplied options that can be considered for the installation of a gage glass
are:

July 1999

Weather and corrosion-resistant scales

Large chambers for boiling, or turbulent fluids, to minimize paraffin buildup, or


for slow flowing viscous fluids

Flanged, socket weld or screwed connections both on the ends and sides

Illuminators for backlighting

Mica shields for steam service over 200 psig or caustic or hydrofluoric acid
service

Welding pads for vessels and tanks

Frost proof extensions

Jacketed bodies for heating and cooling

Internal tubes for heating and cooling

700-6

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Instrumentation and Control Manual

700 Level Measurement

713 Installation Guidelines


Gage glasses should be installed with dedicated root valves to isolate the gage from
the process. Flanged end connections should be specified for gage glasses in
services where process piping calls for seal welding or socket welding. Typically,
for process applications, the valving will be furnished separately from the gage
glasses as specified by the piping classification for the block, drain, and vent valves.

ASME Boiler Code


The ASME Boiler Code requires that gage glasses on boilers be installed with offset
gage cocks (e.g., specially designed angle valves with an integral shutoff ball check
on the vessel side). This is the only application where gage cocks are required.
Although many Company facilities use gage cocks, they are not recommended.
Gage cocks have been promoted by contractors and vendors because they have
built-in ball checks. They are supplied with a drain and vent plug instead of valving,
and the offset feature allows them to be easily cleaned. Because of fouling,
however, the ball checks are extremely unreliable.
There are two types of gage cocks available:
1.

The union bonnet gage cock is designed with adjustable eccentric process
connections to compensate for poor vessel fabrication. There have been a
number of gage cock failures with union bonnet design, where the handwheel
and stem screwed out of the gage cock body and the operator was injured. The
stem threads are also in contact with the process fluid and could corrode. Union
bonnet valves should not be considered safe.

2.

The outside stem and yoke (OS&Y) gage cock requires accurately located
vessel process connections. This gage cock offers no advantages over valves
selected from the piping classification, particularly when drain and vent valves
are required. This is the only type of gage cock that should be specified for
boiler service.

Gage glasses in services that can become coated should be capable of being cleaned
with a brush. Piping and platform designers should be aware of this requirement.
Gage glasses may require steam or electric tracing and insulation. Hot fluids that are
viscous at ambient temperatures need tracing. Some gage glasses may only require
insulation for good operation or for personnel safety. This subject is covered in
detail in Section 1500, Instrument Seals, Purges, and Winterizing.
Each gage glass, single or multiple section, shall have its own process, drain and
vent valves. Do not string out gage glasses. See Standard Drawing GC-J1170 for
details of gage glass installation. Normally the drain and vent connections for level
glasses are specified plugged. Many times the drain is located over a funnel. Drains
and vents are covered in detail in Section 753 below.
Between sections there is a 1 inch blind spot. When knowing the exact level at any
time is critical, gage glasses should be overlapped to give continuous coverage.

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Instrumentation and Control Manual

Care must be taken in the installation of magnetic gages to eliminate steel supports,
steam tracing, conduit, or heater wires that may affect the magnetic fields.

720 Float & Displacer Devices


721 Displacement Transmitters and Controllers
Principle of Operation and Construction
The operation of the displacer is based on Archimedes Principlethat a body
immersed in a liquid will be buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the liquid
displaced.
Displacers are cylindrical in shape (Figure 700-6) so that for each increment of
submersion depth an equal increment of buoyancy change will result. The torque
tube is designed to twist a specific amount for each increment of displacer buoyancy change. The displacer rod which connects the displacer to the torque tube is
designed to absorb lateral forces and minimize friction by use of a knife edge
bearing. The torque tube is tubular so that a small rotary force may transmit the
degree of rotation accurately to the outside of the vessel. The process end of the
torque tube isolates the process from the instrument.
A transmitter or a controller is attached to the end of the shaft to convert the rotary
motion into varying pneumatic or electric signals.

Application Guidelines
Displacers are widely used to measure total liquid level or interface level.
Displacers can be supplied as controllers or transmitters. Controllers can be proportional band, proportional band plus reset, or differential gap.
Transmitters can have 3 to 15 psig pneumatic or 4 to 20 mA DC electric output
signals. Transmitters are normally used when signals are sent back to a remote location such as a control house, or when the level device is mounted on a platform and
adjustments may be needed during normal operations. Displacers in total liquid
level service can be calibrated with water and then adjusted for the specific gravity
of the fluid.
It is important to determine and document the elevations of the minimum, midpoint,
and maximum process settings in relation to the vessel or tank drawings. This information will be used in determining the displacer cage style required and the vessel
connection locations. For cageless displacers it is necessary to specify the length
from the head flange to the top of the displacer.
Displacers can measure a variety of instrument ranges or spans from 14 inches to
120 inches, though most applications are for 14 inches or less. Span ranges of 32,
48, and 60 inches are often used. For ranges over 60 inches, other types of level
sensors are normally used. Because of the weight of the cage, some locations limit
displacer lengths to 48 inches.

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Instrumentation and Control Manual

Fig. 700-6

700 Level Measurement

Cross-Section of a Caged Displacer (Courtesy of Fisher Controls International, Inc.)

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700-9

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Instrumentation and Control Manual

Caged, or external, displacers are preferred over cageless, or internal, units. Because
caged displacers are outside the vessel, they are:

Easier to maintain
Less susceptible to turbulence inside the vessel

Cageless displacers can be mounted on the tops of tanks or vessels. They can be
considered for use when turbulence is not a factor, when there are no vessel obstructions, when they can be easily removed for maintenance, and when process set point
changes are rarely made. Side-mounted cageless displacers are seldom used.
Cageless displacers should be considered for interface control applications that
require large displacers. They are also advantageous when the liquid contains solid
materials, when the liquid has a high melting point and might solidify in a cagemounted unit, or when the application requires a corrosion-proof upper chamber,
like teflon-lined steel, and expensive alloy-wetted parts.
Cages can be made of steel or 316 stainless steel. Internal wetted parts can be
furnished in a variety of corrosion-resistant materials.
The pressure and temperature ratings of displacers in some facilities exceed those of
the vessel and process piping in order to be able to interchange units. For example,
the minimum ANSI rating for all units in a facility may be 300#, even though many
applications only require 150# rating.

Installation Guidelines
Figure 700-7 shows the four types of nozzle connections available for external
displacers. Each has advantages. Selection should be coordinated with the vessel
and tank platform design. Displacer gages also come in a variety of process connection configurations (Figure 700-7).
Fig. 700-7

July 1999

Displacer Cage Connections

700-10

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700 Level Measurement

Some Company facilities standardize on style F-3 which has the least amount of
piping flexibility. Displacers should not be ordered until the access to the instrument and to the bridle piping has been finalized.
It is also necessary to specify the orientation of the transmitter or controller case in
relation to the displacer cage. Right-hand mounting means the instrument case is to
the right of the displacer cage when looking at the front of the case. Left-hand
mounting indicates the instrument case is to the left of the displacer cage.
When specified with mid-flanges, the heads of caged displacers may be rotated in
45-degree increments. Heads may be easily rotated in the field, but the casemounting orientation should be specified before purchasing. The caged displacers
should be mounted with separate block, drain, and vent valves. The P&ID may
specify test fluid connections and drain funnels.
Many facilities provide a separate armored gage glass for caged displacers on the
same bridle when the vessel or tank can not be emptied for calibration. If this is not
done, cages should be specified with bosses so that an armored gage glass can be
added later for calibration purposes. Some facilities use removable tygon tubing
which is connected to the drain valve for calibration with nontoxic fluids.
Caged displacers can be supplied with either flanged or screwed connections:
2 inch size connections are usually preferred over 1 inch connections. Cageless
displacers are normally supplied with a 4 inch top-mounting flange.
Displacers that require steam or electric tracing with insulation should be identified.
Hot fluids that are viscous at ambient temperatures need tracing. Some displacers
just require insulation for good operation or personnel safety. See Section 1500,
Instrument Seals, Purges, and Winterizing.

722 Float and Displacer Switches


Operation Principles
Float Switches
The most commonly used level switch is the float switch. In a float switch a metal
float or ball rises or falls as the level changes and moves a magnetic attraction
sleeve attached to a float rod. The attraction sleeve moves up and down inside a
sealing tube. Outside the tube a permanent magnet is attached to a spring loaded
pivot with an electrical switch. The switch contacts open or close an electrical
circuit (Figure 700-8).
Float switches are made with pneumatic relays for use where electricity is not available or the shutdown system is pneumatic, as on some of the smaller platforms.
Most level switch applications are specified with electrical contacts.

Displacer Switches
Displacer switches work like float switches, but they offer features not found in
float-operated switches. The basic sensor of a displacer switch utilizes a pair of

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Fig. 700-8

Instrumentation and Control Manual

Float Switch (Courtesy of Magnetrol)

weights or displacers, heavier than the liquid. These weights are suspended from a
spring. When the liquid engulfs the upper weight, a buoyancy force is produced,
which causes the effective weight of the displacer to change, in turn causing the
spring to seek a new balance position. This moves the magnetic attraction sleeve
into the field of the magnet. See Figure 700-9.
Multiple displacers and electrical switches can be combined on a single suspension
cable to provide multiple output functions, e.g., pump off, pump on, high level
alarm.

Application Guidelines
Float Switches
Float switches are used when the sensing point requires little or no adjustment. Most
float switches are mounted in their own chambers or cages outside of a vessel or
tank. Therefore, to change the setting, the piping must be modified within the limits
of the vessel nozzles.
Float switches work best in clean process services. If applied to dirty or viscous
liquids, a testing program is essential in order to ensure that they are functioning.
The use of another type of switch or a transmitter signal (dedicated transmitter
required for shutdown service) that can be monitored should be considered in difficult services.

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700-12

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Instrumentation and Control Manual

Fig. 700-9

700 Level Measurement

Displacer Switch (Courtesy of Magnetrol)

Internal float switches (see Figure 700-10) should be used only when they can be
safely removed from the equipment during operation and there is some means to test
them conveniently. Most float switches are specified with chambers or cages.
External float switch chambers must be specified with either:

Flanged or screwed end connections (one inch is standard)


Flanged or welded chamber design

The piping classification provides a guideline for specifying the end connections.
Facilities normally prefer to standardize in order to have interchangeable units. See
Figure 700-11.
Welded chamber design is less expensive and should be considered for most applications. Two exceptions are:

Chevron Corporation

In fouling or coking services


In corrosive services

700-13

July 1999

700 Level Measurement

Instrumentation and Control Manual

Fig. 700-10 Typical Internal Float Level Switches

In a welded chamber design, once the float is damaged the device must be thrown
away rather than repaired. Contractors like to supply the welded chambers because
they are cheaper. Electrical or steam heat tracing can be added to a viscous process
application to improve the level switch performance. Float switch wetted parts must
be suitable for the process fluid. Normally the floats are supplied in 304 and 316L
stainless steels. Chambers or cages are available in carbon steel. Other alloys can be
furnished.

Displacer Switches
It is very important to have accurate process data on the specific gravity of the fluid
at the operating conditions, especially if the specific gravity can vary.
Displacer switches are useful when a level is to be measured over a large span or
considerable adjustment of the sensing point may be needed during startup or
normal operation. The switching point(s) can be easily adjusted by moving the
displacer(s) up or down on the suspension wire.
Displacers are specified with either a fixed narrow differential or span adjustable, or
a wide differential or span adjustable between the displacers. The distance from the
top connection to the high level point is also adjustable. These dimensions must be
carefully selected, documented, and specified. See Figure 700-12.
Displacers can also withstand higher pressures than ball floats, because they are
usually solid. They can be furnished with corrosion-resistant parts like ceramic
floats and Hasteloy wire.
Displacers are normally specified for internal mounting in a tank or vessel, when the
equipment can be safely opened and drained for maintenance and calibration

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700 Level Measurement

Fig. 700-11 Types of External Float Switches (Courtesy of Magnetrol)

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Fig. 700-12 Narrow and Wide Differential Displacer Switches (Courtesy of Magnetrol)
Narrow Differential
2-1/2 in. NPT

Wide Differential
4 in. 150# R.F
Flange

2-1/2 in. NPT

4 in. 150# R.F.


Flange

changes. When the process can not be interrupted for service, displacers should be
mounted on external isolatable standpipes.
Flange ratings for internal level switches must be specified so they are the same as
the vessel or tank flange. Displacer switches with external chambers are often used
instead of float switches for low specific gravity services like propane or for high
pressure applications requiring Class 600 flanges or higher. These have a narrow
differential of less than 1 inch.
Displacers can be specified with dual switching stages (see Figure 700-13). The
span of operation of each switch must be specified. When dual stage points are
required, then another type of level transmitter with a continuous output signal
should be considered, especially if the output can be sent to a digital device like a
programmable controller.

Electrical Switches and Housings


Several types of electrical switches are available. Normally, hermetically sealed
electrical contacts are preferred. They provide corrosion resistance as well as eliminate arcing contacts. Both mercury or magnetic switches can be provided, although
the electrical current ratings for magnetic switches are much lower and must be
greater than required. Micro switches should be avoided. Normally, only one or two
sets of single pole double throw (SPDT) contacts are specified.
When float or displacer level switches are installed in Class I, Division 2, areas,
either a weather tight (NEMA 4) or an explosion proof (NEMA 7) housing may be
specified, if the electrical contacts are hermetically sealed. The casting of the
NEMA 7 housing may be preferred to provide additional corrosion protection. Most
facilities have standardized these requirements.

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700 Level Measurement

Fig. 700-13 Displacers with Dual Switching Stages (Courtesy of Magnetrol)

Normally the switch and housing are required to have either a UL or FM listing to
comply with local government agencies having jurisdiction. Often a CSA listing is
acceptable.

Installation Guidelines
Drains, Vents, and Test Fluid Connection
When several float switches are ganged on a bridle or standpipe, each float switch
should have its own required block, drain, vent, and test fluid valves. The bridle or
standpipe should also have its own block, drain, and vent valves. See Figure 700-14.
Standard Drawing GB-J1170 shows how this can be done.
Many environmental designs now require piping the drain valve directly to a closed
drain system, instead of using a funnel. The vent valve may also be piped directly to
a vapor recovery system. The design of drains and vents must be coordinated with
environmental and safety personnel as well as operating personnel.
Since these types of float switches will be routinely tested to verify operation,
adequate access around the housings must be provided.
During hydrotesting, the pressures will often exceed the pressure rating of ball floats
inside the external chambers and may collapse them. These ratings must be known,
so that the float switch can be blinded during the hydrotest.

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Because both float and displacer switches have only a single barrier between the
process and the conduit, a drain and seal should be installed in the conduit in Class
I, Division 2, areas, to comply with Article 501-5(f)(3) of the National Electric
Code.
Fig. 700-14 Vents, Drains, and Test Fluid Connections for Gage Glasses and Level Instruments
Requirements for Water, CO2, and
Non-Toxic Hydrocarbons(1)

Instruments

Requirements for Acid, Caustic,


Toxic Hydrocarbons and Acid
Hydrocarbon Mixtures(2)

Gage Glass Only

Plugged drain valve and plugged


vent valve (clean out)

Plugged vent and drain valves,


drain valve located over drain
funnel at bottom of glass (3)

Total Level Gage Glass with


Level Switch(s)

Plugged vent and drain valves with


test fluid connection

Vent and drain piped to drain funnel


near bottom of glass. Both valves
accessible at bottom of glass. Test
fluid connection.(3)

Interface Gage Glass with Level


Switch(s)

Plugged drain valve. Vent piped to


near bottom of glass. Both valves
accessible at bottom of glass. Test
fluid connection.

Vent and drain piped to drain funnel


near bottom of glass. Both valves
accessible at bottom of glass. Test
fluid connection.(3)

(1) In hydrocarbon service, where the drain valve terminates on a platform, a drain funnel shall be piped to grade. Drain funnels are not
required for water or where a gage glass in hydrocarbon service is located at grade, unless such a termination would present a hazard.
(For example, leaking water freezing in a cold climate.)
On new installations, drains and vents from level instruments in all services except air and water, should be piped to closed systems
and should not be piped to funnels. This practice not only complies with the 1990 Clean Air Act but is also a safer approach. Piping any
volatile hydrocarbons (hydrocarbons at or above bubble point) or compounds to funnels endangers operating and maintenance
personnel, especially if the vapors are toxic or flammable.
(2) Alarms and/or gage glasses in caustic service shall have a water wash connection consisting of gate and check valve at the bottom of
the glass. Water shall be permanently connected. The water wash connection shall also serve as the test fluid connection.
(3) Where funnels are used, they shall be piped to an appropriate drain system at grade.

730 Level Bridles


Bridle Applications
When horizontal vessel connections for level instruments exceed 2 feet in length,
level bridles are used to extend the vessel closer to the instruments and to provide
adequate support for the weight of the instruments. The bridle is usually a 3-inch
pipe. The lower nozzle is usually oriented horizontal to the shell of the vessel.
Normally bridles have their own block valves at the vessel and their own vent and
drain connections.
Other reasons for using bridles are:

July 1999

For minimizing vessel connections, particularly for stress-relieved vessels. The


use of bridles allows for relocation of instruments without welding on stressrelieved vessels.

For long level ranges. Bridles reduce the number of vessel connections.

700-18

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700 Level Measurement

Instrument Connections to Bridles


Connect level glasses to bridles with dedicated block valves. Each level glass should
have its own drain and vent valves. Do not string-out level glasses with closeconnected nipples.
Provide dedicated block valves for each level switch. Drain, vent, and test fluid
valves are also provided for each level switch, so they may be maintained without
taking several instruments out of service at the same time.
Provide dedicated block valves for each displacer instrument, or any other level
instrument.
Level glasses, level switches, and level transmitters and controllers may be installed
on the same bridle. See Standard Drawings GB-J1170 for bridle connections and
GB-J1167, GB-J1168, or GB-J1169 for standard vessel connections without bridles.

740 Pressure Transmitters


741 Principles of Operation
Hydraulic Head
Pressure exerted by the hydraulic head of a fluid can be used to measure liquid
level. The relationship of pressure, specific gravity, and height of liquid level above
a reference point can be shown as:
P=GH
(Eq. 700-1)

where:
P = static head pressure, inches of water
G = specific gravity of fluid
H = level height above reference, inches
Since most tank and vessel dimensions are in feet or inches, the level is specified in
inches of water. To sense a change in inches of water under process pressure conditions, differential pressure (d/p) transmitters are commonly used.

Differential Pressure Transmitter


Application Guidelines
Differential Pressure transmitters are one of the most versatile and commonly used
instruments for measuring level as well as flow and pressure. They are available in a
variety of materials and can be specified with optional chemical seals.

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Differential pressure transmitters can be used to measure the liquid level in either
open or closed (pressurized) tanks and vessels. The different types of calibration
required, depending on the specific installation, are summarized in Figure 700-15.
Fig. 700-15 Type of Calibration Required for Various Liquid Level Applications
Transmitter Application
Service

Initial Conditions

Type of Calibration

Open Tank or Closed Tank


with dry leg

Minimum level at datum


line

Zero Based

Minimum level above


datum line

Suppressed Zero

Minimum level at or above


datum line

Elevated Zero

Closed Tank with wet leg

The center of the d/p transmitter measuring element is often called the datum line.
All liquid level measurements are referenced from this datum line, or point. When
the zero point of the desired level range is above the d/p transmitter, zero suppression of the range must be made. This is normally true for both open tank installations and for closed tank installations with dry legs. See Figure 700-16.
In an open tank installation (see Figure 700-17), the high pressure or HI side of the
measuring element is connected near the bottom of the tank and the low pressure or
LO side is vented to atmosphere. The hydraulic head pressure developed in the HI
side is a direct measure of the liquid level. The effect of atmospheric pressure is
canceled because this pressure is applied to both sides of the measuring element.
Fig. 700-16 Zero Suppression

Fig. 700-17 Differential Pressure Transmitter Used for


Liquid Level Measurement on an Open Tank
Installation

In a closed tank installation (Figure 700-18), the effect of tank or vessel pressure is
canceled by connecting both the HI and LO sides of the measuring element to the
tank or vessel. The HI side is connected near the bottom of the tank and the LO side
is connected near the top.

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700 Level Measurement

Fig. 700-18 Differential Pressure Transmitter Used for Liquid Level Measurement on a Closed Tank Installation

The line between the LO side of the measuring element and the vapor space at the
top of the vessel can be either wet or dry depending on the characteristics of the
process vapor. Any change in the liquid level in this leg will cause measurement
error.
For d/p transmitters with wet legs, the fluid in the process lead will exert a head
pressure on the LO side of the d/p transmitters measuring element. A zero elevation of the range must be made. See Figure 700-19.
Fig. 700-19 Zero Elevation

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Wet and Dry Legs


In a closed tank or vessel installation, the condition of the LO side connecting line is
very important. Care must be taken to make sure that this line is either completely
free from any liquid (dry leg) or is always fully filled (wet leg). Any change in
liquid level in a wet leg or any liquid accumulation in a dry leg will cause a significant error in the level measurement.
If a dry leg is used, care must be taken to make sure that condensate does not collect
in the measuring element. If a wet leg is used, the immiscible fluid in this leg must
remain at a constant level under all process conditions.
When the process vapor is not condensable, a dry leg can be used. Some of the techniques used to make sure no liquids or fluids collect in the measuring element are:

Install a liquid trap at the bottom of the process lead

Run the process lead vertically up for several feet after leaving the tank before
reversing the direction down to the instrument

Heat trace the process lead

Purge the process lead with inert gas; use bubbler type installation with inert
gas purges

Use matching chemical seals

A combination of these techniques will ensure a successful installation of a dry leg.


When the process vapor is even slightly condensable, a wet leg should be used.
Process vapor will condense even when the process temperature is close to or higher
than ambient temperature. To prevent condensation and possible plugging in the
instrument leads, chemical seals may be used, provided the capillary length of each
leg does not exceed 25 feet.
The interface level between two clean fluids can also be measured using a d/p transmitter. For interface measurement, the low-pressure lead must always be immersed
in the lighter density fluid and the high-pressure lead must always be immersed in
the heavier fluid. The low-pressure lead must never see a vapor phase above the low
density fluid.

Span and Range Calculations


Span is a function of the change in level. The range values are the end points of the
span. The lower range value is the net head pressure applied to the measuring
element at minimum level. The upper range value is the net head pressure applied at
maximum level. The required span and range values must fall within the limits
specified for the transmitter being specified.
To determine span and range values for a specific application use the following
equations:

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700 Level Measurement

Span = A Gt
(Eq. 700-2)

Lower Range Value = (S Gt) - (E Ge)


(Eq. 700-3)

Upper Range Value = (A + S)Gt - (E Ge)


(Eq. 700-4)

where:
A = dimensions in inches as shown in Figures 700-17 and 700-18
S = dimensions in inches as shown in
Figures 700-17 and 700-18
E = dimensions in inches as shown in
Figures 700-17 and 700-18
Gt = specific gravity of the liquid in the tank
Ge = specific gravity of the seal fluid in the wet leg (if different from
the liquid in the tank)
Example 1: Open Tank (Figure 700-17)
Determine span and range values for a Zero Based calibration:
Given: A = 100 in.; S = 0 in.; Gt = 1.2
Span = 100 1.2 = 120 in. water
Lower Range Value = 0
Upper Rate Range Value = 100 1.2 = 120 in. water
Calibrated range is 0 to 120 in. water
Example 2: Dry Leg (Figure 700-18)
Determine span and range values for a Suppressed Zero Calibration.
Given: A = 100 in.; S = 10 in.; Gt = 1.2
Span = 100 1.2 = 120 in. water
Lower Range Value = 10 1.2 = 12 in. water
Upper Range Value = (100 + 10) 1.2 = 132 in. water
Calibrated range is 12 to 132 in. water
Example 3: Closed Tank - Wet Leg (Figure 700-18)
Determine span and range values for an Elevated Zero calibration.

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Given: A = 100 in.; S = 10 in.; E = 130 in.;


Gt = 0.9; Ge = 1.1
Span = 100 0.9 = 90 in. water
Lower Range Value = (10 0.9) - (130 1.1)
= -134 in. water
Upper Range Value = (100 + 10)0.9 - (130 1.1)
= -44 in. water
Calibrated range is -134 to -44 in. water
The minus signs indicate that positive pressures must be applied to the LO side of
the measuring element when calibrating a transmitter for this range.

Liquid Interface Calculations


When two clean immiscible liquids with different specific gravities are in a tank or
vessel together, the d/p transmitter can be specified to measure the height of the
interface between the maximum and minimum operation point. The calculation for a
typical level interface, as given in Figure 700-20 would be:
Span = (b) (G2-G1)
(Eq. 700-5)

H max = (a) (G1) + (b+c+d) (G2) - (h) (G1)


(Eq. 700-6)

H min = (a+b) (G1) + (c+d) (G2) - (h) (G1)


(Eq. 700-7)

where:
G1 = specific gravity of upper liquid
G2 = specific gravity of lower liquid
a = distance between upper process connection and maximum
measured interface level
b = span within which interface level is to be measured
c = distance between lower process connection and minimum
measured interface level
d = distance d/p cell is mounted below the lower process connection
h = distance between the d/p cell and the upper process connection
(a + b + c + d)
Example:
G1 = 0.8

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700 Level Measurement

G2 = 1.1
a = 5 inches
b = 50 inches
c = 10 inches
d = 20 inches
then
Span = 15 inches
H max = 24 inches
H min = 9 inches (suppression)

Fig. 700-20 Typical Level Interface

742 Application Guidelines


Differential pressure transmitters should be considered whenever the operating
range is 48 inches or greater. Differential pressure transmitters with diaphragm seals
and capillaries should be considered for shorter ranges in chemical (corrosive) and
plugging applications.
First, the maximum and minimum operating levels must be determined and documented. Then the tank or vessel connections as well as the location of the d/p transmitter can be determined. One of the advantages of using a d/p transmitter is that the

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operating levels can be changed after startup with only a recalibration of the
transmitter.
The materials of construction for the instrument and process tubing should be specified from the piping classification and corrosion information. These should agree
with standardized requirements for the facility.
If process conditions are unusual, then several alternative d/p transmitter installations should be considered. Highly corrosive liquids could damage the instrument
and cause hazardous leaks. Slurries could cause plugging. Liquids that are viscous
at ambient temperatures could cause plugging or false signals. Two successful ways
to modify d/p transmitters to solve these problems are to use bubblers and chemical
seals.

Bubblers
Bubblers are the simplest level measuring devices suitable for corrosive liquids,
slurries, and most viscous liquids. They have also been successfully used on materials that solidify at ambient temperature. Figure 700-21 shows a typical bubbler
installation.
Fig. 700-21 Bubbler Systems with d/p Transmitter

Only the bubbler tube needs to be corrosion-proof. A variety of corrosion-resistant


tubing materials are available: Hasteloy C, monel, tantalum, kynar, Teflon, and
Teflon-coated steel.
Gas that will not react with the process flows continuously through the bubbler tube
where it pushes against the hydrostatic head of the liquid. Dry instrument air,
nitrogen, or clean natural gas are the three most commonly used gases. A low purge
gas flow rate (usually about one scfh) is adequate for most bubbler tubes, which are
usually made from -inch diameter pipe. The tip of the bubbler tube should be
notched or sloped to provide a constant reference point where the bubbles enter the
process fluid.

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The application of bubblers is normally limited to tanks and low pressure vessels,
because the supply pressure of the gas in the facility is typically 100 psig or less.
Small variable area rotometers with needle valves and constant flow regulators are
used to control the continuous gas flow.
The d/p transmitter may be mounted above the maximum operating level for convenience and to prevent plugging of the process leads in case the purge gas fails.
Bubblers should not be used in saturated solutions, because of solids buildup and
plugging. Wide process temperature swings may prohibit their use in viscous applications. The level measurement can be affected when the density of the liquid is
stratified.

Chemical Seals
Chemical seals or diaphragms have also been successfully used with d/p transmitters to prevent plugging or where corrosive fluids are involved. The hydrostatic
pressures are sensed at the diaphragms that are either connected directly to the d/p
transmitter or through remote chemical seals connected by armored capillaries. In
both cases the seals and transmitters are factory sealed with special inert fluids like
silicone. The capillaries must be the same length or matched, and are limited to
25 feet.
Flush-type diaphragms (see Figure 700-22a) can be mounted directly on valves. The
diaphragms are made of a variety of corrosion-resistant materials, such as: 316 SS,
monel, Hasteloy C, tantalum, and Teflon-coated 316 SS. These diaphragms
normally have 3-inch flanges.
Extended diaphragm d/p transmitters are also available (Figure 700-22b). These are
mounted directly on 4-inch tank flanges with the diaphragm protruding inside the
tank. The choice of corrosion-resistant wetted materials for the diaphragm extensions is limited.
Differential pressure transmitters with remote diaphragm seals can eliminate the
need for wet or dry legs with their associated seal liquid, condensate, or purge
design considerations (Figure 700-23).

743 Installation Guidelines


After the type of d/p transmitter installation has been selected, the initial calculations made, and the specifications for the transmitter determined, follow the installation guidelines for differential pressure transmitters from standard drawings (e.g.,
GB-J1171, GB-J1172, or GB-1173), or from other sources when bubblers or chemical seals are specified.
Process leads can be 3/8 inch or inch seamless Type 316 stainless steel tubing.
Process leads should be sloped towards the instrument, as mentioned on the installation detail drawing. Process connections are normally inch.
Installations with wet legs connected to the low side of the d/p transmitter should be
filled with a seal fluid. The seal fluid must be compatible with the process and

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Fig. 700-22 Flat Diaphragm Cell d/p Transmitter (a) and Extended Diaphragm d/p Transmitter (b)

Fig. 700-23 Differential Pressure Transmitter with Remote Diaphragm Seals (Courtesy of the
Foxboro Company)

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suitable for all environmental conditions, such as high process temperature and
freezing ambient temperature. It may be necessary to insulate or heat trace this lead
to keep the seal fluid from freezing.
Filling tees and constant head pots should be included in wet leg installations.
Provisions should be made to allow the operator to safely fill and check wet legs.
Drain pots should be installed at the bottom of dry legs to catch any unforeseen
condensation.
Armored capillaries for remote diaphragm chemical seals should be protected by
supporting them in tube or channel.

750 Other Electronic Devices


751 Hydrostatic Level Measurement
Operation Principles
Hydrostatic level measurement works on the same principle as differential pressure
level measurement. It measures the hydrostatic head in a vessel. In atmospheric
vessels, two smart electronic pressure transmitters (accuracy 0.05% of upper
range value), are mounted at predetermined elevations and are connected to a microprocessor based system (see Figure 700-24). Since the difference in elevations is
fixed and is known, the difference in readings allows the microprocessor to compute
the density of the fluid. Using the computed density and the hydrostatic head
reading, the microprocessor can then accurately compute the total mass or total level
in a vessel. If the vessel is pressurized, a third transmitter must be used to measure
and to compensate for vessel pressure.
Fig. 700-24 Hydrostatic Level Measurement System Schematic

Application Guidelines
Because the difference in elevations of the transmitters must be sufficiently great
to allow the microprocessor to calculate the density (5-ft), hydrostatic level

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measurement is best suited for vertical storage vessels and tanks. Hydrostatic Tank
Gauging is described in detail in the Chevron Tank Manual.
Level measurement by hydrostatic principle can be affected by product density
stratification and by thermal stratification. Because the density measured by the two
lower pressure transmitters is used to compute the level, if stratification exists, the
measured density will not represent the average density and the computed level will
be affected.
Hydrostatic level measurement has been successfully used by several Chevron
Chemical facilities and by many Chevron USA Marketing facilities.

