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

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays from M.S. Jacobs and Associates

On behalf of everyone at M.S. Jacobs and Associates, we wish you a very Happy Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

When to Use Pressure Gauge Accessories

pressure gauge
Pressure Gauge (Wika)
Gauge accessories are designed to complement a pressure gauge in order to enhance and maximize its performance. Based on the application, pressure gauge accessories may never be required; however, protecting the pressure gauge from abnormal conditions is the most common reason for choosing to use a gauge accessory. Pressure spikes, temperature fluctuations and corrosion are leading causes for premature gauge failure. Your application may benefit from a gauge accessory.

Accessories for a pressure gauge may be the extra step needed for a successful, proactive, preventative maintenance program and for extending the life of pressure gauges in environments like oil and gas, petrochemical, and chemical plants. When a pressure gauge is paired with a mini-siphon, the gauge is protected from harmful steam, vapors and liquids. When a pressure gauge is paired with an overpressure protector, the gauge is protected from pressures exceeding its maximum pressure rating. When a pressure gauge is paired with a diaphragm seal, the gauge is protected from hot, viscous, contaminated or corrosive media. When a pressure gauge is paired with a snubber, the gauge is protected from pressure pulses.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Volume Booster Working Principle

Pneumatic Volume Booster
Pneumatic Volume Booster
(Fairchild)
A pneumatic air volume booster reproduce a low flow control signal with a higher regulated flow output pressure. It uses an unregulated input pressure to maintain a regulated output pressure under flowing and non-flowing conditions.

The volume booster is connected to the supply line and the output plumbing. It receives a pneumatic control signal, however, from another device, such as a transducer, valve positioner or other control means.

This pneumatic signal controls the pressure into and out of the booster, while allowing the booster to flow the maximum volume of the supply line. Boosters may also be referred to as pilot-operated regulators, as your control or pilot signal maintains the pressure control.

The regulated output of a pneumatic air volume booster can be any of the following:

      • A direct reproduction of the pneumatic control signal
      • A multiple of the pneumatic control signal 
      • A fraction of the pneumatic control signal

The volume booster ratio is the multiplier or divider of signal pressure to output pressure. For example, a 2:1 ratio means output pressure is 1/2 the signal pressure. Similarly, a 2:1 ratio would provide output pressure twice the signal pressure. Note, however, the output pressure can never exceed the supply pressure to the booster.

Often the signal pressure is lower than the supply pressure because a control device (valve positioner, I/P, etc.) will only handle a lower supply pressure.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Solenoid Valve Application Tip

solenoid valves
Solenoid Valves
(courtesy of GC Valve)
Mechanical & Materials Considerations

Solenoid valves are your fastest-acting option when controlling flow. They can be repaired in-line (without breaking plumbing connections in most designs), and they can be less costly than other electrically operated valves.

But there are a few measures that can increase your satisfaction with solenoid valves:
Install strainers or filters to prevent foreign materials from entering the valve and interfering with operation.
  • Avoid Teflon tape; those stringy leftover pieces can travel downstream and hang up in the valve.
  • Use pipe dope sparingly; globs of it in the line can affect solenoid valves and other control elements.
  • Add check valves to your design if it is important to prevent back flow through the solenoid valve.
  • Consider plumbing solenoid valves in series (double-block) where any leakage is unacceptable.
  • Ask for a plated operator to protect special grades of stainless steel from corrosion.
And be sure to let your representative know about everything in the process fluid. Additives in air, water or other fluids can change the soft-seal requirements.

For more information, or assistance with selecting solenoid valves, contact:

M.S. Jacobs
810 Noblestown Road
Pittsburgh, Pa 15205
Toll free (800) 348-0089
www.msjacobs.com
Email: msjacobs@msjacobs.com

Friday, November 14, 2014

Process Control Products for Shale Gas Extraction, Processing and Transport


The Marcellus Formation, one of the largest shale gas resources in North America, sits directly under much of M.S. Jacobs area of coverage. Many of the product lines they handle are needed in the extraction, processing and transport of the shale gas.

Global Thermoelectric TEG (thermoelectric generator)
Global Thermoelectric TEG
(thermoelectric generator)
The Global Thermoelectric TEG (thermoelectric generator) is a product M.S. Jacobs provides for “upstream” use on the production well pad. It is used to supply remote power and is preferred in colder climates because of its reliability, it has no moving parts, and its operating principle. A thermoelectric generator converts heat directly into electricity. As heat moves from a gas burner through a thermoelectric module, it causes an electrical current to flow. Solar was the preferred source of power for many of the production companies from Texas and Oklahoma. That was until they experienced the harsh cold winter in Pennsylvania without days of sun which led to dead batteries and no data/control on the well.

Flexim Midstream Gas Meters
Flexim Midstream Gas Meters
Other products M.S. Jacobs provides for "midstream" use are Flexim ultrasonic clamp-on flowmeters. These are being used as check meters at midstream processing facilities and compressor stations to measure large volumes of gas. They are also being used to help balance the load to the compressors. Other applications are on gas storage wells that are filled in the summer and pumped out in the fall-winter, taking advantage of the bi-directional measurement capability of the meter.

M.S. Jacobs also provides Magnetrol level controls and Orion visual level indicators for various level applications as well as valves and controls on other midstream and downstream applications.

There has been an explosion of midstream processing facilities in this area. Many processing companies have set up facilities to strip the propane and butane from the rich Marcellus “wet gas” and send the methane downstream for use in our homes. M.S. Jacobs has become a primary partner to many of these processing companies because of our application skills, local inventory, and support.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Magnetrol ECHOTEL Ultrasonic Level Switch Operating Principle

The Magnetrol ECHOTEL utilizes ultrasonic energy to detect the presence or absence of liquid in a single or dual point transducer. Ultrasonic contact level technology uses high-frequency sound waves that are easily transmitted across a transducer gap in the presence of a liquid media, but are attenuated when the gap is dry. The ECHOTEL switches use an ultrasonic frequency of 2 MHz to perform this liquid level measurement in a wide variety of process media and application conditions.

The transducer uses a pair of piezoelectric crystals that are encapsulated in epoxy at the tip of the transducer. The crystals are made of a ceramic material that vibrates at a given frequency when subjected to an applied voltage. The transmit crystal converts the applied voltage from the electronics into an ultrasonic signal. When liquid is present in the gap, the receive crystal senses the ultrasonic signal from the transmit crystal and converts it back to an electrical signal. This signal is sent to the electronics to indicate the presence of liquid in the transducer gap. When there is no liquid present, the ultrasonic signal is attenuated and is not detected by the receive crystal.





For more information on industrial level control, contact M.S. Jacobs and Associates.