Four important applications in flow meters

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By definition Flowmeter is an instrument that is used for measuring linear, nonlinear, mass or volumetric flow rate of a liquid or a gas. It is extensive used in the oil and natural gas based industries where the flow gas and liquid needs to be measured accurately. Technology has come a long way since the days of the initial flowemeters and there are many different ways in which the flow of liquid can be measured. There are a number of technologies such as differential-pressure, turbine and positive-displacement that are being used to measure the flow of gas and liquid. Some of these technologies are far ahead of the others in terms of their application in the industry. Here in this short write-up we shall take a look at four flowmeter applications that you must watch out.

  1. Multiphase Flowmeters - In the oil and gas industry fluids are known to be different states of matter i.e. liquid, gas and steam. While most traditional flowmeters are known to measure a single type of flow liquid, gas or steam we are seeing extensive usage of multiphase meters in the oil and gas industry. When the oil comes out of the well it is a mixture of all these components and it serves as a great advantage to the business to measure the fluid before the different components are separated using a separator in the wellhead. They can serve in a variety of functions in the industry such as well testing, custody transfer, and allocation metering.

  2. The downside for these multiphase meters remains their prices as they are highly expensive and not within the budget of small businesses. In fact many wells cannot justify the expenditure behind multiphase flowmeters due to their production limit. In terms of technology these multiphase meters are way ahead of traditional technologies that are being used and in years to come they might find their way into the small oil and gas industries.

  3. Delivery Network - Delivery of the fuel through the distribution chains is an important part of the petroleum industry. Here fuel is loaded into truck and delivered to homes, businesses, transport industry such as airplanes, ships etc. Here again there is immense competition among technologies. Traditionally this market belonged to positive-displacement flowmeters however Coriolis flowmeters are fast becoming the preferred technology for most businesses. With approvals from various industry bodies such as the American Petroleum Institute is making fast inroads into the market. One of the biggest advantages of this kind of flowmeter is the fact that it can be applied in a small ecosystem where other technologies donít make a sound financial decision. These include district energy metering, residential metering, boiler inlet measurement, steam flow measurement, flare gas measurement, and open channel measurement among others.

  4. Custody Transfer of Natural Gas Ė One of the areas of great importance in the natural gas industry is custody transfer. Natural gas goes through a series of transitions and till it reaches the customers. On many occasions the ownership of the gas is transferred from one company to another till it reaches the consumers. Thus flowmeter play an active role during the custody transfer. Like in the case of delivery network traditionally differential-pressure or turbine flowmeters were used for this purpose. But over the last decade and half ultrasonic flowmeters are being used for custody transfers having received necessary approvals from the American Gas Association (AGA). There is however a downside to the ultrasonic flowmeters as they have to be calibrated on a regular basis. This involves sending the flowmeter to a calibration facility. This requires a business to in place for their ultrasonic meters. Also sending the meters for calibration from faraway distances is both expensive and time consuming.

  5. Stack Gas Measurement - With the growing voice for environment protection and the influence of the Environmental Protection Association (EPA) the need stack flow measurement accelerated has accelerated. The advantage with this flowmeter technique is the fact that it can be used for continuous emissions monitoring (CEM). Thermal flowmeter suppliers have developed multipoint flowmeters which are used to measure flow at as many as 16 points in the stack which results in higher levels of accuracy compared to single-point thermal flowmeters. Apart from this differential-pressure and ultrasonic flowmeters also being used stack gas measurement. While the differential-pressure flowmeters use averaging Pitot to measure the flow ultrasonic flowmeters measure it by sending a signal back and forth across a pipe allowing them to cover large diameters pipes.

There are a low of development that are taking place in the world of flowmeters to make them efficient as well as make their usage diverse. In the coming years we might see newer technologies and applications making their way into the market.

This post is contributed by SpireMT, a leading supplier of Digital Flow Meters,Handheld Ultrasonic Flow Meter,water flow meter, Transit-Time Flow Meter and many more. For more information visit at

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