752 Capacitance and RF Admittance Level Sensors


There are two common types of capacitance level sensors: straight capacitance
measurement instruments and radio frequency (RF) admittance-type sensors. RF
means that a reluctance circuit has been added to the capacitance circuit making the
instrument operate at a fixed radio frequency of typically 100 kHz. The Company
has had limited success with capacitance sensors because they are affected by solids
buildup or heavy hydrocarbon coating of the probe. RF sensors are not affected by
solids buildup and have been successfully used in services where nothing else has
worked.
RF admittance-type capacitance sensors take into account both the dielectric
constant and conductivity properties of a fluid or solid and therefore level measurement is virtually unaffected by conductivity. This is very important when measuring
processes that leave conductive or insulating coatings on the sensing element.
Capacitance level and radio-frequency (RF) admittance sensors are used when
buoyancy and hydrostatic head instruments will not work reliably. For capacitance
level sensors to work, the dielectric constants between the upper and lower fluids
must be significantly different.
Heavy oil/water interfaces and emulsion pads are two of the most frequent applications for capacitance level instruments. In other industries capacitance probes have
been used to measure total liquid level, slurries, and granular materials.

Advantages and Disadvantages


The advantages of a capacitance level sensor are:

July 1999

They have no moving parts.

They are simple and rugged.

The probe is designed to resist corrosion.

They can be designed to be removed and cleaned without shutting down the
process.

They can accommodate a wide range of process temperatures and pressures.

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Installation is easier than with the typical displacer transmitter or ball float
switch.

The disadvantages are:

If application guidelines are not closely followed and vendor assistance is not
used for calibration and training before startup, then problems usually occur
and the reliability of capacitance level sensors is often questioned. (Suppliers of
this equipment offer training and startup assistance at no extra cost.)

If the dielectric constant of the fluid or fluids the sensor is measuring varies or
changes, then continuous transmitters or point level will be affected. This
happens (a) when vessels or tanks are not dedicated to one service, (b) when the
product in a reactor changes continually during the process, or (c) when the
process temperature variations change the dielectric constant. For unstratified
continuous applications, a second reference sensor may be needed below the
lowest liquid level to measure the changing dielectric constant of the material
so that the true level may be ascertained.

When the probe is inside the vessel, it is difficult to confirm the correlation
between the output and the actual level without level glasses or sample
connections.

For interface applications in coalescers, a continuous level sensor can either


indicate the oil/emulsion interface, the emulsion/water interface, or some point
in between, depending on how the instrument was tuned during startup.

Continuous sensing element assemblies mounted inside coalescers must not


interfere with any internals and are difficult to remove and insert because of
their length and installation geometry (long probes may need to be anchored on
the bottom to maintain a vertical orientation).

The cost will be significantly higher when the length of the probe exceeds
vendors standard length.

Measurement Principles
The following discussion of the basic physics of RF level measurement ignores the
conductive component of current, which is actually included in the sensors modern
electronics. The simplified, capacitive only model is sufficient for practical application to level measurement problems.
Capacitance is the property of a system of conductors and a dielectric or insulator
that permits the storage of electrically separated charges when potential (voltage)
differences exist between the conductors.
A capacitor consists of two conducting materials separated by an insulator.
Figure 700-25 schematically represents a capacitor that is formed by two flat plates.
Capacitance is determined by the area of the conductors, the distance between them,
and the dielectric constant of the insulator. The capacitance of a flat plate capacitor
is given by the following equation:

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Fig. 700-25 Capacitor Formed by Two Plates

C = 0.225 K A/d
(Eq. 700-8)

where:
C = capacitance (picofarads)
K = dielectric constant
A = area of plates (square inches)
d = distance between plates (inches)
The sensor is a variable capacitor. It typically consists of a metal rod mounted in a
vessel with flanged or screwed connections. It is insulated from the metallic vessel
and comprises one of the conductors, while the vessel is normally the other
conductor. The liquid in the vessel covers or uncovers the sensor, resulting in a
change in capacitance.
A simple capacitance system for level measurement has several drawbacks. First of
all, after the level has covered the probe and then falls away, there may be a coating
left on the probe that can cause it to react as though the probe were still covered.
Secondly, the connecting cable between the sensor and the electronics can act as a
large capacitor which is not stable with temperature changes. Changes in cable
capacitance appear to be the same as changes in vessel level.
The RF admittance-type level instrument solves the problem of coatings on probes.
It takes into account both the dielectric constant and the conductivity of the
material, and can measure the level of most fluids with a conductivity of 20
micromhos/cm or more with standard designs. Below this point frequencies can be
adjusted to measure an insulating fluid with a conductivity as low as 1
micromho/cm.
To eliminate the problem of the cable acting as a large capacitor which is affected
by temperature changes, a three-terminal sensing element is connected to the transmitter with a coaxial cable.

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On-Off Sensing Elements


To overcome the problems discussed above, three-terminal or Cote-Shield point
sensing elements have been developed for on-off sensing elements. See
Figure 700-26.
Figure 700-26 shows an exaggerated view of a three terminal probe and how a
coating may look in a level control on-off system with an electrical equivalent
circuit of the coating left on the probe.
Fig. 700-26 On-Off Three-Terminal (Cote-Shield) Sensing Element Showing Product
Coating (Cote-Shield is a trade name of Drexelbrook. Similar design features are
available from other manufacturers, but in different trade names.)

The center wire of the coaxial cable leading to the amplifier is connected to the
center core of the sensor. The shield of the coaxial cable is connected to the middle
element of the probe. The ground wire of the cable is connected to the conduit and
thus to the vessel body.
The electronic instrument measures only the current that travels from the probes
center element to ground, because no current flows through the coating.
During calibration the ideal place to set the calibration adjustment is midway
between the empty vessel capacitance and the capacitance when the sensing element
is covered. For simple interface systems this point would be the separation between
the oil/water layer. For vessels like a coalescer, the interface would either be the
oil/emulsion layer or the emulsion/water layer.

Continuous Sensors
Sensing elements used to make analog measurements are mostly the two-terminal
insulated (coated) type. The sensing element must provide a change in capacitance
that is proportional to the change in level being measured.
For a fluid that can coat the probe or for an insulating fluid (i.e., most petroleum
products), the capacitance will not be linear if the vessel is an irregular shape or the

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probe is mounted off center. In these cases concentric shields, cages, or ground rods
are added for linearity and accuracy to make the sensing element parallel to the
grounded reference (see Figure 700-27). Probe size is an important part of continuous capacitance level measurement. The differential capacitance over the range of
level measurement determines the instrument input span. Normally it is desirable to
have a differential capacitance of 10 pF or above for good instrument accuracy.
Fig. 700-27 Continuous Sensing Element Assemblies for Coating or Insulating Fluids

Another important consideration for good accuracy and resolution in a continuous


sensing element is to keep the ratio between the differential or span capacitance and
the empty vessel saturation capacitance in the range of 0.25 to 4.0.
Sensing elements for continuous measurement must be mounted vertically and be
long enough to extend the length of the desired level range. Forces on any long
sensing elements may be great and may require special heavy duty construction, a
bottom anchor, or some sort of support from the vessel walls or internals.

Application Guidelines
The following conditions must be satisfied when specifying either on/off (point)
level switches or continuous level transmitters.

July 1999

The vendor must include, at no extra cost, startup field assistance from a trained
factory service representative.

Maximum operating temperature and pressure requirements must be determined for the probe design.

Unusual forces acting on the probe must be determined (like agitation on a long
top mounted probe that may require heavy duty construction and/or anchoring).

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If required, the compression gland must be of fire-safe design so the sensing


element will remain in the vessel and not be an additional source of fuel for a
fire.

The operating voltage available must be specified. Either 24 volts DC or 115


volts AC can be supplied.

NEMA enclosure rating for the electrical classification of the area must be
determined (NEMA 7 for classified areas and NEMA 4 for outdoor areas).

UL or FM listing requirements must be met for the level electronics unit for the
area classification as required by local agencies or plant practices.

The fail-safe status of the electrical switch contacts must be determined (either
high or low and whether the process fluid is above or below the sensing
element. See Figure 700-28).

Time delay in switching contacts that may be caused by agitation or waves in a


vessel must be considered.

Corrosion-resistant materials or coatings that may be needed for the electronic


enclosure(s) when appropriate.

The compatibility of probe materials with the process must be determined


(304 SS is standard but materials like 316 SS and Hasteloy C are available).

Fig. 700-28 Typical Fail-Safe Relay Connections for High and Low Levels (Courtesy of Drexelbrook Engineering Co.)

On-Off Level Switches


These conditions should be determined when specifying on-off capacitance level
switches:

Chevron Corporation

The mounting of the sensing element (horizontal or vertical). Horizontal installation is most often specified. If a vertical installation is required, then the

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distances between the switching point and the vessel or tank connection must
be specified.

An accurate description of the fluid being measured so the vendor can determine the dielectric constant(s) and verify that the application is satisfactory.
The dielectric constant of the fluid being tested should be at least 3 pF (picofarads) or more when the sensing element is covered and uncovered. The fluid
conductivity (micromho/cm) and viscosity (centipoise) should be included.
Sometimes it is necessary to obtain samples for laboratory measurement.

Type of nozzle connection specified, so that the Cote-Shield extends through


the nozzle, through any product buildup on the wall, and at least 2 inches into
the vessel.

Requirements for probe removal during operation and/or under pressure. A full
port valve, a packing gland, and a safety chain would be needed.

Electronics mounted remotely from the sensing element or directly on the probe
or sensing head. Remote mounting is recommended for most outdoor applications in classified areas.

Continuous Level Transmitters


The following factors should be considered when specifying continuous level transmitters.

An accurate service description of the fluid or interface fluids must be specified so that the vendor can accurately size the sensing element and calculate the
calibration capacitances. This should include the conductivity (micromho/cm)
and viscosity (centipoise), as well as the dielectric constant(s) when known.
Most materials handled in the oil and petrochemical industry tend to coat
sensing elements. Sometimes it is necessary to send samples to the manufacturer to ascertain the properties and the operation of the instrument.

All continuous sensing elements are top or angle mounted. They can be long
and may have a coating that must be protected from damage.

Field indication of the level is often required by the addition of a milliampindicating gage.

Installation Guidelines
Arrange for the calibration and training by a factory service representative after
installation to ensure success during startup. This service is included at no extra
charge by major vendors. Most plants and facilities where capacitance probes are
used successfully continue to use field service by factory-trained personnel. For
continuous applications:

July 1999

Make sure the probe assembly (cage, concentric shield, or ground rod) is properly installed.

Be sure there is adequate overhead clearance to be able to remove the sensing


element carefully and not damage the coating.

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Be sure this assembly does not touch any internals in the vessel or tank.

Make sure that it is anchored or supported properly, particularly if it is a long


probe and/or if there is a possibility of forces like agitation affecting the probe.

Review the installation with the vendors field service representative before
closing up the vessel or tank.

Make sure the Cote-Shield of the three-element on-off sensing probe extends
through the vessel nozzle and into the vessel by at least 2 inches. In order to comply
with Article 501-5(f)(3) of the National Electric Code, two barriers must be between
the process and the conduit with an opening between them. When the electronics are
directly mounted on the sensing element, a drain and seal must be installed. The
drain exposes the electronics to the atmospheric conditions. When electronics are
remote-mounted they are connected to the sensor with a coaxial cable which acts as
the opening between the process and the conduit, but will not allow moisture to
enter the electronics enclosure. The remote-mounted electronics design is preferred.

753 Ultrasonic
Operation Principles (Ultrasonic)
There are two types of ultrasonic level measurement systems. One type consists of a
transceiver (ultrasonic wave generating and receiving unit) which emits a signal
then waits for an echo before emitting another signal and a transducer (electronics to
process the signal). In the second type of system ultrasonic excitations are induced
into a metallic probe and the transducer looks for probe vibration frequency shifts as
liquid comes in contact with the vibrating probe.
In the first type of system the transducer can be located remotely and be connected
to the transceiver by cable. In the second type of system the transducer is integrally
connected to the transceiver.

Point Measurement
Metallic probes are usually used for point measurement. Some probes are designed
with a vapor gap, which is the ultrasonic wave path, located near their end. Transceiver components are inside the probe and are located on either side of the vapor
gap. Transducer electronics are mounted in a housing at the external end of the
probe (see Figure 700-29). Vibration frequency shift probes do not have an air gap
and appear to be a solid cylindrical metal rod.
A point probe monitors a change of state, and switches a set of contacts whenever a
change of state (liquid level reaches the probe or liquid level drops below and
uncovers the probe).

Continuous (Analog) Measurement


In continuous or analog systems sound waves are emitted towards a liquid surface
by the sending unit, the waves are reflected from the liquid level surface, and are
sensed by a receiving unit which is located at or integral with the sending unit. The
transit time between wave generation and reception is proportional to the distance

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Fig. 700-29 Ultrasonic Vapor Gap Point Measurement Probe

that the liquid level surface is from the measurement system. The system can be
located above or below the surface of the liquid level being measured and the sound
waves may travel either through the vapor to the surface and back (above the
surface mounting) or through the liquid (below the surface mounting unit). The
cone of vision of analog ultrasonic systems is approximately 9 degrees.

Application Guidelines (Ultrasonic)


Ultrasonic is an alternative technology for continuous or point level measurement.
The top-mounted sensors designed for continuous level measurement can used in
many differenct types of liquids. Ultrasonic sensor probe with a vapor gap
(Figure 700-29) can be affected by coating, or fouling. If the gap on a point probe is
closed (filled) due to fouling or excessive condensation, the probe will not work
reliably and is likely to give false signals.
Analog ultrasonic systems are not suitable for agitated fluid surfaces, e.g., surface
agitation due to boiling such as in LPG orammonia storage vessels. Also, the fluid
surface must be relatively uniform, i. e., there should be no foaming or froth on the
surface of the fluid. Surface irregularities produce random reflections which reach
the receiver at differing intervals thus confusing the receiver.
Because most ultrasonic level systems are installed inside the vessel that they
monitor, they can be physically affected by process vapors. Applications should be
reviewed to ensure that the vapors will not corrode and will not condense on (coat)
the transceiver.
Ultrasonic level systems are affected by fluid and vapor properties and the range of
ultrasonic level systems can vary from less than 40 to over 150 feet. Changes in
vapor pressure, temperature, echoes, etc., can affect the accuracy of a system. Pressure and temperature compensation should be provided since both affect vapor
density and wave propagation speed in the vapor.

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Installation (Ultrasonic)
Point Measurement
Point probes can be installed either in a horizontal or vertical orientation
(Figure 700-30). To permit withdrawal for maintenance, point probes can be
installed through isolating valves/packing glands (see Figure 700-31). To restrict the
initial probe withdrawal distance (to prevent the probe from being pulled out too far
or"blown" out of the packing gland by process pressure during maintenance) most
manufacturers offer metal lanyards (cables) as an option. The lanyards ensure that
the probe tip clears the isolating valve allowing the isolating valve to be closed
without damaging the probe tip.
Fig. 700-30 Point Probe Orientations

Fig. 700-31 Point Probe Shown in Inserted and


Withdrawn Positions

Separate power supply and signal wiring must be run to the probe electronics
housing.

Analog Measurement
Analog ultrasonic systems are usually installed inside the vessel, with the transceiver inserted into the vessel through an opening (flange) at the top of the vessel.
The transducer would be located either near the vessel or remotely in a controlled
environment. Whenever maintenance must be performed on the transceiver, the
vessel must be depressured and purged.

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754 Vibration
Vibration Level Switches
A variation of the ultrasonic probe which monitors shifts in resonant frequency is
the vibrating paddle level switch. A vibrating paddle switch works on the principle
of detecting a shift in the probes vibration (induced versus actual) frequency.
Paddle switches usually vibrate at a sub-sonic frequency. Only one or two Chevron
facilities have reported success with vibrating paddle switches. Most facilities report
poor reliability and excessive maintenance.

755 Nuclear Level Measurement


Operation Principle
A nuclear level measurement system consists of a radiation source installed on one
side of a vessel and a receiving unit (sensing element) on the opposite side of the
vessel. Radiation is usually in the form of gamma rays, but the radiation source is
selected to emit the lowest radiation level needed for the specific application.
The radiation source is encapsulated in a lead lined enclosure and gamma rays are
emitted through an aperture in the enclosure. The aperture is designed specifically
for each application and determines the range of the device, i.e., whether it is a point
measurement or an analog system. The sensing element must match the aperture
design. Elongated sensing elements (up to several feet) are used for analog applications. Short sensing element (less than six inches) are used for point measurements.
Radiation is directed at the sensing element through the walls and the contents of
the vessel. When the vessel is empty, the walls absorb a portion of the radiation. As
the vessel fills, the fluid in the vessel absorbs additional radiation. The change in
radiation absorption is proportional to the change in level (see Figure 700-32).
Fig. 700-32 Radioactive Level Measurement System

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) permits are required for each nuclear level
system installation. An initial permit must be acquired to install a nuclear system in
a facility. The process of obtaining permits is fairly rigorous and can be time
consuming. Additional permits for subsequent installations are easier to obtain.

Application Guidelines
Nuclear level measurement is used for difficult process level measurements where
intrusive type level measurement technologies are not practical, e. g., monitoring
catalyst level in a hydrocracker reactor (which operates at high pressure and temperature and vessel penetrations need to be minimized).

Installation
Installation of a nuclear level measurement system requires careful design and
alignment. The radiation source is installed on one side of a vessel and the sensing
element is mounted on the side opposite the radiation source. Direction and alignment are critical to ensure that radiation is directed at, and only at, the sensing
element.
For maintenance access and for stability, a nuclear measurement system should be
supported (braced) from the structure that is built around the process vessel.
Because nuclear level measurement systems are frequently installed on vessels that
operate at high temperature, thermal expansion of the vessel and its consequent
movement relative to the structure must be considered in the installation design.
Operations and maintenance must be trained in handling radiation sources and in the
potential hazards of nuclear radiation. If a source is not completely isolated during
maintenance, personnel can be accidentally exposed to nuclearradiation. All
personnel working on or around nuclear level systems should wear radiation monitors to alert them if the system was not properly installed, commissioned, or secured
and if there is any stray radiation in the area.

756 Microwave Level Measurement


Microwave level measurement, also called radar tank level gauging, has been developed primarily for tank level gauging applications and is described in detail in the
Tank Manual. Microwave technology provides another means of accurate level
measurement, with no moving parts in a tank or vessel. This technology is considered superior to the ultrasonic and it has been sucessfully applied to tank level
measurement. Both continuous and point monitors are available. Although microwave systems are not as greatly affected by light surface foam as ultrasonic level
gauges, movements such as waves may affect readings. Heavy foam may result in a
loss of radar echo.
Vessel internals design may also affect the accuracy of a radar gauge. Any obstacles
above the liquid surface which fall within a cone of approximately 12 degrees (cone
of vision of a radar gauge) may influence the gauge accuracy.

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757 Pyrometers
Where Used
Pyrometer level sensors in Company refineries (also known as Rams Horns) are
widely used in Company refineries for bottom level detection of heavy oil columns,
such as a crude units atmospheric and vacuum columns. In more recent installations they are used as backup level devices to nuclear level transmitters.

Construction
Figure 700-33 shows a single Rams Horn level sensor. The construction details are
shown on Standard Drawing GB-J1174, included in Volume 1, Part 2, of this
manual. A thermowell and thermocouple are inserted in the outboard end of the
4-inch diameter pipe. Insulation should not exceed the minimum required to meet
personnel protection and pour point requirements.
Fig. 700-33 Pyrometer Level Sensor Well

Operating Principle
Process fluid in the horn loses heat through the light insulation and a horn filled
with vapor will lose heat faster than a horn filled with liquid. Comparing temperatures of the various horns indicates which horns are exposed to condensing vapor
and which are immersed in hot liquid.
The lighter the insulation on the horn, the greater the temperature difference
between the vapor and liquid temperatures. In a three horn system typical temperatures of one crude unit from top to bottom might be 440F, 600F, and 640F.

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When the vapor enters the horn, it condenses on the walls and drains back through
the 2-inch diameter pipe. The temperature sensors in the condensing vapor read the
vapor temperature. When the liquid enters the horn, it cools, becomes slightly more
dense, and drains back through the 2-inch diameter pipe.

Application Guidelines
When used as the primary level device, no fewer than five Rams Horns should be
used together. When they are used to back up nuclear level transmitters, three is
typical. Normally they are spaced 12 to 15 inches apart.
The thermocouple readouts should be in a remote location. Each readout normally
has its own display.

760 Model Specifications, Standard Drawings, and Engineering Forms


761 Standard Drawings
GB-J1158

Level Gage with Screwed Connections

GB-J1159

Level Gage with 150# Flanged Connections

GB-J1160

Level Gage with 300# Flanged Connections

GB-J1161

Level Switch, External Float Type with Screwed Connections

GB-J1162

Level Switch, External Float Type with #150 Flanged

GB-J1163

Level Switch, External Float Type with #300 Flanged

GB-J1164

Level Instrument, Displacer Type with Screwed Connections

GB-J1165

Level Instrument, Displacer Type with 150# Flanged

GB-J1166

Level Instrument, Displacer Type with 300# Flanged

GB-J1167

Vessel Connections for Level Instruments with Screwed


Connections

GB-J1168

Vessel Connections for Level Instruments with 150# Flanges

GB-J1169

Vessel Connections for Level Instruments with 150# Flanges

GB-J1170

Vessel Connections and Level Instrument Bridle Connections

GB-J1171

Diff/Press Level Transmitter, Mounted Below Lower Tap

GB-J1172

Diff/Press Level Transmitter, Mounted At Lower Tap

GB-J1173

Diff/Press Level Transmitter, Mounted Above Upper Tap

GB-J1174

Standard Well for Pyrometer Type Liquid Level Indicator

762 Documentation Requirements


Commissioning and calibration of certain types of level instruments require a
knowledge of process parameters neither provided on P&IDs nor easily measurable
in the field by maintenance technicians. Process fluid specific gravity, specific

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gravity differential for interface applications, seal fluid specific gravity, calculation
of instrument span, zero elevation and suppression, and alarm setpoints need to be
provided on a single document which can be used, and easily updated, by the maintenance technician. Two documents required for control system installations (refer
to I&CM 100, System Design, Section 134, Documentation) are the vessel
drawing and the instrument data sheet. In order to consolidate all level instrument
data for a particular vessel in a single document, the vessel drawing shall contain the
following information for each level instrument associated with that vessel.

Nozzle elevation and orientation


Maximum, normal and minimum levels
Type of level instrument
Alarm setpoints
Specific gravity of process fluid(s)
Specific gravity of seal or capillary fill fluids
Instrument span with calculations
Zero suppression or elevation, if required

770 References

July 1999

1.

Process Measurement Instrumentation, API Recommended Practice 551, First


Edition, 1993.

2.

A Practical Guide to RF Level Controls, Drexelbrook Engineering Company,


1981.

3.

Measurement and Control of Liquid Level, Instrument Society of America,


1982.

4.

Tank Manual, Section 700, Instrumentation/Measurement, Chevron


Corporation.

5.

Process Installation for Differential Pressure Transmitters, Taylor Instrument,


1985

6.

National Electric Code, National Fire Protection Association, 1984 Edition.

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800 Analyzer Instruments


Abstract
Analyzers monitor a specific process, product quality, or meet environmental and
safety regulatory requirements. They also provide timely process analyses for
process computer control systems.
Analyzers are categorized as on-line analyzers (often called process analyzers),
laboratory analyzers, and ambient monitors/gas detectors.
This section is directed toward engineers who have varying levels of experience
with on-line analyzers or analyzer systems. (Laboratory analyzers and gas
detector/ambient air monitors are excluded from this section).

Chevron Corporation

Contents

Page

810

Introduction

800-3

820

Analyzer Project Execution

800-4

821

Analyzer Project Development

822

Analyzer Project Organization

830

Sample Conditioning System Design

831

Designing Sample Systems

832

Steps in Developing a Sample Conditioning System

833

Sample Point

834

General Sample Line Considerations

835

Construction Materials

836

Sample System Components

837

Process Analyzer Sample Systems

840

Analyzer Specification

841

Required Documents

842

Analyzer System Inspection and Acceptance Procedure

843

Analyzer Shelters

850

Analyzer Installation, Commissioning, and Startup

800-1

800-17

800-70

800-75

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851

Analyzer Installation Checkout Procedure

852

Analyzer Commissioning and Startup

860

Calibration and Validation of Analyzer Output

861

Calibration

862

Continuous Validation of Analyzer Output

870

Safety

871

General

872

Sample Line and Sample System Components

873

Leak Detection

874

Sample Disposal System

875

Electrical and Ignition Problems

880

References

800-76

800-80

800-82

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800 Analyzer Instruments

810 Introduction
Successful analyzer designs require knowledge of a wide range of disciplines.
Analyzers monitor and control processes throughout the refining and petrochemical
industry and also help the company comply with environmental regulatory requirements. Analyzers determine the composition or properties of the sample in or near
the process. They are expected to give accurate, timely results on a 24-hour-a-day
basis with little human intervention or maintenance. All analyzer projects require
detailed engineering, proper analyzer selection, and correct installation. The manual
user will learn to specify analyzers and the accessories that are necessary for a
successful installation. The annotated version of the analyzer specifications included
in this manual should be helpful for completing the installation. The general requirements for the installation, startup, and commissioning of analyzers are presented
here as well as extensive information about sample system design which is a particularly important and often neglected subject.
Detailed information on specific analyzers is not presented in this section but can be
found in handbooks and analyzer repair manuals or by consulting with analyzer
specialists with access to the Companys Refinery Analyzer Applications Reference
Document (see Reference [15] at the end of Section 800).
The following topics are discussed in detail in this manual:
Analyzer Project Execution. This section summarizes the important factors in
developing and executing a successful analyzer project. These factors include scope
development and cost estimating, project organization, and assigning roles and
responsibilities.
Sample Conditioning System Design. Sample handling system design is difficult
and should not be left entirely to the vendor. The purpose of sample-handling
systems is to deliver a clean, representative stream sample to the analyzer. Particularly difficult design problems occur in mixed-phase samples and when heat tracing
is required. Sample-handling systems should be built around individual, singlepurpose, discrete components that can be interchanged easily or replaced. A crucial
factor in sample handling is the order in which conditioning operations are carried
out. The purpose of the sample-handling system and the quality of the stream must
be kept in mind.
Proper Specification of Analyzer, Shelter, Installation, and Bid Evaluation.
Specifications in this manual are useful as guidelines for the integration of analyzers
and shelters and for the installation of analyzers. The well-documented analyzer
specification sheets help attain the proper analytical results required by operations.
Proper Installation, Start-up, and Commissioning. Properly designed analyzer
systems may become unreliable as a result of utility failure, electronic noise,
improper tracing, and lack of maintenance.
Calibration and Validation for Computer Control. All analyzers require verification of results for operations purposes. This section offers the means of verification and some considerations for proper calibration.

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Safety Requirements. This section outlines safety requirements that are specific to
analyzer installations and provides referrals to the appropriate codes.
Appendices. Appendix E includes typical analyzer drawings.
References. A list of published materials on this subject is included for instrument
engineers and analyzer specialists.

820 Analyzer Project Execution


This section is designed to aid in the execution of analyzer projects. This assistance
includes developing the cost estimate and justification, along with the project organization, roles, and responsibilities.

821 Analyzer Project Development


The objective of this section is to provide a proposal, justifying the purchase of an
analyzer system. Take the following steps prior to requesting approval to purchase
an analyzer system:
1.

Review and define analysis requirements

2.

Locate sample point and shelter location

3.

Collect process data

4.

Evaluate and select method of analysis

5.

Prepare preliminary scope

6.

Prepare cost estimate

7.

Prepare justification for analyzer (cost vs. pay out)

8.

Obtain approval to purchase analyzer system

9.

Write analyzer system specification

Step 1.

Review and Define Analysis Requirements

Input from Operations and Maintenance is very valuable. When reviewing and
defining analysis requirements, an analyzer specification sheet helps to prompt the
necessary responses from Operations and Maintenance. The analyzer specialists
knowledge of not only unit operations but also analytical and sampling requirements is key to answering questions about the limitation of the proposed analytical
installation.
Discourage the requesting organization from requiring measurements that are nice
to know. Measurements of additional components in, e.g., gas chromatographs,
could increase the complexity of the system and the cycle time of the analysis.
There are, however, several questions to be asked when defining analysis
requirements:

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800 Analyzer Instruments

What does the operational unit expect to accomplish with a new analyzer?

Is the analysis feasible?

Are there any vendors who have performed this analysis acceptably in the past?
If so, who are they?

Are there any upsets that may make the analysis difficult?

What level of precision and accuracy is required of the analyzer?

What composition or properties are required for control?

What is the required response time?

What is the required on-stream time?

What are the requirements for calibration and readout?

Are there any special maintenance requirements?

Are there any environmental or safety concerns specific to this process stream?

What is the required disposal method for the sample?

What is the method and frequency of lab testing on the same stream?

Once these questions are answered, the scope of the project can be developed.
Step 2.

Locate the Sample Point and Shelter

When selecting the analyzer site, consider the area electrical classification, shelter
accessibility, availability of utilities, distance to the control room, and response time
of the analyzer. Also consider operation and maintenance requirements for other
equipment in the area.

Where is the sample point and return location?

Are there long sample line runs?

Are utilities available (steam, power, nitrogen, instrument and plant air, chemical sewers)?

Is there an existing house with room for a new analyzer?

Is the signal cable in place?

How long will the signal cable run be to the control room?

When locating the sample point, consider response time, varying temperature, pressure available, and cleanliness of the sample. Keep the sample transport time to a
minimum. Generally, balance the required conditions of the sample against expense
and required response time.

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Step 3.

Collect Process Data.

Collecting process data helps to determine whether or not the analysis is feasible
and, if it is, which method is appropriate. The maximum and minimum extremes
during operation upset, start-up, and shut-down should be used. If they are not, a
process analyzer specification sheet that itemizes the volume percent of each
component to three or four decimal places is useless. It is important to consider any
possible contaminants, solids, pressure and temperature swings. Use typical process
analyzer specification sheets such as those in the specification section of this
manual which have a line-by-line explanation of requirements.
Important and often overlooked points include the maximum and minimum temperatures and pressures of the sample and solids content. There are simple design
changes that can prevent problems arising from bubble point or dew point of the
sample. While various types of probes and filters can be included in the design, the
suitability of each type depends upon load requirements and sample characteristics.
Consult with CRTCs M&CS Unit specialists and local maintenance personnel
about their experiences with each type.
Step 4.

Evaluate and Select Method of Analysis

The analysis method must fit process conditions. Factors that influence the choice of
analysis method include reliability, cost, response time, ease of operation, calibration, and maintenance. It is good practice to talk to maintenance personnel,
operators, lab personnel, and analyzer specialists before selecting a method. In
particular, avoid an analyzer system that is unproven for the particular application
unless Operations and Maintenance are aware of this situation and support this
work. If you do prefer an unproven system, request references and investigate the
application further, before informing Operations and your management about your
decision and giving them the reasons and possible consequences.
Refer to Figure 800-1 through 800-4 for a list of typical analyzers and applications.
Consult with CRTCs M&CS Unit specialists for a complete list of vendors
available for each application and recommendations. Chevron currently maintains
alliance agreements with both Applied Automation, Inc. and Rosemount
Analytical, Inc.
Fig. 800-1

Commonly Used Analyzer System Integrators

ATI

TASC

Applied Automation

Measurementation

Pastech

Step 5.

Prepare Preliminary Scope.

