Improving plant safety with advanced pressure measurement instruments

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Component performance and reliability are paramount for any industrial application. Where a piece of equipment operates continuously, safely, and with minimal invasiveness, it offers a multitude of unquantifiable benefits upon its proprietary purpose.

Pressure measurement instruments, for example, enable researchers to measure, monitor, and control the applied force on the interior surface structure of critical vessels and containers. In sectors such as the natural gas industry, this property is integral for maximizing the natural hydrocarbon yield of drilling procedures and maintaining safe conditions for transport and containment.

Each pressure-sensitive sector presents unique challenges for critical hardware and for human operators. Chemical effluence, fluctuating temperature conditions, and stringent hygiene demands all exert significant influences on pressure measurement instruments. Transmitters must, therefore, be developed to application-specific demands, to ensure the reliable operation of integral pressure measurement instruments in any facility. Flue gas applications require improved draft ranges with highly corrosion resistance diaphragm materials, for example.

This article will explore methods for improving plant safety with advanced pressure measurement instruments:

Absolute Pressure Measurement Instruments

Absolute pressure is relative to full vacuum conditions, which is the pressure of a containment vessel devoid of gaseous molecules. This state is quantified at 0 psia, with atmospheric pressure measuring roughly 15 psia (1.01325 bar).

Absolute pressure measurement instruments can reliably quantify the force exerted by liquid, gas, or steam. This broad capacity and finite precision enables plant operators to monitor the relative pressure of containment vessels and pipes in real-time, providing continuous insights into facility conditions against pre-defined safety parameters of negative or positive values.

Differential Pressure Measurement Instruments

Differential pressure measures the difference in pressure between two points in a connected process. This requires pressure transmitters with two sensory diaphragms and intuitive software to acquire data at separate locations. The integrated software then compares these values to determine the differential pressure within the system, providing insights into gas or liquid flow, and pneumatic filling performance. Typically, a differential pressure measurement instrument is used in a flow system to detect operating faults of integrated components. Increased differential pressure could reflect blockages of particulate filters in natural gas pipework, for example.

With a differential pressure measurement instrument, it is possible to detect pressure differences in gas flow facilities and reaction tanks. These continuously acquired values ensure that even minute changes in pressure can be registered, diagnosed, and resolved with consummate ease.

Gauge Pressure Measurement Instruments

Gauge pressure is relative to atmospheric pressure and is typically used in applications where negative pressure values are not required. High-pressure values are commonly associated with high-temperature contexts, and gauge pressure measurement instruments are equipped to monitor pressure. Wireless functionalities and communications allow plant operators to establish simple and easy networks between vital measurement instruments, enabling integrated analysis of multiple crucial parameters at discerning levels of precision. Temperature and pressure is often monitored in conjunction to ensure rapid diagnostics of potential safety concerns in demanding conditions.

Pressure Measurement Instruments from ABB

ABB offers the most comprehensive selection of pressure measurement instruments in the world, supporting numerous industrial sectors with precise equipment designed to perform on every front. Our pressure transmitters are designed to improve plant efficacy, throughput, and safety, for any industry.

If you would like any more information about our pressure measurement instruments, please find your local contact below.

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