Optimizing Separator Performance

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Mar 14, 2019 9:03:02 PM


Tracerco technology provides our customers a "look" inside their process in real time.

A Tracerco Diagnostics™ Separator study complements other diagnostic tools and techniques available to production engineers. The technology is non-intrusive with preliminary results generated on-site. This allows a rapid understanding of fluid flow and mechanical integrity within a hydrocarbon separation train by essentially making the process transparent. This approach significantly eliminates guess work when trying to resolve process issues and allows accurate process data to be gathered providing information so that engineering decisions on process improvement or repair can be quickly made and implemented. If deemed necessary, immediate changes to a system can be made with further measurements to assess if improvements have resulted.

Read more and watch a short animated video to learn how Tracerco's tracer and scan investigations can help optimize separator performance.

Tracerco Diagnostics™ Separator Study – Tracer Investigations

The basic principle of a tracer investigation is to label a substance or phase and then follow it through a system. Looking at tracer studies from a problem-solving point of view, if problems of fluid transport can be described in terms of ‘When?’, ‘Where to?’, and ‘How Much?’, then they can be solved by means of tracer techniques.


The technology requires a number of sensitive detectors located externally in key areas of concern as well as the inlet and outlet of the vessel under investigation. A tracer material is injected into the process and if the material flows past a detector position it will register as a response versus time. Analysis of each detector response provides information on flow distribution and timing allowing flow dynamics within the vessel to be determined.

Using our proven tracer technology, Tracerco can also give you detailed data to help you analyse your separator’s performance and ensure efficient and safe operation. We can help you measure the residence time and distribution of fluid, the extent of any carryover or carry under, and assess flow characteristics.

Tracerco Diagnostics™ Separator Study – using Phasefinder™ and Tru-Scan™ Technologies


PhaseFinder™ Technology -  The PhaseFinder™ technique is used to measure the height of each phase in the separator. This non-intrusive technology provides quick, accurate real time information on the amount of foam in your vessel, as well as the overall bulk level. This enables you to check your antifoam performance, and maximise the amount of fluid that passes through the separator.

Tru-Scan™ Technology - Our safe, non-intrusive Tru-Scan technology provides accurate, real time information on the amount of foam in your vessel, as well as the overall bulk level. This enables you to check your antifoam performance, and maximise the amount of fluid that passes through the separator. By passing a source and detector down the sides of the separator, Tracerco can detect changes in the signal intensity. This indicates the overall bulk level. 

The same method can be used to check hardware inside the vessel. Our technology identifies missing or broken components, so you can plan for a shutdown and minimise downtime. In the video, Tru-Scan™ technology detects a change in signal intensity when it passes the demister. But when the demister is missing, there is no change in signal intensity.


To learn more about all of the benefits of a Tracerco Separator study watch our video shown below:


For questions concerning this article please completed the form shown below this blog.

Topics: Upstream, Separator, Damage to vessel internals, separator study, oil in water, Blockages in perforated plates, Flow distribution

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