Sampling Systems

SENSOR Sampling Systems provides a representative sample that is safe to both the operator and the environment. Our systems are designed to meet Leak Detection Repair (LDAR), Maximum Achievable Control Standards (MACT) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emission standards.

EPA Regulations mandate the use of environmentally safe, closed loop and closed vent sampling systems. Our systems meet these strict EPA requirements while providing a safe, reliable method for collecting representative samples in a manner which minimizes exposure to the operator and the environment. SENSOR sampling is dedicated to providing a simple way to collect a repetitive, quality sample, reduce emissions and create safe conditions in which to work. We offer many different types of systems specifically designed to meet your exact requirements.

Learn more on how the Liquefied Gas Sampling System (LGSS) and the Vapor Gas Sampling Systems (VSS) work.

SOR recognizes that there is no industry convention with respect to terminology and definitions pertinent to sampling systems. This glossary applies to SOR Sampling Systems.

Asphalt –  A dark brown-to-black cement-like material obtained by petroleum processing and containing bitumens as the predominant component; used primarily for road construction. It includes crude asphalt as well as the following finished products: cements, fluxes, the asphalt content of emulsions (exclusive of water), and petroleum distillates blended with asphalt to make cutback asphalts. Note: The conversion factor for asphalt is 5.5 barrels per short ton.

Benzene (C6H6) – An aromatic hydrocarbon present in small proportion in some crude oils and made commercially from petroleum by the catalytic reforming of naphthenes in petroleum naphtha. Benzene is made from coal in the manufacture of coke. Used as a solvent in the manufacture of detergents, synthetic fibers, petrochemicals, and as a component of high-octane gasoline.

Block Valve – Any valve used to isolate the Sampling System panel from the active process line.

Closed-Loop Sampling – A methodology for extracting process samples from an active process line without allowing the release of fugitive emissions.

CRN – Canadian Registration Number.  A number issued by each province or territory of Canada to the design of a boiler, pressure vessel or fitting. The CRN identifies the design has been accepted and registered for use in that province or territory.

Dead Volume – Any volume of process media which is not actively circulating within the process piping.  Considered “non-representative” of the current process conditions.

Dual Phase Sampling – designed for the collection of Liquid and/or Gas samples during the Hydro-cracking and Hydro-treating process. 

Eductor – A jet-type pump that does not require any moving parts to be able to pump out a liquid or gas from a certain area. These pumps make use of their structure to transfer energy from one fluid to another via the Venturi effect.

Emissions –  Anthropogenic releases of gases to the atmosphere. In the context of global climate change, they consist of radiatively important greenhouse gases (e.g., the release of carbon dioxide during fuel combustion).

Fast Loop – A circuit or loop of tubing flowing from the process line to a certain point in a sampling system and then back to the process line. It ensures that the sample arriving at a certain point in the sample system is timely and fresh.

Fixed Volume – A pre-determined volume which is reliably and repeatedly dispensed by the Sampling System.  The system is designed to dispense this exact volume with each sampling operation.

Flare –  A tall stack equipped with burners used as a safety device at wellheads, refining facilities, gas processing plants, and chemical plants. Flares are used for the combustion and disposal of combustible gases. The gases are piped to a remote, usually elevated, location and burned in an open flame in the open air using a specially designed burner tip, auxiliary fuel, and steam or air. Combustible gases are flared most often due to emergency relief, overpressure, process upsets, startups, shutdowns, and other operational safety reasons. Natural gas that is uneconomical for sale is also flared. Often natural gas is flared as a result of the unavailability of a method for transporting such gas to markets.

Flowmeter – A component that measures the flowrate of liquids and gases through a process system.

Heating Equipment – Any equipment designed and/or specifically used for heating ambient air in an enclosed space. Common types of heating equipment include: central warm air furnace, heat pump, plug-in or built-in room heater, boiler for steam or hot water heating system, heating stove, and fireplace.

Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids (HGL) – A group of hydrocarbons including ethane, propane, normal butane, isobutene, and natural gasoline, and their associated olefins, including ethylene, propylene, butylene, and isobutylene. As marketed products, HGL represents all natural gas liquids (NGL) and olefins. EIA reports production of HGL from refineries (liquefied refinery gas, or LRG) and natural gas plants (natural gas plant liquids, or NGPL).

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) – a colorless gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs; it is heavier than air, very poisonous, corrosive, flammable, and explosive; properties shared with the denser hydrogen chalcogenides.

Isolation Valve – See Block Valve (NOTE: This may sometimes refer to a secondary panel-mounted valve in Fixed Volume systems)

Liquefied Petroleum Gases (LPG) – A group of hydrocarbon gases, primarily propane, normal butane, and isobutene, derived from crude oil refining or natural gas processing. These gases may be marketed individually or mixed. They can be liquefied through pressurization (without requiring cryogenic refrigeration) for convenience of transportation or storage. Excludes ethane and olefins. Note: In some EIA publications, LPG includes ethane and marketed refinery olefin streams, in accordance with definitions used prior to January 2014.

LPG – Liquefied Petroleum Gas

Needle Purge – The ability to expel any remaining process media from the process needle into the Sample container, thus eliminating the possibility of plugging or cross-contamination of samples.

Outage tube – A “cut to length” tube placed inside of the sample cylinder used as a way to remove excess sample from the cylinder via manual evacuation after the sample cylinder assembly is removed from the sampler.

Pressure – Force per unit area, commonly expressed in pounds per square inch (PSI) or bar.

Process Line – A large pipe in a plant that moves the liquid or gas product from one step or process to another.

Process Needle – Needle through which a liquid process sample is dispensed into a bottle.

Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) –  An indirect measure of the rate at which petroleum liquids evaporate. It’s the absolute vapor pressure of a crude oil, or of single or mixed liquid petroleum products, as measured by the Reid Method (ASTM Method D 323).

Representative Sample – A process sample which is identical to the process media actively circulating in the process piping, and representative of current process conditions.

Sample Bomb – See Sample Cylinder

Sample Cylinder – A sample container designed to capture and safely transport liquid or gas (vapor) samples under high pressure.

Sampling System – A system that is employed in many industries that draws a sample from a process line and prepares it for analysis in an analyzer.

Sampling Valve – Main valve which controls the dispensing of a process sample.

Septum – Teflon-coated, rubber diaphragm through which the process and vent needles access the sample bottle.

Sight Glass – A transparent tube or window through which the level of liquid in a reservoir or supply line can be checked visually.

Sulfinert A flexible silicon coating that makes flow paths inert for better process control, consistent sampling and analytical results. 

Tube Fitting – A leak-tight mechanical connection between two pieces of tubing (or tubing and a component) that may be assembled with simple tools and reassembled numerous times. 

Vapor Pressure – The pressure exerted by a vapor in thermodynamic equilibrium with its condensed phases (solid or liquid) at a given temperature in a closed system. The equilibrium vapor pressure is an indication of a liquid’s evaporation rate. It relates to the tendency of particles to escape from the liquid (or a solid). A substance with a high vapor pressure at normal temperatures is often referred to as volatile.

Vent Needle – Needle through which vapors are evacuated from a sample bottle.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – Organic compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions.


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