The following elements must be included in the preliminary scope of the project:

July 1999

Design
Integration
Training

800-6

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Fig. 800-2

800 Analyzer Instruments

Composition Analyzers

Analyzer Type

Applications

Typical Manufacturers

Gas Chromatograph (GC)

Column Control
Feed Analysis
BTU content

Applied Automation(1)
Asea Brown Boveri

GC with Temp Program


(Distillation analysis)

Feedstocks
Column Sidecuts

Applied Automation(1)
Asea Brown Boveri

Mass Spectrometer

Ammonia Plant Feed Area


Monitoring
Ethylene Cracking Units

Asea Brown Boveri


Perkin Elmer
Fisons(1)

(1) Preferred

Spare parts
Startup Design
Key project personnel
Maintenance support
Technical support

Make some decisions early in the process, particularly those involving design and
key project personnel. (Review Section 822 for information about roles and responsibilities.) Avoiding these decisions until after the cost estimate is completed may
impact both the project cost and schedule.
Design. The designer may be a Company employee, an engineering contractor, or
an analyzer systems integrator. The designer must be an analyzer engineer. The
quality of design work varies tremendously:

Analyzer systems are generally complex and require a protective environment


and conditioned sample.

An installation can become maintenance intensive unless the designer is experienced with analyzers.

A wide variety of disciplines are involved in designing an analyzer system properly. Ideally, Operations and Maintenance provide considerable input for the design
early in the project.
Integration. It is best to select qualified analyzer system houses or integrators,
keeping in mind that the quality of integrators work varies dramatically. If you are
unfamiliar with the quality of an integrators recent work, visit the integrator shop
before submitting a request for quotation. Ask others at your location about their
experiences with integrators and consult with CRTCs M&CS Unit specialists to
obtain recommendations about integrators. The current (1996) list of experienced
integrators are: Applied Automation, Pastech, ATI, Measurementation, and TASC.
Training. Training begins long before the analyzer system is complete. If the
analyzer system is new to a particular location, training is a requirement of the
project, not the maintenance department. If possible, involve maintenence personnel

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800 Analyzer Instruments

Fig. 800-3

Instrumentation and Control Manual

Physical Property Analyzers

Property

Applications

Typical Manufacturers

Calorific Value (BTU)

Process Fuel Gas


Natural Gas
Custody Transfer

Fluid Data
Applied Automation, Asea Brown Boveri(1)
Daniel

Color

Jet Fuel
Vacuum Col Sidecut

Ametek
Precision Scientific

Cloud Point

Diesel
Lube Oil

Precision Scientific(1)

Conductivity

Waste Water
Boiler Feed Water
Steam & Condensate

Rosemount(1)
Foxboro Analytical
TBI
Leeds and Northrup

Density (Gas)

Gas Purity
Fuel Gas Blending

Sarasota (Redland), Solartron (Schlumberger) UGC

Density (Liquid)

Feedstocks
Column Sidecuts
Products

Automation Products
Sarasota (Redland) Solartron (Schlumberger)(1)

Flash Point

Jet Fuel
Diesel Fuel

Precision Scientific

Freeze Point

Jet Fuel

Precision Scientific

Octane (Comparators)

Gasoline Blending

Core Labs
NIR

Octane (In-line)

Reformer Product

NIR (Consult with CRTC for vendor)

Opacity

Stacks

Rosemount(1)

pH

Acid Strength
Waste Water
Corrosion Control

Rosemount(1)
TBI
Great Lakes Instruments
Foxboro

Pour Point

Lube Oils

Precision Scientific(1)

Turbidity (Suspended Solids)

Waste Water

Monitek
Hach(1)

Vapor Pressure

Gasoline Blending

Precision Scientific
Asea Brown Boveri(1)

Viscosity

Feedstocks
Crude Col Sidecuts
Lube Oils

Precision Scientific(1)
Brookfield

Viscosity..less critical

Fuel Oil

Automation Products

(1) Preferred

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Instrumentation and Control Manual

Fig. 800-4

800 Analyzer Instruments

Analyzers for Single or Grouped Components

Components / Range

Applications

Typical Manufacturers

Method

Ammonia ppm

Waste Water

Orion, Ionics

Selective-Ion
Flow Injection

Aromatics
Sulfur Compounds

Waste Water
Stack Gases

Ametek
Rosemount 9100
Bovar (Western Research 900 Series) (1)

Ultra-Violet

Hydrogen Sulfide ppm

Gas Streams

Bovar (Western Research)


Houston Atlas, MDA Scientific
Ametek

H2S/SO2 Ratio

Sulfur Plant Tail Gas

Ametek; Bovar (Western Research)(1)

Methane, Ethane
CO,CO2,H2S

Stack Gases
Combustion Control
Gas Purity

Rosemount
Asea Brown Boveri
MSA

Nitrogen Oxides ppm

Stack Gases

Rosemount(1)
TECO

Oxygen percent

Combustion Control

Rosemount
Ametek (Thermox)
Yokogawa

In-Stack
On-Stack
Extractive

Oxygen ppm

Product Gas
Blanket Gas

Teledyne
Delta F, Anacon

Electro-Chemical

Oxygen (Dissolved)

Waste Water

Rosemount
Orbisphere

Phosphates ppm

Boiler Feedwater
Steam Condensate

Hach

Silica ppm

Boiler Feedwater

Hach

Sodium ppm

Boiler Feedwater

Orion

Sulfur Dioxide ppm

Stack Gases

Bovar (Western Research)


Rosemount(1)

Total OrganiCarbon

Waste Water

Astro Resources, Ionics,


Rosemount

Total Sulfur ppm

Fuel Gas

Houston Atlas, Applied Automation(1)

Moisture in Gas ppm

Reformer Recycle
Gas Instrument Air
Natural Gas

Ametek
Panametrics

Water in Liquids ppm

Feedstocks

Panametrics

Water in Ambient Air


(Hygrometers)

Humidity

Panametrics

Infra-Red

Titration

Selective-Ion

(1) Preferred

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800 Analyzer Instruments

Instrumentation and Control Manual

in the physical and operational shop inspection. Schedule training to begin when the
factory personnel are on site for start up.
Spare Parts. Provide a higher level of reliability by ensuring that there is an
adequate stock of spare parts. If necessary, prepare a list of specific, suggested spare
parts. Occasionally, manufacturers offer spare parts at a slight discount when
purchased with the new equipment. If the analyzer system is a new type for the
location, the project should fund the purchase of the items on the manufacturers
recommended spare parts list (usually a one-year supply).
Startup. For a new installation, startup assistance may be necessary from the manufacturer or systems integrator; and this assistance can also include training maintenance personnel. Make arrangements for assistance and training while developing
the project scope. Note: Startup assistance is mandatory if the analyzer technology
is new to the location.
Step 6.

Prepare Cost Estimate

Listed below are the major factors contributing to the cost of an analyzer project.
This information should be available after completing steps 1-5 above.

Analyzer and sample system design, engineering and integration


Analyzer house or shelter design, engineering and integration
Training and startup costs
Installation Costs

Power
Signal
Sample lines and probes
Steam
Cooling water supply and return
Sewer connections
Concrete pad
Control room and/or analyzer room work
Craft manpower

Readout devices/Host computer interface


Spare parts
Engineering and inspection costs
Calibration manifold
Maintenance and technical support estimated costs

Estimates of cost vary with location, plant size, labor market, and the analyzer
requirements. Several volatile factors that influence project cost estimation include:

July 1999

Base materials from recent cost quotations.

Labor, based on days worked, rate of pay, and efficiency.

800-10

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800 Analyzer Instruments

Design, typically 10-15% of total project cost and higher, if contracted.


(Includes drafting and contract engineering.)

Freight, based on mode of transportation and distance. Dedicated transportation should be used with analyzer shelters.

Escalation of costs, typically 0.1% per month for labor and material during the
course of project.

Overhead, typically 50-60% of labor costs.

Undeveloped project scope, 10% for miscellaneous materials and labor costs
that were not firm on initial project estimate.

Step 7.

Prepare Justification For Analyzer (Cost vs. Payout)

If the analyzer is not installed for safety or environmental purposes, it must be justified on the basis of economy. Calculate payout based on the amount of fuel saved,
the increase in product yield, higher operating efficiency, decrease in off-specification product or the price of noncomformance. Include preventive maintenance and
technical support costs as part of the cost vs. payout calculation. Process engineers
should be able to define the cost savings provided by the analyzer measurement.
Step 8.

Obtain Approval to Purchase Analyzer System

This step depends on local practice. It is important to include alternatives and to


explain why they were not chosen. This approach reassures management that alternatives were considered. For additional support, it may be useful to discuss your
applications with someone from another location or with someone from CRTCs
M&CS Unit.
Step 9.

Write Analyzer System Specification.

This manual contains standard specification sheets and an analyzer system specification. The analyzer system specification is also available electronically (MS
Word). If you need more detailed information, contact CRTCs M&CS Unit
analyzer specialists.
Another valid method of developing analyzer specifications is to employ the Equipment Supplier Alliance (ESA) Process. This process is outlined in the Applied
Automation Chevron Alliance document and in the Rosemount Analytical
Chevron Alliance Document. In summary, an analyzer system integrator is selected
through other means (not bidding) and the specification is developed in cooperation
with them. This improves the quality of the specification and can eliminate the
adversarial positions fostered by the bid/award process.

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822 Analyzer Project Organization


Introduction
This section contains information for the engineer who is responsible for the application, selection, purchase, installation, successful start-up, and ongoing success of
an analyzer system. It is also useful to contractors, integrators, and any others who
need to know how to organize and execute an analyzer project successfully.
Included in this section are:

Specifications and documents necessary for communicating among the owner,


builder, and contractor during the engineering phase and construction phases.

Requirements for coordination with other groups, planning hints, and a checklist for project roles and responsibilities.

Milestones for ensuring the successful completion of the project.

Roles and Responsibilities


Analyzer projects involve several different engineering disciplines of the Company,
the prime engineering and construction contractor, and the analyzer systems integrator personnel. Close cooperation and interaction of these personnel is necessary
for a successful project.
During the detailed engineering phase follow the suggested format in EF-885,
Analyzer Project Roles and Responsibilities. This form serves as a guide to assign
the major responsibilities of each organization and individual. Lead, approval, and
review roles are defined for each activity where appropriate. The size of the project
may affect the applicability of certain items but in general they have been developed to cover situations found on all analyzer projects. The engineer (COMPANY)
or CONTRACTOR, if designated as a lead engineer, should take a lead role in
assigning roles and responsibilities. The roles should be defined at a meeting incorporating representatives from Operations, Maintenance, Engineering, Process
Control, and Laboratory (where appropriate) so that all affected parties agree to the
roles.
The roles are defined as follows:
Lead - this person or organization is responsible to see that the task is completed on
time and that all affected parties buy into the decision.
Approval - Final approval authority required before implementation.
Review - The person or organization must make timely comments on the items
presented.
The individuals who take each role can come from the COMPANY, CONTRACTORS, and INTEGRATOR. Of course it is expected that different individuals will
take different roles in various aspects of the project. It is also expected that the
analyzer maintenance personnel will have input and review roles. Any questions

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800 Analyzer Instruments

concerning the implementation of these roles can be referred to CRTCs M&CS


Unit analyzer specialist.
Early in the project, work with the contractor to assign roles and responsibilities to
avoid project delays and to fulfill all obligations of the project. Be certain to give
someone the task of revising existing equipment. Send a copy of the project roles
and responsibilities to the analyzer systems integrator along with the request for
quotations.

Maintenance and Technical Support (Design)


Technical support and maintenance personnel with direct, on-line, analyzer experience and training provide expert knowledge that is key to the successful purchase
and installation of analyzer systems. Experienced analyzer engineers often ask that
analyzer maintenance personnel be present during early design and review stages of
an analyzer project.
Involving maintenance personnel early in the project offers several advantages:

Having the analyzer maintenance technicians make contributions during the


planning steps leverages their field knowledge and gives them a pride of
ownership in a new installation.

Being closest to the actual daily work process, analyzer maintenance technicians are very sensitive to such design considerations as low-maintenance
systems, proper maintenance clearances, and safety.

Obtaining advice of skilled analyzer technicians helps to reduce the number of


field modifications required.

The analyzer team which includes maintenance will estimate when Operations
should assume responsibility for the analyzer system.

If experienced analyzer technicians and analyzer engineers are not available locally
to work on the project, CRTCs M&CS Unit Analyzer group can provide such
support for every phase of design, training, and technical/maintenance support
program development.

Analyzer Systems Integrator


To ensure a successful installation, Chevron personnel, the contractor, and the
analyzer systems integrator must interact closely. The contractor transmits all official communication between the Company and the integrator.
Figures 800-1 and 800-2 are lists of acceptable analyzer systems integrators,
analyzers, and component manufacturers for the project.
The contractor provides a scope of work to each of the analyzer systems integrators
on Chevrons list and asks them to respond with a technical proposal and bid. The
contractor also monitors the performance of the analyzer systems integrator, the
complete installation, and the commissioning of the analyzer system.
The analyzer systems integrator provides easily maintained and correct analyzer
installations and ensures that analyzer systems are installed with all required

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July 1999

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ancillary equipment. Such equipment includes the means for properly conditioning
and transporting sample, protecting the analyzer from the environment, and
providing an accurate and reliable output for monitoring and control. The analyzer
systems integrator is also responsible for producing the complete engineering design
of the final analyzer system and a review of the tasks undertaken by the contractor.

Pre-Bid Meeting
The contractor schedules a pre-bid meeting to be held with the integrators approximately two weeks after sending the request for quotation. (Depending on the scope
of the project, Chevron may waive this meeting.)
During the meeting, the contractor reviews the technical proposal and defines roles
and responsibilities, answering questions or resolving technical issues to ensure that
the integrators understand the scope of the work. The integrators leave the meeting
with sufficient detail to determine the quality of the engineering design, sample
system components, analyzers, and ancillary hardware.
If necessary, the contractor may revise and re-transmit the bid request or issue an
addendum to it to obtain uniform bidding from all integrators.

Bid Review
The contractor reviews the quotations and prepares a bid evaluation and recommendation for review by Chevron personnel.

Alternate Bid Approval


The project may elect to work with an alliance partner to supply the analyzers,
analyze system integration and engineering at a pre-negotiated price. This approach
eliminates the time and cost of the bid process.

Project Schedules
The contractor coordinates the analyzer work to fit within the schedule for the
overall project and advises Chevron personnel and the integrator early enough to
determine any cost impact to the Company. In the request for quotation to integrators, the contractor issues a proposed project schedule, with milestones for the
installation work. (See following sample.)

Proposed Project Schedule

July 1999

1.

Analyzer system proposal issued for bid

(__/__/__)

2.

Pre-bid meeting

(__/__/__)

3.

Bid quotations due date

(__/__/__)

4.

Contractor and Company review

(__/__/__)

5.

Contractor awards analyzer system

(__/__/__)

6.

Analyzer team kickoff meeting

(__/__/__)

7.

Order long-delivery analyzers, equipment

(__/__/__)

8.

Sample system review meeting

(__/__/__)

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9.

800 Analyzer Instruments

Receipt of preliminary drawings

(__/__/__)

10. Checkout at analyzer manufacturer

(__/__/__)

11. Receipt of certified installation drawings

(__/__/__)

12. Physical inspection at integrator

(__/__/__)

13. Operational inspection at integrator

(__/__/__)

14. Ship to field

(__/__/__)

15. Documentation of as-builts

(__/__/__)

16. Installation

(__/__/__)

17. Field checkout

(__/__/__)

18. Pre-commissioning

(__/__/__)

19. Technician training

(__/__/__)

20. Turnover of system to Operations

(__/__/__)

Bid Proposal Required Format


The following is an outline of the required format for a bid proposal submitted by
the integrator:

Submit a technical proposal and bid to the contractor.

When proposing a custom item, include a standard commercial item for


comparison bid.

Indicate the proposed benefits, including cost and performance of the


custom item.
Include design specifications for the custom item to enable comparison
between custom and standard items.

Include the following in the bid proposal:

One-page project summary.

List of equipment identified by manufacturer, model, etc.

Pricing summary, itemizing the price of each analyzer, each sample system,
shelter, etc.

Separate statements of cost of

Chevron Corporation

Any special equipment required but not supplied.


Engineering and design for analyzer system.
Three sets of loop folders for each analyzer system and analyzer shelter,
with incremental cost for each additional set.
Required calibration cylinders and racks.
Shipment of all material.

Project execution summary.

Project schedule per attached Company specification.

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Technical comments, exceptions, and clarifications (analyzers, sample systems,


calibration, and ancillary equipment).

Technical comments on analyzer shelters, buildings (construction, features,


lifting methods, etc.)

Comments on custom instruments (compare to commercial instruments to indicate performance and cost savings).

Special items required for the analyzer system but not included in bid.

Optional and alternative equipment or services.

Documentation to include all as-built or as-installed drawings not only as


electronic files for computerized drafting system compatible with plant software but also as hard copy.

Integrator participation in checkout of designated analyzers at manufacturers


site prior to shipment.

Acceptance test at integrators site.

Schedule of delivery from acceptance date.

Startup assistance.

Proposed integrator project team listing.

Detailed Engineering Phase


After the awarding of the contract for the analyzer system to the selected integrator,
the analyzer team attends a kick-off meeting. Company, contractor, and integrator
representatives discuss the project in detail and confirm the scope of the engineering work and finalize the project schedule.

Systems Integration Phase


The analyzer systems integrator has the primary responsibility for implementing this
phase of the project; however, other members of the analyzer team monitor all
aspects of integration to ensure that the analyzer system is delivered on schedule,
which allows time for analyzer pre-commissioning.

Physical and Operational Inspections


At the integrators site, the contractor or Company personnel, or both carry out a
physical inspection of the items listed in Section 842.
The integrator gives Chevron and the contractor a minimum of two weeks notice to
schedule the physical and operational inspections.
Representatives of the Company and contractor are present at the integrators site
for the operational inspection during which:

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All major components operate correctly and reliably.

Analyzers demonstrate their ability to meet their design specifications.

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All analyzers perform a repeatability run of at least eight hours and preferably
24 hours.

For analyzers having a non-linear output, the manufacturer or integrator must


provide data defining the relationship between analyzer output and the true value.
Further details about operational inspections are included in Section 842.

Installation
The installation contractor arranges for all aspects of the analyzer system installation at the Company site. This includes temporary storage of analyzer systems and
related equipment, scheduling of Company or contract labor, gathering all necessary work permits, and ensuring adherence to all Company and other related
construction guidelines.

Checkout
The checkout contractor advises the integrator when the construction phase is
completed. The integrator provides, at the Companys request, technical checkout
staff to perform an inspection of the installed system and to verify not only that all
utilities are properly connected but also that all wiring conforms to the drawings.

Pre-commissioning
The integrator tests all aspects of the analyzer systems, including all utilities, safety
systems, HVAC, and analyzers. Analyzers are run on calibration standards before
running them on the process stream. The contractor audits this work and approves
the integrator work before they leave the site.

Turnover to Operations
After reviewing the turnover criteria, the contractor turns the system over to Operations at a formal meeting with the appropriate personnel represented. Refer to
ICM-DS-4362, Analyzer Enclosure Check-off Specification for details.

Post-audit
The post audit is conducted by Company personnel and may be attended by representatives of the contractor, Operations, and the integrator, if appropriate. All
aspects of the project are reviewed and both the positive and negative aspects noted.
They record improvements for future projects and include these recommendations
with site-specific documentation and standards.

830 Sample Conditioning System Design


Few process streams are compatible with available analyzers without some sample
modification. Hardware is required for taking a sample from the process, for transporting it to the analyzer, and for adjusting pressure, temperature, and flow rate.
Hardware is also required for removing particulates, separating phases, scrubbing,
and drying. In this section, the function, operation, and limitations of individual
pieces of hardware are explained; and, wherever possible, specific

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recommendations are made. An overall design guide demonstrating four types of


samples is provided below.
While you may not find it necessary to design a sample system, you should know
what constitutes a good design so that you can approve those submitted by integrator. You may use the steps in Section 832 as a checklist. Neglecting any of these
requirements may result in developing an erroneous analysis or no analysis at all.
The portion of the overall installation that is left to the customers discretion may
determine the success or failure of the analytical instrument.
Other resources are included as Appendix E: typical sample system drawings for
combustion control systems (extractive), pH, gas chromatographs, fuel gas specific
gravity, boiler feedwater conductivity, and infrared analyzers.

831 Designing Sample Systems


The sample must be representative of the process. The sampling time delay should
meet process control requirements. Locate the sample system in a serviceable area,
preferably on the outside wall of the shelter. Plan the local design and installation
with the advice and aid of the instrument manufacturer, process engineer, and
analyzer specialist. Ask an analyzer specialist to review any designs prepared by an
integrator and keep the sample system as simple as possible.

832 Steps in Developing a Sample Conditioning System


Obtain the required analyzer sample conditions from the vendor. These conditions
dictate the degree to which the sampling system must alter the process sample.
Failure to supply a sample compatible with the analyzer may affect the accuracy of
analysis and may either render the instrument inoperable or cause permanent
damage.
Most analyzers operate on a single-phase sample that is relatively free of moisture,
corrosive substances, and particulate material (rust, scale, or catalyst fines). The
sample should be at, or near, ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure. Few
samples meet these criteria, therefore, conditioning is necessary. Also, many process
streams are well above ambient temperature, therefore, require some means of
cooling. A few analyzers are housed in heated compartments and are operated at
temperatures as high as 300F. Sample pressure must be reduced in most sampling
systems. Concurrent with reductions in temperature and pressure are problems with
maintaining phase integrity. These problems are discussed later.
The steps for developing a sample system are as follows:

July 1999

1.

Ensure that there are adequate safety provisions. Safety should be the primary
consideration when developing a sample system. Check the area electrical classification and review NFPA 496, the NEC, and API standards.

2.

Determine if there are any special analyzer requirements. What are the conditions of the sample? Are there pressure and temperature limitations? Does it
require a liquid or vapor phase sample? Will the output be affected by

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interfering compounds? Can the analyzer be damaged by corrosion, moisture,


or particulates?
3.

It is important to follow the correct order for carrying out certain operations for
the sample stream. For each sample type, a specific sequence of operations is
recommended. (See Figure 800-5). There are exceptions to any operations
sequence, and you must decide which optional steps to select.

4.

Review the process piping and visit the site if possible. Choose the sample
point where the condition of the process sample fits the needs of the analyzer
and maintenance. Should plugging occur at the sample tap, the analyzer could
be damaged permanently if the operator were unable to reach a sampling point.

5.

Remove the sample from the process line with a suitable sample probe. The
sample probe should extend into the process line one-third to one-half the width
of the process line and should be located on the side or top of the line.

6.

Provide a means of sample transport from the probe to the analyzer. The choice
of tubing material is dictated by the nature of the sample. The motive force may
be a pressure drop across a process pump. Orifices or in-line metering pumps
are less desirable choices. A throttle control valve should not be used at all. In
some cases, aspirating probes and eductors are acceptable.

7.

Condition the sample to conform to the analyzer requirements as described


above.

8.

Provide sample switching arrangements for multistream analyzers and introduction of calibration mixtures. Sample switching should be kept to an absolute minimum or avoided if possible.

9.

Investigate the availability of modular sampling systems. Some manufacturers


provide sample conditioning components as options or as an integral part of the
analyzer. Although these systems must be reviewed carefully for reliability,
they are usually less costly than systems that are developed in-house.

10. Provide for sample disposal. Regulatory agencies are applying increasingly
stringent restrictions on venting samples. Samples can often be returned to lowpressure points in the process which saves production costs overall. Sometimes
the sample must be returned to a chemical sewer, recycle tank, or a vent or flare
header.

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Fig. 800-5

Sequence of Operations for Sample Types

Gas Sample with Condensibles Retained


1. Prefilter (hot)
2. Reduce pressure (hot)
3. Cool (above dewpoint, optional)
4. Knockout (optional)
5. Coalesce (optional)
6. Heat
7. See final sequence
Gas Sample with Condensibles Rejected
1. Prefilter (hot), optional
2. Cool (to required dewpoint)
3. Knockout
4. Coalesce
5. Heat
6. Reduce pressure
7. See final sequence
Liquid Sample to be Vaporized
1. Cool (optional)
2. Prefilter
3. Vaporize
4. Reduce pressure
5. Coalesce (optional)
6. Heat
7. See final sequence
Liquid Sample to remain a Liquid
1. Prefilter
2. Cool (optional)
3. Reduce pressure (optional)
4. Phase separate (optional)
5. Coalesce (optional)
6. Warm to analyzer temperature
7. Degas(optional)
8. See final sequence
Final Sequence
1. Dry (optional)
2. Filter (When possible, use a self-cleaning filter in the bypass loop and an inline filter in the slipstream to the
analyzer.)
3. Regulate pressure (optional)
4. Switch streams (avoid when possible)
5. Switch calibration stream (only if auto cal is required)
6. Adjust flow
7. Temperature match
8. Analyzer or disposal
9. Sample return
Note

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See Section 837 for a more detailed description of some typical analyzer sample systems that have
been successfully applied at Chevron.

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833 Sample Point


Avoid using an existing sample tap unless it meets the following conditions:
1.

The tap is located at the top or side of the process line.

2.

Mixing is complete and the process reaction is stable.

3.

The best point is selected to provide the analysis needed for process control and
is located near the place where corrective control action is applied.

4.

The sample point is located in a live stream away from poor mixing points.
Avoid possible water traps, gas pockets, and dead legs in piping.

5.

The sample tap is located where a single phase exists (if possible).

6.

In the process line, there is a point having moderate and constant pressure.
Sample circulation loops can be used to minimize lag time.

7.

The sample temperature is moderate and constant. Try to obtain such a sample
by taking it downstream from a condenser or heat exchanger. Letting the
process do the sample conditioning not only reduces heater or cooler requirements in the sample system but also reduces costs and sample system volume.

8.

The physical location of the sample point is chosen to be readily accessible for
maintenance and servicing and has the required utilities available. Sample,
return, and drainage problems are minimal. Sample line runs must be direct,
short, and located at a distance from hazardous work areas or hazardous
equipment.

Sample Probe
Typically, sample probe design and placement have been neglected. Do not re-use
existing probes. A properly designed probe can be the beginning of sample cleanup.
In its simplest form for clean streams, a probe can be an open-ended tube inserted
into a process stream.
Never insert a probe flush with the wall of the pipe. Samples collected from the
walls do not represent the stream because of the creep along the pipe wall and
because the flow rate along the wall is nearly zero.
For gaseous streams containing mists or suspended solids or for liquid streams
containing bubbles or solids, use a probe with the opening opposite the direction of
the flow to help reject non-homogeneous materials.
For ease of insertion or removal from a pressurized line, provide the probe with a
full port gate or a ball valve with packing gland. Be sure to consult with the analyzer
specialist, analyzer maintenance, and operations before selection of an insertion
probe which can be removed through a packing gland. It is recommended to use a
flanged probe which cannot be extracted while the line is operational, when ever
possible.
The simplest stack probe is a long tube with a series of openings on the opposite
side of the flow direction. To remove suspended material completely, add a filter to

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the tip of the probe. Common filter materials are sintered or woven stainless steel
and porous ceramic. In very dirty streams, minimize filter plugging by adding a
baffle to deflect suspended matter. Filtered probes will require occasional cleaning.
They can be removed from the stack for cleaning but will commonly be cleaned by
a blow-back system that introduces air or steam into the sample line automatically at
preset intervals.
Use steam eductor (ejector) probes, such as the Taylor steam eductor, for sampling
streams at pressures that are near atmospheric or slightly negative. Steam enters the
end of the probe through an aspirating nozzle that sucks the sample from the flue
into the sample transport line. The sample is cleaned in a water wash separator
ahead of the analyzer. To prevent line blocking, use dry steam, place a strainer in the
sample line, and slope the probe to grade.
Air or water educators are also acceptable and operate on the same principle.
Systems are designed with ejectors, located either upstream or downstream of the
analyzer. Some systems may require a back-pressure regulator.
Immediately following the probe, install a coarse y-strainer to prevent large particles from entering the remainder of the sample system.

834 General Sample Line Considerations


1.

Keep sample lines short to minimize transport lag time.

2.

Consider using a fast sample bypass loop, as shown in the typical drawings in
Appendix E.

3.

Select smallest diameter line, suitable for the required flow rate and for the
available pressure drop. Capacities for tubing of varying diameters are shown
in Figure 800-6.

4.

Provide sufficient pressure to maintain adequate velocities. Suggested flow


velocities are 5 to 10 feet/second for liquids and 20 to 40 feet/second for gases.

5.

Install flow indicators and check valves to ensure that the sample flows in the
proper direction.

6.

Control the temperature by steam tracing, electrical tracing. or steam or hot


water jacketing to prevent the formation of a second phase. Preinsulated steam
and electrically traced tube bundles are available commercially.

7.

The following techniques are helpful in minimizing trapped particulates:

Avoid an excessive numbers of fittings.


Use tubing bends instead of ells when possible.
Ream and deburr tube endings before making up the fittings.

A further incentive for avoiding excessive fittings is to minimize leakage. Inleakage can occur even in relatively high-pressure lines. On vacuum systems, a
single-run tube bundle may be appropriate.

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Fig. 800-6

800 Analyzer Instruments

8.

Never apply pipe dope in sampling systems. Pipe dope may absorb or desorb
trace elements selectively or it may bleed into the sample, which would affect
the analysis.

9.

Provide adequate support to avoid root-valve failure.

Volume of Tubing and Pipe

Tube Size
Inches

Wall Thickness
Inches

Inside Diameter
Inches

Volume Cu. Ft.


Per 100 Ft.

Volume Gal. Per 100


Ft.

Volume CC
Per Foot

1/4

0.028

0.194

0.0205

0.150

5.8

0.035

0.180

0.0177

0.132

5.0

0.049

0.152

0.0126

0.094

3.6

0.035

0.305

0.0057

0.378

14.4

0.049

0.277

0.0418

0.313

11.8

0.035

0.430

0.1008

0.754

28.5

0.049

0.402

0.0881

0.659

24.9

0.065

0.370

0.0746

0.558

21.1

5/8

0.049

0.527

0.1514

1.133

42.9

3/4

0.035

0.680

0.2521

1.886

71.4

0.065

0.620

0.2095

1.567

59.3

0.065

0.870

0.4126

3.087

116.8

0.095

0.810

0.3577

2.676

101.3

Pipe Size
Inches

Schedule

Inside
Diameter Inches

Volume Cu. Ft.


Per 100 Ft.

Volume Gal.
Per 100 Ft.

Volume CC
Per Foot

1/2

40

0.622

0.211

1.578

60

80

0.546

0.162

1.212

46

40

0.824

0.370

2.768

105

80

0.742

0.300

2.244

85

40

1.049

0.600

4.489

170

80

0.957

0.499

3.733

141

3/8

1/2

3/4

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Sample Line Routing


Once the sample tap is located, examine the needs of the tubing for transporting the
sample to the analyzer. Accessibility is the most important factor from a maintenance point of view. The locations of the lines are important to replace or tighten
fittings to eliminate leaks. The routing should take advantage of any existing structures or lines to which the sample lines can be strapped or of any instrument line
trays in which the sample tubing can be laid. Avoid sharp bends or kinks in the
lines. If possible, slope the lines down to the analyzer location and do not build
liquid traps into the system.
Support tubing in trays; clamp it to the structural steel on pipes or, as a last resort,
select heavier gage tubing to protect it from vibration and damage during construction. Do not clamp sample tubing to vibrating structures.
Avoid low spots in preinsulated tubing bundles by supporting them in trays. These
bundles are heavy and will sag from their own weight, therefore, do not support
bundles with only unistrut clamps.
To minimize transport time, keep the sample and return lines short, usually a
maximum of 300 feet. (For additional information, see Sample Line Sizing in this
manual.)

