Airbase Bulk Fuel Transfer Flowmetering
Looking at a Flowquip flowmeter installation at an airbase
At this site aircraft fuel is stored at three key remote storage locations around the airfield. Fuel is pumped back and forth between the three storage tanks when and wherever it is required.
In order to track fuel movement between each storage location, flowmeters were installed in the fuel feed pipeline to each fuel storage tank. As fuel can be pumped in and out of each storage location, the flow meters had to have bi-directional flow measurement capability. Flowquip selected high accuracy 100mm diameter Endress & Hauser Coriolis ATEX flowmeters for the application. Pumped fuel flow rates are in the region of 35 litres per second.
During fuel transfer the relevant ATEX fuel flowmeter totals require remote monitoring by an operator in a central control room. For this purpose Flowquip provided a webserver solution which enables all required flowmeter information to be collected and transmitted back to a standalone PC. Operators are also present at each remote pump control room during fuel transfer operations.
In order to cross check the quantity of fuel arriving or leaving the remote storage location, a local electronic display is provided for the operator. The webserver constantly polls all three flowmeters and updates an HTML mimic screen on the PC. All polled flowmeter information is simultaneously re-transmitted back to each electronic display in the relevant remote pump control room. The flowmeter communication protocol is 2-Wire RS485 Modbus.
The distance between each remote fuel storage site is too great to utilise standard communication cabling, and the use of radio communications equipment is not permitted on airbases. For this reason Flowquip specified a Fibre Optic network solution which was installed between each of the remote fuel sites and back to the central control room.
The HTML mimic screens on the PC run under Internet Explorer or any equivalent web browser. One mimic screen displays a graphical interpretation of flowmeters and storage tanks, whilst the other shows simple text and numeric variables for each flowmeter. This screen also has soft keys which enable the reseting of the flowmeter totals once a fuel transfer has taken place. The display also shows non-resetable totals for each flow meter, provided to give a constant tally of total fuel movements between each site. Other displayed variables include flow rate, temperature, density, and forward and reverse totals. The schematic display also provides the operator with directional flow information between the two tanks in operation.
The next phase of the project is to connect each of the three electronic tank gauges into the system to enable remote level monitoring of the fuel tanks.