Critical Vessel Monitoring (CVM)
Critical vessels in the chemicals, refining, and power industries operate at high temperature and pressure and are at risk of failure as joints and refractory degrade. The consequences of undetected failures can be very serious.
Conventional methods of real-time monitoring are unreliable and expensive to install and operate.
Accurately measuring temperature has always been one of the most important and difficult things to do when monitoring the safety of critical vessels in refining and other industrial plants.
Extreme temperatures and non-uniform temperature gradients make it nearly impossible for traditional temperature-measurement methods to monitor every critical point or to obtain complete temperature data.
The lack of accurate and early detection of temperature changes increases the likelihood of failure-related problems, which create safety and reliability issues.
The consequences of undetected failures can be very serious and pose extreme safety risks if a vessel isn’t properly monitored. A rupture in chemical reactors, storage tanks, and piping systems can lead to catastrophic loss of life, product, and capacity.
To address these issues requires sophisticated monitoring techniques to spot irregular temperatures and trends that cause unsafe and costly problems.
“Earlier Detection of Hot Spots with Thermal Imaging”
For many years, thermocouple systems and fiber optic sensors have been viewed as the traditional solution for temperature measurement in critical vessel monitoring applications. Yet, these sensors can be both unreliable and cost prohibitive to install and operate. They typically utilize wired or fiber optic networks and employ point sensors which only monitor the temperature of discrete points on the outside of a vessel. This can result in inaccurate measurements due to skin temperature gradients.
In addition, failures of thermocouples leave dangerous holes in overall monitoring schemes until replacement or repair can be made. Of course, missing points in the monitoring scheme put the critical vessel, plant and staff at risk when unexpected hot spots arise.
Innovative thermal imaging systems, however, have demonstrated how radiometric thermography has evolved into a mature and cost-competitive alternative. The non-contact nature of infrared thermal imaging is more robust, more reliable and easier to maintain.
It is also more modern with technological advantages such as graphical visual displays, historical archiving and trending, and easy integration to plant SCADA systems.
“Seeing” Is Believing
One of the emerging trends making inroads in the chemical, power and refining sectors is the proliferation of thermal imaging cameras for critical vessel monitoring. These devices allow operators of high-temperature and high pressure vessels to see, in color, real-time thermal behaviors of equipment. This insight is unavailable with fiber optic systems, giving infrared thermal imaging an edge when it comes to early detection of possible failures.
Thermal imaging systems go further by providing a more complete look at the temperature profile of the vessel; highlighting where potential dangers lie. With a system of infrared cameras constantly monitoring the environment as a whole, it is far less likely that a potential problem will be missed.
At a Glance
- Automated fault detection for critical vessel monitoring
- Proven technology from the leader in the thermal imaging systems
- Easy-to-use software with automated analysis
- Easy integration into plant DCS
- For hazardous areas (ATEX)
- Better alarm response time to reduce risk and emergencies
- Enhanced predictive abilities reducing unplanned outages
- Improved information availability with auto "hot spot" tracking
- Cost effective installation
Each thermal imaging camera is mounted in a sealed housing that includes internal cooling and a positive pressure purge to prevent dirt or flammable gases from entering the enclosure. LumaSense’s LumaSpec™ software provides advanced features in a user-friendly interface. From a single computer, the software can send commands to and gather data from up to 24 cameras mounted in the field.