To understand the basic operation of a water separator, it's necessary to understand how these devices work. These devices are designed to separate the different phases of water and oil. When a process upstream becomes upset, this fluid may become trapped in the water separator. To prevent this from happening, a separate detection system is installed at the water separator. This detection system is used to prevent the buildup of oil in the water separator.
The operation process of the water separator unit involves three stages. In the first stage, the water passes through a coalescing filter that separates impurities from the oil. After that, the oil is pumped to a dirty oil tank via an oil valve. The oil-water mixture then moves downwards, moving slowly between catch plates. As more oil is removed, the remaining water rises to the collection space. Eventually, the water in this stage is almost oil-free. The final discharge is measured in ppm.
The oil content monitor (OCM) is a device that continuously measures the ppm of oil. It feeds its output signal to a control unit. This device is used to prevent oil-laden water from going overboard. It normally controls three solenoid valves in the first and second oil collecting chambers. In the lower part, it controls the discharge side of the oily water separator. Once it reaches the desired purity, it will pass through the filter unit.
The water in the separator travels up the plates. It forms globules and rises upward with the rising velocity of the water. They coalesce until they have enough rising velocity to travel along the surface of the plates. They then break away from the plate at the periphery. Meanwhile, the oil is caught underneath the annular baffle and leads through the turbulent inlet area. The oil eventually collects in the dome.
In order for the oil to be separated from the water, the oil needs to be removed from the wastewater. In addition to removing oil, the water separator should be designed to limit the buildup of oil. An oil-free effluent with a lower "Re" value will not contain a significant amount of oil. Flow-through velocities of the separator should not exceed three feet per minute. The second stage coalescers are a necessary step for this process. The coalescing surface area of the separator holds small oil droplets until they become larger. The larger droplets rise to the oil collecting chamber.
The efficiency of centrifugal separation depends on the difference between the two fluids. The greater the difference in specific gravity, the better the separation process. It is important to understand the particle size of the separated water as a threshold to determine whether the separation is effective or not. The operation process of the water separator is also vital to the efficiency of the separation process. Without proper maintenance, the separator can reduce or even eliminate the need for water treatment.