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Energy economy eyes gas cylinders

Home cooking and heating rely on gas cylinders in much of Europe. More efficient filling and less leakage can help realise important savings and keep the cylinders secure.


Liquid gas cylinders form an important part of energy needs in European households, particularly for cooking and heating. As these are flammable gasses, the safety of these cylinders is of utmost importance. Another key consideration is cost-efficiency through accurate filling. The EU-funded project 'A novel tare identification and corrosion detection system to improve filling accuracy, productivity and safety for SME LPG, butane & propane gas vendors' (TARE-IT) worked to address these issues. The project developed effective ultrasonic scanning equipment for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), butane and propane refilling centres and industries to detect corrosion leaks during filling. Team members managed to overcome challenges associated with using ultrasonic sensors to detect residual weight automatically in re-filling through novel software and systems. The system could offer the over 7,500 filling and test stations with an alternative technology to identify tare (unused amount in each cylinder). This will tackle leak detection, help reduce the EUR 1.2 million in waste among SMEs and enhance safety. in all, the novel non-contact, non-destructive testing hybrid laser and air ultrasonic testing system can be applied in 30 seconds to verify leakages, pressure and cylinder capacity used. It will represent a powerful tool in saving energy, improving delivery and increasing safety. Lastly, the emerging knowledge and research is considered important for learning about defects in steel and composite pressure cylinders, corrosion and cracks.

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