Vacuum Transfer Systems in the Oil and Gas Industry
The oil industry has a use for systems that can remove sludge and semi solids in a safe, enclosed manner in Zone 2 areas. These are areas classified as off-shore and hazardous. They often require the uplift of powders, sludge, sand and mud from tanks and other enclosed spaces.
A typical system may be made up of a main vacuum transfer unit, a filtration unit for the system, a vacuum discharge hopper and one or more vacuum skips. The vacuum transfer unit can be a vacuum pump that is diesel powered. It will typically have a filter for sludge as well as a separator for water and other inert liquids. The pump may also have an electric option as well as a hydraulic option for optimum flexibility. Man Power Oil
The filtration unit must ensure continuous suction without problems. The dust filters are chemical resistant, high temperature compliant and self-cleaning, allowing near zero interruption time. An additional filtration unit may also be used to filter expelled air to remove any contaminants that may otherwise escape and constitute a risk.
The vacuum discharge hopper effectively discharges materials from the hopper to the waiting vacuum skip or skips. It allows a safe and efficient transfer through a conveyor system that is air driven. There also needs to be a system in place to prevent a jamming of materials as they are transported. This can be achieved by vibrators and air hammers positioned at strategic points. The most efficient hopper systems will allow continuous material transfer even when vacuum skips are being changed.
Vacuum skips are where the material ends up. From this point it can be taken away and safely disposed of. The skips are often designed to be stackable so that two or more can be stacked on top of one another. This can save valuable space in conditions where space is at a premium.
The traditional way to clean the inside of large storage tanks is simply to use man power. Workers typically enter the tank fitted with protective clothing. They may also require breathing equipment if there has been hazardous material contained in the tank that can still emit dangerous fumes. This method is fraught with danger. It is also costly in man hours and can represent a low level of overall efficiency.
Vacuum transfer systems represent a more intelligent method of cleaning and removing materials from large tanks. It is also a considerably safer way to deal with the problem and can be much more environmentally friendly too. Carefully controlled noise suppression of the engine and machinery moving parts involved, coupled with controlled and monitored engine emissions that comply with regulations make an efficient system that cares for the environment in every way.