Hydrocarbon Processing Copying and distributing are prohibited without permission of the publisher
Email a friend
  • Please enter a maximum of 5 recipients. Use ; to separate more than one email address.

HP Innovations

02.01.2014  |  Blume, Adrienne ,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Innovations for February 2014.

Keywords: [gas turbine] [natural gas] [monitor] [flowmeter] [laser tracker] [equipment] [turbocompressor] [coker] [Fieldbus]

System monitors gas turbine vibration

A refinery relying on a gas turbine-driven generator to provide power recently installed a DAQ vibration-monitoring data logger from CAS DataLoggers (Fig. 1) as a condition-monitoring solution. The data logger allows users to schedule downtime for maintenance and avoid power interruptions. The facility uses an older generator that has begun to develop vibrations in its shafts and bearings, causing fatigue failures. Users needed to acquire process data from the turbine, including temperature, pressure, flowrate and RPM data.

  Fig. 1.  The DAQ vibration-
  monitoring data logger from
  CAS DataLoggers allows users to schedule downtime
  for maintenance and avoid
  power interruptions.

System installation

The refinery installed a data acquisition and control system into the control cabinet adjacent to the turbine. The system’s eight synchronous analog inputs enable universal connections for accelerometers and displacement sensors at sampling rates of up to 50 kHz per channel. The system also features four analog outputs and eight digital outputs for monitoring. Integrated comparators for keyphasor sensors and four digital inputs are also included to enable flexible triggering. All channels are galvanically isolated.

The DAQ system’s 24-bit analog-to-digital converter ensures precise measurements, while its dual-core field-programmable gate array processor provides it with ample power for online computations and analysis. The touchscreen display shows configuration and measurement data.

The data logger is connected to the control room’s programmable logic controller to continuously acquire pressure vibrations, as well as turbine process data. The system has its own internal data storage capability, and its memory can record raw time signals, along with spectra and characteristic values.

The data logger’s local area network interface gives users access from any authorized computer on the network. Analysis of online/offline measurement data is performed from a desktop computer. The system also sends the data online via the refinery’s ethernet network so that the generator’s manufacturer can view the data offsite.

Vibration analysis software

The system utilizes analysis software for data acquisition, vibration analysis, visualization and automation. Refinery personnel chose an option that enables recordkeeping and statistical functions. Users can portray online and offline fast Fourier transform, cascade, time-signal and orbit diagrams, and monitor and evaluate both vibration and process data.

The software is modular and scalable. Data is monitored on the fly, with digital outputs switching within milliseconds in the event of limit-value violations. Time signal processing and characteristic curve computations take place directly within the hardware’s digital signal processing. Users can access and analyze both online and archived data at any time, and the software also offers diagrams with a range of analysis functions and customized documentation.

Condition-monitoring benefits

The DAQ system acts as the brain of this application as it measures, monitors and records the vibration and process data fully independently of a host computer. A single system provides real-time monitoring, local data storage, alarming and analysis. The data may then be manually evaluated or used with the alarm-management option for automated and direct warnings and alarms to personnel.

The system records even the smallest irregularity in the data, so non-periodic signals can be precisely analyzed for effective fault diagnostics. This reduces expensive processing delays due to undiagnosed problems when a turbine fails.

Select 1 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS

Bidirectional controller is first of its kind

Alicat Scientific Inc.’s new MCD series bidirectional mass flow and pressure controllers (Fig. 2) precisely and rapidly control mass flowrate, volumetric flowrate, and absolute pressure of gases in two flow directions. This dual-valve design is the first of its kind, accommodating process control requirements in gas analysis, leak testing and environmental applications.

  Fig. 2.  Alicat Scientific Inc.’s
  MCD series bidirectional
  mass flow and pressure
  controller has a dual-valve
  design that is the first of its kind.

