Remote tank monitoring (RTM) solutions are made up of many hardware components, all of which are continually evolving as technology improves. One of the simplest concepts behind how a tank monitoring solution works and often the backbone of measuring product level is the tank level gauge. These instruments provides the owner with real-time data on how much product is left in the tank, regardless of product type, in order to ascertain when the tank requires service. This article will address how this data can be used to provide better insight across the entire operation.
Tank level gauges vary based on a number of features, such as media type, which can range from fuel, oil, propane, water, lubricants, diesel, gas, and more. There are hundreds of gauges on the market today, including mechanical float gauges, sight gauges, electronic gauges (open-air radar, guided wave radar, magnetostrictive, capacitive), and hydrostatic gauges. The application type, compatibility with other required measuring components, and the shape of the tank also play a role in equipment requirements.
In the oil and gas industry, measurement requirements dictate the type of solution required, and compatibility with additional pieces of equipment such as controllers, fuel adapters, pressure gauges, and alarms are critical factors in determining what to install. There are products designed to meet specific, intrinsically safe or explosion-proof environments. Monitoring the temperature of certain products may be necessary to ensure the equipment can handle extreme conditions. Also, the speed of measurement is a factor in specific applications such as frac fluids and logging, with individual instruments such as transmitters capable of meeting faster response times.
While gauges may vary depending on the product measured, the key takeaway is the same – optimal efficiency, safety and cutting costs.
- Avoid run-outs and overfills.
- Improve dispatch to client sites.
- Visibility to tank level, pressure, temperature, etc.
- Predictive analysis and scheduling.
- Accountability to ensure safety protocols.
- Improved communication between distributors and customers.
- Consistency across all assets, regardless of above or underground tanks.