Water Usage at an Oil Refinery


An oil refinery in Wales contacted RS Hydro to see if it was possible to monitor water usage across the refinery on a temporary basis to try and determine where 100m3 was being lost.

Equipment Used

The Panametrics PT878 Ultrasonic Flow Meter.


The Oil Refinery RS Hydro were contacted by an oil refinery, situated in Pembrokeshire, Wales, to see if it was possible to determine the water usage across the site and allow a valid water balance to be prepared.

The aims of the refinery test was to gather water usage over a daily cycle so therefore required the meters to operate for a three day period for 24 hours a day unattended, to try and determine where 100m3 a day was being lost.

There were twelve different locations where water usage needed to be monitored. It was decided that the Panametrics PT878 ultrasonic clamp on flow meter would be installed at the locations to provide the temporary monitoring. The meters were all installed within one and a half days, without the need for any pipe modifications.

As the Panametrics PT878 has a typical battery life of 8 to 11 hours, this was not sufficient for the three day monitoring period. Normally this would be solved by running the unit off mains power but this was not a possibility at the refinery. Instead, the PT878s were connected to car batteries which provided continuous power for the three days.

The Panmetrics PT878 Ultrasonic Flow MeterSite conditions including noise and pipe materials caused ringing in the pipes which would sometimes cause ultrasonics to struggle. This was not the case with the PT878 and single traverse installations made the measurements possible. The meters were each set up to record flow rates and total flows over the three days.

Following each meters installation, diagnostic test result screen dumps were taken to prove that the meter was running between certain limits when left by the engineer.

Once the tests were over the field engineer unistalled the meters and downloaded the data. All data was sent to the refinery engineers in excel format for analysis of water usage at the plant to be carried out.