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

Docket:11653, 10314

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

Docket:15198

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

Docket:12408

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

Docket:15203

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

Docket:10202

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

Docket:16112

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.

Vapor Regulators

Docket:15489, 11073

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.