Gas-tight gauges reduce VOC emissions

Paul Boughton

A new portable electronic gauging device is accurate, lightweight and can operate in completely closed conditions.

Until recently, portable electronic gauges were not considered viable for many industry applications.

Factors including weight, the need for regular re-calibration to maintain accuracy and the lack of immunity to electromagnetic fields, meant such gauges were considered unsuitable.

A new gauging device now addresses these issues, and sets new standards in the technology of portable electronic gauging devices (PEGDs).

Advanced manual electronic gauging devices are highly accurate, portable measuring instruments, which incorporate microprocessor control and reliable electronic sensors. The gauges can work under totally closed conditions.

The new gauging device - called the UTImeter Gtex 2000 gauge - was developed by Enraf Tanksystem SA and was designed based on feedback from end-users.

It is a portable gas tight liquid level gauge designed for closed gauging of hydrocarbons and chemicals. The sensor is calibrated once at the factory and does not require subsequent calibration. The temperature probe is a RTD element. The characteristics of the RTD are stored inside the sensor. The sensor is sending true temperature values to the electronic box. Therefore changing a sensor or a tape does not require a new calibration. The unit is used for custody transfer, inventory control measurement and free water detection on marine vessels and shore tanks. Connected to a vapour control valve fixed on the tank, the UTImeter Gtex avoids any gas release during operation.

The latest examples in the field, including those recently introduced by Swiss manufacturer Enraf Tanksystem SA, use digital signal transmission technology between the unit and the sensor head to improve immunity to electromagnetic fields.

Unlike automatic systems, PEGDs are designed for use on many different tanks and can be checked in a laboratory independently of the tank geometry.

PEGDs are more reliable than other traditional methods - such as dipping tape with weight, dipping rods, water finding pastes and glass thermometers - giving more repeatable results.

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Enraf Tanksystem SA - a member of the Honeywell Process Solutions group - is based in Bulle, Switzerland.