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McCrometer has launched the Wafer-Cone flowmeter for control system design and process/plant engineers looking for a fuel gas measurement solution for natural gas compressor skids.

The company said the flowmeter is economical and low maintenance, and provides accuracy and reliability for small line sizes.

The Wafer-Cone flowmeter is said to be suitable for gas or liquid service in line sizes from 1-6in, such as those required for natural gas compressors.

Compressors are used to pressurise natural gas as it travels through pipelines in order to allow it to move as quickly as possible.

The accurate metering of compressor fuel gas consumption is necessary for a variety of reasons, including emissions reporting, compressor efficiency, and individual well site gas allocation.

The Wafer-Cone flowmeter can be installed virtually anywhere in a piping system or be retrofit into an existing piping layout, resulting in installation flexibility and initial cost savings, according to McCrometer.

It is also suitable for other applications, including natural gas wellheads, burners or ovens, cooling systems, HVAC and more.

McCrometer said Wafer-Cone technology requires virtually no maintenance, offering cost-of-ownership advantages over traditional DP technologies such as the orifice plate.

The beta edge of an orifice plate wears down over time, which requires maintenance to maintain accuracy.

For maintenance, orifice plate meters require either a bypass line around the meter or shutting down the gas compressor when pulling the orifice plate out of the line to perform maintenance.

The Wafer-Cone flowmeter relies on differential pressure sensing technology that is designed with built-in flow conditioning.

It achieves an accuracy of +1.0 per cent with a repeatability of +0.1 per cent, and operates over a flow range of 10:1.

The Wafer-Cone is said to reduce the required amount of meter straight-run pipe for installation as compared with technologies such as orifice plates and turbine meters.

McCrometer said it is highly accurate with only 0-3 straight upstream pipe diameters and 0-1 straight downstream pipe diameters.

Its ability to self-condition flow makes it a space-saver, allowing for a reduction of the overall footprint and weight of compressor skids to lower installation costs.

With flow conditioning built into the basic flow sensor design, the Wafer-Cone flowmeter is also said to be more accurate within a shortened pipe run than traditional DP instruments.

It conditions fluid flow to provide a stable flow profile that increases accuracy.

The Wafer-Cone’s design features a centrally-located cone inside a tube, which interacts with the fluid flow and reshapes the velocity profile to create a lower-pressure region immediately downstream.

The pressure difference exhibited between the static line pressure and the low pressure created downstream of the cone can be measured via two pressure-sensing taps.

One tap is placed slightly upstream of the cone and the other is located downstream of the cone.

The pressure difference can then be incorporated into a derivation of the Bernoulli equation to determine the fluid flow rate.

The cone’s central position in the line optimises the velocity of the liquid flow at the point of measurement and forms very short vortices as the flow passes the cone.

These short vortices create a low-amplitude, high-frequency signal for good signal stability, resulting in a highly stable flow profile that is repeatable for continuous accurate measurement.

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