Method of Sample Transportation


The following factors determine the method selected to transport the sample to the
analyzer:
The simplest installation, a single line to the analyzer (shown in Figure 800-7a), is
acceptable for applications having the analyzer field mounted at the sample point to
keep the sample lines short. Sulfur plant tail-gas analyzers are installed this way to
eliminate the possibility of sulfur plugging the sample lines. The sample is returned
to the process because it is hazardous.
A single line with a bypass stream is the most efficient way of transporting samples
to an analyzer (shown in Figure 800-7b). This system minimizes sample waste and
reduces time lag in the sampling system to an acceptable value. Normally, a oneminute lag time is considered to be the maximum allowed for sample transportation. Analyzers capable l of faster analysis and used in control loops may require a
more rapid sample circulation.
When sufficient pressure is not available. select a single-line sample system with a
steam, air, or water eductor that pulls the sample through the analyzer sample valve.
This system, shown in Figure 800-7c, must be installed with care. It is under
vacuum and any leakage in the sample system, up to and through the sampling
valve, results in air being drawn into the system. Drawing air into the system makes
the analysis worthless. As leakage is difficult to detect, use long, uninterrupted runs
of preinsulated tubing to decrease the number of fittings to be checked for leaks. A
back-pressure regulator is required when the eductor is in this location.

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Fig. 800-7

800 Analyzer Instruments

(a, b, & c) Single-line Sample Systems

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Select single-line sample systems only when response time is unimportant and the
material is non-hazardous. The obvious limitations of sending the fast loop to waste
are as follows:

Pollution Avoidance - The handling and disposing of toxic sample is an issue


to be resolved because waste vented to the sewer or to the atmosphere is monitored and may require clean up in another process unit.

Cost - Disposing of waste that consists of large quantities of hydrocarbons or


other material can be expensive.

Figure 800-8 illustrates various methods of obtaining sample circulation loops.

Process Pumps
Process pumps are the best means of creating differential pressure for sampling
systems and is accomplished by taking the sample inlet off the pump discharge and
the sample return to the pump suction. Select this procedure whenever:

a relatively constant differential pressure is maintained.

the pump is not so remote from the process control point that time lag in the
process piping becomes a factor.

Make certain that the sample circulating back to the pump suction does not subject
the pump to overheating. Overheating is a concern if there is a restricted process
line downstream of the pump. This arrangement would increase the flow through
the sample loop and, in effect, open a bypass from the discharge of the pump to the
pump suction. If allowed to continue over a long period, this action could cause the
pump bearings to overheat.

Process Equipment
The amount of differential pressure that is available for a sample circulating loop
depends on the process and its auxiliary equipment. The pressure drop across a heat
exchanger and an accumulator can provide sample circulation to the analyzer.

Control Valves
These installations are normally avoided because control valves tend to provide
variable differential pressure. The control valve operation and the sample loop
interact when the control valve is operating at travel extremes. The differential pressure providing sample flow in the sample loop is insufficient when the valve is fully
open; conversely, all of the process pressure differential is applied to the sample
loop when the valve is fully closed. This condition causes considerable flow around
the valve, possibly causing process upsets.
If you choose this type of installation, calculate the circulating loop line size based
on the existing differential pressure when the valve is at design flow. From this
calculation, be certain that, if the control valve is fully closed, the flow in the
sample loop will not exceed 10 percent of the control valve design flow. If the
amount of bypass flow is too great, investigate another means of transporting
sample flow to the analyzer.

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Fig. 800-8

800 Analyzer Instruments

Circulating Sample Loops

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Restriction Orifice
Installations of this type are restricted to low, differential pressures since small
restrictions in the process lines are unacceptable. Orifice runs for flow measurement cannot provide analyzer-sample circulation as the analyzer flow bypasses the
flow-measuring device, thereby, causing an error in the flow measurement. Restriction orifices may also be subject to clogging and waste process energy.

Sample Pumps
Sample pumps are the least desirable alternative as they require significant maintenance. Select sample pumps only if there is no source of pressure differential in the
process unit. Avoid positive displacement pumps that are a potential hazard if any
portion of the sample loop is blocked downstream of the pump. Install a proper
relief valve to maintain sample system pressure at a safe level should any equipment malfunction. Do not install internal relief valves in the pumps as they might
overheat if the internal relief valve should open. but instead install valves that
relieve to a remote process line. The section entitled. Sample System Components, describes different types of pumps.

Eductors
In certain situations, eductors may replace pumps. Eductors have no moving parts.
They are shown in stack sampling in the drawings in Appendix E of this manual.

Other Considerations
Observe certain precautions when circulating loops handling volatile liquids are to
be sampled in a vapor state. Always choose a sample-return-point pressure of at
least 30 psig higher than the vapor pressure of the sample. This precautionary
measure prevents flashing of the sample in the circulation loop and the resultant
non-representative sampling.
By installing a liquid bypass stream, it is possible to reduce lag time for liquid to be
vaporized. Minimize the amount of wasted sample by vaporizing and pressurereducing the sample adjacent to the process sample connection. By using a probe,
minimize the volume of pipe, valve, and fittings upstream of the vaporizer.
Remember that there is a 300:1 volume ratio of vapor hydrocarbon to liquid hydrocarbon which means that a dead liquid leg causes a long delay and renders the
sample non-representative of the process.
In situations where extremely long sample lines are a necessity (such as retrofitting
an analyzer into an existing house), install a bypass loop (see Figure 800-9). Avoid
installing this type of loop indiscriminately because it may be possible to overload
the filter or other sample system components in the secondary loop. A sample pump
may be required to achieve the extra flow in the longer lines.

Sample Disposal
When a sample return point does not exist in the process, it is necessary to decide
whether or not to discard the sample effluent to the sewer system or to provide the
means for pumping the sample back into the process.

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Fig. 800-9

800 Analyzer Instruments

Bypass Loop to Reduce Response Time

Consider sample disposal systems when:

The sample is too valuable to discard.

The sample is toxic or corrosive and too hazardous to discard in a chemical


sewer system.

Discarding of hydrocarbon samples in a sewer system or to the atmosphere


must be minimized for environmental reasons.

Discarding of hydrocarbons is prohibited.

The cost of discarding the sample is very high.

Every effort should be made to return hydrocarbon samples to the process or, if that
is not practical, to the relief system. There are two forms of liquid sample disposal
systems: one requires an electric motor driven pump; and the other, an all pneumatic system. Both systems have surge pots that are maintained at atmospheric pressure through a vented standpipe. The vent serves to eliminate back-pressure buildup
on the analyzer outlet, and the surge pot makes is possible for the pumps to operate
infrequently.

Electric Sample Disposal System


Figure 800-10 illustrates an electric sample disposal system that can be purchased or
built with a surge pot that vents to atmosphere through an explosion proof vent. Two
level switches actuate the pump: the high-level switch starts the explosion-proof,
motor-driven pump which continues operating until the low-level switch shuts it off.
The pump remains inoperative until the level rises to actuate the high-level switch.
The pump has sufficient head to return the sample to the process.

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Fig. 800-10 Example of Electric Sample Disposal Systems

Sizing Sample Lines


Design sample systems to provide the desired sample flow according to the
following requirements:

Adequate speed of response. Fast response may require higher flows with
excess bypassing.

The monetary value of the sample.

Keep the maximum allowable time delay for normal installations under one minute.
Normally, the sample lines are -inch; and, if a line of this size cannot provide the
required flow, add a sample pump.
To maintain the proper instrument response, multistream sequencing requires high,
continuous flow in each individual line from the process lines being monitored. If
such flows become excessive, they overload the sample-system components (filters
and coalescers) which may result in an improperly conditioned sample that eventually could damage the analyzer.
If the pressure differential in the sample system varies, the flow varies. If the pressure at the sample point is sufficient to overcome the pressure drop in the sampling
system and provide the required sample flow, pressure control may be the only flow
control necessary. Design sample-system components with residence volumes small
enough to prevent both transport delays and capacitance averaging of sample
concentration transients. Sample-system components with large volumes require
more sample flowing through them to be flushed adequately. Even with considerable flushing. changes in composition are not readily transported to the analyzer due
to the mixing effect in the large volume sample system components. Use minimal
retention volume and residence time when designing sample systems. While you

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can reduce residence time by maintaining sample system volume and increasing the
flow, this can result in overloading the sample-system components. It is better to
reduce the volume of the sample system by maintaining short sample lines and to
optimize velocity by selecting tubing with small cross-sectional areas.

Lag Time
When designing new sample systems or checking existing systems to determine
proper flow conditions, use these methods and equations to obtain liquid and vapor
samples.
Sample transport lag time is the amount of time required to extract a representative
sample from a process line, to transport the sample to the analyzer, and to condition
the sample to be compatible with the analyzer. Do not confuse lag time with the
analyzer response time, the time required by the analyzer to indicate 95 percent of
the initial value when a step change is introduced to the analyzer inlet. The sample
transport lag time and the analyzer response time determine the total delay that
exists between an actual change in the process stream and the corresponding
analyzer output.
Analyzer response time is fixed by the choice of the analyzer. To optimize sample
transport lag time. keep the volume of the sample system to a minimum without
allowing excessive pressure drop. Usually sample flow through the analyzer is
small. Normally, fast-flow bypass streams are preferred to transport the sample to
the analyzer.
In liquid application, calculate the sample transport lag time easily by dividing the
internal volume of lines and components by the sample flow. Because liquid can be
considered non-compressible, the sample volume does not change significantly with
temperature or pressure; therefore, the lag time can be controlled by establishing the
proper flow. For gas streams, the compressibility of gases makes it more difficult to
calculate the total lag time.
For a fixed quantity of gas, the volume varies directly with absolute temperature and
inversely with absolute pressure. For a given sample flow, therefore, the actual
velocity of the gas through any portion of the system depends on the temperature
and pressure of the gas.
Normally, a gas analyzer is operated at atmospheric pressure for stability; therefore,
the simplest method for determining sample transport lag time is to relate the total
gas volume in the system to standard conditions (STP). As a result. for various
portions of the system, the volume at STP can be determined by means of the
following equation:
( 14.7 + P ) ( 530 )
V STP = V STAT --------------------------------------( 14.7 ) ( 460 + T )
(Eq. 800-1)

VSTP = Gas volume adjusted to standard conditions


VSTAT = Static volume (internal capacity)

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P = Pressure in PSIG
T = Temperature in F.
Under standard conditions, the total volume of the system is the amount of gas
between the process line and the analyzer. The flow through the system (analyzer
and bypass streams) can then be established to provide the desired lag time for the
sample transport. Refer to Figure 800-11 as a sample problem.
Due to non-laminar flow characteristics and the shape of various sample system
components. it is necessary to add more sample system response time for complete
volume turnover. For both liquids and gases, a rule of thumb is to calculate the time
based on the system volume multiplied by three. The ultimate method is to run tests
on the installed system itself.

Liquid and Vapor Sample Pressure Drop and Velocity


The above description for gas streams does not take into account pressure drop
through the system. For relatively low flow and short line length, the pressure drop
should not be significant. At a high flow or long line length, however, the pressure
drop may become an important factor in the system design. In addition, although the
specific gravity of a gas or liquid does not affect the lag time calculation, it must be
considered when specifying flow control and indicating devices.
Determine the pressure drop using Figures 800-12 and 800-13.

Vaporized Liquids
An objectionable transport lag is introduced if a sample to be vaporized remains
liquid until the point where it enters the analyzer without a bypass circulating loop.
For light hydrocarbons, the ratio of vapor volume to liquid volume is greater than
200:1. If a vapor flow of 2000 cc/min is maintained downstream of a vaporizer, a
liquid flow of less than 10 cc/min flows upstream from the vaporizer. Every 10 cc of
liquid holdup in the sample line creates one minute of transportation lag. Separation
of as little as one foot can cause transportation lags of over five minutes.
Vaporize the sample either very close to the sample tap or immediately downstream
of a circulation loop, as shown in the typical gas chromatograph sample system in
Appendix E.

835 Construction Materials


Select construction materials to minimize corrosion. Analyzers and sample system
components can be harmed by the following environmental factors:

July 1999

1.

Condensation that may occur in conduit that has not been sealed.

2.

Water that can collect in instrument enclosures.

3.

Rodents who can eat wire insulation.

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Fig. 800-11 Sample Lag Time Problem (Courtesy of Pastech Corporation)


Sample Lag Time Problem

SOLUTION

A gas sample handling system has been designed to


meet the requirements for a specific analyzer application. The following information has been established or
calculated.

Step 1:
Determine adjusted volume (STP) from bypass point in
sample system to the analyzer.
Volume in item 5 @ 30 psig = 5 cc x 3 Atm = 15 scc
Volume in item 6 @ 15 psig = 5 cc x 1 Atm = 5 scc

1. Process Conditions
a. Temperature: Ambient

Total Volume = 20 scc

b. Pressure: 210 psig (15 Atm)

Step 2:
Determine lag time from bypass point in sample system
to the analyzer.

Note:

Since the temperature effects are not significant, they will


be neglected for purposes of simplicity

2. Sample Probe & Field Station (reduce to outlet


pressure of 30 psig)

20 scc
Lag Time = ------------------------ = 0.1m = 6s
200 scc/m

a. Sample Probe: 1 of " tubing, .049" wall, static


volume = 3.6 cc

Allowable transport lag time from process line to the


bypass point becomes 24 s (30 s - 6 s)

b. Block Valve, Filter, Regulator: Static


volume = 6.4 cc

Step 3:
Determine adjusted volume (STP) from process line to
bypass point in sample system.

3. Transport Line
a. Tubing: 3001 of " tubing, .035" wall,
static volume = 1500 cc

Volume in item 2 @ 210 psig = 10 cc x 15 Atm =


150 scc

4. Sample System to Bypass Stream


a. Tubing: 5' of " tubing, .035" wall,
static volume = 25 cc

Volume in item 3 @ 30 psig = 1500 cc x 3Atm =


4500 scc

b. Filter: Static volume = 20 cc

Volume in item 4 @ 30 psig = 50 cc x 3 Atm =


150 scc

c. Valves, etc.: Static volume = 5 cc

Total Volume = 4800 scc

5. Bypass Stream to Analyzer Flowmeter

Step 4:
Determine bypass flow for transport lag time of 24s
from process line to bypass point in sample system.

a. Tubing: ' of " tubing, .035" wall,


static volume = 2.5 cc
b. Valve, Flowmeter, etc.: Static volume = 2.5 cc
6. Transport Line from Sample System to Analyzer

4800 scc
200 scc
Bypass Flow = ---------------------- = ------------------- = 12,000 scc/m
24s
s
or approx. 24 SCFH

a. Tubing: 1' of " tubing, .035" wall,


static volume = 5 cc
PROBLEM
Given an analyzer sample flow of 200 scc/m, (standard
cubic centimeters/minute) determine the required
bypass flow (at STP) to give a maximum Sample Transport Lag Time of 30 seconds from the process line to
the analyzer inlet.

Chevron Corporation

Please note that for a Sample Transport Lag Time of 60


seconds, the Bypass Flow would be approx. 11 SCFH.
The above is a means for estimating the Sample Transport Lag Time. It is important to note the items which
have a serious impact on the lag time as opposed to
those having a negligible effect. Should more precise
determinations be required (this would be very
unusual), it would be necessary to use complex equations, obtain accurate component volume data and line
measurements, confirm exact process information and,
as a final step, perform dynamic testing on the system
as installed.

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Fig. 800-12 Pressure Drop per 100 Feet of Tubing (Gases)


Darcy Pressure Drop per 100 Feet (psi)
Flow
(ft/m)

1/4
Tubing

3/8
Tubing

1/2
Tubing

0.009

---

--

0.035

---

--

0.081
< 1.00

< 1.00

0.144

0.225

---

--

10

0.898

---

--

0.13 f p v 2
Darcy Pressure Drop per 100 Ft. = ---------------------------------------d
f = Friction Factor = 0.014
p = Density (C1-C4 Hydrocarbons) = 0.08
v = Velocity
d = I.D. Tubing
1/4 O.D. .035 Wall Tubing has an I.D. = 0.18 in.
3/8 O.D. .035 Wall Tubing has an I.D. = 0.305 in.
1/2 O.D. .035 Wall Tubing has an I.D. = 0.43 in.
Q 0.1079
Velocity (ft/sec) = ------------------------d2
Q = Flow (ft/m)
d = I.D. Tubing (inches)
Flow
(ft/m)

1/4
Tubing

3/8
Tubing

1/2
Tubing

3.33

1.16

0.58

6.66

2.32

1.17

9.99

3.48

1.75

13.32

4.64

2.33

16.65

5.80

2.92

10

33.3

11.6

5.83

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Fig. 800-13 Darcy Pressure Drop per 100 Feet (psi)


Flow
(ft/m)

1/4
Tubing

3/8
Tubing

1/2
Tubing

4.6

0.33

0.06

8.5

1.3

0.24

41.7

3.0

0.54

5.3

0.95

8.3

1.5

10

33.1

5.95

0.13 f p v 2
Darcy Pressure Drop per 100 Ft. = ---------------------------------------d
f = Friction Factor = 0.014
p = Density Liquid HC = 41.3 (as n-Hexane)
v = Velocity
d = I.D. Tubing
1/4 O.D. .035 Wall Tubing has an I.D. = 0.18 in.
3/8 O.D. .035 Wall Tubing has an I.D. = 0.305 in.
1/2 O.D. .035 Wall Tubing has an I.D. = 0.43 in.
Q 0.1079
Velocity (ft/sec) = ------------------------d2
Q = Flow (ft/m)
d = I.D. Tubing (inches)

Flow
(ft/m)

1/4
Tubing

3/8
Tubing

1/2
Tubing

3.33

1.16

0.58

6.66

2.32

1.17

9.99

3.48

1.75

13.32

4.64

2.33

16.65

5.80

2.92

10

33.3

11.6

5.83

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4.

Mud-daubers who can build nests in sample system components prior to use.

5.

Components that may be subjected to elevated temperatures where air purges


have not been provided.

6.

Corrosive material that may leak into the analyzer or the sample system.

Take the following precautions to help minimize corrosion problems:


1.

Protect sample tubing from mechanical abuse by routing it properly or running


the tubing in tray.

2.

Specify hypodermic-grade stainless or other alloy tubing and clean it thoroughly to remove oil film or purchase it cleaned. When selecting tubing, keep
in mind that thin-walled material is affected significantly by external corrosion.

3.

Check all sample systems thoroughly for leaks.

4.

Inspect all socket or seal-weld connections on sample systems. These connections can leave small internal cracks or pockets in the pipe wall where contaminants may accumulate.

5.

Evaluate all sample system components for material that may absorb portions
of the sample or react with the sample. Do not use cork or felt filter elements in
service where the sample contains low moisture or solvents. Substitute ceramic
filters.

Material Selection
Follow the specifications in this manual and the enclosed list of noncorrosive parts.
Take care when selecting nonmetallic materials for sampling systems because the
sample composition might include components that attack nonmetallic materials.
Two methods of attack of nonmetallic materials are (1) direct solubility (i.e., solubility of plastic in the sample material, as in acetone on plexiglass), and (2) solubility of the plasticizers or fillers used in plastics (i.e., failure of Kel-F in
hydrocarbon solvent). Dissolving the plasticizer results in initial swelling then final
disintegration of the base material.
Reduce not only costs but also fire-and-health hazards by selecting material for the
sampling system properly.

836 Sample System Components


Piston Pumps
Piston or plunger pumps are often selected for metering applications. At the suction
stroke, the check valve on the inlet port opens and allows the chamber to fill with
fluid. At the discharge stroke, the inlet check valve closes and the moving pistons
force the fluid through the outlet port. Piston pumps are capable of a wide range of
flows by varying the stroke length and/or drive speed. Some units are capable of
generating pressures up to 30,000 psi.

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Some disadvantages of piston pumps are as follows:

Piston pumps produce pulsating flow.


Packings are subject to leakage and require periodic maintenance.
Piston lubricant may contaminate the sample.
Check valves are troublesome especially in dirty streams.

Diaphragm Pumps
Diaphragm pumps need either a mechanical or a hydraulic coupling to transmit the
plunger movement into diaphragm displacement. To vary flow, adjust the stroke
length and stroke frequency. An advantage of the diaphragm pump is that there is no
leakage past the piston and no contamination of the sample from pump lubricant.
The discharge pressure is limited because of the stress on the elastomeric
diaphragm. In mechanical linkage, the upper limit is about 300 psi whereas some
hydraulic-type pumps can withstand up to 5,000 psi.

Bellows Pumps
Bellows pumps move fluid by alternately extending and compressing flexible chambers and may be fabricated from stainless steel or from a variety of polymeric materials. To adjust the pump capacity over a wide range, alter the length of the stroke
and stroke frequency.
The advantages of bellows pumps are that they can isolate the process fluid from the
pumping mechanism and can eliminate sliding seals. Discharge pressures are
limited to 50 psi.

Gear Pumps
Do not choose gear pumps for samples containing abrasives because the abrasive
cause progressively increasing internal leakage or slippage. Seal leakage is the most
common problem with this type of pump.

Centrifugal Pumps
Centrifugal pumps move large volumes of sample at relatively low pressure and
operate at comparatively high speeds. Choose centrifugal pumps with a magnetic
linkage to avoid seal and contamination problems. Centrifugal pumps are not suitable for high-viscosity samples and are not self-priming.

Peristaltic Pumps
In peristaltic pumps, fluid is forced along by waves of contraction produced
mechanically on flexible tubing. The primary advantage of peristaltic pumps are
their low cost, low sample holdup, and freedom from leakage and contamination.

Eductors
Eductors have the advantage of no moving parts, low maintenance, and low cost.
The motive fluid under pressure, discharges at high velocity through a nozzle and

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entrains the suction fluid. The motive fluid may be air, the process stream, steam, or
another convenient fluid.
Eductors may be installed in sampling systems at the end of the sampling train,
downstream from the analyzer, so that the sample is sucked through the analyzer
without being contaminated by the motive fluid. Alternatively, the motive fluid may
be mixed with sample and separated in the sample conditioning train. Appendix E
shows a sample system with eductors for extracting oxygen and carbon monoxide
from stack gas.

Flow Indicators
Rotameters, the most widely used flow indicators, are variable orifices consisting of
a tapered tube and float which are available armored or in glass. Usually the rotameter manufacturer supplies sizing information for water and air. Calculate the
approximate conversions to other fluids with the equations available in vendor
literature.
Sometimes, a sight-flow bubbler can provide continuous regulation of gas flow if
you set the adjustment to very small flow rates and time the bubbles through the
liquid. Fifty psi is the maximum pressure that can be applied to a bubbler with a
pyrex bowl and 100 psi with a plastic bowl.

Heat Exchangers
In some cases, the process stream temperatures may be above the temperature limit
of the analyzer, and heat must be removed from the sample. Sometimes heat loss
through the walls of the sample line provides adequate cooling, but often a sample
cooler is required. The heat exchange media can be water, air, freon, steam, or other
fluid.
Mechanical refrigerators are acceptable for low temperature applications. Vortex
coolers are useful for cooling small flows but consume large quantities of air. Gassample coolers may result in the formation of a second phase that requires a separator to remove the condensed material. A trap is necessary for removing large
amounts; coalescers, for small amounts.

Cooling and Heating


The following guidelines help determine if liquid samples require cooling:
1.

When separation is required between condensibles and noncondensibles.

2.

For analysis of steam samples.

3.

When taking samples for initial boiling point, freeze cloud, and flash point.

4.

To prevent flashing in sample valves.

Cool other samples if the sample temperature exceeds the temperature compensation range of the analyzer or if the temperature exceeds the capabilities of internal
heat exchangers. The most common cooling medium is cooling water.

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If cooling water is not available, is too expensive, or its temperature is not low
enough, take cold air from a vortex tube or a mechanical refrigerator.
Some samples, such as long and short residue streams, may require cooling to just
above 212F as they may solidify at lower temperatures. In such cases, the cooling
medium may be hot condensate, the temperature of which is affected by controlling
the pressure of the steam in the steam condenser.
Heating may be required to prevent condensation of gaseous samples or to lower
viscosity of liquid samples. Ensure that the conditioned temperatures are maintained up to the analyzer.
Gas samples approach the temperature of their container rapidly. Heat tracing helps
to avoid plugging and corrosion from condensation of water in gas samples.

Separators
Removal of Entrained Liquids in Liquids. By gravity difference, coalesce and
further separate liquid entrainment (i.e. water in oil or opposite) and also separate
entrained gases. To prevent fouling of the coalescer packing, filter it first. Remove
solids by filtration.
Dispose of the separated entrainments into the return line of the circulation loop.
For single-line systems, use an automatic drain or gas vent.
Coalescers are effective for removing dispersed water from gas. Most process
streams contain small amounts of water which may have to be removed before the
sample reaches the analyzer. A coalescer contains a fine pore filter element that is
wetted by hydrocarbons and not water. Finely dispersed water agglomerates into
large droplets that fall out to the bottom of the coalescer.
The large internal volume of commercial coalescers require either large flows or
sample by-pass flows to avoid long lag times. The sample leaving the coalescer is
saturated and no further cooling should occur in the sample system.
Note Adhere to the flow rate recommendations provided by the coalescer manufacturer. If the flow rate is too high, the coalesced material may break up into small
particles that remain in floating condition and prevent separation by gravity
differences.
Removal of Entrained Liquids in Gases. By selecting the sample tap location
properly, you minimize the carryover of liquid or solid entrainment.
Obtain further separation in the sampling system by: (1) installing cyclone filters
when the sample velocity is adequate; (2) coalescing droplets for liquid entrainment
and following with gravity separation; (3) filtering solids.
Removal of Entrained Gases in Gas Streams. Remove polar compounds, such as
NH3 and CO in stack gases by scrubbing with a water cooler or water eductor.
The mixed phase enters the separator from the side or from the top. The abrupt
change in direction and the reduced velocity separates the higher-density, entrained

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material from the lower-density fluid. Heavy material is drained off periodically
either manually or automatically.
Centrifugal Separators. A cyclone separator consists of an inverted cone with a
tangential inlet near the top. Overflow connections are located at the top and center
of the cone; the drain connection, at the bottom. The efficiency of cyclones depends
on the velocity of the sample and the difference in density between the particles and
the fluid. The overflow is normally maintained at 50 percent of the total flow. The
underflow is returned continuously to the sample line.

Filters
Most process streams contain small amounts of solid or semisolid material in the
form of scale, rust, and catalyst fines. Remove at least part of this material to
prevent plugging lines and to avoid damaging the analyzer. Mechanical filtration is
available in a variety of materials and pore sizes.
To maximize analyzer performance and minimize sample system maintenance, do
not overfilter. While overfiltering is not harmful, particle removal has an effect on
the eventual plugging of filters and increased maintenance. It is important to know
the requirements of the particular installed analyzer. For example, samples for a pH
meter may require no more than a coarse wire-mesh screen filter. Gas chromatograph samples, however, must be free from abrasive material down to 0.3 microns
to protect delicate sample valves.
For this application, select bypass filters whenever possible as their self-cleaning
capability allows for much longer periods between replacing and cleaning elements
than other types of filters. Sample systems that need fast-flow circulation loops can
take advantage of the bypass configuration to provide the required, small, slip
stream to the analyzer. Be sure to provide sufficient flow rate in the bypass stream
to keep the filter clean or install two filters in parallel as an acceptable alternative
when it is too costly to shut down the system for tiller cleaning or essential maintenance. Install pressure gages at either end of the manifold to indicate when filters
are plugged.
Size the filter housing properly to maintain a low sample-system volume for
decreased lag time.

Valves
Valves can be categorized according to their intended use, such as the following:
shutoff valves, throttling valves, and remotely operated valves.
Shutoff Valves. Shutoff, or on/off valves can be subdivided into gate, ball, plug,
diaphragm, and specialty valves, such as rotary or slider valves, common in gas
chromatographs.
Sometimes, small gate valves are selected for throttling; however, large sizes
vibrate excessively in the partially open state.

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The diaphragm valve provides a sample that is free of contamination from valvestem lubricant or packing. The sealed construction of this valve makes it useful for
highly corrosive streams.
When the valve is in the closed position, ball valves trap liquid in the ball cavity
which is undesirable as the trapped liquid may contaminate the next sample.
Throttling Valves. Most throttling or flow-adjust valves are variations of the basic
globe valve. The globe may be a disc, ball, plug, vee, or needle configuration. For
small flows, as in analyzer sample systems, select the miniature vee valve. For
precision metering, choose a tapered needle valve. Do not use valves of this type
for shutoff, however, because of the possible damage to the stem and potential for
leakage.
Remotely Operated Valves. The most common remotely operated valves in sample
systems are pneumatic valves or electrically operated solenoid valves. Solenoid
valves are generally limited to a maximum pressure drop of 200 psig. Special coils
are available for temperatures as high as 350F. Multiport valves are useful for
multistream and calibration arrangements.
Air-operated valves are often chosen for high-temperature applications as their
performance for these applications can be significantly better than solenoid valves.

837 Process Analyzer Sample Systems


Introduction. The process analyzer sample system designs presented in this section
are intended as guides for engineers and designers who are involved in the installation of process analyzers. All but one of the designs are based on actual installations in various parts of the Company. They are not meant to be standards, as
sample systems are often enhanced in the field not only by experienced maintenance and plant operation personnel but also as improved components are introduced.
No sample system is trouble-free, and scheduled preventive maintenance is essential to attain a high analyzer service factor.
The basic requirement of a sample system is to extract a representative sample from
a process line under process conditions of temperature, pressure and particle load
and to present it, in a short time and in a suitable condition to an on-line analyzer.
Initially, compromise is essential to make most important decisions in the installation: the location of the sample take-off and of the analyzer shelter for short sample
lines. This is due to competition from other requirements of a process plant. Therefore, it is necessary to plan the analyzer installations early in a project and to
involve other engineers and designers in the planning process.
Sample system design is usually left to an analyzer systems contractor. The design
examples that are given in this section will be useful for evaluation of the
contractors work.

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Chevron Research and Technology, M&CS Unit should be used as a resource and
support in all phases of the process analyzer project when there is not a site process
analyzer engineer.
Design Notes. Earlier 800 sections of this manual covered many aspects of sample
system design. Two basic requirements are mentioned here:
In almost all cases, a sample probe in the process line should be used for extracting
an analyzer sample since a probe provides initial inertial filtering, and takes a more
representative sample at a distance from the pipe wall.
A fast sample loop is a basic feature of most sample systems. This fast flowing line
brings the sample to the analyzer, thereby reducing sample lag time. Also, only the
sample needed by the analyzer is fully conditioned by filters, regulators or heat
exchangers, thereby saving maintenance.
Analyzer Integrity. When a process analyzer is in a control loop, or it is accumulating data for regulatory purposes, it is essential to know if the analyzer output is
believable. Various checks have been devised to indicate whether or not this is true.
These checks vary to some extent from one type of analyzer to another.
The following are some examples:

Low sample pressure in the fast loop.


Low sample flow to the analyzer.
Analyzer calibration off by more than a set percentage.
Analyzer signal large step change.
Analyzer being calibrated or repaired.

In the sample system designs that follow, the only integrity checks shown are flow
switches, but the need for other integrity checks should always be reviewed.

