Tank gauging refers to the process of measuring liquid content in large storage tanks to determine volume of the product. A tank gauging system warrants accurate temperature, level and pressure measurements for oil movement, inventory control, efficient operations and prevention against overfill.
Tank gauges are apparatuses inserted or dipped in the tanks to measure the level, temperature, mass and composition of the product. Many different temperature and pressure levels are also calculated namely vapour temperature, spot temperature, ambient temperature, product and tank temperature stratification. Following this, single, multiple-point, ambient and vapour pressure of the product can be determined as well.
An automatic tank gauge system can detect possible leak in the tank which is detected through periodic tests conducted over four and eight hours during which the tank remains inactive. However today, the advanced and new series of gauge systems can detect leakage almost every time without deactivating the tank. Due to their significant operational efficiencies, improved productivity and enhanced accuracy, the demand for tank gauging systems heightened especially since 2017.
The product or system consists of a tank probe that can detect product’s temperature and level. The data is gathered and processed by an electronic control panel integrated with a microprocessor. The information is collected from the probes after which it’s interpreted and closely analysed. A display screen, an alarm system or a remote printed relays the data which is delivered by the microprocessor.
The drivers & restraints
For industries, tank gauging systems are essential due to their ability of relaying accurate information on possible leaks within the storage tank thereby guaranteeing workplace safety. Besides safety, the system can calculate level and temperature of the productivity with an excellent efficiency to identify internal faults or leaks within which expands their deployment and use in industries.
One of the major market challenges to overcome is exposure of these inventory tank gauging instruments and elements to extreme climatic conditions. The lifespan of system and level sensors reduces when product bears the brunt of nature in form of pollution, temperature, corrosion, salinity and pressure thereby compromising reliability and accuracy in the measurement.
For entirely new or advanced sensory technology to accelerate and permeate the market, it has to maximise on mixed variables such as cost, performance and operating efficiency. This is to offer a reliable and viable alternative against the hydrostatic level sensor in the pool of likewise, mainstream applications. While a drop-in replacement in form of a radar/microwave level gauge against a sidewall-mounted hydrostatic level transmitter isn’t practical, a certain degree of equivalency for major characteristics is achievable. Priority should be given to hydrostatic level sensor emulation for suppliers expecting market level success.
A regional outlook of tank gauging system’s market
Tank gauging system market is segmented into seven different regions namely; Europe, North and Latin America, Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa (MEA). Of these, Asia Pacific for now is the leader in terms of production and consumption, including countries like India, Japan and China closely followed by Europe and North America. However a decent market share is held by MEA and Latin America.