Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Clamp-on Ultrasonic Flow Measurement Advantages in Pipes and Storage Tanks

Flexim clamp-on ultrasonic flow meter
Clamp-on ultrasonic flow meter
(courtesy of Flexim)
In order to accurately pump and store fluids, reliable and accurate flow measurement is essential. Intrusive flow meters such as turbine meters and orifice plates are problematic when it comes to maintenance and long-term accuracy.

A better solution is a clamp-on, externally mounted, ultrasonic flow meter. These types of meters simply mount right to the outside of the process piping and do not expose the sensor to the process media. Nor do they require the pipe of vessel to be open for maintenance. Furthermore, they provide high accuracy and repeatability needed for leak detection and minimization of product losses.

Another advantage of using clamp-on flow meters is to use sonic velocity to determine what hydrocarbons are flowing through the pipe. Sonic velocity, when corrected for temperature change, is a good way to distinguish most hydrocarbons. By comparing the actual sonic velocity in a given application, and comparing it to known sonic velocity data, hydrocarbons at given temperatures can be identified.

This comes in particularly helpful in detecting interface changes. Different product batches are easily recognized by the meter. As interface changes are detected with a high degree of sensitivity, product mixups are significantly reduced.

Additional advantages of clamp-on, ultrasonic flow meters:

  • No wear and tear - no clogging effects
  • Quick and accurate detection of Interface changes - reducing amount of product mixing
  • Accurate measurement on thick walled pipes and exotic pipe materials