Oil & Gas Product News Logo

New enhancement for versatile range of field-proven online viscometers


Hydramotion Ltd. is pleased to announce a new enhancement for its versatile XL7 range of field-proven online process viscometers.

At the refinery, petroleum products of uniform quality must be produced from crude oil with very variable composition and physical properties. It is therefore essential to monitor the refining process continuously so that adjustments to the operating conditions can be made without delay. Along with refractive index and density, viscosity is a key control parameter. The measurement system developed by Hydramotion is perfect for monitoring viscosity in any oil industry process.

The XL7 offers continuous viscosity measurement with high resolution, excellent repeatability and virtually minimal maintenance.  New to the range is the option of an integral temperature sensor, enabling the simultaneous monitoring of fluid temperature and calculation of temperature-corrected viscosity without the need for a separate thermowell.

With viscosity so dependent on temperature, the facility for measuring both at the same point offers a significant accuracy advantage, especially where measurement conditions may be changing unpredictably from minute to minute.  The XL7 always operates at process temperature, which eliminates the chance of potential errors arising from localised cooling of the fluid.  The high-temperature HT2 model can be used at up to 450 degrees C (842 degrees F) without special cooling.

Unaffected by flow rate or bubbles of air or gas, and with no moving parts to wear out or fail in service, the XL7 is a “bolt-on-and-go” device requiring no spares and no accessories. It is factory-calibrated to certified viscosity standards traceable to NIST, so requires no on-site calibration. 

Measurements are unaffected by variations in flow rate or by the presence of suspended solids or gases. The instrument naturally rejects typical plant vibration frequencies, which gives a very high output stability even in extremely “noisy” environments.

The sensor is an all-welded construction which can be mounted on tanks or pipes at any location and in any orientation using any process fitting, with no need for any ancillary pipework. Calibration is unaffected by installation or environment.  All instrument-specific data is stored on the transducer, giving complete flexibility of installation. Any XL7 model can be supplied in an intrinsically safe version certified to IEC Ex ia IIC, suitable for installation in all Hazardous Areas up to and including Zone 0 (explosive atmosphere continuously present), equivalent to Class 1 Division 1 Group A.

The unique technology of the XL7 imposes no theoretical limit on operating pressure. Hydramotion has recently supplied XL7s rated at 20,000 psi (1380 bar), and instruments with higher ratings are available.

The accompanying VP550 readout unit has a clear, easy-to-read display showing dynamic or kinematic viscosity, both “live” and corrected to a user-defined reference temperature. The user can select from a range of standard viscosity units including centipoise (cP), pascal-seconds (Pa•s) or centistokes (cSt) as desired. Conversion to other units is also possible. User-friendly intuitive software offers rapid access to any function or parameter for configuring or updating the system. Menu navigation is quick and easy using the simple-to-operate keypad. No programming is required.

There are three user-selectable 4-20mA analogue outputs, all fully configurable, as well as an RS485 serial data link for remote viscosity monitoring and control. The optional USB output facilitates direct connection to a PC or laptop.

Simple to hook up and use, the combination of XL7 transducer and VP550 readout unit gives a reliable, easy-to-use and durable viscosity measurement system with an unbeatably low cost of ownership. Ready for use straight out of the box, the high-performance XL7 is the instrument of choice for any fluid viscosity measurement, especially in aggressive environments where removal or replacement would be costly, inconvenient or impractical.