Tank calibration

Hi Folks,

I have some issue measuring a circumference /m3 of a burried fuel tank,without having any manufacturer calibration board :
here a exemple picture of fuel tank :http://tirbordertown.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/large-fuel-tank-400x300.jpg

i was thinking of manking some IR distance inside the tank to measure distance, but the Sharp one only have 150 CM range.
With the ultrasonic radar is the same issue, only 5 metres max i guess.

Please let me know if you have an idea or anything that can help me measure a fuel Tank, even when it’s full.

Thanks a lot!!

Wait until it is empty, then measure the amount of fuel required to fill it.

First question is do you know if the tank is round? (well, cylindrical). Assuming it is, I would suggest a high tech solution -- a stick. Most tanks have the ability to "stick" them to measure fuel depth (filling access is straight down into the tank). Take a stick. Put an end piece on it that sticks out to the side an inch or two. Now stick it down into the tank and pull it back up so that end piece catches on the top of the tank - mark that on the stick. Now go all the way to the bottom. Mark that. Take the stick out - you now have the diameter marked on the stick - you still need to figure length but at least you have the diameter this way. If you now take two measurements - before and after dumping a known amount, you can calculate the rest of the information (measure with the same stick so you know where you are measuring in the tank).

Or do what I did with my airplane's 25 gallon and definitely non-linear tanks: Drain one, then fill it, marking every 2 gallons on a stick. 12-13 marks later, all filled and stick calibrated.

CrossRoads: Or do what I did with my airplane's 25 gallon and definitely non-linear tanks: Drain one, then fill it, marking every 2 gallons on a stick. 12-13 marks later, all filled and stick calibrated.

Yep - back to the stick again (although a bit difficult to use in flight) :o

If it is just the volume of the tank (cubic meters) and the not the dimensions (and the tank is empty), you could sample the proportion of oxygen in the tank. You could then tip in a known quantity of liquid oxygen and measure the new proportional increase in the concentration of oxygen. You could then derive the volume of the tank.

Yikes! If it is a tank that has had any fuel in it, there is no way I would want to be playing with LOX around that tank (although that could be one way to get it out of the ground to measure it ... :o )

If the tank is exactly like the one in the picture, We have a very high tech solution. NO one in the world can provide you solution like this.

  • Take a strong thread(Fishing rope,and maybe a Fishing rod?)
  • Tie a stone at one end
  • Slowely lower the stone in the tank
  • Keep lowering until you stop feeling the stone i.e the stone touches the bottom of the tank
  • Measure the thread
  • BINGO! You found the diameter.
  • Now,get a calculator,type (22/7)*

gpsmikey: Yikes! If it is a tank that has had any fuel in it, there is no way I would want to be playing with LOX around that tank (although that could be one way to get it out of the ground to measure it ... :o )

It gets worse. If there is fuel in the tank, you drop a heater into the tank to raise the temperature of the fuel. By measuring the temperature difference and the energy used to heat the fuel, and knowing the specific heat capacity of the fuel and its density, one can deduce its total volume.

6v6gt: It gets worse. If there is fuel in the tank, you drop a heater into the tank to raise the temperature of the fuel. By measuring the temperature difference and the energy used to heat the fuel, and knowing the specific heat capacity of the fuel and its density, one can deduce its total volume.

But you have to ensure thorough mixing of the fuel to do that.