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Monitoring pipeline deposits in realtime

By Mary Page Bailey |

The presence of scale depositions in pipelines can restrict flow, limit heat transfer and decrease efficiency. The ability to monitor pipelines for depositions helps avoid issues and optimize costs. The Deposition Watch system from Flowrox Inc. (Linthicum, Md; www.flowrox.us) presents a realtime, online predictive-monitoring solution for detecting scale-related issues in process pipelines that is based on the principles of electrical capacitance tomography (ECT; For more on ECT, see Chem. Eng., October 1995, pp. 30–33; www.chemengonline.com/articles/1985-1999/Vol102/chevol102_num10_106.html). ECT imaging techniques apply measured excitation signals to materials and monitor the output signals. Through an iterative mathematical model, these signals reveal information about the electrical properties of the measured material. The Deposition Watch system measures pipe volume and determines the electrical properties, including permittivity distribution and conductivity, of the process fluid and the unwanted deposition. Comparison of these materials’ different electrical properties provides physical information about the behavior of the materials inside the pipe. For instance, estimated permittivity values shed light on deposition…
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