With a dedicated inlet valve and a dedicated exhaust valve, a single MCD controller can control upstream and downstream flows, as well as positive pressure or backpressure in both open and closed systems. The controller is designed for processes that require bidirectional flow control and/or pressure control, as well as for pressure control in closed systems, while also monitoring mass flow. User-selectable control modes allow users to switch quickly between mass flow, volumetric flow, and absolute pressure measurement and control for maximum flexibility.

Alicat’s patented, internally compensated laminar differential pressure measurement yields linear results over a wide flow range. The resulting volumetric and mass flow data is fully compensated for changes in pressure and temperature, and corrected for the user’s standard temperature and pressure. Available 0.4% accuracy, +0.2% full-scale repeatability and less than 100-millisecond control response times ensure top performance of gas flow processes.

The MCD series’ large, integrated display allows users to access setpoint control and PID valve tuning without the need for a computer. While it can operate as a standalone device, it also comes with both analog and RS-232 digital communications to integrate easily into process control instrumentation. It comes with 30 field-selectable calibrations, and it is available in full-scale mass flowrates from −0.5/+0.5 standard cubic centimeters per minute to −3,000/+3,000 standard liters per minute. All units are backed by the National Institute of Standards and technology-traceable calibration, comprehensive technical support and a lifetime warranty.

Select 2 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS

Laser tracker system aids chemical processing

Hexagon Metrology recently announced its new handheld Leica B-Probe laser tracker (Fig. 3) designed for the inspection, alignment and assembly of large-scale machinery and fabrications used in the chemical processing industry.

  Fig. 3.  Hexagon Metrology’s
  Leica B-Probe laser tracker is
  designed for the inspection,
  alignment and assembly of
  chemical processing machinery.

The entry-level, wireless probing device extends the capability of the Leica Absolute Tracker AT402, a portable measurement system used to accurately measure and inspect in a radial volume up to 1,050 ft. The wireless probe can be used to inspect new construction or maintenance work on large assemblies residing in a wide range of plants producing chemicals, paints, plastics, household cleaning products and more.

Machine setup and downtime are reduced with the new laser tracker-based probing system. The probe’s small footprint and wireless functionality enable a trouble-free construction or repair process, while other tasks are conducted simultaneously on the plant floor.

The Leica B-Probe device works within a 32.8-ft (10-m) radial distance from the AT402 tracker, offering greater capabilities and flexibility over similar systems that have fixed-base stations. The lightweight, 6.7-oz B-Probe tracker features Ingress Protection 50 (IP5O) rating certification for ingress protection against dust, and is AAA battery-powered. The working range of this system can be multiplied with almost no loss in probing accuracy by utilizing the move station method.

For larger parts or measurements that require higher accuracies, a standard retroreflector can be used in combination with the B-Probe tracker to take full advantage of the AT402 tracker’s accuracy and the 525-ft radial measuring range.

Select 3 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS

New turbocompressor available for coking plants

Siemens Energy has continued to develop its STC-SOL turbocompressor for coking industry applications. Now available are a refined machine concept and new impeller technology, which render greater compressor efficiency of up to 15%. Energy costs, representing a primary component of operating costs, are reduced by the efficiency increase.

Siemens has also significantly reduced the number of casing components for the overall machine. The new STC-SOL turbocompressor is now available for commercial operation.

The STC-SOL single-stage radial compressor combines Siemens technology from existing compressor series with a new design. The modernized impeller geometry has been used in other applications with contaminated gases, such as in the sulfur industry.

The compressor inlet chest and volute casing will be fabricated from a single casting in the future. This reduces the number of components, as additional transition sections are no longer required. Siemens has reduced the number of casing components from a total of seven to two, thereby enhancing the safety and reliability of the overall machine. The benefits of this reduction come into play in the coking industry in particular, with fewer compressor surfaces that require sealing against the contaminated and toxic gases used in this industry. Also, the horizontal joint of the compact compressor casing ensures short downtimes during plant maintenance.

