New Krohne ultrasonic flowmeter for superheated steam

With the Optisonic 8300, Krohne presents a dedicated ultrasonic flowmeter for the measurement of superheated steam. The 2-beam flowmeter stands out with a measuring accuracy of 1%, high repeatability, and a large dynamic measuring range. Typical applications include boiler and plant efficiency monitoring in power plants, energy balancing or inter-company steam billing.

As downtime of steam pipes is very costly and must be avoided, Optisonic 8300 was built for long term use: it features a full bore flow sensor without moving parts or obstructions, and an overall sturdy and robust construction with no cables or sensitive parts exposed. Therefore, it can uphold its measuring accuracy without maintenance or subsequent calibration for up to 20 years, while keeping operating costs at a minimum. If verification of the measuring accuracy should become necessary, it can be provided by using the flowmeter diagnostics, without removing the flowmeter.

With nominal sizes ranging from DN 100 to 1000, or 4” to 40″, Optisonic 8300 is particularly suited to high flow rates. Pressure rating up to 200 bar (3625 psi) and temperature rating up to 540°C / 1004°F are available, higher requirements can be considered on request. With temperature and pressure sensors also connected to the device, the integrated flow computer can calculate steam mass flow.

Optisonic 8300 adds to the Krohne portfolio of ultrasonic process and custody transfer meters for liquids and gases, which now cover the range from compressed air to cryogenic liquid natural gas (LNG).

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Well flow testing using Expro PassiveSonar

This is a story from the October issue of the Industrial Automation INSIDER, that would not fit onto the small format mobile friendly version of the newsletter, so it is shown here for readers to be able to access it from their mobile devices. Obviously no-one whose company has not paid their subscription to the INSIDER newsletter should read the following text!

Expro specialize in well flow management services and products. A subsidiary, Expro Meters, based in Wallingford, Connecticut, supply clamp-on ultrasonic flow m e a s u r e m e n t techniques that parallel the technology used in the phased passive sonar arrays used by submarines: these are called, simply, PassiveSonar. These meters were first introduced in 2003, following an exclusive deal with the developers of the technology – CiDRA, also of Wallingford (a Teknoinvest of Norway company) – and they are used to enable oil and gas producers to realize increased value from their wells and fields through improved production monitoring, for optimization of well performance, increased efficiency and reduced metering costs.

At Offshore Europe last month, in collaboration with Marathon Oil in the UK, staff from Expro presented a paper describing the use of PassiveSonar on the East Brae platform, where there are currently 12 producing gas wells. Varying water-gas ratios and low gas rates result in liquid loading being a major flow assurance issue. Well testing is carried out every two months using the Expro clamp-on flow meters – because they are clamp-on units there is no interruption to the production flows while the meter is installed. Different methods have been adopted to optimize production and combat liquid loading: wireless wellhead temperature sensors recently installed have been correlated with sonar measured gas rates, providing a real time trend of liquid loading.

How do they measure?

PassiveSonar is well suited for high liquid loading multiphase flows typical of black oil wells and low pressure gas wells. The flow measurement principle relies on the natural turbulence and noise of the flow producing a pattern that is detectable by the passive sensors, which is time shifted as it travels down the pipe. So I would describe it as a cross-correlation technique.

The same units are quoted to measure the entrained gas percentage, or gas void fraction, 0 to 20%, determined by a measurement of the sound speed through the process medium. In the East Brae example the flow is mainly water, with some gas entrainment, so the principle would be valid, but how the speed of sound can be measured passively does not seem immediately obvious!

There are 1500 Expro PassiveSonar meters quoted as installed world-wide.

Another style of clamp-on flowmeter is the ActiveSonar meter, launched in 2009, which is best suited for gas and gas condensate wells flowing in heavy schedule pipes. It uses a clamp-on array of ultrasonic transmitters opposite the receiver array.

Krohne Australia leverage

In Australia, Krohne have been applying the CiDRA Sonar technology to difficult applications outside the oil and gas sector – primarily in the minerals and mining industry – for several years: earlier this year they signed an agreement with CiDRA to sell these products across the whole of Asia and Australasia.

Following this, Krohne have now signed an agreement with Expro, who have the exclusive rights to oil and gas applications, to resell the Expro versions of these systems for upstream and midstream oil and gas applications throughout Asia and Australia, alongside the standard Krohne portfolio of flow metering systems – which includes conventional ultrasonic meters for both gas and liquids, including LNG and oil.