Stack Gas Sample System. Nitrogen Oxides and Continuous Emission


Monitoring Analyzers
The sample systems for continuous emissions monitors (CEMS - CO, Oxygen and
NOx) and for nitrogen oxide analyzers alone, are very similar. However, the regulations which control the monitoring of NOx emissions alone, apply to all existing
furnaces, some of them fairly small. Consequently, the requirement that calibration
gases should be introduced at the sample probe on the stack does not apply.
A bypass filter, item 6, at the sample branch to the analyzer from the fast loop may
sometimes be omitted, depending on the size of the filter at the end of the probe in
the stack.
A membrane filter which holds back liquid water, has been added downstream of
the refrigerated sample drier, as a back-up device.
This filter can also be installed ahead of the diaphragm pump in case the sample line
temperature drops below the stack gas dew point.

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The following sample system components are shown in Figure 800-14. These
components are suitable for areas with a general purpose electrical classification.
Fig. 800-14 Stack Gas Sample System: For NOx & CEMS Analyzers

1. Sample Probe in Stack. This 1" or 1.5" stainless steel probe provides inertial
filtering by changing direction of flow of the sample gas. For air quality control an
external filter is recommended - the filter being accessible from the outside of the
stack. (Fabricated by contractor)
2. On-Stack Sample Control Box. This box is required to be near the sample probe
so that calibration gases and blowback air for the probe can flow through the
complete sample system. The solenoid valves in the box are remotely controlled
from a switching device such as a PLC in the analyzer house. The box is heated and
the temperature is controlled above the dew point of the stack gases. (Fabricated by
contractor)
3. Heated Sample Line. This electrically traced tubing bundle maintains the sample
at a temperature above the dew point to prevent condensation in the line. This
bundle should be of the type that uses constant wattage with a temperature
controller. Condensed liquid might absorb some of the desired components and/or
freeze in the line. (Dekoron, Parker Hannifin, or OBrien)

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4. Air Blow-back Valve. This air-operated, 3-way ball valve is remotely operated
during the calibration cycle. (Whitey)
5. Fast Loop Air Eductor. Since the stack gas is below atmospheric pressure, a
pump is required to extract the sample. Eductors or jet pumps are frequently used
since they are practically maintenance free. A fast flowing sample (typically
5 ft/sec) is brought right down to the analyzer house to reduce sample lag time. A
diaphragm pump may also be used. (" SS jet pump with an air requirement
50 psig is fabricated by Penberthy, Fox.)
6. Sample By-pass Filter. A filter (10 micron nominal) may be required here for the
sample branch to the analyzer, depending on the probe filter size. (PermaPure, PAI,
Fluid Data)
7. Pressure Gauge. A local pressure gauge (0-30 psig nominal) in the sample line
to the analyzer is a valuable indicator especially for maintenance purposes.
(Ashcroft)
8. Diaphragm Sample Pump with Bypass. This is necessary to provide a positive
sample pressure for the analyzer(s). Moisture drop-out ahead of the pump reduces
the life of the diaphragm. The sample line inside the box should be traced and insulated right up to the pump. See component 11 below on using a membrane filter.
(ADI)
9. Relief Valve. A relief valve around the pump protects the pump against a
blockage downstream, whatever the cause - plugging of a filter, malfunction of a
regulator, or a valve closure. (Nupro)
10. Sample Cooler/Drier. This component should be designed for minimal contact
between the sample and the condensible materials to reduce the chance of gases
dissolving into the liquid. There is evidence that some NO2 is lost in the coolers.
(Refrigerated Sample Cooler/Drier for 5C dew point are manufactured by M & C,
Universal Analyzers, Hankison.)
11. Membrane Filter. This filter with " ports will prevent liquid water or oil from
passing and is recommended as a back-up device for the cooler/drier.
(A+ Company)
12. Pressure Regulator and Gauge. Sample conditions must be carefully
controlled to attain the sensitivity and stability of the analyzers in this application.
The regulator has " connections and a range of 0-10 psig. (Go, Fairchild)
13. Valving for Analyzer Zero and Span Gases. Calibration checks are carried out
automatically every 24 hours using certified cylinder gases. The output signals of
the analyzers are automatically adjusted by auto zero and span units. These functions are controlled by a dedicated PLC or other device in the analyzer house. The
calibration gases are connected to the system through valves in a block & bleed
arrangement with a bubbler leak indicator. Some regulations require the calibration
gases to be introduced at the sample probe, see component 2 above. (The 3-way,
multipurpose solenoid valves are manufactured by Skinner, Asco.)

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14. Sample Flow Indicator. To maintain correct calibration, the flow rates of the
sample and calibration gases must be the same, at the same analyzer outlet pressure. The flowmeter should have " connections and a range of 0.2 to 1.2 scfh.
(Brooks, Wallace and Tiernan)
15. Sample Flow Switch. The sample flow is one of the items monitored to check
Analyzer Integrity described in the introduction of this sub-section. (Fluid
Component Inc.)
16. Final Sample Filter. This is the final polishing filter before the analyzer. It is
packaged as a tee-type filter with a two micron element. (Nupro)
17. Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) to Nitrous Oxide (NO) Converter. This converter is
necessary if a total NOx analysis is required, which is normal, since the Chemiluminescent. The most efficient and stable converters operate at a temperature of about
800F. Low temperature converters (about 350F) using a molybdenum catalyst are
more likely to lose efficiency, and will convert a small amount of ammonia to NO,
in spite of the manufacturers claims. (High Temperature converter, built into
analyzer by analyzer manufacturer. Rosemount.)
18. Sample System Box. Experience gained in cogeneration units indicates that the
sample diaphragm pump needs more protection from condensation. The sample
system box should be controlled at a temperature of about 180F and the sample
line inside the heated box should be traced right up to the pump. This ensures that
the pump has some protection against condensation when the box is opened.
19. Analyzer. The following analyzers are common for these applications:

Oxygen: Paramagnetic
Carbon Monoxide: Infra-Red, with CO2 and H2O compensation
NOx: Chemiluminescent

Chromatograph sample system: FCC Stack Gas with Heavy Particle Loading
This sample system is similar to the next chromatograph sample system - gas
sample under pressure returned to header - with the following special features:

There are two sample fast loops with two bypass filters to clean the sample. A
cyclone filter is in the first loop, a swirlklean filter is in the second loop.

The stack gas is below atmospheric pressure so that an eductor is needed to


extract the sample.

The sample flowing through the chromatograph sample valve can exhausted to
atmosphere. However, the fast loops are returned to the stack or duct.

The following sample components are shown in Figure 800-15.


1. Sample Probe. A plain probe with heated tubing take-off from the top of a tee
fitting at the end of the probe. The end connection is plugged so that it can be used
for cleaning the probe.

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Fig. 800-15 Chromatograph Sample System: FCC Stack Gas with Heavy Particle Loading

2. Sample Tubing. An electrically traced, self-limiting, " tubing bundle keeps the
sample above its dew point, to prevent condensation and possible freezing in the
line. (Parker Hannifin, Dekoron, OBrien)
3. Cyclone Filter. This SS filter removes most particles larger than 10 microns
without an element. This type of filter is described in more detail in the component
notes on the Extended Natural Gas sample system described later in this section.
(Mooney Analytical, PAI)
4. Flow Indicator. The flow through the filter must be maintained at the specified
rate to ensure maximum particle removal. (Brooks)
5. Swirlkleen Bypass Filter. A second sample loop with a Swirlkleen bypass filter
provides further filtering. This filter is also described in the component notes for the
Extended Natural Gas Sample System later in this section. (Collins)
6. Flow Indicator. A second sample loop flow indicator has the same function as
component 4 above since the filter requires a continuous bypass flow to sweep the
particles along with the return sample to the stack. (Brooks, Wallace and Tiernan)
7. Sample Diaphragm Pump. This pump drives the sample through the chromatograph. To protect the diaphragm it is advisable to extend the electrical tracer, heating
the line right up to the pump, to prevent condensation in the line when the heated
enclosure is opened. (ADI, Universal Analyzers)

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8. Pressure Gauge. The sample pressure must be sufficient to drive the sample
through the chromatograph sample valve. At this point a pressure of about 20 psig is
adequate. The gauge should have a range of 0-30 psig on a 4" dial. (Ashcroft)
Sample components 9 through 15 are the same as in Figure 800-16 below.
Fig. 800-16 Chromatograph Sample System: Gas Sample Under Pressure Returned to Header

16. Heated Enclosure. This enclosure is necessary to keep the components in the
sample system above the dewpoint. For a stack gas the temperature could be
approximately 130 deg F. The column in the chromatograph should be chosen to
accommodate the water vapor. (Hoffman)

Chromatograph Sample System: Gas Sample Under Pressure Returned to


Header
The following sample components are shown in Figure 800-16.
1. Sample Probe with Gate Valve. This full port valve has a packing gland for
probe extraction. A probe is always the preferred method of sampling for analyzers,
due to flow direction filtering, and more representative sample. (Integrated by
Contractor with gate valve for extraction, where piping code allows.)
2. Sample Block Valve. This valve at the process line is usually covered by the
piping code, and is not selected by the sample system designer. This valve is often a
" gate valve and is installed by field.
3. Filter. A Y-strainer is recommended upstream of the pressure regulator. (Yarway)

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4. Pressure Regulator. A differential pressure of about 20 to 25 psig will generally


be sufficient to provide gas sample flow through the system. A suitable sample
return point for the fast sample loop is necessary. (Moore)
5. Sample Line. A prefabricated line is preferred since the sample must be kept
safely above the dewpoint temperature of the gas. All expected ambient temperatures and process conditions should be considered - including start-up and upsets.
(For light, dry gas streams this is not necessary.) (Electrically traced, self limiting
tubing bundle with " SS lines are made by Dekoron, Parker Hannifin, OBrien).
6. Filter. The fast sample loop is taken to the analyzer house to reduce sample lag
time. A Swirlkleen filter is required at the analyzer sample take-off from the fast
loop. (Collins)
7. Fast Sample Loop. This return line must be connected to a low pressure point in
the process so that adequate differential pressure is available for the sample system.
The line back to the process may need to be heated to prevent condensation which
could cause plugging.
8. Pressure Gauge. Local indication of sample pressure is valuable for routine
checking and maintenance purposes. The pressure gauge should have a range of
025 psig. (Ashcroft)
9. Final Filter. An in-line filter with a maximum 2 micron element is required to
safeguard the chromatograph column. (Nupro)
10. Bypass Flow Indicator. This bypass takes the excess gas not flowing through
the chromatograph sample valve. It also allows the flow to continue when the
sample is blocked and vented a few seconds before the sample valve injects the
measured volume into the carrier gas, allowing the gas to come to atmospheric pressure. (Brooks, Wallace and Tiernan)
11. Sample Block and Vent Valves. These are air operated, ", SS ball valves
which are controlled by the chromatograph cycle program. As stated above, they
block and vent the sample flowing through the sample valve in the chromatograph,
to ensure that the measured volume in the loop is at atmospheric pressure. (Whitey)
12. Flow Indicator. The flow through the sample valve is continuous except when
it is blocked for a few seconds at the beginning of each measuring cycle. See
component 14 below. (Brooks, Wallace and Tiernan)
13. Differential Pressure Regulator. This component is necessary due to vent
header pressure variations. A differential pressure regulator can be used here since
the effect of sample pressure variations is eliminated by component 11 above.
(Moore)
14. Sample Valve. This valve is an integral part of the chromatograph. It directs a
continuous flow of gas through a fixed volume sample loop. At the beginning of an
analysis cycle, the valve operates and the carrier gas sweeps the volume of sample
into the column where it separates into components.

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15. Block and Bleed Valves. If calibration is controlled automatically, which is


normally the case, the calibration gases are introduced through a block and bleed
solenoid valve arrangement. See also the discussion on Figure 800-27 later in this
sub-section.

Chromatograph Sample System: Liquid Sample with Liquid Injection Valve


There are many cases where the sample is liquid under process conditions but it can
be analyzed as a vapor in a chromatograph column. Normally, it is better to transport the sample as a liquid under pressure and inject it directly into the carrier gas,
where it vaporizes at the temperature of the chromatograph column.
The following sample components are shown in Figure 800-17.
Fig. 800-17 Chromatograph Sample System: Liquid Sample with Liquid Injection Valve

1. Sample Probe with Gate Valve. This full port valve has a packing gland for
extraction. It is used where piping code allows. (Integrated by contractor or chromatograph manufacturer).
2. Sample Block Valve. This " SS ball valve is used for isolating the sample
system from the process line. (Whitey)
3. Filter. This Y-strainer with 100 mesh screen is recommended before the pressure
regulator. (Yarway)
4. Pressure Regulator. It is always advisable to regulate the sample pressure
because of the level and variations in the process pressure. Also the differential

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pressure between take-off and return should be sufficient to drive the sample
through the sample system and return the sample to a lower pressure point in the
process - preferably across a pump. Range can be 20-25 psig differential.
(Moore, Go)
5. Bypass Filter. The fast sample loop is taken to the analyzer house to reduce
sample lag time, where the sample line to the analyzer is filtered by a Swirlkleen
bypass filter. (Collins)
6. Flowmeter. An armored flowmeter is required in the fast flow loop for safety
reasons for liquid hydrocarbons under pressure. (Brooks, Wallace and Tiernan)
7. Return Line Root Valve. The analyzer sample system must be protected from
the downstream process pressure even though the sample take-off valve is closed.
The root valve is normally a " gate valve constructed to line specifications.
8. Sample Block Valve. This " SS ball valve is necessary to have at the analyzer
house for maintenance purposes. (Nupro)
9. Bypass Flowmeter. Sample bypass at the analyzer takes excess flow not required
by the sample valve and keeps the sample flowing during calibration to reduce lag
time. (Brooks)
10. Check Valves. These " SS valves prevent circulation of the sample around the
loop. (Nupro)
11. Final Filter. This " SS filter protects the liquid injection valve and the chromatograph column. (Nupro)
12. Flowmeter. This flowmeter (020 ml/min) controls the flow through the liquid
sample valve. (Brooks)
13. Liquid Sample Valve. This valve injects a measured volume of the sample by
means of a grooved piston directly into the carrier gas where it vaporizes and flows
into the chromatograph column. (ABB, MAT Valve)
14 & 15. Back Pressure Regulator and Gauge. It is necessary to keep the liquid in
the system above the bubble point at the prevailing temperatures. The regulator
setting also depends on the pressure required to return the sample to the process
line. (Moore)
16. Standard Injection - This system is used when it is possible to calibrate with a
standard liquid mixture kept under pressure during storage and when sample is
injected by a liquid valve. The cylinder containing the standard has two sections
connected by a piston, with nitrogen under pressure on one side, the standard on the
other. A block and bleed valve arrangement can be used as shown. (The 3-way, air
operated, " ball valves are made by Whitey.)

Chromatograph Sample System: Liquid Sample with Local Vaporizing


Regulator
A liquid stream to be analyzed by a chromatograph may contain heavy components
that would damage the chromatograph column or it may be necessary only to

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analyze the lighter components in the stream. In these cases, a vaporizer regulator is
located ahead of the chromatograph, and the chromatograph column is protected
from any liquid that has not been vaporized by a liquid knock out pot.
The following sample components are shown in Figure 800-18.
Fig. 800-18 Chromatograph Sample System: Liquid Sample with Vaporizing Regulator

1 & 2. Sample Probe with Gate Valve. (See appropriate notes in previous sample
systems.)
3. Sample Shut Off Valves. These " SS ball valves isolate the sample system for
maintenance. It is important to protect the system from back pressure from the fast
sample loop return point. (Nupro)
4. Heat Exchanger. This may be necessary to reduce the chance of the liquid vaporizing in the sample system ahead of the vaporizer. The sample should be transported at low temperatures, to allow the pressure to be reduced without the risk of
vaporizing. The bubble points under various pressures should be estimated. (Princo
2" Dial Thermometer/Sentry Cooler)
5 & 7. Fast Sample Loop Flow Indicator and Valve. See sample system design
notes at the beginning of this section. This 02 gpm armored flowmeter provides
control of the flow in the fast loop at the analyzer house. (Brooks)
6. Primary Filter. This Y-strainer has a 10 micron SS element. (Yarway)

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8. Secondary Sample Loop and Filter. This loop and filter bypasses excess liquid
not flowing through the vaporizer regulator and keeps the sample updated close to
the analyzer. (Collins)
9. Flow Indicator and Valve. This armored rotameter provides control for the
secondary sample loop. (Brooks)
10. Vaporizing Regulator. The liquid sample is vaporized in a heated block at the
entrance to the regulator. The vaporized sample pressure is regulated.
11. Vapor Sample Pressure Gauge. This 020 psig gauge indicates the pressure
driving the sample through the rest of the sample system. (Ashcroft)
12. Relief Valve. This relief (set at 10 psig) to the vent header protects the system
against a blockage downstream or malfunction of the regulator. (Nupro)
13. Liquid Knock-out Pot. This pot drains off heavy components in the sample that
have not been vaporized. (Integrated by Contractor)
14. Flow Indicator and Valve. This flowmeter (01 L/min) and valve control flow
of vapor to the sample valve. (Brooks, Wallace and Tiernan)
15. Sample Block and Vent Valves. These ", SS, air-operated ball valves bring
the sample to atmospheric pressure a few seconds before it is injected into the
carrier gas. The valves are operated by the chromatograph cycle program. (Whitey)
16 & 17. Block and Bleed Valves. This system is used when the calibration gas is
introduced automatically by the chromatograph, which is the normal case. (Skinner,
Asco)
18. Differential Pressure Regulator. Most analyzer samples must be vented to a
closed vent header, not to the atmosphere. A back pressure or differential pressure
regulator is needed because of the variations in pressure in the header. The pressure
in the sample valve does not affect the calibration of the chromatograph, due to the
operation of component 15 above. (Moore)
19. The Bypass Loop takes care of excess flow when the sample block operates or
when the chromatograph is in calibration.
20. Heated Enclosure. The sample system components from the vaporizer downstream must be in a heated enclosure, to prevent liquid dropping out in the lines.
The controlled temperature depends on the dew point of the vapor.

Chromatograph Sample System: Extended Analysis of Natural Gas


This design includes probe and bypass filter options in the sample system for a
continuous extended analysis of untreated natural gas by capillary chromatograph.
The term extended means that all the heavier components in the stream are
included in the analysis. Since some of these may be present in the line as liquids,
the extraction of a representative sample is more difficult.
The following sample components are shown in Figure 800-19.

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Fig. 800-19 Chromatograph Sample System: Extended Analysis of Natural Gas Analysis

Probe Options. In each probe option, a static mixer is recommended ahead of the
probe in the line to improve the chance of extracting all components.

Option 1. Here a heated sidestream is intended to vaporize all the components


and to allow the flow to become laminar, so that an isokinetic probe will be
effective. The sample probe internal diameter must be large enough to minimize any selective effect.
The isokinetic probe receives sample at the same flow rate as the gas flow rate
in the line, avoiding composition changes which might be caused by inertial
effects.

Option 2. A simpler installation would have a regular ASTM type sample


probe or an isokinetic probe immediately following the static mixer without the
heated sidestream.

Option 3. To compare with the above, a plain probe with square end opening
could be used in the line.

ByPass Filter Options. The following bypass filter options can be used:

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4. Cyclone Filter. In this filter the sample stream enters at the large diameter of
a conical chamber. Particles move down the walls of the chamber, gaining
speed as the flowrate increases, and are swept out with the discharge. The clean

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sample is taken from the center at the top of the chamber. The filter is effective
for removing particles above 10 micron at 50 psi differential between the inlet
and the clean sample. No element is needed, thus it is very effective as a
primary element in sample conditioning.

5. In-line Filter. This filter is a straight-through system, in which a cylindrical


sintered metal element is held between O-rings. The sweepstream flows
through the inside of the cylindrical element, and the filtered sample is taken
off at a side connection. Elements are available down to a pore size of 0.5
microns. The whole of the element is theoretically in the filtration path, but the
area close to the outlet plugs more quickly and increases the pressure drop
across the filter.

6. Swirlkleen Filter. This filter combines both an element and a centrifugal


filter effect. The sample enters one side of the circular wall of a cylindrical
chamber and exits the other. This action sweeps the particles through as they
are forced to the walls under centrifugal action. The filtered sample is taken
from both ends of the chamber through sintered metal filter elements. Pore
sizes may be down to 0.5 microns. (Collins, Rosemount)

7. ByPass Filter/Coalescer. This filter contains a filter element, either woven


or sintered metal, which is screwed on to the top cap of the filter assembly,
surrounding the filtered sample connection. The sweepstream is around the
outside of the element, from top to bottom. A continuous flow is maintained
from the bottom, in bypass service, or the connection can be valved or plugged
for in-line service. The volume hold-up may be a problem in some applications.

8. Pressure Regulator. This ", SS, metal diaphragm regulator is located close to
the line to reduce the pressure rating of the sample system components and to
reduce the gas held up in the sample lines, both safety requirements. The pressure in
the sample system must be kept at a minimum - just sufficient to keep the sample
flowing, to avoid raising the dew point. The regulator range will depend on the
application. (GO)
9. Sample Line. The electrically traced, Teflon tubing bundle keeps the sample
above the dewpoint to prevent condensation and possible freezing in the line.
(Parker Hannifin, Dekoron, OBrien)
10. Valves. These valves are provided for a sample bomb connection if a manual
sample is required.
11. Heated Enclosure. This enclosure keeps all sample components above the
sample dew point.

Supercritical Chromatograph Sample System


A supercritical chromatograph uses carbon dioxide above its critical point as a
carrier. Thus it is capable of analyzing very heavy hydrocarbon samples which are
soluble in the CO2. The most important feature of the sample handling system is
that it maintains the sample at a temperature high enough for it to flow freely
through the lines.

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The sample system shown in Figure 800-20 is the section next to the analyzer, and
does not include any components near the process line.
Fig. 800-20 Supercritical Chromatograph Sample System

1. Valves. Local sample shut-off and bypass valves allow the flow to be maintained
in the sample loop during analyzer shut downs for maintenance, etc. (Hoke)
2. Bypass Filter. The sample fast loop inside the sample box flows continuously to
keep the lag time to a minimum. The connection for the sample to the chromatograph is taken through a Swirlkleen bypass filter. See component notes for
Figure 800-16 for more details on this type of filter. (Collins)
3. Local Pressure Gauge. Range 0100 psig, " connections. (Ashcroft)
4. Armored Flowmeter. Bypass flow is maintained about 2.5 gpm on this indicator. Full scale range is 05 gpm. (Wallace & Tiernan)
5. Bypass Flowswitch. This 316 SS flow switch activates an alarm when flow goes
below 1 gpm. (ChemTec)
6. Bypass Flow Control Valve. " SS needle valve (Hoke)
7. Double Block and Bleed Valves. Standard liquid is introduced through these for
calibration of the chromatograph. (The notes for Figure 800-27 describe these valve
arrangements more fully.) (Whitey)

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8. Flow Indicator. This armored flowmeter with a range 06 gph indicates the
sample flow through the analyzer. It is located on the sample outlet line from the
analyzer. (Wallace & Tiernan)
9. Sample Flowswitch. This flow switch has a range of 06 gph and activates an
alarm on low sample flow (set at 3 gph). (Fluid Component Inc.)
10. Sample Flow Control Valve. " SS needle valve. (Hoke)
11. Block and Bleed Valve. This second valve arrangement returns the process
sample to line or the standard used for calibration to the liquid standard supply. (See
component 7 above).
12 & 13. Valves. These single, air-operated, 4-way ball valves are located in the
standard liquid introduction system. They switch the stream from the sample to the
standard. (Whitey)
14. Sample System Component Box. This insulated steel box is heated with a
steam coil and temperature controlled by a thermostat for 210 F. A window in the
box allows the two flowmeters to be seen from the outside. (The sample system box
with a subpanel for components is made by Hoffman. The temperature indicator,
Range 50400 F, 2" dial thermometer is made by Ashcroft).

Recycle Gas Moisture Analyzer Sample System


See reference cited in RAARD for design.

Tanker Vapor Recovery Sample System


This sample system uses an infrared gas analyzer which is a back-up for a control
system in which natural gas is mixed with vapors recovered from the tankers during
loading operations. The control system is designed to keep the vapor in the line well
above the explosive limit, and is based on flow ratio. The analyzer is sensitized to
methane.
The following sample components are shown in Figure 800-21. These components
are suitable for an area electrical classification of Class 1, Gp D, Division 1.
1. Sample Probe in Line with Gate Valve. This full port valve has a packing gland
for probe extraction. (Integrated by Contractor)
2. Sample Probe Block Valve. This 3/8" SS ball valve is used for sample cut-off at
the line. (Whitey)
3. Dual Head Diaphragm Pump. This sample pump is located near the line to
reduce the length of the pump suction line and to provide positive pressure in the
sample line. (Air Dimension)
Note that all sample lines outside the sample box are electrically traced, selflimiting sample lines to ensure that there is no liquid drop-out in the system.
4. Sample Fast Loop Back Pressure Regulator. This 025 psig regulator is
mounted in the sample component heated enclosure with pressure gauge. (GO)

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Fig. 800-21 Tanker Vapor Recovery Sample System

5. Fast Sample Loop Flow Indicator. This flowmeter and valve has " connections and a range of 015 scfh. (Brooks)
6 & 9. In-line Filters. These filters have a " 0.5 micron element. (Nupro)
7. Block and Bleed Valves. This valve arrangement protects against leaky valves in
the zero and span gas system, and also ensures that the lines are swept with the
selected gas, avoiding cross-contamination of one gas with another. The valves are
air-operated, 3-way, 1/8", SS ball valves. (Whitey)
7A. Flowmeter. Any leaks in the test gas valves will be shown by this flow indicator. The flow indicator range is 02 scfh. (Brooks)
8. Sample Flowmeter and Valve. This 02 scfh flowmeter and valve are used to
control the sample flow to the analyzer. (Brooks)
9. Sample Filter. This in-line SS filter has 1/8" connections, a 0.5 micron element,
and provides final filtering before the analyzer. (Nupro)
10. Flow Switch. This 1/8", 10 L/min, explosion-proof switch is part of the analyzer
integrity check discussed in the introduction to this sub-section. (Autoflow)

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11 & 12. Back Pressure Regulator and Gauge. The regulator is necessary to
maintain calibration when a gas is being measured in this type of analyzer, where
infra-red absorption is measured in a fixed volume cell. The subatmospheric pressure regulator is set at 0 psig. The pressure gauge has a range of 30" to 30 psig.
(GO, WIKA)
13. Heated Enclosure. This Hoffman box houses the sample system components to
prevent condensation. (Hoffman)
14. Vent Valve. This 4-way ball valve is located downstream of the analyzer. It is
used to vent the line to atmosphere when calibration is being carried out during the
time the vapor recovery system is down. It is necessary because the pressure in the
main vapor line can then be 15 to 25 psig, making the calibration invalid under
operating conditions. (Whitey)

Capillary Viscometer Sample System: Highly Viscous or High Wax Point


Sample
The special requirements for a sample of this kind are:

The sample must be kept above its wax point temperature at every part of the
sample system. Provision must be made to flush out the sample system with
cutter stock when the system is being shut down. This flushing avoids plugging the lines with solid or viscous sample during maintenance and reduces
start-up time.

The sample system components at the analyzer shelter are installed in a heated
box. Valves are provided to flush this section also.

All electrical components must be suitable for Class 1, Gp D, Div. 2 electrically classified area.

The following sample components are shown in Figure 800-22.


1. Sample Take-Off and Return Root Valves. These " gate valves should be
heated and insulated. An extension of the tubing bundle electric tracer may be used
for short lengths. (By piping to conform with Code)
2. Flush and Drain Valves. These ",SS ball valves should also be heated and
insulated. They are installed for flushing the sample lines with a cutter stock before
shutting down the system for maintenance etc. (Whitey)
3. Heated Sample Line. The electrically traced, self-limiting tubing bundle is used
to maintain the temperature of the line safely above the wax point of the sample. All
parts of the system outside the heated box must be heat traced and insulated.
(Dekoron, Parker Hannifin, OBrien)
4. Heated Sample Box. This sample box must be brought up to temperature before
the viscometer pump is switched on. The temperature indicator and pressure gauge
should be visible from outside without opening the box.
This insulated sample system box includes an electrical heater and temperature
control unit. (Integrated by contractor.)

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Fig. 800-22 Capillary Viscometer Sample System: Highly Viscous or High Wax Point Sample

5. Filters. Two Y-strainers in parallel with 100 mesh screens are recommended so
that elements can be cleaned with minimum interruption of service. (Yarway)
6 & 7. Pressure Regulator and Gauge. The viscometer is not designed to handle
process pressure variations. However, the double pump model of Precision Scientific is less sensitive than the Hallikainen type.
The pressure setting depends on the return line pressure. The pressure regulator has
SS components and " connections.
8. Temperature Indicator. This 2" dial thermometer should be visible outside the
sample box. (Princo)
9. Sample Filter. This Y-strainer with 20 micron SS mesh protects the gear pump(s)
in the viscometer from wear due to particles in the sample. A clean sample is the
single most important factor in viscometer maintenance. (Yarway).
10 & 11. Flow Indicator and Control. The sample response time is kept to a
minimum by maintaining a fast flow in the loop. The flow indicator has a typical
range of 030 GPM range and has " connections. (Universal Flow Monitors)
12. Sample Box Flush and Drain Valves. See component 2 above. (Whitey)

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13. Calibration Valves. A viscometer can be calibrated by collecting a sample at


the outlet while noting the viscometer reading. The sample is analyzed in the lab,
and any necessary adjustment to the viscometer signal (pneumatic or electronic) is
made after the fact. Alternatively, a calibration standard may be introduced directly
into the viscometer using these " SS ball valves. Care is taken to circulate enough
samples of the standard to flush out the process sample. (Whitey)
14. Temperature Indicator. The sample must be ten degrees F cooler than the
viscometer bath for good control, since this depends on maintaining a load on the
bath heater. A cooling coil is also provided in the bath for circulation of cooling
water for the same reason. The temperature indicator has a 2" dial. (Princo)
15. Pressure Gauges. These gauges have diaphragm protection. Their range is fixed
by the sample return pressure (Ashcroft)

Freeze Point Analyzer Sample System (Precision Scientific)


The jet fuel freeze point analyzer runs through a cycle in which a measured volume
of sample is cooled in the analyzer cell. The freeze point is associated with the
temperature at which wax crystals disappear from a sample warming up from below
its freeze point. If the sample is hot initially, the cell cooling system may not be able
to bring the sample down to the freeze point temperature. So an important part of
the sample system is a chiller for the plant cooling water.
The following sample components are shown in Figure 800-23.
1. Sample Probe. The probe has a packing gland for extraction.
2. Root Valve. The " gate valve is built to piping code. (By Field)
3. Local Sample Block Valve. This " SS ball valve is used to shut off sample at
the shelter for maintenance. (Whitey)
4. Sample Pump. This pump is needed due to variations in the process line pressure. The pump bypass relief valve is set at 100 psig.
5. Sample Heat Exchanger is an initial sample cooler, using raw (not chilled) plant
cooling water.
5A. Fast Sample Loop Flow Indicator. This armored SS flowmeter with "
connections is used to indicate total flow. (Brooks, Wallace and Tiernan)
6. Temperature Indicator. This 2" dial thermometer with a 0-200F. range gives
the sample temperature before entering the second heat exchanger. See component
11 below. (Ashcroft)
7. Pressure Gauge. The bypass pressure (0100 psig) is needed when setting the
bypass flow using the valve described in component 19 below. (Ashcroft)
8. Bypass Filter. This filter with " connections and a 5 micron element handles
only the sample flowing to the analyzer. The fast loop acts as a flushing stream.
(Collins)

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Fig. 800-23 Freeze Point Analyzer Sample System (Courtesy of Precision Scientific Petroleum Instruments Co.)

