Furnace radiation modeling

Location: Industrial Research Limited (IRL): Measurement Standards Laboratory of New Zealand
Their Client: New Zealand Refining Company
The Topic: Infrared radiation thermometry for furnace tube temperature measurement
Client benefit: High quality measurement leads to better plant control, reduced risk and increased profitability

Most of this article is from the writeup on the IRL website.

Industrial Research undertook furnace radiation modeling for the New Zealand Refining Company which operates several large furnaces in many stages of the production of gasoline (Also known around the world variously as “petrol” and “benzene”).

Thermal infrared radiation thermometry, or IR Thermometry, is the only feasible method for obtaining temperature measurements of many furnaces and the process tubes within.

The technology is not new, it was known that the measurements suffer from errors stemming from several environmental factors such as reflection of background thermal radiation and absorption and emission of the emitted & reflected radiation (from the surfaces being measured, by furnace gases.

Variations in the spectral emissivity and reflectivity of the materials comprising the surfaces being measured also influence the resulting temperature measurements.

The New Zealand Refining Company used the knowledge and background offered by Industrial Research’s Measurement Standards Laboratory in furnace radiation modelling to obtain more accurate measurements.

The service gave increased confidence that safe and efficient operating parameters were being maintained. As a result, the plant can operate more efficiently through the operators being able to better predict plant life and tube life.