New Online Moisture Detection Sensor For Real-time Alarming

Tags: water in oil, oil analysis

Water in oil can cause quick and costly breakdowns. This type of fluid contamination can also result in problems such as additive depletion, oil oxidation, corrosion and accelerated component wear rates. Because water contamination can occur at any time, it is possible for bearings and other lubricated components to be seriously damaged without giving any obvious warning signs.

Online monitoring is a proven successful method for the prevention of water contamination in fluids. EESIFLO® has developed the EASZ-1 online moisture sensor, a water in oil analyzer that provides early warning signals when a problem is detected, therefore prompting corrective action to be taken immediately.

Moisture Sensor
The sensor offers continuous and accurate monitoring of water contamination in any oil including lubricating oils, fuels and hydraulic oils, diesels and other oil-based chemicals. The system incorporates a temperature-compensated water in oil sensor that enables fast and reliable online detection and monitoring of moisture percentage or ppm in oil.

The unit can be used in online moisture monitoring and as a control instrument allowing separators and oil purifiers to be operated only when needed. One major benefit is the response time. In seconds, the unit will respond to a change in the capacitance of the oil monitored and is not affected or knocked out of service by saturation. It will continue to work in both high and low measurement ranges.

Principle of Operation
It is well-understood that water has a dielectric constant (K) up to 40 times greater than that of many hydrocarbon- or vegetable-based products. When small quantities of water are mixed into oil or fuels, the resulting solution exhibits a measurably increased value of K.

The moisture sensor takes advantage of this fact by employing high-speed analog-sensing electronics to accurately measure the K of any fluid passing through its dual cylinder cell. Knowing the K of the original fluid (oil or fuel), and the K of the second fluid (water), it is a simple matter to determine the oil/water ratio to accurate values.

A single-button calibration feature allows the user to calibrate the oil sensor for use on any fluid regardless of its age or current moisture content. This feature permits oil changes without extensive recalibration of the entire system.

One of the advantages of this moisture-sensing technology is its ability to measure total water in all three phases (dissolved, emulsified and free) in real-time, from 35 ppm to 65 percent.

Water Measurement
The standard practice for measuring water content has been to report the content as a percentage of the total volume, or in parts per million (ppm). Water content appears in three different forms in oil: dissolved in the oil, as a separate liquid phase (free water) or as an oil-water emulsion. A tiny amount of dissolved water is always present in oil. Free water or a water emulsion is potentially hazardous and must be avoided.

The moisture sensor measures water contamination in a dissolved, emulsion or free water state. It can detect below 100 ppm with a resolution of +/- 35 ppm. The instrument is able to measure below and above saturation levels with a response time of only one second. This is advantageous to users who need to correlate actual moisture readings with laboratory results. In this sense, the sensor is more reliable than spot sampling or laboratory results simply because it is monitoring the total volume of oil 24 hours a day.

Applications
This unique system provides operators of all types of engines, pipelines, turbines, gears, separators, filtration systems and stabilizers with a means of continuous monitoring of the oil systems for possible water contamination. The water in oil online sensor can be used in but is not limited to the following applications:

These are just a few examples of the applications that may utilize the online moisture sensor. Because it can calibrated to any type of oil, the electronics do not drift and the sensing elements are not destroyed by water.