9. Pressure Regulator. The pressure is regulated to meet the limits of the analyzer
cell. The SS regulator with " connections has a range of 050 psig, set at 20 psig.
(GO, Fairchild)
10. Pressure Gauge. Range 050 psig. (Ashcroft)
11. Sample Heat Exchanger. The sample is cooled by chilled water from the
chiller. The analyzer inlet temperature limits are 50 to 120 deg F. If the freeze point
is very low the analyzer will be more reliable if the sample is cool.
12. Calibration System. The calibration of the analyzer may be checked using a
liquid standard which is introduced into the sample line from a cylinder pressurized
by plant nitrogen at 20 psig. If for any reason the sample lines or the sample cell
become coated with wax, a solvent can be introduced in the same way.
13. Sample Solenoid Valve. This valve is under the control of the analyzer which
allows the sample to flow through the cell to flush out the previous sample and to
warm the cell before the test sample is trapped.
14 & 15. Flowmeter and Valve. The sample flow rate through the analyzer is
controlled and indicated by this valve and flowmeter.
16. Level Switch. This switch is installed to provide an alarm when the level of the
collected sample is too high in the collection vessel, component 17 below.

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17. Collection Vessel. The sample is collected in this vessel for return to the line
under pressure. A manual drain valve can be used to lower the level in case of
emergency.
18 & 18A. Sample Return Pump. The pump is set at 500 cc/min. A low sample
flow is maintained into the vessel from the sample inlet line to provide a steady feed
for the pump. A pump is needed since the sample return is in the same line as the
take-off.
19, 20 & 21. The sample return flow is regulated and the pressure indicated by these
components.
22. The remainder of the sample system is designed to circulate cooling water
through the heat exchangers and the chiller. The design basis is for plant water at
50 psig and 65 to 80 deg F. The chiller can supply 2 gpm at 40 deg F.

Sulfur Plant Tail Gas Sample System: Excess H2S or H2S/SO2 Ratio (Ametek
Analyzer)

The biggest problem in handling this sample is avoiding drop-out of elemental


sulfur. The Ametek method mounts the analyzer above the sample take-off,
requiring a special platform. A demister section is installed vertically above the
take-off to allow sulfur particles to drop back into the line. The whole sample
system is steam jacketed and insulated, and the sample is drawn through the lines
and back into the process by a steam eductor.
The following sample components are shown in Figure 800-24.
1. Sample Lines. These lines are 1" jacketed pipe with connections for 65 psig
steam at 30 to 60 lbs/hr. They are kept as short as possible.
2. Sample Demister. A steam jacketed demister is designed to drop out elemental
sulfur. 65 psig steam requirements are 10 to 20 lb/hr. Demister temperature is
controlled at 260265F.
3. Demister Temperature Indicator. (Princo, Ashcroft)
4 & 6. Steam Jacketed Ball Valves. These 2" shutoff valves isolate the analyzer for
calibration and maintenance.
5. Steam Eductor. An eductor is more reliable than a pump for this type of sample
and keeps the sample temperature elevated. The eductor uses 90 to 110 lbs/hr of
65 psig steam regulated to 45 psig. (Part of the analyzer assembly)
7. Double Photometer Assembly. Two 400 series photometers are needed due to
overlap of the absorption bands of SO 2 and H2S. One photometer measures SO2, the
other measures SO2 + H2S. The H2S signal is separated in the electronics.
4620 Double Photometer Assembly. (Ametek)

Sulfur Plant Tail Gas sample system: Excess H2S, H2S/SO2 Ratio, or Air Demand
(Western Research)

The following sample components are shown in Figure 800-25.

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Fig. 800-24 Sulfur Plant Tail Gas Sample System: Excess H2S or H2S/SO2 Ratio (Courtesy of
Ametek)

1. Sample Probe. This probe is a custom design in 316 SS positioned in the center
of the tail gas line.
2. Sample Block Valves. These steam jacketed ball valves on both outlet and return
are heated to avoid condensation of sulfur and blockage of the lines.
3. Sample Lines. These lines are custom, electrically traced, flexible Teflon.
4. Sulfur Condenser. This exchanger is designed to condense sulfur and bypass it
to the return line before the sample is introduced into the analyzer cell. If sulfur
were not removed it would fog the optical windows and affect calibration.
5. Sample Cell. A single cell is sufficient in this system, since the absorption of
ultraviolet (UV) energy is measured at three wavelengths (see 9 below). The quartz
windows that allow the passage of the UV energy are accessible through screw-off
caps. Sample flow rate through the cell is 5 L/min with a velocity of 20 cm/sec.
6. Heated Sample Box. This box contains the sample cell, condenser, air aspirator,
air drive heater, and sample shut off valves. The temperature of the complete system
is maintained by thermistor sensors and a proportional controller. If any part of this
system fails, a back purge is automatically started, to prevent plugging in a cold
zone.
7. Sample Eductor. This eductor is a Teflon jet pump driven by heated air,
drawing the sample through the cell, exhausting the sulfur from the condenser, and
driving the sample in the return line.

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Fig. 800-25 Sulfur Plant Tail Gas Sample System: Excess H2S, H2S/SO2 Ratio, or Air Demand (Courtesy of Western
Research Div., Bon Valley Resource Services Ltd.)

8. Ultraviolet Lamp. This lamp is DC operated with high intensity at constant radiation level for long-term stability.
9. Three UV Radiation Filters. These filters are rotated through the beam
emerging from the sample cell.
10. Photomultiplier Detector. This detector is sequentially exposed to three UV
wavelengths by the filter wheel. The electronic circuits transform the output signal
from the detector into an excess H2S, or Air Demand signal for the tail gas unit.
11. Pressure Regulator. The air supply is regulated for the eductor, zero air and
condenser.
12. Air Preheater. The air preheater for the eductor ensures that the sample temperature is maintained.
13. Zero Calibration Valve. Zero adjustment is made with zero air in the sample
cell after all the sample has been flushed out of the cell. Gradual deterioration of the
UV source or deposits on the cell windows do not affect calibration due to the use
of a reference frequency method.
14. Air Eductor. This eductor is driven by heated air so that the sample will not be
cooled in the return line to the process. The eductor is needed to return the sample
back into the tail gas line because there is not enough differential pressure between
the take-off and return points.

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Hydrocarbon in H2S Sample System


The sample in this application is highly corrosive and toxic.
Special materials are required in all parts of the system in contact with the sample.
For example, ethylene propylene O-rings and seals are recommended for valves
etc., and teflon seals in ball valves. Provision is made for purging the sample system
with nitrogen before any break is made in the tubing for maintenance. The sample is
automatically shut off if the liquid in the knock-out pot reaches a high level.
The following sample components are shown in Figure 800-26.
Fig. 800-26 Hydrocarbon in H2S Sample System

1. Pressure Control Valve. The sample can be taken on either side of this pressure
control valve in the process line.
2. Sample Block Valves. These gate valves (usually ") are field installed gate
valves to piping code.
3. Local Block Valves. These manual " 316 SS ball valves with Teflon seals are
needed at the analyzer shelter to shut off the sample before purging the line for
maintenance. (Whitey)

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4. Heated Sample Line. The 1" sample line is heated to 125F to prevent condensation in the line. The line is sloped back to the process line as a further precaution in
case of upsets. (Field installed)
5. Liquid Knock-out Pot. This pot is located at the lowest point in the sample
system and is drained back into the process line at least 8 feet downstream of the
take-off. This 304 SS pot has an internal volume of 2250 cc. (Integrated by analyzer
manufacturer)
6. Level Switch. This switch operates by sensing a high liquid level in the pot and
actuating an alarm. Sample is shut off to the analyzer by way of component 7. The
switch is an ultrasonic level sensor made by National Sonics.
7. Sample Shut-off Valve. This valve closes on high level in the knockout pot to
protect the analyzer against liquid that would seriously affect the calibration and
cause erratic readings. This " SS air operated ball valve with Teflon and EPR seals
is normally closed and will shut off on air failure. (Whitey)
8 & 9. Pressure Gauge and Regulating Valve. A bypass flow is required to reduce
sample lag time. The flow is adjusted to maintain at least 5 psig on the pressure
gauge. The " SS valve has teflon seals (Whitey). The pressure gauge is a 0-30 psig
range and has a 4" dial (Ashcroft).
10. Bypass Filter. This filter is considered the primary filter element, even though
the knock-out pot provides inertial filtering through the change in direction of the
gas flow. This filter also has liquid coalescing action. The bypass filter has a SS
body, 0.6 micron element, 1" bypass connections, and " sample connections.
(Balston)
11. Differential Pressure Regulator and Regulating Valve. This flow control uses
a differential pressure regulator controlling the pressure across a restriction valve.
The 316 SS differential pressure regulator with Kynar has " connections (Moore).
The " SS valve has Teflon seals (Whitey).
12. Flow Indicator. The flow to the analyzer must be the same for calibration gases
and sample. The " SS armored flowmeter has a range of 0.55 scfh (air) and
ethylene-propylene O-rings. (Brooks)
13. Final Filter. This " SS inline filter has a 0.6 micron element. (Nupro)
14. Back Pressure Regulator. Since the sample must be returned to the line, a back
pressure regulator is required to maintain constant pressure on the analyzer cell, for
correct calibration.
The regulator has " connections, SS and Teflon construction, and a range of
010 psig. (Go)
15. Solenoid Valves. The zero and span gases for calibration are introduced through
a block and bleed valve arrangement. (See also Figure 800-27). This type of
analyzer measures the absorption of infrared energy in a fixed volume gas cell. The
pressure in the cell during calibration must be the same as the sample when it is

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Fig. 800-27 Examples of Double Block and Bleed Valve Systems

being analyzed. These " 3-way SS, 120 Volt, Class 1, Gp D, Div. 1 classification
valves have Buna-N O-rings. (Asco)
16. Sample/Calibration Gas Select Valve. This air operated, ", SS, 4-way ball
valve operates with the solenoids above.
17. Eductor. The " 316 SS eductor draws the sample through the sample system
and the analyzer and returns it to the process line. (Penberthy)
18. Enclosure. The sample system components are mounted in an electrically
heated enclosure controlled at 120F.
19. Auto Zero and Span Unit. This unit automatically adjusts the analyzer output
to the correct level when the calibration gases are introduced. It can actuate an alarm
when the adjustment exceeds a selected amount.
20. Check Valve. This valve safeguards the analyzer against steam back-up if there
is a blockage downstream of the eductor. The " SS check valve has a Teflon
coated spring and ethylene propylene O-rings. (Nupro)

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Examples of Double Block and Bleed Valve Arrangements for Analyzer


Sample Systems
An analyzer may monitor more than one stream and stream switching will normally
be automatic. Further, a single stream analyzer will very often be calibrated by a gas
or liquid which is introduced automatically by a timing device. In any of these
cases, if a simple block valve arrangement is installed, it is impossible to know if
one stream is contaminating another due to a leaky valve.
The best safeguard against cross contamination is to use a double block and bleed
valve arrangement. The name applies to any valve system which has a low pressure
bleed to drain, downstream of the first block in the non active stream and a second
block in the line taking the sample to the analyzer.
In a multi-stream system, a fast loop of each sample should be kept flowing continuously near the analyzer, so that a fresh sample is always available at the stream
switching valve.
Examples of double block and bleed valve arrangements are shown in
Figure 800-27. The two systems on the left are for solenoid valves. There is one
system on the right for air operated valves, using common air actuators. It is shown
in two positions, one with the sample selected, the other with span selected. The
selected stream sweeps the line to the analyzer in each case. Leaks in the valves are
indicated by continuous flow through a bubbler or a flowmeter in the drain/vent
line. If the valves are not leaking, the flow will stop shortly after stream switching
has taken place.

Sample System for Gasoline Analyzers


This is a section of a sample system which is common to three gasoline analyzers,
having the same sample source and the same return line. The vapor pressure
analyzer shown in Figure 800-30 is a continuous flow model by ABB. The
minimum sample tubing size is ", to maintain adequate sample flow through the
analyzer.
The following sample components are shown in Figure 800-28.
1. Shutoff Valve. The sample can be shut off locally from all of the analyzers by
this 1" SS ball valve. (Red-White)
2. Pressure Gauge. Common sample source pressure is indicated locally by this
0400 psig gauge. (WIKA)
3. Bypass Filter. The sample take-off from the fast sample loop is through the side
branch of this " SS filter. (PermaPure)
4. Flowmeter. Fast sample loop flow is indicated on the meter. The flow can be
maintained when any or all of the analyzers are shut down and to reduce sample lag
time on start-up. The flowmeter has a range of 015 gpm and is armored. Flow rate
is set at 8 gpm. (Brooks)
5. Regulating Valve. Fast sample loop flow is regulated by this " SS rising plug
valve. (Whitey)

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Fig. 800-28 Sample System for Gasoline Analyzers

6. Sample Shutoff Valve. This " SS ball valve isolates the sample system while
maintaining fast sample loop flow. (Red-White)
7. Flow Indicator. This meter indicates the cooling water flow through the sample
heat exchanger. The 3/8" SS flowmeter with a range of 03 gpm is set at 1.5 gpm.
(Brooks)
8. Cooling Water Flow Regulator. This is a " SS needle valve. (Whitey)
9. Sample Heat Exchanger. The sample temperature is controlled at 100F in the
vapor pressure analyzer so the sample inlet temperature should be below 100F.
(The heat exchanger is integrated by the analyzer systems manufacturer).
9A. Temperature Gauge. This " dial thermometer indicates the sample temperature at the outlet of the heat exchanger so that the cooling water flow rate can be
adjusted. (Princo)
10. Coalescing Filters. The " SS filters are installed in parallel, to allow for
changing of elements without disturbing the sample flow. (Balston)
11. Filter Bypass Valve. " SS ball valve. (Whitey)
12. Bypass Flowmeter. The coalescing type of filter should have a continuous
bypass flow, to avoid accumulating water. The flow rate is adjusted to the minimum
required to keep the sample clear of water. The " SS flowmeter with needle valve
and a range of 05.5 gph is set at set at 2 gph. (Brooks)

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13. Pressure Gauge. The pressure downstream of a filter is an indication of the


need to change the filter element. The gauge has a 2" dial and a range of 0300
psig. (WIKA)
14. Shutoff Valves. Each of the sample lines to the analyzers can be shut off independently of the others using these " SS ball valves. (Red-White)
15. Check Valve. A check valve offers added protection against the sample flowing
back in a loop. The check valve is ", 316 SS, and has a 1/3 psi spring. (Nupro)
16. Air Operated Valves. These " SS ball valves are operated remotely for a
variety of reasons to isolate the analyzer by shutting off the sample line both
upstream and downstream of the analyzer. (Whitey)
17. Sample/Calibrate Selection Valve. This manually operated, ", 3-way ball
valve introduces a standard into the analyzer for calibration check. (Whitey)
18. Check Valve. A check valve protects against back flow if valve 17 is opened
when there is a failure of the calibration system pump. The valve is " and has a
1
/3 psi spring. (Nupro)
19. Valve. This " SS needle valve controls the flow through the vapor pressure
analyzer. (Whitey)
20. Valve. This " SS ball valve is operated together with valve 5 above when it is
necessary to maintain the fast sample loop flow while the sample to the analyzers is
blocked. (Red-White)
21 & 22. Check Valves and Block Valves. These valves are in the return lines from
the other gasoline analyzers. (Red-White)
23. Pressure Gauge. Return line sample pressure must be sufficient to keep the
sample flowing into the process line. The SS gauge has a 2" dial and a range of
0100 psig. (WIKA)

840 Analyzer Specification


Analyzer specifications not only help define instrument, utility, and shelter needs
but also provide a basis for comparing competing bids. Because process analyzer
requirements are very much application-dependent, certain additional documentation is required for a successful installation. The responsibility for providing the
documentation can be the Companys, the integrators, or both. Responsibility is
also defined by whether or not the job is small and to be carried out in-house,
partially in-house, or turn-key.
The following annotated specifications, data sheets and forms are included in this
manual:

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ICM-MS-4362 Fabrication of Process Analyzer Systems


ICM-DS-4362, Analyzer Enclosure Check-off Specification
ICM-MS-4363 Installation of Process Analyzer Systems
ICM-DG-4809 Process Analyzer Specification Sheets

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EF-885 Analyzer Project Roles and Responsibilities

Bid Evaluation. Reviewing proposals or quotes from an acceptable integration shop


is no different from any other type of materials-management procedure. It is,
however, more complicated than placing an order for a field transmitter or a dial
thermometer because of the diverse aspects involved. You must write clear, rigorous
specifications and know the integrators and vendors.

841 Required Documents


Refer to the specifications for documents which are required from vendors, integrators, and contractors. The following sections discuss additional documents that the
responsible engineer must fill out:

Analyzer Specification Sheets


Analyzer specification sheets are ISA-type forms that must be prepared for each
analyzer. The accuracy of each form is essential to the success of a project as an
unknown contaminant or an interfering component can render a sample system or
an analyzer useless.
Specification sheets contain information about the process conditions that determine both the analyzer selection and the sample system design. Number specification sheets individually and sequentially and make certain that they contain
references to the applicable engineering flow diagrams and the requisition numbers.
A process specification that spells out the weight percentage of each component to
four decimal places may be totally useless unless the minimum and maximum
ranges possible during any type of operation (including upset, startup, shutdown,
and turnaround conditions) are listed and known to the designers. The temperature
and pressures of all streams must be obtained under all possible conditions. It is
very important to know if a component is in the liquid or gaseous phase or if it is at
the bubble point. To ensure that you have the information required, fill out an
analyzer specification sheet.

Acceptable Vendors and Integrators List


Compile a list of acceptable analyzer vendors alter considering the requirements for
each application. (This includes training and spare parts requirements.) Refer to the
analyzer selection section of this manual and discuss your selection with analyzer
specialists.
Note that analyzer installations usually have greater reason to justify single-sourcing
hardware based on the expense of spare parts and local maintenance training.

Additional Documentation for In-House Jobs


Instructions for Company in-house jobs require documentation and drawings for
both specification and construction group walk-throughs. Typical engineering job
instructions are included in Appendix E. Small jobs are often engineered in-house
and require the following documentation:

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Plot Plan. Include the location of the shelter, utilities. and sewers on an existing
plot plan or a sketch. Sewers may require separate drawings.
Analyzer House. Locate the analyzers, sample system components, and utility
headers on the house drawing(s).

Foundation Drawings
System Overview. Include the sample tap, return, fast loop, sample conditioning
plate or box, sample lines, data transmission, analyzer, maintenance recorder, and
operator readout devices. Locate all utilities and steam addition and traps on the
sample line.

Power and Signal Drawings


Cylinder Racks, Control Room or Analyzer Maintenance Room. As required,
these drawings are for boilermakers.
Sample Probe Sketch. Refer to the sketch in Appendix E.
Typical Engineering Job Instructions. The instructions can be modeled alter the
form in Appendix E.

842 Analyzer System Inspection and Acceptance Procedure


The following documentation is to be given to the Company at the acceptance test:
1.

A copy of the final acceptance procedures. Given to the inspection representative by the system integrator six weeks prior to the test.

2.

A general information sheet indicating the gases or liquids used to develop the
application and a copy of a calibration or liquid analysis used for calibration.
The original stream data is furnished by the Company representative.

3.

A record showing 48 hours of uninterrupted operation on a calibration standard. This record should be fully documented with the time, date, chart speed.
range, sample size. flow temperature. and any available information to indicate
the conditions.

Performance
The analyzer assembly and operations are to be inspected. In the calibration standard, the systems assembler may or may not have all of the components listed in the
process stream data sheet, provided by the Company representative. The calibration
standard must contain components that are designated by an asterisk. The system
integrator warrants that the analyzer will perform within the required tolerances of
repeatability and accuracy on a sample, corresponding to the original Chevron
stream data. Performance is verified during the acceptance test. The company representative observes the analyzer operations for eight continuous hours and is responsible for conveying the information received at this test to the plant maintenance
file.

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Require that documentation of the 48-hour repeatability test be given to you in


advance of your visit.

843 Analyzer Shelters


The analyzer shelter can be three sided, fully enclosed, or free standing and is
assembled according to the systems diagrams and materials of construction
described in the specification. Normally, analyzers are mounted on wall racks,
except for those requiring all-around access. The system is assembled in such a way
that any one analyzer can be removed without interrupting the operation of the
others. All piping and tubing connections are made through bulkheads. The objectives in providing an analyzer house are as follows:

To create a space within an area that would be a nonhazardous area under


normal operating conditions to test or calibrate analyzers and perform maintenance with opened casings and live electrical circuits. This space is achieved by
pressuring the shelter to lower the electrical classification and by limiting the
amount of hydrocarbon allowed to enter the shelter. This includes keeping
cylinders and sample conditioning outside the walls of the shelter whenever
possible.

To create an environment in which analyzers and the ancillary equipment are


protected adequately from the weather and which provides a stable operating
temperature for the analyzer.

To provide space for future equipment. Consolidating a number of analyzers in


the same building has the advantage of all-weather and multiple servicing.
Most installations allow multiple groupings. In a complex process unit, there
may be a number of groups strategically located.

Choose analyzer locations for the following reasons: accessibility; proximity to the
sample probe and utilities; and greatest possible distance from explosives and other
hazards. Technicians must be able to access the building. The locations must also be
near an unloading point for carrier gas, calibration gas cylinders, and equipment.
Grouping analyzers reduces costs as they share common instrument cable and
tubing trays.
See Figure 800-29 Analyzer Shelter Documentation for information that the integrator provides for completing the Process Analyzer Specifications Sheet
(ICM-DS-4809).

Field Documentation
Complete the installation details of probes, sensors. and analyzer hardware located
in the field outside the analyzer shelter. Check for items in the following list:

Chevron Corporation

1.

Size and location of the first block valve and line identification

2.

Location of sample tap hardware

3.

Equipment support

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Fig. 800-29 Analyzer Shelter Documentation


Analyzer Shelter Documentation. The integrator should provide information concerning
the following:

Outside dimensions of each shelter.

Detail anchoring method.

All piping, tubing, and electrical field connection points.

Recommended lifting methods.

Utility demand and requirements.

Cable scheduling and tagging from the shelters to the control room.

Ground bus location for field connection.

Company engineer should consider the location of the following equipment:

Sample systems mounted on plates or in enclosures.

Flare headers for sample returns.

Vent headers.

Steam headers and steam regulator.

Drain headers.

Block valves for sample, vent, and flare lines.

Cylinder racks.

Bulkheads.

H2S Detectors if appropriate.

O2 deficiency detector, to be considered.

LEL sensor, to be considered.

Analyzer building inlet and outlet connections. These include samples, headers, utilities,
(water, steam, power, etc.) entering and leaving the building are to be consolidated in one
area. The tubing , pipe, and headers on the building walls should terminate at the most
convenient end of the building for final termination. Drain headers should be routed to the
proper underground drain. The goal is to be able to run one support for building installation connections.

4.

Methods of attachment

5.

Utility requirements and connection details

6.

Signal and cable routing, schedule, tagging and connections details (The integrator and the contractor coordinate incorporating this information on the
contractors routing drawings.)

Tag Information. To facilitate field installation, the integrator must tag all elements
of the analyzer system that are shipped as individual components or modules in
accordance with the sample system and the installation drawings.

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850 Analyzer Installation, Commissioning, and Startup


851 Analyzer Installation Checkout Procedure
The purpose of this procedure is to outline the methods for checking field-installed
analyzers. This procedure can be followed by contract personnel and Company
inspectors prior to continuity, loop, and leak checks (refer to ICM-MS-4363, Installation of Process Analyzer Systems).
Visually inspect all analyzers and accessories for damage alter installation. If
damage is observed, take corrective action. Each analyzer should have a sheet with
calibration and check -out data for every analyzer and analyzer loop that is
inspected.
Compare all analyzer installations against flow and installation drawings for proper
location and for compliance with any special provisions in these drawings.
Check that all analyzers are free of shipping restraints. Glass should be clean.
Temporary protective devices must be removed before startup. Verify that all
analyzers and tubing are correctly tagged, labeled, and installed at the correct location.
All sample systems and sample probes must be tagged and checked for proper
installation with respect to the direction of flow, elevation, orientation, insertion,
and depth. Mount phenol material, 3 inches 6 inches, on a bracket designed to
attach to the root valve piping, and post a warning to close the valve on the probe
(see the sample probe drawing in Appendix E).
Check analyzer wiring for circuit continuity. proper terminal connection, and labels.
Check analyzer piping and tubing which is process-connected for agreement with
P&IDs and for appropriate materials, connection sizes, and rating. Verify that
adequate brackets and supports have been used to maintain rigid construction.
Verify the correct installation of all utilities. including proper steam addition and
trapping of prefabricated steam-traced bundles. Check the man- ufacturers engineering data for these.
Do not commission sample lines until the process line has been flushed clean.
Isolate all analyzers from the process lines by blocking off or disconnecting them.
Clean the sample tubing lines thoroughly.
Ensure that all tubing connections are made according to the manufacturers recommendation. Replace overtightened connections and tubing that is scarred by a tube
cutter or a knife used to remove the PVC jacket.

852 Analyzer Commissioning and Startup


These commissioning procedures provide the details for verifying the operability of
analyzer installations. Ensure that all checks, tests, and adjustments are conducted
by qualified analyzer personnel and verified by Company personnel.

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Leak Testing Instrument Utility Headers and Process Tubing. Perform a leak
test on the sample system and utility header. Test clean tubing, not hydrostatically
tested, with 100 psig instrument air and spray all fittings with a soapy. solution.
Close block valves and vent all analyzers. Remake, with new ferrules, all tube
fittings that leak alter one additional turn of the compression nut. Clean tubing for
GC support gases (helium, hydrogen, and air) with a volatile solvent and purge it
with nitrogen. Solvents, such as methylene chloride, have been used in the past.
Solvents, such as hexane, are not sufficiently volatile for cleaning purposes.
Turning Power on the Analyzer System. Check electrical terminations for continuity and location; verify the utilities; ensure that power is turned on by the party
responsible for the analyzer.

Analyzer Calibration Field Procedure


The process sample lines remain closed until after a calibration check of the
analyzer.
Documentation. A general information sheet is required that indicates the gases or
liquids used to develop the application and that gives an analysis report of the calibration standard. Determine the appropriateness of the standard by using the correct
stream data from the Analyzer Specification Sheets. The analyzer technician fills
out the attached form for chromatograph checkout in the field.
Performance. Inspect the analyzer operation. The integrator may not have all the
components of the stream in the calibration standard. The calibration standard must
contain the components of interest and any possible interfering components. The
integrator must guarantee that the analyzer will correctly analyze a stream
containing the components which are outlined on the Analyzer Specification Sheets.
The prime contractor is responsible for field calibration, although he may delegate
the work to others. The analyzer shall show the same repeatability as in the factory
test. Refer to the Analyzer Startup Procedure in the Companys data sheet
ICM-DS-4362

860 Calibration and Validation of Analyzer Output


861 Calibration
The only way to determine whether or not an analyzer is accurate when received is
to check it against a series of calibration standards. After this initial calibration, the
analyzer must be checked periodically against at least one suitable standard to
ensure continued accuracy. Specification of calibration standards are discussed in
ICM-MS-4362. This specification considers the limitations of the external standard
method and the normalization method.

Weight Versus Volume Basis


Almost all analyzers can provide direct results on a molar or volume basis, because
a fixed volume of sample is actually analyzed. If sample density is not constant,

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inaccuracies can occur. Normalization allows for calculations on a weight basis. If


sample density is constant, calculations by both weight and volume are possible.

External Standard Method


The calibration and validation of analyzer output is obtained with the external standard method and can be applied to most analyzers. Analysis can be determined on a
volume basis only when the sample density is constant. For photometric analyzers,
both a span and a zero standard are required.

Normalization Method
In this method, normally only for chromatographs, each peak area is corrected for
normal variations in detector response. The results can be determined on a weight or
a volume basis. All components must be measured, however, the sample size is relatively unimportant.

862 Continuous Validation of Analyzer Output


Continuous validation of analyzer output is required for closed-loop control. The
validation can be internal and/or external via switches and relays that are added by
the user. An example of analyzer integrity is provided in Figure 800-30. In
Appendix E there is an electrical loop drawing of an analyzer system with pressure
alarm.
Errors are detected by failed function at the analyzer or its controller. At the DCS or
host computer, such errors are classified in a programmable hierarchy so that the
control system can take appropriate response. Some error functions may only be
diagnostic in nature, while others (caution, warning, and error) indicate an inaccurate analysis.
At present, because vendors have systems with various options and users require
different configurations. it is advisable to consult with process control and process
analyzer experts and with the vendors to determine where alarms should be classified in the hierarchy.
Serial Communication check. In digital data transmission, there is a possibility
that one or more bits of a digital number may be in error. Commonly, errors are
checked by using parity. An extra bit, such as an ASCII character, added to a binary
word is set on or off to achieve an even or an odd parity. If a bit in the binary word
is dropped or incorrect, the total number of bits is checked. This is not a fool-proof
method because more than one bit may be dropped or be incorrectly high.
If the checksum method is used (where a sum is transmitted by a block of characters), the receiving device then sums the characters and compares the sum with the
received checksum. If the two do not agree, the entire transmission block is rejected.
Analyzer self validation check. Analyzers can be designed to flag errors in temperature, drift, and carrier pressure. These checks are outlined for chromatographs in
ICM-MS-4362. Self-validation checks are also available for other analyzers. It is
preferable that such signals form a common alarm to the computer (good/bad).

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Fig. 800-30 Analyzer Integrity Example Boiling Point Analyzer

Sample system check. Usually, sample-system check is limited to sample flow in


the fast sample circulation loop and in the slipstream to the analyzer. Such checks
are necessary for exceedingly dirty streams or in applications so critical that daily
checks by an analyzer technician are insufficient. Sample flow shut-off is likely to
affect composition in the percent level very quickly and is easily detected by manipulation of computer controller data. You must consider if this will guarantee the
necessary validation.
Computer controller data manipulation. The system computer that accepts the
analyzer signal can check its validity. Integrity checks include minimum or
maximum rate of change of signal and analyzer out of range (high/low limit).
See Analyzer Output Integrity Checks in Figure 800-31..

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Fig. 800-31 Analyzer Output Integrity Checks


Process chromatographs should have the following
internal integrity checks.
Detector balance greater than limit - Balance
required to zero detector is greater than instruments limit.

Chip failure.

Any undefined table reference.

Invalid data type, analog or digital.

I/O errors.

Temperature deviation exceeded.

Power failure.

Low carrier pressure.

Low sample pressure.

Peak outside concentration limit.

Purge failure.

Oven shutdown.

Oxygen Analyzers
Oxygen analyzers used for furnace control require
special error warning message to ensure proper operation of furnaces. There are extractive type analyzers
and close coupled as well as in situ (zirconium)
analyzers used in this service.

Any insufficient memory problem in programmer


tables.

Signals required include:

Instrument in calibration.

No access to analyzer data highway.

Calibration failure.

Host computer interface does not respond.

Instrument in blow-back mode.

Message transmission failure on data highway.

No stream selected at cycle start.

Cell temperature out of range (zirconium


analyzers).

Detector flame out.

Cell failure (zirconium).

Detector balance greater than limit.

Furnace shut down / flame out.

Detector zero greater than limit.

Power failure.

Peak retention drift.

Sample flow or pressure (extractive type).

Analog to digital converter failure.

Any programming error, i.e. gates overlap or too


many gates.

Typical oxygen sample systems with integrity checks


are contained in Section 830.

Number of gates on does not match number of


gates off.

Tables unavailable.

Any failed signal i.e. failure to signal balance to


detector board.

Other Analyzers
In critical control applications the analyzers will
require the following signals where applicable.

Cell failure.

Low sample pressure at analyzer inlet or low flow.

