Temperature Measurement

Vibration-resistant thermowells

July 2021 Temperature Measurement

Debottlenecking is desirable for many large operations, as minor percentage increases in output capacity by means of optimisation of existing equipment can result in significant profit returns.

During debottlenecking, reconfiguration of existing process equipment and control loops is performed with the aim of optimising the process for an increased output/product yield without necessarily increasing the size of the plant. Debottlenecking is desirable for many large operations and is treated as a cost-saving initiative.

Process parameters are often changed to allow for improved optimisation, which in turn results in the operating ranges of measurement instrumentation needing to be re-evaluated and often this equipment is recommissioned. Thermowells, although not classified as measuring equipment, are also affected by this change, as high flow velocities can result in vortex-induced vibration on a thermowell. It is best practice that end users perform the ASME PTC 19.3 TW – 2016 calculation during a debottlenecking project, to ensure that the thermowell will operate safely with the new process parameters, before start-up.

If the ASME PTC 19.3 TW – 2016 calculation yields a negative result, a change in the dimensions of the thermowell is recommended as a first option. Should a dimension change not resolve this, support collars can be introduced as a second option which result in longer downtime, this second approach is expensive and not always desirable to the end user.

With the ScrutonWell design from WIKA, no further mechanical enhancements to the existing thermowell installation are required, while the vortex-induced vibration is almost completely eliminated.


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