Patrick Matthews, md of Krohne Australia, said: “The sales agreement with Expro is a strategic partnership of high importance for Krohne in Asia and the Pacific. We also believe this relationship will enhance our position to establish a centre of excellence for reservoir management and wet gas metering in Asia”. Craig Watterson, global sales manager at Expro Meters, commented “The Krohne Asia organization has technical knowledge of and years of experience with PassiveSonar metering technology. This combination makes them a uniquely qualified strategic reseller for us in Asia”.

Emerson buys Groveley Detection

Emerson Process Management, a business of Emerson, has acquired Groveley Detection Ltd., a leading innovator and developer of ultrasonic gas leak detection solutions for both offshore and onshore oil and gas installations. UK-based Groveley Detection was the first company to develop a piezo-electric based ultrasonic gas leak detector engineered for extreme industrial applications.

Groveley will join the company’s Rosemount Analytical business unit, expanding Emerson’s safety monitoring portfolio. With the completed acquisition, Emerson significantly strengthens its position in the global safety monitoring market by adding the Groveley ultrasonic gas leak detection technology to the complementary Net Safety fixed gas detection and flame detection product line. Groveley products are used in a broad range of energy exploration and processing applications, in addition to several industrial plant settings.

“The acquisition of Groveley expands our capabilities to offer the most comprehensive solution to our customers for their total safety monitoring requirements,” said Ken Biele, president of the Emerson Analytical Group. “The addition also leverages our companies’ synergies in sales, marketing, engineering and other key operational areas.”

Robert Bennet, Managing Director at Groveley, added: “Joining a global leader like Emerson Process Management represents an incredible opportunity. We expect our customer base to grow exponentially, as well as our ability to help solve customer problems by developing some of the most innovative safety products in the industry.”

Pulsar reach a milestone in Sludge

Pulsar Process Measurement are best known for their non-contacting ultrasonic range of products, but as Sales Director Keith Flint is keen to point out, ‘At heart, Pulsar is a company of acoustic engineers, and the algorithms and analysis tools that we have developed over the last fifteen years or so are now being applied across quite a wide family of products’.

A case in point is Pulsar’s Sludge Finder 2, their well-established and popular Sludge Interface Monitor. Sludge Finder uses a self-cleaning transducer to bounce a sonar signal from the interface layers throughout sludge settlement plant, intelligently analyzing the signal to provide a profile of the sludge levels, including RAS and FLOC measurement from a single transducer.

Keith Flint made the point: ‘There is no mystery to why Sludge Finder 2 has become so widely used, it’s simply because it works so reliably.’

Proof of the success of the Sludge Finder has been the framework agreements written in the product’s favour, and international sales across the globe. This month has seen a significant milestone, with an order placed for the 750th Sludge Finder, a real indication of how well trusted the product has become.

GE acquires Naxys for subsea monitoring

GE has announced an agreement to acquire Naxys, a Norway-based provider of subsea leak detection and condition monitoring sensors based on passive acoustic technology. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, further expands GE’s monitoring and sensing solutions and will be part of the company’s Measurement & Control business.

“Through its commitment to innovation, Naxys has developed world-class sensor expertise and technology that fits well with GE’s culture and capabilities,” said Brian Palmer, president and CEO of GE Measurement & Control and vice president of GE Energy. “By combining talent and know-how, we are developing a strategy that will capitalize on both companies’ existing expertise.”

The addition of Naxys will expand GE’s sensing and condition monitoring offerings and extend its reach into the subsea space for energy customers around the world. “GE’s global presence will allow Naxys to introduce its solutions to a worldwide customer base,” said Jens Abrahamsen, CEO of Naxys. “While very different in scale, these two companies both bring outstanding innovation to bear.”

Naxys develops and supplies leak detection and condition monitoring sensors based on proprietary, passive acoustic hydrophone technology. The design of the sensing element enables extremely sensitive and accurate measurement of subsea acoustics. Naxys’ products allow operators to monitor the integrity of their subsea installations.

Naxys currently employs 31 people, in Bergen, Norway.

On August 1, GE’s Measurement & Control business acquired PRESENS, a provider of pressure, temperature and flow measurement solutions for efficient operation of subsea equipment. GE’s Measurement & Control business is based in the greater Boston area. It is a leading innovator in sensor-based measurement, inspection, asset condition monitoring, controls and radiation measurement solutions that deliver accuracy, productivity and safety to customers in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, power generation, aerospace, transportation and healthcare.

