Efficiencies change on a day to day basis in the industrial sector and finding the cause has always been an issue, especially when highly flammable gases or products are involved. These areas can have minimal access points that greatly restrict visual inspection. In many instances, equipment and piping cannot easily be taken out of service.
Flare stack and piping can rarely be taken offline; they are often comprised of intricate features such as liquid knock out drums, quench drums and flashback seal drums. What happens when the efficiency is notably down and the cause is unknown? The situation is never ideal and it can be very difficult to find an issue. Often the size and design of these systems can increase the difficulty in determining locations and actual causes which diminish productivity.
These lines vary in pressure and size, often there can be only 2” – 3″ access nozzles. These systems are continuously flowing, pressured with gases and allowing oxygen to enter the system can be very dangerous to the facility and public. Recently, PW MAKAR COATINGS INSPECTION LTD. was involved in trying to locate and understand an efficiency loss in a major Petro-Chemical Refinery. Major questions that needed to be answered were, what condition the piping is in, is it dry or wet, how much liquid volume does it makes up and is there any foreign debris or broken parts. Equipment like the flashback seal drum, the diffuser and the makeup water piping, were all internally C1D1-CCTV video camera inspected.
For this project a customized spool piece was bolted to the existing valve. This spool piece had two piping nipples that allowed for nitrogen insertion and pressurization as well as pressure gauges to ensure positive pressure at all times to impede access to oxygen. Two separate compression nipples were also
designed and installed that would allow the C1D1-CCTV video camera umbilical cable, to be sealed using the gaskets and compression packing. This nipple could be compressed by hand and installed once the camera passed into the spool piece.
PW MAKAR’s SPX manufactured Pearpoint P374 pushrod C1D1-CCTV video camera system was utilized because of it’s intrinsically safe rating. This camera system allowed for a C1D1-CCTV visual within the piping systems without adding a potential ignition source into the live and pressurized flare lines. These inspections are remotely recorded onto a USB Flash Drive to allow for video play back editing and reporting as per client’s needs. Using video editing software, images or photos can be extracted from the raw CCTV video footage, these video images can then be put into hardcopy report packages or just emailed individually.
This project was done under supplied air respirator due to the possible presence of external fumes and pressurized nitrogen which was introduced to the main access valve once being opened. For these internal C1D1-CCTV video inspections various access points were accessed. Pipe systems thought to be clean had dried process material found on the bottom of piping systems in varying thicknesses from less than 12.7 mm to over 38.1 mm.
During this project, the Flashback Seal Drum and its associated diffuser section was also C1D1-CCTV video camera inspected using the same compression valve fittings located on the upper most portion of the vessel. The liquid level could not be fully drained from the Flashback Seal Drum and the full view of the diffuser was not available but what was exposed by the C1D1 CCTV video camera system was a milky, oily residue floating on the surface of the liquid. This could indicate the knock down drums had allowed some oil to pass into it affecting its efficiency.
In larger access nozzles, auxiliary intrinsically safe lighting was used to brighten visible areas of the piping and vessel interiors. Longer piping runs can also be accessed using a borescope sled system that can be used right down to a minimum size of six inches. This system has wheels inserted into the adjustable sled rails to allow longer runs to be inspected as well as allowing the unit to pass elbows more easily with less friction.
When flammable or hazardous gases are present, with the appropriate equipment and experienced personal, it is possible to assess and inspect most structures. Contact us through WWW.PWMAKAR.COM or by phone at 519-862-4659 if in need of video inspections in any location so we can tailor a system to your needs to ensure equipment efficiency or structural contents.
At first glance, this may look like a children’s remote controlled RC toy on steroids. However, it is as far from a remote controlled toy as you can get. This 36” (0.9 m) wide by 80” (2 m) in length, remotely operated vessel is packed to its gunwales with the latest in shallow underwater acoustic sonar technology.
Owned and operated by PW MAKAR COATINGS INSPECTION LTD., this remotely operated, unmanned sediment volume and distribution mapping vessel is engineered specifically for shallow water sediment contour mapping. This technology is fitted with three independently operated multi-frequency transducers, to reach deeper sediment depths, retrieve greater sediment detail, and to produce the most accurate sediment and sub-bottom topography for reliable interpretation. In addition to this feature, the sonar vessel houses a waterproof on-board computer system that effectively differentiates between sediment types and layers. It is the best of the best for shallow water sediment volume and mapping applications.
Underwater Acoustics is the spread of mechanical soundwaves in water. Pulses of sound emitted by a transducer, like the technology fitted in our unmanned vessel are used to probe shallow waters the return sound echoes, are then processed by the receiver on-board the vessel. The time delays of the echoes from the vessel to the bottom sediment and sub-bottom liner are measured. This digital data along with information such as; speed of sound, fresh water verses saltwater, tide, vessel draft, heave, and longitude and latitude coordination using a very accurate ground positioning system (GPS technology), are recorded in the vessel’s computer system for later examination. Recorded data, combined with this active acoustic sonar technology, PW MAKAR COATINGS INSPECTION LTD. can accurately measure water depth, sediment (bottom) and liner (sub-bottom) contours, and sediment composition when verified using a patented underwater core sampler.
The sediment volume computations are calculated from the bathymetric or sediment contour (Figure 3) and the sub-bottom or hard pack clay, PVC liner, or concrete contour. This very accurate method of measuring and mapping sediment has come a long way from the days of probing the bottom of wastewater lagoons with sampling or surveyor’s poles to try to come up with the sediment depths of an entire lagoon.
After measuring and mapping in the field, a 3-D map is generated (see Figure 4) and used to identify areas of sediment overloading in lagoons, stormwater, tailing or effluent ponds, and other shallow water lakes, waterways and marina’s. Now for the first time, specifically targeted sediment overloading areas within these shallow waters can be “partially dredged,” resulting in major cost savings for industries and municipalities.
A recent underwater acoustic sonar survey conducted in a 131 foot diameter concrete raw water clarifier not only determined the sediment volumes within the reservoir, but also hints to possible concrete deterioration of the concrete floor area of a raw water clarifier (see Figure 5).
Where can we use this technology? This technology can be used in any application where knowing the volume of underwater sediment buildup and where is it distributed in the survey area is needed. PW MAKAR COATINGS INSPECTION LTD. uses this technology in lakes, rivers, marinas, ports, ponds, clarifiers, basins, lagoons, cells, and cooling tower reservoirs. Additionally, there is also potential for identifying concrete deterioration in underwater concrete structures including, water treatment plant filter beds. The possibilities are seemingly endless!