Tank gauging is a modern strategy used in assessing the static quantity of liquid or liquefied products in bulk storage tanks. It is a commonly used inventory management technique in refineries, tank farms or terminals, chemical plants, and independent storage companies.
Tank gauging has one main purpose – to determine the inventory of the tank’s content based on either volume or mass. In addition to the mass and volume of the tank’s content, tank gauging also helps determine the value of the products stored.
Requirements for a Tank Gauging System
Safety and accuracy are the two major requirements for a tank gauging system. Moving and handling liquid products pose serious hazards to operators, the facility and its surrounding. Tank farm owners should always put the safety of their employees in mind.
Moreover, a reliable tank gauging system helps in detecting and reconciling leaks, not just to prevent or reduce losses, but environmental damages as well. Maintaining an accurate leak detection program will help reduce liquid spills and atmospheric emissions. Because most tank gauging systems have many electronic circuits placed on top of the tanks, they are vulnerable to lightning, fire, and explosions, so extra protection must be in place.
When determining inventory, an accurate tank gauging system is a reliable tool to quantify losses and identify their sources. Many tank farm owners across the United States have integrated innovative tools and field instruments to facilitate tank gauging operations.
Tank Gauging Techniques
There are various techniques used in tank gauging, depending on the nature of the fluid contained within. When selecting the right technique, storage pressure and tank planning and fabrication are also taken into account.
- Manual gauging
- Float and tape gauges
- Servo gauges
- Radar gauges
- Wireless Tank Gauging
- Hydrostatic Tank Gauging
- Hybrid Inventory
In recent years, there have been many developments in tank gauging technology. Digital and software innovations have also emerged, linking field and mobile operations in a centralized inventory management system. Operators can now continuously check and compute all types of data from all tank gauging systems.