18 May 2018

How can you measure the flare gas in your storage tank?

With new EPA regulations, flaring off gas has become a hot topic. The industry can no longer just flare the gas; it will either have to be captured using a VRU unit or burn completely off with a combustion unit.

However, safety still demands flare as a backup safety measure so it will not go away completely. With the EPA Quad O regulations, the accurate monitoring and data gathering for the gas being flared off has been a challenge and must be addressed.

So, now the question becomes, “How do we measure the amount of gas being flared off?”

Not only does the EPA require monthly data on how much gas passes through the storage tank but lease owners are also more educated about the process than they were before. In the past, lease owners were being paid a dollar amount based on manual calculations, where no real statement of accuracy could be applied. With this new process, the dollar amount will be calculated with greater accuracy.

The issue with measuring the amount of gas being flared off is mainly due to low flow pressures in the tank. In the past, there hasn’t been any flow technology that could handle this measurement…until now.

AWC, Inc., a representative for Siemens Process Instrumentation products, is working with Siemens’ application engineers. Together, they have discovered a way to use an ultrasonic flow clamp-on unit that would help accurately and reliably measure the gas in this challenging application.

What is the solution and how does it work?

The designed solution for this application is to use a polypropylene or Kynar spool piece with flanged ends mounted in the flare line. Accompanied with this spool piece is a Siemens clamp-on ultrasonic flow meter. Here, the SITRANS FUG1010 clamp-on meter provides flow measurement without the risk of creating back pressure and damaging the production tanks. The clamp-on and spool piece combination makes the ultrasonic signal readable at low pressures. With this assembly, the end user is able to provide the EPA and lease holders with accurate data.

To learn more about flash gas flare applications, please click here.

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