Accutech Wireless Instrumentation In Oil Refinery Safety ApplicationSource: Schneider Electric, Telemetry & Remote SCADA Solutions
A major oil refinery in California faced the challenge of complying with stringent environmental regulations. California Rule 1173, which states in part: “ ... is intended to control VOC (volatile organic compound) leaks from valves, fittings, pumps, compressors, pressure relief devices, ... (etc.) at refineries, chemical plants, oil and gas production fields, natural gas processing plants, and pipeline transfer stations.”, clearly outlines what can and cannot be allowed into the atmosphere, either intentionally or accidentally. Failure to comply can result not only in environmental damage but also unwanted costs in fines and punitive damages. The refinery processes over 260 thousand barrels of crude every day. Approximately 90 percent of the crude oil refined is used in transportation. Located on 630 acres, the refinery supplies about 25% of Southern California’s gasoline and about 40% of its diesel fuel. The refinery is ISO 14001-certified and employs over 1200people.
Complying with rule 1173 would require around-the-clock electronic monitoring of approximately 350 vapor and 100 liquid PRVs (Pressure Relief Valves). PRVs are essential as critical safety devices that act to protect equipment and personnel in the event of a dangerous pressure build-up in process piping and vessels.