Valves, regulators, and gauges control propane tank pressure, regulate flow rate, and assess tank fuel levels.
PERC develops valves, regulators, and gauges that enhance the
protection of downstream propane equipment and appliances and improve
inventory management. This research responds to consumer demand for
increased equipment safety and more reliable product delivery.
Acoustic Stop-Fill Instrument for Propane Tanks
An acoustic stop-fill instrument is a non-invasive sensor that uses
sonic technology to prevent the flow of propane past a tank’s maximum
fill level. Six beta prototypes were designed, laboratory reviewed, and field-tested to further advance this technology for use in domestic and bulk
propane storage tanks.
Low-Emission Fixed Maximum Liquid Level Gauges
New low-emission fixed-maximum liquid level gauges have smaller orifices to reduce emissions. Researchers tested samples of these gauges to determine flow capacity and their susceptibility to clogging and freezing.
Maximus Overfill Detection Instrument
The Maximus overfill detection instrument is a non-invasive instrument
that can readily diagnose whether on-board propane motor-fuel tanks are
overfilled and whether overfill protection devices installed in these
tanks are working properly. Researchers evaluated the device for
accuracy in signaling the completion of the tank filling operation and
its ability to measure and reduce evaporative emissions through outage
gauges during on-board refilling.
Pressure Relief Valves for Customer Tanks
Pressure relief valves are designed to prevent cylinder expansion or
rupture in the event of excessive pressure. A sample of pressure relief
valves for customer propane tanks were tested and evaluated to determine
if the recommended service life for pressure relief valves can be
safely extended. Researchers acquired relief valves for analysis,
operated a statistically based testing and analysis program, and
analyzed the failure cause of selected malfunctioning valves.
Relief Valve and Cylinder Testing Program
This program tested the performance of 20-pound cylinders and evaluated
inspection requirements. Researchers used these results to compile a
database that compares relief valve and cylinder performance and
determines failure safety factors.
Remote Tank Level Monitoring Systems for Bulk, Commercial, and Residential Propane Tanks
Remote tank-level monitoring systems help marketers accurately assess
the fuel level in customer tanks, enabling marketers to maintain a
usable supply of product in the tank and optimize their delivery
schedule according to the customer’s needs. Six types of tank-level
monitoring systems were acquired and performance tested to determine
system accuracy and reliability in varying conditions. Researchers also
documented the specifications for each system and assessed the
installation processes required.
Propane vapor regulators provide a nearly constant pressure that permits
the safe use of propane appliances. Researchers tested the performance
and conducted a failure analysis of a sample set of regulators recently
removed from service to determine whether scientific or engineering
support exists for extended service-life recommendations for some
models. Vapor regulators were also tested to determine flow at
prescribed inlet and set pressures. Researchers compiled the results of
this study into a report on regulator flow performance to aid marketers
in regulator equipment selection.