Bunker Metering System | Electropneumatic S.A.

Bunker Metering System Features

One of the most common methods to verify the fuel quantity inside a bunker is the measurement of the tank levels. This method has the disadvantages of low accuracy and involves mass to volume calculation with an average temperature. Moreover, the air existing in the tank, caused by the tank stripping phenomenon, and the potential “cappuccino effect” can’t be measured, and often are not included in any calculation. These are the main causes that can cause a claim between the supplier and the buyer.

To eliminate these claims, ship owners and barge operators install special bunker fuel metering systems. Electropneumatic SA has developed a bunker fuel metering system that complies with the OIML directions and is designed for installation both on barges and vessels. The core of our system is based on Coriolis principle for mass measurement and is supported by additional instrumentation to ensure safe bunkering operation and trustworthy data. The system is equipped with high performance computer units, as to beale to run real time algorithms for the accurate mass measurement of the fuel and it’s quality controls.

The combination of the high performance hardware and our home-developed sophisticated software results in a transparent, real time logging of the bunkering operation. The continuous and simultaneous monitoring  of the bunkering processes also produces log files that can be used in case of a dispute or a claim with the distributor.

These logs include the following processes:

  • Mass flow (bi-directional)
  • Bunker fuel quantity
  • Density, pressure and temperature
  • Air index

Bunker Metering System One Touch Operations

Our system has been designed with user-friendly operations as it’s basic parameter. The intergrated graphics are designed to serve the concept of “one touch operations”. Hence, the user is able to start the system operation by simply touching the “Start Bunkering” button once. After the operation has started, the system operates in a stand alone mode via it’s intelligent automatic operation. If any irregularity is detected during the bunkering process, it triggers an alarm to notify the crew.

The system also collects all the data sent from the sensors and generates the bunker report (BDN Ticket) upon completion of operation. The report also includes all vital logistic data like bunkering time, average density, temperature, flow rate and viscosity. Even more, all data from current or previous bunkering events can be retrieved via an event logbook. All the system’s functions can guarantee an optimum and cost-efficient unkering operation each and every time!

The added value of our Bunker Metering System is the services that it provides beyond just a measurement. Some of the key features of our Bunker Fuel Metering System are:

  • High accuracy (less than ±0.5%)
  • Direct mass measurement and real time volume conversion
  • HFO, MGO, MDO all in one system
  • Measurement independent of bunker fuel density, temperature and tank geometry
  • Real time graphics and trends during operation to supervise
  • Alarm functions and history for any abnormality detected (i.e. cappuccino effect)
  • Rigid operation – not influenced by external factors (i.e. pipe vibrations)
  • Instrumentation with Custody Transfer Certificates on request

Bunker Metering System Hardware Structure Overview

The Bunker Fuel Metering System consists of one or more Coriolis mass flow meters and the Flow Computer that bears the operator’s display. The mass flow meter performs a direct measurement of mass and temperature with a high accuracy down to 0.1%. The mass flow meter can measure HFO, MDO or MGO and identify it without human interference. Moreover, the physical measurement of the fuel is not affected by temperature variations or entrained air.

The calculated volume value is highly accurate (close to 0.1%) due to the real time calculation formulas. The Flow Computer is a high performance unit, and is receiving data directly from the sensors. The Flow Computer acquires real time system data and status while it processes the values to generate results or alarms. The software of the Flow Computer is protected from user interfierence and only the log file produced can be accessed by the user. The Flow Computer has also an HMI display (heavy duty) where all the features of the system are displayed in a well-designed layout. The user only needs to import once the logistic data of bunkering (i.e. expected quantity).

The system has also the option to be upgraded to feature a web-Access service. The web system transmits all the data acquired during a bunkering procedure to an onshore Data Center (ISO 27001 Cyber Security) via satellite communications for storage purposes. The web access feature does not affect the stand-alone operation of the Bunker Metering System. The data stored in the Data Center can be accessed by the client (credentials required) but data cannot be modified. The Bunker Metering System with the Web-Access upgrade has available the additional features of:

  • Totalizers for bunker quantity, mass flow, air index, etc.
  • Real Time Monitoring of bunkering process parameters and set points
  • Retrieve logged data from last bunkering operations
  • Reports print out of metering profiles for purposes of comparison

Bunker Metering System Scope of Installation

The scope of installation encloses all the necessary tasks needed to be performed on board, so as to install and deliver the Bunker Metering System in operational status. These tasks include:

  • The connection of the sensors and the flow computer in the electricity grid.
  • The connection of the flow computer with the sensors. Our highly expertised technical team will perform all the electrical connections between the sensors, the Flow Computer and the mechanical installation of the Flow Computer panel.
  • The commissioning and startup of the Bunker Metering System. This process is included and will be performed by our highly expertised technical team.

The installation does not include the piping modification for the mechanical installation of the Coriolis Mass Flow Meter(s) and any other instrumentation that should be connected on a pipe. Special attention should be given to the size and weight of the Coriolis Mass Flow Meter.

Bunker Metering System Site Survey

Thetask of site survey is recommended before the installation of the Bunker Metering System. The site survey’s scope is to check and advise the client for any piping modification, repairs, works and cable run that should take place before the Bunker Metering System installation. The survey also aims to highlight the location where the new Bunker Coriolis Mass Flow Meter(s) should be installed, a critical milestone of the Bunker Metering System installation. The site survey task should not be performed by the client.

The site survey also aims to ensure an installation that will comply with OIML directives; a very specific piping for receive and/or supply fuel oil is required. Electropneumatic SA has a troubleshooting technical team and skilled service engineers that offer on site solutions to any electrical problems. Any task that is not included in the scope of Bunker Metering System quotation will be treated as a separate service quotation.