Calibration.

Numeric value found where string expected and


vice versa.

Loss of power.

Loss of enclosure purge.

Total area change outside limit.

Failure to calibrate.

Failure to reset cycle.

Any queue, peak, or arithmetic overflow.

Invalid address.

Failure of component to respond.

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870 Safety
871 General
Consider the safety of operating and maintenance personnel when designing an
analyzer installation. Several safety items have already been discussed: observing
proper metallurgy in choosing sample system piping, providing relief valves to
prevent overpressuring, and providing drain valves for relieving system pressure
prior to performing maintenance.
Safety considerations discussed in this section are sample line installation. sample
disposal problems, and electrical ignition problems in sample piping and analyzer
areas.

872 Sample Line and Sample System Components


Ensure that sample lines and all connections to sample system components are leakproof and that small piping is seal welded. Select tubing and tubing fittings (considered more reliable) wherever possible. Where pumps are required in the sampling
system, provide a means for collecting and disposing of possible leakage. Where an
air supply is available, install air-driven rather than electrically driven pumps to
increase sample pressure or to handle sample disposal with a minimal hazard from
malfunctioning.
To protect personnel, leak proof and insulate or isolate hot sample lines. Locate
outside analyzer shelters outside all high-pressure, high-temperature, and highvolume sample loops that reduce time lag, along with their associated pumps, filters.
rotameters, and heat exchangers. Select 1/8-inch or -inch stainless steel tubing for
sample lines entering the analyzer shelter. More exotic alloys may be required in
some applications involving highly corrosive service. Closed-couple all samplesystem components inside the analyzer enclosure to minimize sample volume and
locate them in a sample system housing that can be purged to reduce the possibility
of an explosion in the event of a leak. Check pressure/temperature ratings of each
component and operate at 85 percent or less. Some locations require certification by
a nationally recognized testing agency (UL or FM)

873 Leak Detection


Due to the large number of small fittings, the risk of leaks is high. Ensure that
enclosed sample systems handling hazardous material (such as H2S) have leakdetection systems that warn the operator or maintenance worker of leaks before he
or she opens the enclosure. This warning can range from H2S paper at a vent
opening to tieing into an existing remote, leak-detection system.

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874 Sample Disposal System


Gas and Vapor
Some sample system installations do not have sufficient pressure drop available to
allow sample return to the process without the addition of a pump or some other
means of sample disposal. In most locations, it is not acceptable practice to
discharge small amounts of light hydrocarbon vapors to the atmosphere. Venting
requires the necessary piping to bring vented hydrocarbons to a safe location. For
example, because most chromatographs are sensitive to backpressure in the vent
lines, the vent line size should be large enough so that vented sample flow cannot
result in a buildup of backpressure. GC carrier gas vents are still acceptable as long
as they are piped outside the analyzer shelter.
Future installations face more stringent environmental requirements governing the
allowable amount of effluent vented to the atmosphere. Means of sample disposal
will include relief lines. furnaces, or return to the process. If such an installation is
required, take the precautions necessary to eliminate the potential backpressure of a
closed system. If sample disposal is made in a furnace, provide a means to shut the
vent automatically in case the furnace is shut down. This arrangement eliminates
venting hydrocarbons into the furnace while maintenance personnel are working on
the furnace.

Liquid
Liquid drains for analyzers are two-inch (minimum) pipes sloped to an oil sewer.
Vent the high point of this drain line to the atmosphere as described above for vent
lines. Do not allow valves or goosenecks in drain lines as they might create liquid
seals. Heavy components being sampled might solidify in the drain line at atmospheric temperature, therefore, it may be necessary to steam trace or electrically
trace and insulate the drain line.

875 Electrical and Ignition Problems


Sample systems and sample-system components include electrical components,
such as motors, electrical heat tracing, solenoid valves. and pressure switches. It is
necessary. therefore. to be familiar with the electrical classification of the installation area and to select the proper location, material, and equipment consistent with
the classification. The analyzers (and some of their associated sampling system
components carrying hydrocarbons) will be located in cases or enclosures that may
also contain analyzer electrical equipment. The National Electric Code defines
conditions for specific classifications. Refer to Section 300 of the Electrical Manual
for a more detailed discussion on area classification. Place the analyzer in a nonhazardous area. If this is not possible, build the analyzer or hazardous portions of it into
explosion-proof housing to allow safe operation in Class 1, Group C&D, Division 1,
areas. If such an installation has been made, explain to the operating and maintenance personnel that there is a possibility of unsafe conclusions existing during
maintenance and calibration. These conditions are related to opening explosionproof housings and exposing electrical and electronic elements while they are operating. Obviously, soldering components and other hot work cannot be carried out in

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areas where hydrocarbons are present without a special hot work permit. If such
conditions exist, remove the analyzer or the faulty unit. Moreover, it should be
understood that precautions must be taken when removing and replacing explosionproof housing covers and conduit covers.
Screwed or flanged-type, explosion-proof housings require constant attention if they
are to remain safe. For example, the explosion-proof cover is safe only for as long
as all the bolts of a flange-type cover are installed and tightened properly. If maintenance tightens only half the bolts, the housing can no longer contain an explosion. If
the cover is dropped, corrodes, or if the smooth mating surface is damaged, it is
probably no longer safe.
Purging an enclosure following the requirements of NFPA 496 is another way to
protect electronic equipment. Section 9 of this bulletin refers specifically to
analyzers and analyzer shelters.
Intrinsically safe electrical systems have become popular recently because of their
convenience and the savings in the initial equipment costs and in installation costs.
(See Section 1400 of this manual for a more detailed discussion on intrinsic safety.)
Equipment that is intrinsically safe can be maintained conveniently as heavy covers
are not required to be in place when the equipment is in operation. Calibration
checks and adjustments can be made safely in the field without special precautions
even though the equipment is installed in a Division 1 area.
In conclusion, safety for operating and maintenance personnel in hazardous areas
can be obtained by:
1.

Containing a hazardous device in an approved enclosure (explosion proof for


Division 1 areas; hermetically sealed for Division 2 areas).

2.

Changing the nature of the atmosphere surrounding the source of ignition by


providing a forced ventilation system.

3.

Installing of the hazardous device in an isolated, non-hazardous area.

4.

Removing the source of ignition with intrinsically safe circuit designs.

880 References
For further information consult with local maintenance personnel, engineers,
vendors, and analyzer specialists in CRTCs M&CS Unit. The following list of
references will also be of help:

July 1999

1.

Process Analyzer Technology. John Wiley and Sons, 1986.

2.

On-Line Process Analyzers, Wiley Interscience, 1988.

3.

Principles of Sample Handling and Sampling Systems Design for Process Analysis. ISA,1972.

4.

The Design and Application of Process Analyzer Systems. Wiley Interscience,


1984.

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5.

General Handbook of On-line Process Analyzers. Ellis-Horwood, 198 1.

6.

Gas Chromatographs as Industrial Process Analyzers. Pergamon Press, 1911,

7.

Sampling Systems for Process Analyzers. Butterworths, 1981.

8.

Quality Measuring Instruments in On-Line Process Analysis. Ellis- Horwood,


1982.

9.

pH Control. ISA, 1984.

10. API RP 555, Process Analyzers


11. ANADATA. Measurementation.
12. ISA Directory.
13. Intech, ISA.
14. Instrumentation and Control Systems. Chilton.
15. Refinery Analyzer Applications Reference Document, CRTC, 1996.
16. Analytical Instrumentation. Chilton Book Co., 1994.

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Abstract
The intent of this guideline is to assist instrument engineers in the selection and
specification of control valves. The function of a control valve within the process is
explained, and the types of control valves available are discussed.
Subsections offer information on valve sizing, trim characteristics, accessories, and
selection of material for both valve bodies and trim. Other subsections review actuator types, selection, sizing, and discuss self-contained pressure regulators.
In addition, this guideline suggests how to avoid common control valve problems
and discusses valve installation and piping considerations. Pertinent industry standards are listed, and a brief reference list is included.
Contents

Page

910

Introduction

900-3

911

Definition of a Control Valve

912

Safety Considerations

913

Control Valve Alliance

920

Hydraulics

921

Process Hydraulics

922

Valve Hydraulics

930

Control Valve Basics

931

Types of Control Valves

932

Applications

933

Trim Characteristics

934

Control Valve Sizing

935

Material Selection

940

Actuators

941

Spring-and-Diaphragm Actuators

942

Actuator Sizing

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Control Valve Accessories

900-35

960

Control Valve Installation

900-42

970

Control Valve Problems

900-44

971

Mechanical Problems

972

Design Problems

980

Pressure Regulators

900-48

990

References

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900 Control Valves

Introduction
The control valve guidelines are directed at the entry level design engineer but are
structured as a reference for experienced instrument engineers as well. For example,
subjects such as the Health, Environment, and Safety Group restrictions on use of
between-flange-mounting control valves for hydrocarbon service are critical to
anyone selecting a control valve. Safety, below, and Section 931, Types of
Control Valves, discuss this in detail.
The engineer must be aware of the control valves function in a hydraulic system
and the relative pressure drop that must be allocated to a control valve. The engineer must also know that the control valve must be able to shut off against all flow
conditionsthat the worst-case upstream pressure (under upset conditions) must be
specified so that the actuator can be selected and sized to actuate the valve safely.
Section 942, Actuator Sizing, covers this area in detail.
A control valve must function through all ranges of operating conditions, and all
operating cases must be considered in its engineering, e.g., startup (when the system
operates under reduced capacity, the piping is clean, and the friction drop is
minimal); normal (when the operators try to run the system at, or slightly above, its
design specifications with the piping in fouled condition); and every other possible
process circumstance (including upsets) that could affect the rangeability of the
control valve. Section 932, Applications, covers this area.
For the engineer familiar with hydraulics and rangeability considerations who needs
guidance in selecting the type of control valve to use for an application, valve types
and Company experiences and preferences are discussed in Section 931, Types of
Control Valves.
Applications for fire-safe valves are also discussed in Section 931.
Control valve sizing methods are covered in Section 934, Control Valve Sizing,
This section also discusses personal computer (PC) software for sizing control
valves.
Section 970, Control Valve Problems, includes information which, although it
may not be applicable for day-to-day, low-pressure, constant-flow applications, has,
when ignored, resulted in substantial operating and equipment losses at Company
facilities. This information is provided in hopes of precluding similar occurrences.
If, after reading this guideline, an engineer still has concerns about the selection or
application of control valves, ERTC Instrumentation and Control specialists, listed
in the ERTC Consulting Services card, will be glad to assist.

911 Definition of a Control Valve


A control valve is a device, installed in a hydraulic system, that controls flow
through the system by introducing and modulating pressure drop within its body. By
increasing pressure drop through the system, the control valve creates a resistance to
flow, thus decreasing the flow.

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Proper selection and engineering of a control valve will prevent the following types
of problems:

Installation of a valve that is unsafe for the application, e.g., a between-flangemounting valve installed in hydrocarbon service

Cavitation, flashing, and choked flow (in downstream piping), which can occur
in liquid service

Noise and choked flow (in the valve body), which can occur in vapor service

Erosion, which can occur at high-pressure drop in all applications

An actuator without the power to either maintain a constant position or one that
is not capable of overcoming the process pressure and to shut off against it

912 Safety Considerations


Tests conducted jointly by the Companys Health, Environment and Safety Group
and by several major oil companies showed that between-flange mounting control
valves (installed in piping with long exposed bolts) are not fire-safe and, with
specific exceptions, must not be used in hydrocarbon service. (See Section 2082 of
the Companys Fire Protection Manual.) Examples of such valves are flangeless
Fisher Vee-Ball, Masoneilan Camflex designs, and many butterfly valves, etc.
In a flash fire, the exposed bolts expand faster than the valve body, open the space
between the valve body and the flanges, and allow the contents of the piping to spill
out and feed the fire. Metal shields around the bolts were believed to preclude this
problem. Tests show that metal shields delay the failure by only a matter of minutes.
Also, these shields are seldom replaced when maintenance is performed on a valve.
The Companys Health, Environment, and Safety Group must approve all exceptions to the above, e.g., Fisher Vee-ball valves are approved for use on the decks of
Company tankers. The logic is that the valves are on deck where they are not filled
with hydrocarbon and are not under significant pressure. A tanker fire would
destroy the ship before the contents would leak through the flanges of these control
valves.
Most control valve manufacturers have now modified their designs, and Fisher VeeBall and Masoneilan Camflex valves are offered both in the flangeless design and
with flanged end connections. Most rotary control valve manufacturers also offer
between-flange-mounting control valves either with lugged bodies, which protect
the bolts from flame impingement, or with bodies drilled and tapped to receive studs
or machine bolts to secure piping flanges directly to the valve body.
Actuator material selection is also a fire-safety concern. An actuator must drive a
control valve to its fail-safe position and hold it there during a fire. To do this, all
components associated with maintaining the fail-safe position must be metallic and
must have a melting point of at least 1750 F.

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913 Control Valve Alliance


In 1995, after rigorously implementing THE COMPANYS Supplier Quality
Improvement Process (CSQIP), THE COMPANY signed an international alliance
with Fisher-Rosemount to cover control valves, regulators, level instruments, field
mounted instruments, Posi-Seal butterfly valves and services related to engineering,
installation, maintenance, and diagnostics. An Alliance Improvement Team (AIT)
and a number of Local Alliance Improvement Teams (LAITs) have been formed and
are actively working to improve their product application, process improvement and
new technology development opportunities, and to pursue both initial cost savings
and life-cycle cost reduction of control valves.
You can read about Chevron/Fisher Alliance successes, review the Alliance savings,
and report on your cost savings by clicking the following link to the Chevron/Fisher
Control Alliance Home Page.
http://cpln-pub6.sr.chevron.com/Purchase/alliance.nsf/1dfd425a51dfa7f0882563cd007172c6/47cb71ae83a5d85488256702000f82
c4?OpenDocument

920

Hydraulics
921 Process Hydraulics
A centrifugal pump is the most common device used to introduce pressure into a
hydraulic system. In many processes, e.g., production separator, a constant upstream
pressure is readily available and a pump is not used. Because the discharge pressure
of a centrifugal pump varies, we will use the pump curve to discuss process
hydraulics. In a constant pressure system the pump curve would be a straight
horizontal line.

Pump Curve
The pressure that a centrifugal pump can generate is a function of the flow rate. The
head pressure produced by a centrifugal pump decreases as the flow rate increases.
Conversely, an increase in flow results in a decreased pump discharge pressure. (See
Figure 900-1.)

System Friction Losses


Pressure drop produced by friction losses through piping and equipment increases as
the flow through the system increases. This pressure drop increases as the square of
the increase in flow rate.

System Pressure Drop


System pressure drop is the difference between the pump discharge pressure and the
system outlet pressure. It is a combination of piping system friction losses and the
control valve pressure drop at any given flow rate. A pressure profile through a
hydraulic system is shown in Figure 900-2.

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Fig. 900-1 Pump Curve

Fig. 900-2 System Pressure Profile

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922 Valve Hydraulics


Valve Pressure Drop
It is important to understand that a control valve does not define the pressure drop
across it. It has to consume whatever pressure drop is available to maintain a system
at set point. This concept is shown in Figure 900-1 (the difference between the
pump discharge pressure curve and the system friction loss curve). At a high flow
rate, the control valve does not have to consume as much pressure drop as it does at
low flow rates.
The control valve can only regulate flow by consuming pressure drop in the system.
Its ability to increase or decrease flow rapidly depends on the portion of the total
system pressure drop allocated to the control valve.
For a control valve to be able to control a process effectively, the rule of thumb is to
allocate to the control valve, at normal operating conditions, a pressure drop equal
to about one-half of the piping and equipment friction drop (one-third of the total
system pressure drop).
This rule of thumb applies to processing facilities and must be re-evaluated for
applications such as pipelines, where providing one-half of the pipeline friction drop
for a control valve would not be practical.

Valve Flow Velocities


In order to visualize flow velocity through a control valve, imagine a liquid flowing
in a piping system in which a restriction such as a concentric orifice plate has been
placed.
Upstream of the orifice plate the liquid must have a static pressure greater than its
vapor pressure and a velocity head due to the flow rate. As the liquid flows through
the restriction, its velocity must increase. Because the sum of the static pressure and
velocity head will remain equal, an energy interchange takes place, with the static
pressure losing what the velocity head gains. (See Figure 900-3.)
At the orifice outlet, the stream will reach its maximum velocity and minimum
static pressure. The point of maximum velocity is called the vena contracta (Pvc).

Pressure Recovery
Further downstream, as the fluid stream expands into a larger cross-sectional area,
velocity head decreases and static pressure increases. However, the downstream
static pressure never recovers completely to the pressure that existed upstream of
the restriction. In a control valve, the pressure differential (p = P1 - P2) that
remains after the pressure recovery, is the amount of energy that was dissipated
within the control valve. The amount of pressure recovery depends on the type of
valve being used. Figure 900-4 shows relative vena contracta pressure drops for a
globe and a rotary valve with the same inlet (P1) and outlet pressures (P2).

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Fig. 900-3 Valve Velocity-Pressure Profile

Fig. 900-4 Valve Pressure Recovery

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The pressure differential between the valve inlet and the vena contracta is of interest
relative to flashing and cavitation. If pressure at the vena contracta should drop
below the vapor pressure of the fluid, vapor bubbles will form in the stream. If valve
outlet pressure recovers above the vapor pressure of the liquid, the bubbles will
collapse and cavitation will occur. If valve outlet pressure stays below the vapor
pressure of the liquid, flashing will occur. (See Figure 900-5.)
Fig. 900-5 Pressure RecoveryPossible Conditions

In a rotary valve, the velocity at the vena contracta is higher, giving more capacity
through a smaller valve. The problem is that the static pressure at the vena contracta
(Pvc) is more likely to drop below the vapor pressure of the fluid and can put the
control valve into cavitation. Section 970, Control Valve Problems, addresses
cavitation in more detail.

930

Control Valve Basics


The next few paragraphs explain the terminology and provide the definitions used
throughout the rest of the guideline.

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931 Types of Control Valves


Globe Valves
The term globe valve describes a vast array of body configurations. Globe
valves are usually a variation of the piping-type globe pattern valve, where the
distance between the plug and the seat can be manually adjusted to change the flow
through the valve. (See Figure 900-6.)
Fig. 900-6 Globe Valve

The following valves fall into the globe valve category:

Globe valves having cage trim (both balanced and unbalanced plugs)
Globe valves having conventional single or double port trim
Globe valves having angle bodies (may be used in special cases)
Globe valves having split bodies (may be used in special cases)
Three-way globe valves (may be used in special cases)
Multistep globe valves (may be required for noise control)

Rotary Valves
Whereas the globe valve uses a linear motion to change the relative position of the
plug and seat, the butterfly and ball valves use a rotary-motion to position the disk
or ball into the path of fluid flow. (See Figures 900-7 and 900-8.)

Other Types
Numerous types of valve designs are manufactured to meet specific applications.
Some of the more common designs are flangeless constructed valves, angle valves,
pinch valves, and three-way valves.
The angle valve body is essentially the same as a globe body except either the inlet
or outlet flow axis is in line with the valve stem. Depending upon the inner valve
configuration, flow may be either in the side and out the bottom or vice versa.

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Fig. 900-7 Butterfly Valve

900 Control Valves

Fig. 900-8 Ball Valves

Fire-Safe Valves
Fire-safe valves are either linear or rotary motion valves which, when engulfed in a
fire, will, for a specified period of time:

Fail to or maintain a predetermined position


Meet a specific leakage rate in the shut off position

If the fire is not controlled in that period, the fire is considered out of control, and
valve integrity and performance capabilities become secondary.
When fire safety is a concern, valves should be so specified to the valve supplier at
the time the valve is ordered.

A number of industry specifications cover fire-safe valves. Among them are the
following:
API-607 (Onshore installations)
API RP-6F (Offshore installations)
British Standard Institute (BS) 5146
French Standard AFNOR M98-411
Exxon BP3-14-1
U. S. Coast Guard
Factory Mutual 6033
API 589, Fire Test for Evaluation of Valve Stem Packing

These specifications define the type of test that the valves must pass to receive the
fire-safe rating.
Flangeless Valves. Flangeless valves are valves that are mounted (sandwiched)
between flanges with long exposed bolts. Such bolts, when exposed to flames, heat
and expand faster than the valve. The differential growth opens up the flanges and
allows the contents of the piping to leak out, and, if the material is a hydrocarbon, to
feed the flame.

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Use of metal shields over exposed bolts is not acceptable because it delays valve
failure by a very short time. Also, such metal shields are very seldom replaced after
maintenance is performed on a valve.
ChevronTexacos Health, Environment and Safety Group requires that all valves in
hydrocarbon service shall either be flanged or shall have body lugs which
completely enclose the mounting bolts.
Globe Body Valves. Almost all globe body valves, except between-flangemounting valves such as Fisher Style BF, which are installed with long exposed
bolts, are suitable for fire-safe applications.
Rotary Valves. Rotary valves in hydrocarbon service must be of a type that have
body flanges, e.g., Masoneilan Camflex II, or must have lugs that completely
enclose the mounting bolts, e.g., Fisher E-Disk, which must be specified with body
lugs.

932 Applications
Globe Valve Applications
Globe valves are available in a variety of body sizes and body ratings ranging from
1-inch to over 24-inches for flanged ANSI Classes 150 to 600 and 1-inch to
8-inches for flanged ANSI Classes 900 to 2500. When purchasing new control
valves for high pressure applications, i. e., Class 900 through Class 2500 valve
bodies, you should specify non-destructive evaluation (NDE). Typical NDE tests
include hydrostatic testing, x-raying to ensure that there are no areas of porosity in
the castings, and liquid-penetrant testing. Recommendations when to specify NDE
are given in Data Sheet Guide ICM-DG-2350, Instructions for Selecting Sizing,
and Specifying Control Valves. NDE requirements are spelled out in detail in
ICM-MS-2350, Control Valve Fabrication Specification. Copies of both of these
documents are in Part I, Volume 2 of this Manual.
Company practice, as well as petroleum industry practice in general, is to standardize on ANSI Class 300 process connections for globe body control valves as a
minimum. The cost of ANSI Class 300 and ANSI Class 150 globe body control
valves is the same. The only cost difference is the difference in price between two
Class 300 and two Class 150 piping flanges. Labor costs to install the valves are
also the same. Manufacturers use the same globe valve body castings to manufacture Class 150 through Class 600 globe valvesthe only difference is how much
metal is removed from each casting.
Furthermore, stress analyses performed by several major oil companies show that
control valve piping manifolds induce a significant load on globe valve body
flanges. The overall conclusion is that, although the Class 300 and Class 150 installations are economically comparable, Class 300 installations are stronger, safer, and
more reliable. There are additional benefits from the standpoint of reduced spare
parts inventory and interchangeabilitya spare Class 300 valve can be installed in
either a Class 150 or a Class 300 piping system.

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Globe valves, in general, can be used in services for nongritty liquids, gases, and
steam at moderate to high temperature and pressures. However, the operating variables will determine the type of valve to be selected to handle a specified set of
service conditions. Special trims are available when noise and cavitation problems
have been identified. Once all the service conditions are known, the valve can be
properly engineered.
One of the disadvantages of using a globe valve is that as the valve increases in size
beyond 4 inches, the cost becomes high compared to a rotary-type, high-recovery
valve.

Rotary Valve Applications


In valve sizes of 6 inches and greater, ball or butterfly valves may show an
economic advantage over globe valves to handle a specified set of process conditions. However, several critical areas must be considered to ensure suitability.
The first concern is that because all rotary valves are high-pressure recovery valves,
they must be sized to avoid problems of cavitation, noise, and choked flow. Pipe
swages also tend to affect this type of valve more by reducing the actual pressure
head available for the control valve. The large Cv of a ball or butterfly valve does
not necessarily compensate for head loss in pipe reducers.
Because of higher velocity at the vena contracta, high-recovery valves tend to cavitate in liquid service and generate more aerodynamic noise than conventional globe
valves in vapor service. Evaluation of cavitation and Sound Pressure Level (SPL) is
therefore extremely important when high recovery valves are used.
Throttling ball valves should be considered for the following services where they
are often particularly suitable:

Wide rangeability is required, such as for fuel oil or gasoline blending.

Fluids carrying suspended solids such as coking service, chemical slurries,


liquids with catalyst in suspension, etc.

Viscous fluids such as asphalt and tars.

Pipelines, where you want to minimize valve losses during normal operation.

Characterized-port ball valves offer the best available rangeability. However,


these valves are usually offered in the flangeless construction, e.g., Vee-Ball.
Flanged bodies are required to be used for hydrocarbon service.
One of the most common types of rotary valves used for control is the butterfly
valve. Typical applications are for low or moderate operating pressures and low or
moderate pressure drops. Butterfly valves are subject to pressure drop limitations
because of the combination of shear and torsional stress on the shaft and disk. The
shaft and disk must be designed to withstand the torque that can be produced either
at maximum pressure drop or when the valve is only partially open.
Rotation of conventional disks should be limited to about 60 degrees from the
closed position in throttling service, but 90 degrees rotation is acceptable for on/off

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service. Rotation of specially designed disks such as Fishers Fishtail Disk should
conform to the manufacturers recommendation.
Tight closure with conventional metal disk and body is virtually impossible. Elastomer lining of the body will normally provide a suitable seal. However, for extreme
service, piston rings or inflatable metal seals are preferred. Usually, any of the
sealing methods will result in higher starting torque, and the actuator must be
sized accordingly. Also, the temperature limitation of the seal must be taken into
consideration.
Butterfly control valves can often be used to advantage in normal process applications for valve sizes 6 inches and larger, where valve pressure drops are not excessive. Allowable pressure drop is dependent on shaft material and diameter and on
operating variables. Once all the operating variables are known, the allowable
torques, noise, cavitation, etc., should be checked to determine whether a butterfly is
applicable.
Butterfly control valves can also be used to advantage in applications, such as corrosive or erosive service, that require the use of special or exotic metals. Instead of
requiring a 100 percent premium body material for these types of services, a
butterfly with an inert elastomer coating or liner can be considered.
The eccentric disk valves are often called high performance butterfly valves. The
less restricted flow results in greater capacity (higher Cv). These valves can also
control high-pressure drops with standard construction. The shutoff capabilities of
these valves are excellent. They can be used where bidirectional flow is required.
However, the flow capacity in the reverse direction is reduced. Torque requirements
throughout the operating range are reduced because of the eccentric motion of the
disk. These valves are also extremely susceptible to noise and cavitation. All
possible operating conditions must be reviewed to make sure they are suitable. (See
Figure 900-9.)
Fig. 900-9 Eccentric Disk Valve

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Flangeless valves can be used where fire safety concerns are satisfied. The eccentric spherical plug valve is constructed with single body machining. This allows the
valve to be used at ANSI ratings of up to 600 pounds. However, when this type of
valve must be installed between pipe reducers, sufficient space must be allowed to
install the long make-up bolts.
Angle valves are designed for severe pressure reducing services, for example, pressure letdown service. If cavitation or flashing is inevitable, an angle valve may be
piped to discharge directly into a vessel or other enlarged volume thus lessening
valve and outlet piping damage.
Angle valves may be used in cases where the piping layout does not allow a globe
valve. However, these valves require very careful sizing because their capacity is
affected by the direction of flow through the body and also by the type of trim used.
For example, a Venturi insert in the valve outlet will result in a higher pressure
recovery downstream. When sizing the actuator, the high unbalance forces on the
plug must be considered.
Angle valves are not a preferred choice, except for special applications as
mentioned above.
A three-way valve can be used either as a diverting or a mixing valve. Three-way
valves are normally provided with linear ports. (See Figure 900-10.)
Fig. 900-10Three-Way Valve Application

The use of three-way valves at temperatures above 500F or at differential temperatures exceeding 300F is not recommended. The valve, having been installed at
ambient conditions and rigidly connected at three flanges, cannot accommodate
pipeline expansion caused by process temperature, and distortion results. Similarly,
in mixing service, when the temperature difference between the two ports is
substantial, the resulting differential expansion can also cause distortion. Distortion
in the valve can cause binding, leakage at the seats, dead band, and packing friction.
It is ChevronTexacos preference to use two separate valves instead of three-way
valves because temperature effects are not as critical and because both valves can
fail closed (in three-way valves one port is always open). (See Figure 900-11.)

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Fig. 900-11Preferred Approach Over Three-Way Valves

Globe vs Rotary Valve Comparison


For the same nominal size, globe body control valves are bigger, heavier, and are
more rugged than rotary vaalves. Thus, they weigh more and cost more than
rotary valves. Globe valve can withstand higher shutoff pressures and take greater
pressure drops than rotary valves. Globe body control valves are less susceptible to
cavitation and aerodynamic noise generation. In severe service applications, globe
body control valves can be retrofitted with severe service.
Masoneilan is promoting their rotary Camflex valve as a rotary globe control
valve. In reality, Camflex valves are rotary valves. All ball and segmental ball
valves have globular bodies but it does not make them globe body control valves.

933 Trim Characteristics


Control Valve Characteristics
The flow characteristic of a control valve is the relationship between valve opening
(stroke) and flow at a constant pressure drop across the valve. Figure 900-12 shows
the typical control valve characteristic curve.

Inherent Trim Characteristics


Control valve trim characteristics, published by manufacturers, are called inherent
characteristics. Values and plots for inherent characteristics are obtained at laboratory conditions where control valve flow capacities are determined, while constant
valve inlet and outlet pressures are maintained.

Quick Opening
The Quick Opening flow characteristic curve provides for maximum change in flow
rate at low valve travels with a fairly linear relationship. Additional increases in
valve travel give sharply reduced changes in flow rate and when the valve plug
nears the wide open position, the change in flow rate approaches zero. In a control
valve, the quick opening valve plug is used primarily for on-off service.

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Fig. 900-12Valve Characteristic Curves (Inherent)

Linear
The Linear flow characteristic curve shows that the flow rate is directly proportional to the valve travel. For instance, at 50 percent of rated valve travel, the flow
rate would be 50 percent of maximum flow; and at 80 percent of rated travel, the
flow rate would be 80 percent of maximum flow. The linear valve plug is commonly
specified for liquid level control and for low gain applications such as vapor pressure control.

Equal Percent
In the Equal Percentage flow characteristic curve, equal increments of valve travel
produce equal percentage change in flow. The change in flow rate is always proportional to the flow rate just before the change in valve plug position is made. Consequently, when the valve plug is near the seat and flow is small, the change in flow
will also be small; and if the flow is large, the change in flow would also be large.
Valves with equal percentage flow characteristics are used for high gain applications such as flow and liquid pressure control and for applications where high rangeability (greater than 5:1 is required).

Modified Parabolic
Some valves have a characteristic that falls between linear and equal percent. This
curve, because it was unique to contoured plugs, is frequently referred to as modified equal percent or modified parabolic.

