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SA Shipyards Uses Instrotech’s Diesel Level System In Transnet Tugboats

The manufacture of tugboats by ship builder SA Shipyards, for end user Transnet, provided Instrotech an opportunity to develop a technical solution for diesel tank monitoring.


Instrotech’s specific involvement was the monitoring of volume, in litres, of diesel in the port and starboard tanks of the tugboats. Instrotech specified locally manufactured products, as well as high-quality Swiss instrumentation by Keller. Some examples of Keller’s high quality pressure sensors are EX-rated, low and very high pressures and temperatures, data logging, submersible level, manometers and differential pressure transmitters.

The EX-rated submersible level transmitter, Keller 36 XWei with an atmospheric pressure vent in the cable, was mounted 50mm above the bottom (to prevent any build up) and located in the centre of the tank for uniformity of diesel head pressure. Instrotech was able to install and safely monitor the diesel head of pressure with a 4-20mA output. The 5m high port and starboard tanks were not uniform in shape so with sounding charts provided by SA Shipyards and taking the specific gravity (SG) of diesel into consideration, Instrotech was able to calculate the desired pressure at 16 critical points and then determine the volumetric capacity of diesel versus the head of pressure of diesel in the tanks. Instrotech’s locally made programmable digital indicators are customised with a 16 point lineariser option, allowing the operator to key-in the values actual versus desired values and thus displaying quantity of diesel, in litres, within the tanks.

Giles Wilcox, Instrotech’s Technical Sales Area Manager (KZN, WCape & ECape) comments, “This was yet another very interesting, technical, customized project for Instrotech. With the quality and variety of Instrumentation available from Instrotech, we were able to bring together various technologies at our disposal for a successful solution.”

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