What Is Tank Gauging? The Basics, Explained

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If you’re in an industry that needs to store or transport liquids, you’ve likely encountered the question, “What is tank gauging?” Maybe a newly recruited colleague is asking you this question, and you don’t know how to answer. Or perhaps you’re new to liquid storage yourself.

Tank gauging offers site managers a safe and accurate way to measure how much liquid is inside a large-volume storage tank. This has a wide range of benefits: from helping to control stock levels to preventing leaks. For example, fuel tanker fleets use automatic tank gauging and gauging sticks to ensure fuel is free from contaminants and water.

Below, we explain the basis of tank gauging and discuss some of the critical benefits of this helpful technology.

Operational Efficiency

Tank gauging offers tank managers a precise way to understand what’s going on inside a closed and often tricky-to-access storage tank.

The data they provide includes:

  • The level of liquid in the tank now
  • How much room is available
  • How quickly the tank is being filled or emptied
  • Whether the tank is overfilling
  • How long a transfer of fluid would take

Information of this kind, provided by tank gauging systems like those manufactured by doverfuelingsolutions.com, helps operators make predictions and avoid disasters like leaks or spills.

Inventory Control

Operators program tank gauge systems to output regular inventory reports. They calculate net mass and quantities following industry guidelines and standards.

This precision information helps business owners:

  • Understand their business cycles
  • Estimate stock quantities
  • Work out delivery schedules

Operators can map data over a long period (months or years). They can catch errors made by incorrect delivery amounts, broken equipment, or stolen stock.

Overfill Prevention

An overfilled tank can have catastrophic consequences in the surrounding environment. Fires and explosions can spread throughout a tank compound. Soil or water pollution can devastate the surrounding land.

Tank gauge systems work in tandem with indicators or switches to regulate the level of a tank and sound the alarm if an overfill is imminent. According to the EPA, most industrial tank owners must prepare SPCC (Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure) plans. The detailed information provided by a tank gauging system will aid in this process.

Leak Detection

Tank leaks are not usually significant–at first. Even minute cracks and fractures can result in long-term leaks that go undetected. This stock loss costs a company significantly over time, not to mention the downtime a repair would result in.

An expertly calibrated tank gauging system can detect tank leakage at the earliest of stages. Most systems use Net Standard Volume (NSV) calculations. This means fluctuations due to temperature changes are easily discounted.

Tank Gauging Basics Explained

If you’re in the petrochemical or chemical storage and distribution industries, likely, you’re already familiar with tank gauging systems. Perhaps you’ve even operated them or analyzed their useful data outputs. We hope this guide helps you explain to those new to the industry or in need of upskilling the benefits an efficient, well-maintained tank gauging system offers.

If you’re seeking more insights into the ever-changing world of industrial technologies, be sure to check out the other articles in our Technology section.

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