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Installed Trim Characteristics


When a control valve is installed into a piping system, its actual (installed) characteristics will be different from its inherent characteristics. Installed characteristics
refer to the way a valve will actually perform with respect to the changing friction
drops in piping and will differ for each piping configuration. To understand how the
piping configuration affects the characteristics one needs to develop an accurate
hydraulic evaluation of a system including an actual pump curve, best available
calculation of piping friction losses, and the published trim characteristic curves or
data for the control valve being evaluated (See Figures 900-1 and 900-12). At lower
flow rates the pump discharge pressure is near its maximum and piping friction
losses are near their minimum. At high flow rates the opposite is true. When the
valve is close to its seat, the pressure drop across it is much higher than when it is
wide open.
Installed characteristic curves can be developed by calculating and plotting flow
rates, using actual pressure drops that a valve will see at its various stages of travel.
At low openings, where the pressure drops are near the maximum, flow rates
through a valve will be proportionately much higher than at greater openings. When
these calculated flow rates are plotted against valve travel, the installed characteristic of a valve with an inherent Linear Trim begins to approach the characteristic of
a Quick-Open valve.
The installed characteristic of a valve with an inherent Equal-Percent Trim begins to
approach the inherent characteristic of a Linear Trim valve (See Figures 900-12 and
900-13). This linearity suggests that the gain (response of the process compared to
the change in valve travel) of a control valve with inherent equal-percent trim is
more likely to produce stable process control. When the gain of a control valve is
linear, one set of tuning constants will work throughout all stages of valve travel.
When the valve gain is non-linear, different tuning constants would be required at
different stages of valve travel. This is especially significant when a facility must
process several different feeds or when the process is designed for a wide range of
operating cases.
When installed characteristics are evaluated, equal-percent trim becomes the trim of
choice in over 95% of control valve applications.

Valve Trim
Valve trim consists of the internal parts of the valve that are in flowing contact with
the controlled fluid and that perform the throttling function. Trim components are
usually of a higher metallurgy than the valve body and are removable for replacement during maintenance.
Figure 900-14 shows the basic types of trim used with globe valves.

Globe Valve Trim


The plug is the moving component of the valve. It throttles flow by positioning
itself within the seat orifice and shutting off flow by contacting the seat. The plug is
moved against dynamic fluid flow forces by stem force transmitted from the

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Fig. 900-13Typical Installed Trim Characteristic Curves

Fig. 900-14Typical Globe Body Plugs

actuator. Throttling may be done by a contoured or V-port plug or shaped opening in


a cage guide.
Guiding is the means by which the plug is aligned throughout plug travel. The
guiding must resist all side thrust on the plug from dynamic fluid flow conditions.
The common methods of guiding in globe valves are cage guiding, top guiding, top
and bottom guiding, and port or skirt guiding.

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In cage guiding, the cage guides the plug. The outside diameter of the valve plug is
in close proximity to the inside wall surface of the cage throughout the travel range.
Cage guiding of the plug, combined with uniform distribution of flow around the
plug by the cage ports, provides two principal advantages:

Stable throttling at higher pressure drops.


Reduction in side load and friction.

Top guiding uses a single extra-long bushing to guide the plug stem above the plug
and is usually used with a contoured, single-seated plug. Top-guided valves should
be avoided for high pressure drop applications (over 100 psi).
Top and bottom guiding is used with contoured and V-port plugs with post extensions that are guided above and below the plug. This design allows the plug to be
reversed to change the fail action on loss of instrument air.
Port guiding is also referred to as skirt guiding. The plug is guided in the seat ring
by a skirt on the plug. It is used in bodies with V-port plugs and in some three-way
valve designs. Port and skirt-guided valves are notorious for failure caused by the
locking pin failing and the plug spinning off the stem.

Rotary Valve Trim


The trim of rotary valves differs greatly from that of globe valves.
The disk, which is in contact with the process fluid in a butterfly valve, can be
considered the major component of the trim.
The sphere with an internal passageway controls the process fluid media in a ball
valve. The sphere configuration can vary from the full ball with a straight bore to
segmented balls with special shaped openings or notches.
Eccentric mounting of the disk in the eccentric disk valve allows the disk to pull
away from the seat, minimizing seat wear. Trim life is prolonged because the disk is
not in contact with the seat during throttling.

Rangeability
The term rangeability is defined as the ratio of maximum controllable flow to
minimum controllable flow. Thus a vendor will state that a valve with a characteristic curve will have a rangeability of 50:1.
It is impractical, from a manufacturing standard, to characterize flow when the
valve is barely open. Likewise, at shutoff it is impossible to characterize any
leakage flow that may occur.
If minimum flow were used, a valve with bubble-tight shutoff would have infinite
rangeability. Such reasoning may be logical, but is unrealistic.
The fact that a characteristic curve for an equal percentage valve shows a maximum
rangeability of 50:1 does not mean that this is the available rangeability. For
instance, ChevronTexacos practice is to design control valves to operate between

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not less than 10 percent and not more than 90 percent of valve opening or stroke.
Thus the available rangeability for an equal percent valve will be less than 20:1.
Because Cv is an expression of flow capacity, a review of maximum required Cv,
minimum required Cv, and the manufacturers rated Cv is required in selecting the
rangeability needed in a control valve. If this ratio is within the available rangeability of the selected control valve, control of the flowing media is possible.
The best rangeability is offered by ball valves with characterized ports, e.g., Fisher
Vee-Ball. These valves are usually offered in flangeless construction. Flanged
bodies are required for hydrocarbon service.

Control Valve Seat Leakage


Most control valves are throttling continuously, and tight shut-off is not required.
Control valve seat leakage becomes a concern in applications where control valves
are designed to be normally shut off and to control the process only periodically,
e.g., a liquid level control valve on a compressor discharge knockout drum. If the
level control valve leaked faster than the liquid was accumulating in the knockout
drum, vapor blow-through, which could overpressure the downstream piping and
equipment, would result.
American National Standards Institute has adopted Fluid Control Institutes document ANSI/FCI 70-2, Quality Control Standard for Control Valve Seat Leakage, as
the national standard for classifying leakage through control valves. FCI 70-2
divides allowable control valve leakage into six classes. These classes are defined as
follows:
Class I:

No test required.

Class II:

Up to 0.5% of rated control valve capacity at full travel. Tested


with air or water at 45-60 psid or maximum operating differential, whichever is lower.

Class III:

Up to 0.1% of rated control valve capacity at full travel. Same


test as for Class II.

Class IV:

Up to 0.01% of rated control valve capacity at full travel.


Same test as for Class II.

Class V:

0.0005 milliliter per minute of water per inch of port diameter


per psi differential. Tested with water at maximum service
pressure drop across the valve plug, but not to exceed ANSI
body pressure rating.

Class VI:

Bubbles per minute based on nominal port diameter as shown


below and tested with air or nitrogen at maximum rated differential pressure across valve plug:

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Nominal Port
Diameter (inches)

Bubbles Per
Minute

11

27

45

934 Control Valve Sizing


Masoneilan Control Valve Sizing Equations
In the early 1940s, Masoneilan coined the term Cv to refer to a coefficient to
denote control valve capacity. Cv is equivalent to the number of gallons per minute
of water that will pass through a control valve at a pressure drop of 1 psi. Basically,
it is a capacity index. For example, a control valve that has a flow coefficient or Cv
of 10 has an effective port area (in the fully open position) that will pass 10 gpm of
water at a 1 psi pressure drop.
Control valve capacity ratings are generally determined by tests. The test method
consists of measuring the flow through the valve, at a constant pressure differential
across the valve, and at various degrees of valve opening.
The basic liquid sizing equation that Masoneilan developed was:
Q
Cv = ------------------------------1/2
P

1 P 2
---------------- Sp. Gr.
(Eq. 900-1)

Cv = Valve sizing coefficient


Q = Liquid flow in gpm
P1 = Upstream pressure
P2 = Downstream pressure
Sp. Gr. = Specific gravity of the fluid
Masoneilan then extrapolated the liquid sizing equations to vapor and mass flow,
and a method to size all control valves was established. These equations could not
predict incipient cavitation in liquid service and were ineffective in the transition
regime of vapor flow from subsonic to sonic.

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Masoneilan equations did not include sizing corrections for viscosity, supercompressibility, piping geometry, etc., built into them.

Fisher Control Valve Sizing Equations


Because of the problems encountered in using Cv to predict critical flow, Fisher
Controls began testing valves on air and water at their own test facility. On the basis
of these test results, Fisher established a sizing coefficient, Cg, to relate critical flow
to the absolute inlet pressure for gases. Cg was experimentally determined by
testing each style and size of valve and showing that the predicted flow at critical
pressure drop was in acceptable tolerances with the curves generated from the test
data.
In 1963, Fisher published their Universal Valve Sizing Equations for volumetric and
mass vapor flow. The equations established vapor sizing coefficients in units of Cg
and steam sizing coefficients in units of Cs.
Fisher equations gave excellent results in calculating compressible fluid capacities,
but, unfortunately, could be used only for specifying Fisher valves. The coefficients
Cg and Cs are meaningless to all other control valve manufacturers.
Another drawback of the Fisher equations is that they expect the user to know when
sizing corrections, e. g., compressibility, piping geometry effects (reducers),
viscosity, etc., are needed. The process for applying the corrections is cumbersome.
The user must make a preliminary valve selection based on initial sizing, decide that
the application requires the corrections, calculate the corrections separately from the
sizing calculations, adjust the calculated sizing values, then make a final valve
selection. Not applying the corrections may result in a control valve being either
oversized or undersized.
Fishers current software gives the user the option to perform calculations using
either ISA equations or Fishers proprietary coefficients.

ISA Control Valve Sizing Equations


In the mid-1970s, the Instrument Society of America (ISA), with cooperation from
Fisher, developed control valve sizing equations that incorporated the benefits of the
Fisher equations, but used the universal valve sizing coefficient Cv and were applicable to sizing all control valves.
The ISA equations in their basic form list all the possible corrections that must be
considered in sizing a control valve, e.g., supercompressibility, viscosity, swage
effect of inlet and outlet piping, etc. The corrections are included so that an engineer does not forget a possible consideration, with the result that the valve is
improperly sized.
ChevronTexaco experience shows that control valves can be undersized by as much
as twenty five percent (25%), expecially rotary valves, when swage effects of piping
reducers, viscosity, etc., are not taken into consideration.
The ISA equations are recommended and endorsed by the Company.

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Effects of Piping Geometry on Control Valve Capacity


Typically, control valve body sizes come out to be one size smaller than the piping
in which they are installed. In globe body control valves trim can be furhter reduced
to accommodate process requirements. In rotary control valves, reduced trim is not
an option and a smaller valve must be specified for the application. In such cases,
effects of piping reducers and process hydraulics on valve capacity must be carefully evaluated. ChevronTexacos experience shows that use of piping reducers can
cut down the rated capacity of a rotary control valve by as much as twenty five
percent (25%).

Personal Computer Software


A number of personal computer (PC) programs are available for sizing control
valves. These programs are offered by publishing companies, ISA, and most of the
major control valve vendors.
To date, most of the programs are written to run on the IBM PCs or their
compatibles. Limited software is available for the Apple Macintosh computers.
The early computer programs were based on Fisher equations. They gave results in
Fisher sizing coefficients, i.e., Cg and Cs, and did not include sizing corrections.
Most of the newer programs are based on ISA equations and have subroutines that
calculate and apply all corrections automatically. The best programs allow the user
to review installed trim characteristics, and, based on the type of valve type and trim
selected, to evaluate control valve gain. This feature allows the user to select the
optimum valve type, valve body size, and trim size for the application.

935 Material Selection


Valve Bodies
Valve body materials are selected based on the process fluid and its properties, i.e.,
type of fluid, pressure, temperature, corrosion, and erosion properties. Valve body
material is usually specified the same as process piping material, e.g., carbon steel,
316 stainless steel, etc.
Pressure and temperature ratings for the pressure containment parts, i.e., body,
bonnet, and bolting have been established for the more common materials by the
American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The recommended materials for specified physical and chemical requirements are
given in standards established by the American Society for Testing and Materials
(ASTM).
Pages 297 through 315 of the ISA Handbook of Control Valves, 2nd edition, list
extracted tables from ANSI and ASTM standards. It is suggested that for accuracy
or items not listed, the specific ANSI or ASTM standard be consulted.
It is good practice, when special materials are recommended to confirm the selection with ERTC Materials specialists, and then specify the materials by the proper
ASTM designation.

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Valve Trim
The control valve trim material selection is generally predicated on the factors of
corrosion, erosion, wear and galling, and temperature.
Corrosion properties of the process fluid are important factors in material selection.
Tables are available that list materials and chemicals but give only a general indication of how a limited selection of materials will react when in contact with certain
fluids. These tables should be used only as a guide. For example, the table may
show that it is acceptable to use carbon steel for chlorine gas, but titanium is not
acceptable. While this is true for dry gas, the opposite is true if the gas is wet.
Concentration, temperature, contaminants, pressure, and other conditions may alter
the suitability of a particular material.
Erosion is damage caused by the impingement of high velocity particles on the
material surfaces. Entrained sand, slurries, catalyst fines, and wet steam liquid droplets are sometimes associated with this type of wear. The valve plug and seat ring
are probably the valve components that are most susceptible to erosion.
The ISA Handbook of Control Valves, 2nd edition, pages 162 through 164, discusses
the properties and applications of common trim materials. This listing may be
used as a guide in the selection of materials for corrosion or erosion services.
Galling is related to temperature, material pairs, surface finish, hardness, and
loading. The lubricating qualities of the flowing fluid also affect wear and galling.
Dry superheated steam has a notable tendency to cause this type of failure. In
applications where high mass flow rates exist, wear and galling of valve plug and
bushing materials are usually encountered.
High temperature can either anneal or soften metals, increasing the galling potential. The differential thermal expansion of trim components can act to reduce the
working clearances designed into the valve. This can occur when hot fluid initially
enters a cold valve and not all trim components come up to temperature at the
same rate.
Galling may be lessened or prevented by the following:

Specifying hard material for one, or preferably both, parts

Using different materials for both parts

Specifying either a required surface finish and surface hardness or special


coating

Selecting material pairs with low galling potential

Packing Gland Assemblies


Packings, installed into a packing gland assembly, prevent leakage of process fluid
past the stem or shaft. (Also see the next section for hydrocarbon fugitive emissions
requirements.) The packing gland assembly consists of a packing box machined into
the valve bonnet, a wiper ring, a lantern ring, packing, a packing follower, a packing
flange, and stud bolts and nuts. The wiper ring sits at the bottom of the packing box

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and provides mechanical support for the lantern ring. The lantern ring is a metallic
spacer that provides mechanical support for the packing and also provides a cavity
to receive the lubricant when lubricant is used. The packing flange contacts the
follower which has a ball-shaped surface to compensate for unintentional misalignment of the packing flange thus minimizing side loading on the stem. Adjustment to
nuts on packing gland studs compress the packing against the packing box walls and
the surface of the stem.
A loosely adjusted packing will allow process fluid to leak past the packing. Overtightened packing will grab the stem and will keep it from moving. Some packing
gland designs use two sets of packings separated by the lantern ring. In these
designs, the lantern ring cavity can be used either to accept the lubricant, or, in a dry
packing system, to monitor intermediate packing leakage through the lubricator and
isolating valve connection. All manufacturers specify that a torque wrench be used
to adjust the stud bolt nuts to ensure that packing is tightened properly.

Packings
Packing recommendations for specific petrochemical services are tabulated in Specification ICM-EG-2350, Control Valve Fabrication.
Historical Overview. For control valves, past practices have been to use asbestos
composition jam-type packings, where a packing was installed into a packing
gland, the stud nuts tightened, and the resiliency of the packing provided the sealing
forces needed to keep the process from leaking. To reduce packing friction and to
optimize sealing, lubricants were injected into the lantern ring area. Lubricants
sealed the voids in the resilient packing as well as filled in mechanical voids
between the packing and the stem. Most petrochemical facilities used Teflon packings, which consisted of Teflon formed into either solid rings, split rings, or
chevron vee rings. Teflon Chevron rings relied on the mechanical shape of the
rings to provide the needed lateral loading to maintain the seal.
In the late 1980s use of asbestos was banned by the EPA. At about the same time,
Teflon was banned from hydrocarbon services because it is not fire-safe. In 1990,
the Clean Air Act was passed and strict fugitive emission sealing performance
requirements were mandated.
Current Requirements. In todays business climate, control valve packings must
be fire-safe, mechanically reliable, chemically inert, must have high sealing capability, and must produce minimal friction on the stem. To meet these criteria, control
valve packing material options have been narrowed to fluorocarbons (Teflon or
Kal-Rez), graphitic packings, and combination packings (combination of fluorocarbon and graphite).
Fluorocarbon Packings. Fluorocarbon packings are chemically inert in most
process applications, provide outstanding sealing characteristics and have a very
low coefficient of friction. However, fluorocarbon packings are not fire-safe and are
also temperature limited. Teflon sublimates at about 400F, Kal-Rez decomposes at
about 500F. They are the optimum choice for most chemical and non-hydrocarbon
services. Teflon packings come in solid, split-ring, and chevron form. Kal-Rez
comes in chevron form only. Chevron packings are usually installed with

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anti-extrusion back-up rings to preclude packing degradation through cold flow.


Fluorocarbon packings can only be used for hydrocarbon services in the combination form described below. Fluorocarbon packings can be installed in jam-type
packing glands; however, for optimum performance (long intervals between maintenance while complying with low fugitive emission limits) they should be installed
in live-loaded packing gland assemblies. Live loading is produced by belleville
spring washers which deliver a constant and uniform load on the packing.
Graphitic Packings. Graphitic packings (graphite or carbon) come in pre-formed
rings that slip over the valve stem or in braided ribbon form. Graphitic packings are
relatively inert and can be used for most hydrocarbon services. Some die-formed
graphite rings have a temperature rating of up to 1,000F. Braided ribbon packings
are easy to handle but are difficult to install correctly. Proper installation procedures
require that graphitic packings be installed one layer at a time with each layer being
crushed to eliminate all voids. When multiple layers are installed without the
intermediate crushing, only the top layer gets compressed properly. Voids remain
in the uncompressed layers and packings start to leak shortly after installation.
Graphitic packings, once compressed, do not have the property to spring back
when compressive forces are released (or when packing material volume is reduced
through wear). Experience shows that properly installed graphitic packings perform
best when they are live-loaded.
Graphitic packings have a coefficient of friction that is many times higher (up to
thirty times higher) than fluorocarbon packings. To overcome packing friction
forces, control valves with graphitic packings require larger actuators than valves
with fluorocarbon packings. Valves which initially had Teflon packings but were
retrofitted to graphitic packings (late 1980s) typically ended up with undersized
actuators. Several Company facilities tried using braided graphite packings with
lubricants to both reduce friction and to seal the voids. Experience shows that
lubricated braided graphitic packings give borderline performance and require high
maintenance. The lubricant must be replenished frequently while friction is not
reduced enough to provide good control valve performance.
Combination Packings. Combination packings, which were introduced in early to
mid-90s are most efficient, and in the long run most economical. Within their
temperature limits they satisfy all the criteria that a packing must meet. Combination packings consist of fluorocarbon chevron rings supplemented with solid
graphite rings. Fluorocarbon rings provide low friction and excellent sealing while
graphitic rings satisfy the fire-safety requirements by restricting hydrocarbon
releases if the fluorocarbon packings burn. Combination packings also require
live-loading to work effectively.

Lubricants
Modern control valve packing systems are designed for long-term, maintenance-free
operation and are designed to work without lubricants. Periodic injection of packing
lubricant is labor intensive, drives up maintenance costs, and should be considered
only as a last resort, e.g., in a situation where a packing has developed a leak and
the valve cannot be taken out of service (no bypass manifold) until the plant is shut
down for maintenance.

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Figure 900-15 shows the installation of a lubricating and isolation valve. However,
due to restrictions on fugitive emissions, control valve packing systems have
improved to the point where lube and isolation valves are normally not used.
Fig. 900-15Lubrication and Isolating Valve

Sealing Systems for Fugitive Emission Compliance


The 1990 Clean Air Act imposes strict regulations requiring elimination of fugitive
emissions. The Act requires that hydrocarbon fugitive emissions are to be regularly
monitored using a pre-approved Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) analyzer that
measures hydrocarbon emissions in parts per million (ppm) of methane. Excessive
emissions are categorized as leaks. The leaks must be promptly reported and
repaired. Fines can be imposed for either excessive or unreported leaks (leaks found
during unannounced inspections conducted by either the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) or local air quality management district representatives).
For volatile emissions the Clean Air Act identifies over 180 hydrocarbon components and compounds that comprise VOCs which require monitoring. Current VOC
limits are 500 ppm for chemical and petrochemical plants and 1,000 ppm for refineries. Components that are classified as toxic (hazardous air pollutants or HAPs) are
limited to 500 ppm even if they are in a refinery process, e.g., benzene.
Local agencies are given the option to impose regulations even stricter than those
required by the Clean Air Act. In the State of California these options are being
fully implemented by the two dominant air quality management districts, the South
Coast Air Quality Management (SCAQM) District in the Greater Los Angeles area
and the Bay Area Air Quality Management (BAAQM) District in the Greater San
Francisco Bay Area.
SCAQMD currently imposes a 1,000 ppm VOC limit. This limit is supposed to go
down to 500 ppm in 1997. BAAQMD currently imposes a 500 ppm limit.
BAAQMDs limit is scheduled to go down to 100 ppm in January 1997.

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Valve manufacturers are working feverishly to develop valve packing systems that
will comply with fugitive emission regulations. The valve manufacturers dilemma
is that for a valve to control efficiently, packing friction must be minimized.
High packing friction contributes to hysteresis, which is not acceptable in control
valves. To minimize packing friction, valve packing compression forces have to be
minimized. Reducing valve packing compression reduces the effectiveness of the
valve packing and allows VOCs to escape.
Teflon packing minimizes packing friction but by itself is not acceptable to ChevronTexaco from a fire safety standpoint. Graphite packings are satisfactory for fire
safety but impose large friction forces on the control valve stems and may meet the
fugitive emissions requirements. In 1993 the Fire Protection Staff approved the use
of the combination of graphite and teflon-type rings.
Lubricants and grease seals are being used in some ChevronTexaco locations as an
interim solution. In the hydrocarbon industry, lubricators and lubricants were always
furnished on control valve packing glands. Grease seals were once the only
acceptable method to control unacceptable H2S and mercaptan leakage from control
valve packings. In the long term, grease seals will be considered acceptable only for
emergency repair and non-lubricated systems will be required.
Valve and packing manufacturers have come up with the dry packing combinations identified in the section on Packing above, which meet the fugitive emission requirements. One constraint for maintaining effective fugitive emissions
control is stem and packing box condition and finish. For fugitive emission applications, Fisher-Rosemount furnished their valves with stem finishes of 4 microinches
rms. Packing box finishes can be somewhat rougher because the packing does not
move in a packing box. As mentioned earlier, live-loading is a must for effective
fugitive emissions control valve application.
As part of the Petroleum Environmental Research Forum (PERF), the Company has
been monitoring packing fugitive emissions performance at several Company facilities. Test data shows that use of lubricants and grease seals to meet VOC fugitive
emission compliance is only marginally successful. Lubricated valves are barely
able to meet the 500 ppm emissions limit while they require frequent packing gland
adjustments and lubricant injection. Also, lubricating graphitic packings does not
seem to reduce the high friction that is normally associated with dry graphitic packings. Because of high friction, control performance of valves with lubricated
graphitic packings has not been entirely acceptable. By comparison, live-loaded
dry packing systems that the Company is monitoring for fugitive emissions have
been delivering better than 50 ppm sealing performance (<20 ppm average emissions) for over a year without any maintenance or adjustments. Because properly
sized actuators have been furnished for these dry packings, control valve performance has also been outstanding.

Packing Performance Standards


In 1994, Fluid Control Institute published ANSI/FCI 91-1-1994, Standard for Qualification of Control Valve Stem Seals to Meet EPA Emission Guidelines for Volatile
Organic Compounds. This standard defines and classifies performance levels that

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control valve packing systems must meet and requires the manufacturer to certify
that his packing system will meet the specified performance level. For example,
Class A1 defines a packing system which will not exceed 100 ppm emissions over a
period of 100,000 mechanical cycles and three thermal cycles (60F to 450 to 60F
= one thermal cycle). ISA is in the process of publishing a similar standard for
rotary control valve packing systems.

Hermetically Sealed Valves


Control valves with bellows seals fall into the category of hermetically sealed
control valves. They provide zero leakage as long as the bellows are intact. Bellows
seals have a history of work hardening, fatiguing, and failing. Bellows seals are
usually furnished with Teflon back-up packing systems. Although manufacturers
have changed bellows seal design and construction to extend bellows seal life, the
Companys most recent experience was that a new design bellows seal failed
within four months after being placed in service. When a bellows seal fails the
entire bonnet assembly must be replaced as a unit. Replacement bellows seals cost
about six times more than live-loaded, fire-safe fugitive emission-type packings.
One control valve company advertises their valves as hermetically-sealed zeroleakage control valves for refinery services. The valves were developed for
distilled water control on nuclear powered submarines, and, with cutbacks in military spending, the manufacturer had to look for new markets. It picked the petrochemical industry because the petrochemical industry is a major user of control
valves. Four valves were installed successfully in ChevronTexaco to control clean
(filtered and polished) products in a pipeline application where reliable instrument
air was not available. Although the sales representatives claim that the valve is the
answer to fugitive emission concerns in all petroleum services, the companys technical manager says that the valves are susceptible to plugging in over 75% of petroleum processing applications. The valves are actuated by means of a large solenoid
coil which opens or closes a pilot port inside the control valve body. To open or
close the valve, the pilot diverts process pressure to the upstream or downstream
side of the plug. Valve position is fed back to remote control electronics through a
Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT). For maintenance considerations,
the electronics must be mounted remotely in an environment that is protected from
rain and electrically classified as General Purpose. Failure mode of these valves is
indeterminable because of many parameters that can fail, e. g., power failure, electronics failure, loose wiring, loss of process pressure, etc., each of which would
make the valve fail in a different direction. This would be a safety concern because
a control valve must fail in a predetermined, fail-safe direction. Because of different
signal levels (power to coil and LVDT feedback), two conduits must be run from the
remote electronics to each control valve. As a result, the total initial installed cost of
these valves can be much higher than the cost of conventional control valves. There
is no operating and maintenance cost data available to establish the total life cycle
cost of these control valves.

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Specification ICM-MS-2350
This specification defines ChevronTexacos minimum requirements for body metallurgy, fabrication, and packing and lubricator selection of all valves used for control
except gate valves and direct-operated or self-contained regulators.
Air-operated diaphragm actuators, piston actuators, and control valve positioning
devices are also covered by this specification.
The requirements, as applicable, for electric-motor operated, hydraulically operated
and electrohydraulically operated control valves are discussed.
Any fabrication feature that deviates from this specification must be approved by
ChevronTexaco.

940

Actuators
941 Spring-and-Diaphragm Actuators
The spring-and-diaphragm actuator is the oldest of all control valve actuator designs
and is still the most widely used. It is simple, inexpensive, fairly efficient; and its
speed is limited only by the rate at which air can be moved into and exhausted from
the diaphragm case.
In a direct-acting diaphragm actuator, the pressure-tight chamber is above the
diaphragm and increasing pressure within that chamber, compresses the spring, and
results in a downward motion of the stem. A direct-acting diaphragm actuator is
shown in Figure 900-16.
Fig. 900-16Typical Direct-Acting Diaphragm Actuator

In a reverse-acting actuator, the pressure-tight chamber is below the diaphragm and


increasing air pressure with that chamber results in an upward motion of the stem.

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On loss of diaphragm air pressure, the valve returns to its designed failure mode:
that is, the direct-acting actuator fails up, the reverse fails down.
The limitation of the spring-and-diaphragm actuator is that a large diaphragm is
required to produce a large stem force, and the larger the diaphragm, the less pressure the case can withstand.

Piston Actuators
Piston actuators are used when spring-and-diaphragm actuator limits are exceeded.
Single-acting and double-acting piston actuators are the two most common types.
In a single-acting piston, the positioner drives the piston against a spring (as in a
diaphragm actuator). On loss of air supply pressure, the spring moves the piston
and, in turn, the control valve plug, to the fail-safe position.
In double-acting actuator, air pressure is used to drive the actuator piston in both
directions. These actuators react to a pressure unbalance that is created by loading
supply pressure on one side of the piston and unloading the opposite side.
Figure 900-17 shows a double-acting piston schematic.
Fig. 900-17Operation of Double Acting Piston Actuator with Positioner (Courtesy of
Fisher Controls, International, Inc.)

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Assume that a downward piston motion is required and the instrument bellows
receives a corresponding change in input signal pressure. This causes the beam to
pivot, covering the nozzle on relay A and increasing its output pressure. At the same
time, relay B reacts to the change in beam position, decreasing the pressure to the
underside of the piston. This action results in unbalanced forces acting on the piston.
Because of this unbalance, the piston moves down changing the plug position. A
similar analysis can be made for an upward piston movement.
A feedback arrangement prevents over correction and ensures a definite position of
the piston and valve plug for a given instrument signal. This is accomplished by a
range spring that feeds the position of the piston back to the beam.

Selection
An actuator should be selected to overcome the static and dynamic forces associated with the control valve. It should be able to move the valve plug to a specific
position and maintain that position, within a specified tolerance, despite the varying
forces exerted by the flowing fluid. In other words, the actuator should have power,
stiffness, and frequency response qualities suitable for the application.
The static unbalance of the valve created at shutoff is a major force. On singleported, unbalanced globe valves, this force is calculated by multiplying the area of
the valve orifice by the maximum shutoff pressure. On balanced valves, the force
is calculated by multiplying the cross-sectional area of the stem by the maximum
shutoff pressure.
Friction forces also are present in the valve body. These forces are a result of the
packing, seals, and guiding surfaces. For large valve body assemblies, the weight of
the valve plug and stem forces should be also considered.
The static forces of rotary-motion valves are measured in torque units (in-lb) rather
than force units. Ball valves and other symmetrical valves have negligible unbalance static forces; eccentric or offset valves do have unbalance forces. Ball valves
and plug valves often are designed so that the closure member is always in contact
with the seat throughout the travel. These valves have extremely high frictional
forces at all openings.
Other rotary valves, such as some offset high-performance butterfly valves and
eccentric plug valves, incur sealing friction only at small angles of opening. The
torque required to cope with this friction is known as breakaway or breakout
torque.
Special consideration must be given when specifying an actuator for a ball valve.
The standard valve has a circumferential ring seat that the upstream pressure seals
against the ball. This situation can generate substantial friction and require large
operator torque for smooth operation. These valves are also available without seat
rings, which eases the load on the actuator but eliminates the tight shutoff feature.
Between these two extremes is a large spectrum of valve types that have nonlinear
seal friction characteristics. For example, the standard elastomer-lined butterfly
valve has a high friction interference fit, but the friction diminishes as the valve
opens.

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Static unbalance is by no means the only process influence on the valve. As the
valves throttles, dynamic forces act on the plug because of the fluid momentum.
These forces vary in magnitude and direction, depending on valve style. In all cases,
however, flow forces are proportional to the pressure differential across the valve.
The valve plug stroke is determined by the control valve body size or the valve plug
size to give full controllable flow. In a pneumatic-diaphragm actuator, stem travels
of 0.5 to 4 inches are typical. Stem travel for the piston type actuator can vary from
of an inch to 24 inches.
Diaphragm actuators normally operate with air pressure ranges of 3 to 15 psig or
6 to 30 psig. When thrust and torque requirements exceed the range of diaphragm
actuators, pneumatic pistons are used. Piston actuators operate on air pressures from
50 to 150 psig. These actuators can be used in either throttling or on-off
applications.
For applications where fast stroking speeds, high thrusts, and long strokes are
required, electrohydraulic actuators can be used. A 4 to 20 ma dc signal to an electrohydraulic transducer will operate these actuators. This type of actuator will
operate an assortment of large rotary and sliding stem valves.
Failure-modes of actuators are specified after considering the type of process being
controlled. The process may require one valve to fail-open to relieve the pressure
build-up of a system and another valve in the same system to fail-close to retain a
particular level. The correct selection of the failure-modes of control valves in a
process unit is essential for reasons of safety.
The three basic valve actuator failure-modes are fail open, fail closed, and lock-up
or fail in place (hold the last position). In the diaphragm actuator,