The business is part of GE Oil & Gas and has more than 40 facilities in 25 countries worldwide.

New Siemens ultrasonic level controls

Siemens Industry Automation Division has introduced the Sitrans LUT400 series ultrasonic controllers offering one-millimeter (0.04-inch) measuring accuracy on the flow measurement model. This new range of controllers offers a unit with the highest accuracy available on the market to ensure consistently precise measurements.
 
The compact, single point ultrasonic controllers can continuously monitor and control level in liquids, solids, or slurry applications for a wide range of industries. The controllers are available in three models: the Sitrans LUT420 Level Controller, Sitrans LUT430 Level, Pump, and Flow Controller, and Sitrans LUT440 High Accuracy Open Channel Monitor (which also provides a full suite of advanced level, volume, and pump controls). The series is suitable for an array of applications, including those in water/wastewater treatment facilities, manufacturing processes, and industrial storage.
 
With these new controllers, operators can be confident of level or flow measurements thanks to Sitrans LUT400’s patented filters and algorithms. The high accuracy of these new controllers results in cost-effective operations: inventory monitoring is always precise, processes are better controlled, and expensive spill cleanups can be avoided.
 
With energy cost reduction strategies growing in importance, the Sitrans LUT400 controllers assist water/wastewater facilities in reducing their overall energy expenses with a real-time clock and energy saving algorithms for reducing pump operations during peak energy periods.
 
The Sitrans LUT400 series controllers feature an intuitive user interface. The controllers can be programmed in less than one minute using the graphical Quick Start Wizards. The backlit display is easy to read in all lighting conditions. Sonic Intelligence, Siemens echo processing technology for ultrasonic level instruments, continuously evaluates and adjusts for noise level and changing process conditions.
 
All three models are compatible with the full line of Echomax ultrasonic transducers from Siemens. The Sitrans LUT400’s datalogging capabilities allow users to store and review datalogs or transfer them to a computer. In addition to local programming, the controllers also support remote configuration and diagnostics with Siemens Simatic PDM (Process Device Manager), Emerson AMS, FC375/475, or FDTs (such as PACTware) using Siemens DTM.

Clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters for water metering

Arena Coventry Limited, a total facilities management company, which manages all the facilities at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, UK, has reduced water consumption and achieved significant cost savings after fitting Micronics water metering. Their original investment in Micronics meters was a heat meter installed in 2008 to establish and monitor the energy costs associated with underground heating of the pitch. This was a success and following a later meeting with Seven Trent, triggered by a reduction in water consumption, the valuable information gained and clarification that the water used for the pitch heating does not go to sewage led to a reduction in water charges.

Energy management to reduce consumption and costs are a key function of Alan Pickering’s role as the Ricoh Arena’s Deputy Facilities and Energy Manager. He said: “Water consumption is a big issue on the site, which led us to invest in the installation of three Micronics Ultraflo 2000, Clamp-On, flowmeters in 2009, which we use with an on-site Monitoring and Targeting system to manage the significant water consumption on the site.”

The three meters were supplied and installed by Micronics, and provide individual half-hour consumption data for the north concourse, arena and southern concourse areas. Within three weeks of installation, the investment identified intermittent continuous flushing periods of some WCs in the southern concourse area, which when remedied reduced the site water consumption by 50%, providing a payback of one month!

In addition to the above, Micronics meters have also been installed in the new Exhibition Hall to provide consumption data for automatic billing of water consumption for this area, which is shared between the on-site G Casino and the Ricoh Arena.

Having considered various measurement alternatives, clamp-on ultrasonic meters were selected due to the installation and maintenance/service benefits associated with the non-invasive technology including low cost and minimum disruption installation with no system drain down required plus dry maintenance and service. And Micronics were selected as the supplier due to Alan’s previous experience with them and a combination of their long-term experience with ultrasonic clamp-on technology; competitive pricing and product performance i.e. best value!

Micronics clamp-on flowmeters in conjunction with Alan’s effective use of the on-site Monitoring and Targeting system has delivered a significant reduction in water consumption and reduced overall costs by 50%! He has been very pleased with the performance of the Micronics products and says the pre and post order service support has also been very good.

Alan believes there is significant potential for ongoing savings on-site and the project has demonstrated how clamp-on ultrasonic technology can be successfully implemented as a cost-effective solution to improve heat energy measurement and water management on similar sites.