Insights - Energy Dais

Ionix’s High-Temperature sensors for online thickness monitoring

High-temperature sensors for thickness monitoring solutions are imperative for any large-scale, heavy industries like Oil & Gas and Refinery, Energy and Nuclear, Process sectors, and Aerospace. These industries find a high-temperature measuring tool most useful across their applications to monitor the pipe thinning caused by flow-accelerated corrosion (FAC). Powered by Ionix novel and proprietary piezoelectric technology, HotSense™ transducers offer reliable, stable, and cost-effective ultrasonic measurements, at temperatures from -40 °C to + 380 °C, in the presence of ionizing radiation. An ultrasonic transducer is a device that converts variations in a physical quantity, such as thermal energy, into an electrical signal or vice versa. These transducers can be used for thickness monitoring, crack detection, range sensing, level sensing, and flow management of our assets.
Design specifications
Designed in-house, these high-temperature sensors could help resolve some situations which commonly arise for heavy industries. With temperatures ranging from -55°C to +380°C (with up to 550°C available), you can extend the range of temperature that you want to monitor and be a proud user of a high-temperature humidity sensor. At the same time, a rugged, flexible design gives you the freedom to explore and isolate the exact position that you want to monitor. A 50mm height ensures that it fits under CUI protection, and a delay line of 25mm ensures that it has cleared the in-situ test verification. HotSense™ has 1 x operator/ 1 x tool for 7 minutes which means no welding, quick installation, easy transfer between assets, and passivated capacity till ASTM A967-17. An apex Zone 0 IS, IP68 allows for online installation without any kind of shutdowns.

With Ionix’s expertise in acoustic-mechanical design, they offer a range of mechanisms to deploy their HotSense™ technology onto our assets. The tools used for deployment include clamps, which are the most stable temperature ranges, quick to install and remove, Magnetic/ Bonded sensors, which can be used across pipe sizes during low-temperature deployments, and Welded Studs, used for large HT pipes and vessels which have unlimited deployment options.
Usage:
HotSense™ is useful for when you don’t want to break any insulation or break your CUI defenses, or when you don’t want to weld to piping to install a sensor. It can be efficient when you can’t figure out if the sensor has been measuring correctly over time. It provides you with reliable temperature compensation and does not let your data leave your facility, nor do you have to rely on data processing verification. The complete system becomes intrinsically safe to meet your full plant needs.

High-Temperature sensors HotSense™ thickness monitoring solutions
The capabilities can be enhanced by integrating HotSense™ into our measurement and monitoring programs. Ionix HotSense™ products are designed with compatibility in mind and will fit in with any existing hardware and systems. They offer us a low-cost entry to monitoring that is easily scalable whilst providing high-quality data. The status of our assets and the management of our maintenance programs and budgets can be more efficiently done through informed resource allocation and repairs only when required. Moreover, their expertise has helped us modify our product to the existing needs where transducers can be installed under insulation.
Contrast difference between conventional sensors and HotSense™
High-temperature thickness gauging and corrosion/erosion monitoring have always been a challenge for inspections. According to a survey done in temperature regulations of machinery, some common challenges faced by the industry professionals while using conventional high-temperature sensors are:
➨(Thermocouple): Non-linearity, least stability, low voltage, need for reference, sensitivity issues.
➨(RTD): Lower absolute resistance, expensive, current source needed less hard-wearing as compared to thermocouples.
➨(Thermistor): Nonlinearity, limited support for temperature range, current source needed, fragile, self-heating.
➨(IC sensor): Temperature up to 1500 °C, power supply needed, self-heating, slower in operation, limited configurations.
To overcome these complications, we could use in-service high-temperature corrosion monitoring sensors.
HotSense™ temperature installed sensors include continuous operation form -40 °C to + 380 °C which allows online monitoring, complimentary inspections and minimum operational risk with enhanced asset intelligence, enhanced capabilities by integrating HotSense™ into your measurements and monitoring programs, and cost-effective maintenance/ repair programs without the need for costly shutting down or cooling. Three main conveniences of complimentary inspections, improved repeatability, and accuracy, are available with fixed transducers installed directly on assets.

Key Benefits
Minimizing risk & Enhanced Productivity: Lower risk of the unplanned outage while managing ‘what-if’ scenarios, feeding stock, and production levels. The best part is that this high-temperature sensor can be verified remotely in a system software through an inline reference block. A built-in high-temperature probe thermocouple allows for automated temp compensation in system software.
Reduced Costs: Recused operation costs, lower installation costs, and inhibitor colluders.
Easy installation: Easy and quick install with Ionix or stud when wearing PPE, and in-service installation on hot or cold assets. There is a simple foil couplant installed on the probe face to match the large acoustic impedance between air and solid. HotSense™ is already ready to go on-site and is replaceable if required. The low profile (-55 °C to 380 °C) allows these high-temperature proximity sensors to be installed under insulation, whereas the ultra-high temperature tolerance up to 550 °C allows monitoring of most extreme processes. The dual-element, a third kind of sensor can be installed for coated assets at reduced costs.
Enhanced Safety: Reduced manual operation, and minimize the risk of loss of containment.
Increased Intelligence: Optimising asset integrity, improving asset retirement, and improving maintenance strategy.
Robust installation: It does not require re-tightening. Proven stability with years of service logged in and continuous stable & reliable use up to 550 °C. HotSense™ survives temperature cycling and has consistent stable measurements for years.
Simplified Calibration: The built-in measurement verification allows for automated measurement calibration which follows standard NDT methods. Automated offset and speed of sound calculate each measurement and there is an optional manual 2 step calibration at installation. All calibration values are logged for record-keeping.
Can we avoid HotSense™ altogether?
A high-temperature sensor, HotSense™ minimizes risks and enhances productivity, reduces costs, enhances safety, and provides increased intelligence. It can be installed under insulation, or inductively coupled wireless NDT with the capability for instant thickness measurements and provide a cloud-based corrosion analysis and reporting. These competitive advantages make HotSense™ an inevitable choice for an extreme temperature thickness monitoring solution for heavy industries like oil & gas and refinery, energy and nuclear, process sectors, or aerospace.

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