and shut-down processes can also be accurately recorded. Measuring point on jetty 1 (above the framework set up for installation) measured by level measurements in the tanks.

Until now, dynamic pressure probes and turbines have been used for flow measurement. They are installed on land as opposed to on the discharging pier itself. These wetted measuring devices have their known weaknesses: they are subjected to mechanical wear and tear and only have a small turndown ratio which means they only measure accurately in a restricted working range. For any maintenance and repair work, the pipeline has to be opened up so operation is made temporarily unavailable. As part of a modernisation of the plant’s systems, the responsible engineers were looking specifically for a better alternative.

Non-invasive Flow Measurement

with Clamp-on Ultrasonic Technology Once again, non-invasive flow measurement with FLUXUS proves to be the ideal solution. Since clamp-on ultrasonic transducers are simply mounted on the outside of the pipe, they are not subjected to any wear and tear by the medium flowing inside. Equipment can be installed without opening the pipeline and during ongoing operation. The acoustic measurement method is inertia-free and has an extraordinary dynamic range resulting in high accuracy from the lowest to the highest flow velocities. This means start-up

After one of FLEXIM’s sales engineers demonstrated the suitability of FLEXIM’s clamp-on ultrasonic technology for this measurement task using his portable FLUXUS F608 flowmeter, NWO’s process engineers decided to fit one of the three jetties with FLUXUS in the first instance. A particular difficulty of the measurement is that the tanker pumps often also convey air which significantly dampens the ultrasonic signals as bubbles in the crude oil flow. This challenge was overcome by using ultrasonic transducers that work with Lamb waves. In order to ensure maximum reliability, the measurement was carried out on two channels. Finally, to achieve the highest possible accuracy, even the density and viscosity values of pumped crude oil that are stored in the process control system were to be calculated for flow measurement. For this reason, the FLUXUS F709 was used as a measuring transmitter. Density and viscosity can be fed in as a current signal via its freely configurable inputs. The measuring transmitter was placed in the control room of the jetty that is secured by a permanent, slight overpressure.

Non-invasive flow measurement with FLUXUS also proved convincing in the long-term test. That’s why the other two jetties were also similarly retrofitted. Both crude oil and refinery residue products are handled on one of the two jetties. These residue products are heated when they arrive and then pumped ashore via a heated, insulated pipeline to the tanks on land. Given the fact that the medium is highly viscous, non-invasive acoustic measurement from outside really plays out its strengths. The clamp-on transducers were integrated into the insulation.

All measurements were field calibrated in comparison to tank level measurements. With the help of accurate and dynamic flow measurements, an additional security system is to be implemented for rapid detection of possible leakages.

Ingrid Panicke is certainly not the type of person who is satisfied with 20%: “Of course, crude oils and crude oil products pass measuring points that are fitted with our flowmeters many times in the downstream processes of refining and transport. However, our FLUXUS clamp-on ultrasonic systems are also particularly suitable for non-invasive measurement on large transport pipelines. In short, the remaining 80% appeals to us very much so.“

Author Contact Details Jörg Sacher, FLEXIM GmbH • Flexible Industriemesstechnik GmbH, Wolfener Straße 36, D-12681 Berlin, Germany • Tel +49 (0) 30 / 93 66 76 60 • Fax +49 (0) 30 / 93 66 76 80 • Email: • Web:

Author Contact Details Author.Company Name in Bold • Address • Tel • Email: • Web: In bold

On the heated pipeline for refinery residue products, the ultrasonic transducers are integrated into the insulation.

Non-invasive flow measurement by means of ultrasound is obviously an acoustic method.


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