Vortex Flow Meter Principles of Operation

In yesterday’s post, we looked at three different flow measurement technologies used in fiscal metering applications—differential pressure (DP), Coriolis, and Ultrasonic.

Today let’s look at flow measurement with vortex flow meters. There is a new, very educational video on the Rosemount YouTube channel, Introduction to Vortex Flow Meter Technology. This 4:49 video explains the basic principles of operation behind vortex flow meters and how they are used to accurately measure liquids, gasses and steam using a principle known as the von Kármán effect.

The video opens noting some of the advantages of vortex flow measurement technology including easy installation without impulse lines, no moving parts to maintain our repair, less leak potential, and a wide flow turndown range. Continue Reading

Natural Gas Flowmeter Selection

Flow measurement is critical in fiscal measurement applications from custody transfer to allocations between parties. The choice of technologies is broad and dependent on the fluid being measured and properties of the application.

Emerson’s Dan Hackett


In an Applied Automation article, Selecting flowmeters for natural gas, Emerson’s Dan Hackett describes the need for different flow measurement technologies across different parts of the natural gas delivery supply chain—from the wellhead to delivery or sale location.

Dan explains that all forms of fiscal measurements:

…can be affected by product quality, fluid properties and composition, operating parameters, maintenance practices, and technology type.

Accuracy is essential given the value of natural gas:

At current gas prices, an error of 1% in measuring 300 million ft3 of gas per day can lead to a difference of about $2 million per year.

Dan highlights three flow measurement technologies: differential pressure (DP), ultrasonic, and Coriolis. The first two measure volumetric flow and Coriolis directly measures mass flow. What is actually paid for in a fiscal measurement is the energy delivered. Continue Reading

Addressing Operational Performance Challenges

innovations in Process Control - edition 10There are many reasons for manufacturers and producers not meeting their operational performance goals. Unplanned downtime, production slowdowns, regulatory sanctions and quality excursions are but a few.

In the most recent edition of innovations in Process Control, Emerson’s Roel Van Doren highlights the cumulative cost of this underperformance:

Emerson's Roel Van DorenThrough close cooperation with benchmarking companies and talking to our customers, we have gathered industry-wide data on the challenges companies face in core areas like safety, reliability, production and energy/emissions. Our findings show that across the global industrial sector, annually as much as $1 trillion is lost as a result of subpar performance.

Of course, not all manufacturers contribute equally to these losses. When studying the differences between Top Quartile and lower quartile performers, Roel identifies some key differences: Continue Reading

Non-Intrusive Wireless Corrosion and Erosion Monitoring

A Joint Research Centre (JRC) Scientific and Policy Report, Corrosion‐Related Accidents in Petroleum Refineries, found [emphasis and hyperlink mine]:

Notably, of the 137 major refinery accidents reported by EU countries to the EU’s eMARS [Major Accident Reporting System] database since 1984, around 20% indicated corrosion failure as an important contributing factor.

Many other industries including oil & gas production, petrochemicals and chemicals, pipelines, metals & mining, power and more also have production processes impacted by the effects of erosion and corrosion. One way these manufacturers and producers are addressing these challenges is through better online continuous corrosion and erosion monitoring.

The rapid advancement of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies, especially in the sensors that are the “things” in IIOT, opens up simpler paths to a solution. This past October, Emerson announced an agreement to acquire Permasense. Permasense non-intrusive wireless corrosion monitoring systems use ultrasonic sensor technology, wireless data delivery and advanced analytics to continuously monitor for metal loss from corrosion or erosion in pipes, pipelines, vessels, columns, casings, etc.

Emerson's Jake Davies


In this 3:26 YouTube video, Permasense Corrosion Monitoring, Emerson’s Jake Davies opens by noting how erosion and corrosion problems cannot be seen since they occur inside the pipes and vessels.

Typically, large safety factors must be applied in both design and ongoing operational decisions which impact capital and operating budgets.

If corrosion and/or erosion rates exceed expectations, these conditions can lead to health, safety and environmental issues as the JRC research indicates. Continue Reading

Reducing Equipment Downtime and Improving Energy Efficiency via Wireless Power Monitoring

Equipment failure is a large part of unplanned downtime, slowdowns and/or loss in quality of the product being produced. Monitoring temperatures, vibration, differential pressures across filters are often performed to identify problems before failure occurs.

Another important set of measurements that can provide early warning are the voltage, current and other electrical parameters on the motors driving equipment such as pumps, fans, compressors, etc.

Emerson's Matt Austin


In this short 1:55 YouTube video, Emerson’s Matt Austin describes how these electrical parameters can be monitored and reported wirelessly via WirelessHART communications back to the control and asset management systems to provide early warning of abnormal conditions.

Matt opens the video describing how the 56WM Wireless Power Meter can be applied to programs to improve equipment reliability and energy efficiency. Real-time energy consumption and demand data at the equipment level provides feedback to optimize energy usage.

These power meters have been deployed in many industries including refining, steel production, offshore oil & gas production and even aboard cruise ships. Continue Reading