Wireless DP Flowmeter Applications

A week ago, I highlighted a whitepaper sharing some of the advantages in top-mounting DP flow transmitters in steam applications. The whitepaper’s author, Emily Vinella, pointed me to a presentation, What Do You Know About Wireless DP Flow?, which will be given by Emerson’s Kyle Nelson and Nathan Stokes at the upcoming Emerson Exchange.

Kyle and Nathan point out that DP [differential pressure] flow measurement continues to be the most often used type of flow measurement, is well understood, and that the measurements are inherently accurate, repeatable, and have quick response times. Smart transmitters dynamically compensate in real-time based on pressure, temperature, density, and flow rate.

Wireless DP flow devices, base on the IEC 62591 WirelessHART standard, open up areas of the plant that may not have been measured because of distance, difficulty, or expense to install wired devices. Four wireless DP flow measurement options are available including integrated wireless on a single variable DP flowmeter, single variable transmitter with a wireless THUM adaptor, separate transmitters with integral wireless to achieve multivariable compensation, and multivariable transmitters with wireless THUM adaptors. The best option is a function of what is currently installed in the facility.

In the presentation, Kyle and Nathan review installation examples for each option. I’ll pick the first one, integrated wireless on a single variable DP flowmeter highlight the shared examples. A silicone manufacturer needed to measure 365degF saturated steam flow. These measurements had to be installed in physically challenging to reach locations and wide ambient range conditions, down to -20degF. Other flow measurement technologies had been tried without success. Their solution was to top-mount the wireless DP flowmeters and eliminate $40K of wiring, $15K heat tracing, and $2K impulse lines. By adding these measurements they improved ongoing energy management, reduced operating and maintenance costs, and increased overall safe operations.

A second application was on a steel roll cooling system for a steel manufacturer. They needed better cooling management to accommodate heavier and wider material. Due to a difficult installation location, the cooling system had been manually managed. As larger material was introduced into the manufacturing processes, the defect rate began to increase. The solution was to install four wireless Annubar Flowmeters to allow the water cooling spray to be finally tuned to reduce the defect rate. In addition to the quality improvements, unplanned downtime was reduced, and maintenance costs were lowered from reduced grease system and bearing failures.

Kyle and Nathan describe other applications including diesel and kerosene production measurement, wellhead steam injection, and energy management measurement for environmental reporting. Each had unique challenges that led to the selection of one of the four wireless options.

If you’ll be at the Emerson Exchange and have opportunities to add flow measurement to improve your process or address regulatory requirements, make sure to stop by one of Kyle and Nathan’s two workshops.

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