Select 4 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS

Fieldbus enhances Foundation specifications

The Fieldbus Foundation recently announced updates to its open, non-proprietary Foundation Fieldbus technical specifications. The new features will enhance the usability of Foundation technology, with the goal of making the digital Fieldbus automation experience easier than conventional analog control systems.

The updated version of the Foundation specification includes additional advanced support for Fieldbus device replacement and backward compatibility, device description (DD) templates, field diagnostics and alarm/alert integration. The ability to utilize these enhanced features is included in the foundation’s new Host Profile C, which is available for registration in early 2014.

The new features in the Foundation technical specification enable host and device suppliers to offer backward compatibility to their users to simplify device replacement. The incorporation of DD templates also provides an interoperable way for instrumentation companies to offer a variety of application settings for devices. Suppliers can embed the templates in their DDs from the factory floor. This function will make it faster and easier for end users to access a correct offline configuration.

With the new device diagnostics alarm management feature, hosts tested under Host Profile C must integrate field diagnostics into alarm-management systems, rather than just provide access to the information in a device view.

Application time support is also mandatory under Host Profile C. This feature requires a timestamp capability in the host system, which will start on an actual calendar date and time. Additionally, a new standard dictionary update feature requires that Fieldbus end users have the ability to install a new dictionary update on their host system to support the latest DDs.

Select 5 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS   

Fire protection system boosts tunnel safety

Morgan Advanced Materials has announced the availability of FireMaster FireBarrier 135 sprayed refractory cement, offering cost-effective installation of fire protection. FireMaster FireBarrier 135 is designed for concrete tunnel lining fire protection and the fire protection of ventilation shafts, escape tunnels and refuges, as well as critical systems such as water mains and communication cables.

FireMaster FireBarrier 135 has been developed for the high temperatures that may occur in tunnel fires. The cement can withstand repeated and prolonged exposure to high temperatures, and it can be installed onto concrete or metal substrates using standard spray equipment and featuring very low spraying wastage during installation. It is adhesive to most construction materials and can be installed quickly, helping to reduce labor costs while maintaining the final product’s quality and reliability.

FireMaster FireBarrier 135 has high adhesion strength—typically eight times its weight—allowing fixings to be attached directly to it. The cement can be troweled flat to provide a high-quality surface finish that can be used as the final tunnel lining surface (with optional painting), avoiding the need for expensive secondary cladding. The material can also be cast into sheet form and installed as a dry board or shape for applications where spraying is not convenient.

Testing of FireMaster FireBarrier 135 per the Rijkswaterstaat fire curve, and required by National Fire Protection Association 502, has proven that the material resists environmental conditions found in tunnels. FireMaster FireBarrier 135 is resistant to water jet sprays used to clean tunnel lining, and it will not spall when subjected to water hose sprays at high temperature, increasing firefighting safety.

Select 6 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS

Radar tackles challenging liquids measurement

Invensys has introduced its Foxboro Eckardt LevelWave Radar Series measurement solution for liquids, including corrosive, sticky or difficult media. Each device has a 360° rotation, which allows for side or top mounting as standard.

Additionally, all LevelWave instruments feature a user-friendly external display, offering an intuitive configuration for a new operator. An option for full digital remote electronics, up to a distance of 100 m, is available.

The measurement solution can be used in a wide range of applications, including blending, distillation tanks, process tanks and separators, solid silos and storage tanks for most liquids, pastes, foam and corrosive media.

Select 7 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS

Have your say
  • All comments are subject to editorial review.
    All fields are compulsory.

Related articles


Sign-up for the Free Daily HP Enewsletter!

Boxscore Database

A searchable database of project activity in the global hydrocarbon processing industry


Is 2016 the peak for US gasoline demand?




View previous results

Popular Searches

Please read our Term and Conditions and Privacy Policy before using the site. All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws.
© 2016 Hydrocarbon Processing. © 2016 Gulf Publishing Company.