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Sensors 2014, 14(7), 11351-11361; doi:10.3390/s140711351

A High Resolution Capacitive Sensing System for the Measurement of Water Content in Crude Oil

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750, Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2014 / Revised: 25 April 2014 / Accepted: 25 April 2014 / Published: 25 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [937 KB, 30 June 2014; original version 25 June 2014]   |  


This paper presents the design of a non-intrusive system to measure ultra-low water content in crude oil. The system is based on a capacitance to phase angle conversion method. Water content is measured with a capacitance sensor comprising two semi-cylindrical electrodes mounted on the outer side of a glass tube. The presence of water induces a capacitance change that in turn converts into a phase angle, with respect to a main oscillator. A differential sensing technique is adopted not only to ensure high immunity against temperature variation and background noise, but also to eliminate phase jitter and amplitude variation of the main oscillator that could destabilize the output. The complete capacitive sensing system was implemented in hardware and experiment results using crude oil samples demonstrated that a resolution of ±50 ppm of water content in crude oil was achieved by the proposed design.
Keywords: capacitance sensor; interface circuit; water content; crude oil capacitance sensor; interface circuit; water content; crude oil
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Aslam, M.Z.; Tang, T.B. A High Resolution Capacitive Sensing System for the Measurement of Water Content in Crude Oil. Sensors 2014, 14, 11351-11361.

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