Clamp-on flow solution cuts costs

Aug 17, 2012 | Flow & Level

Examples of various applications from Micronics demonstrate the      benefits of portable, clamp-on flowmetering technology over fixed   metering points, which include cost and time saving advantages

Lodge Cottrell is using the Micronics PF330 Portable clamp-on Flow Meter to reduce commissioning time and fixed installation costs on large scale pollution control plant for coal fired boilers.

The company, who supplies large-scale industrial air pollution control equipment, carried out a project which involved processing the ash extracted from its boiler flue gas treatment system by mixing this with water to form slurry suitable for disposal.

The ash is extracted from the flue gas using an Electrostatic Precipitator with the ash collecting in hoppers, which have varying fill rates determined by the extraction process. These hoppers then feed through to mixers where a specific water flow rate is required to achieve the target slurry consistency from the plant. The plant has 32 water lines with pipe sizes ranging from 18 to 1 inch diameter pipe. It is here that the Micronics Portaflo meters are used to accurately measure the water flow rate for the set-up of each mixer section.

The alternative to using the portable meter would have been 32 fixed metering points. Therefore, the use of portable, clamp-on solution reduced commissioning time, and labour and fixed metering point costs. There is also the added advantage that the PF330 can be utilised again on other sites with similar requirements.

Having considered various suppliers Lodge Cottrell selected the Portaflo PF330, Time of Flight, portable flow instrument because of the advantages for commissioning/set-up and because Micronics offered a combination of experience with non-invasive, clamp-on technology, product performance and the best value.

Project manager Nigel Dolphin said: “The Portaflo PF330 has proved to be a valuable tool for commissioning of the plant water flow lines with considerable time and cost benefits over alternative fixed in-line metering points. The PF330 was simple to set-up/use and the flow measurement performance was good. The product has worked well and the customer service and technical support from Micronics has also been good.”  The potential for re-use by Lodge Cottrell on other plant installations with similar requirements is also a benefit.

In a separate application, Micronics’ equipment is being used by PA?Energy in a range of water and/or energy saving projects. The company supplies, installs and monitors turnkey sub-metering systems and uses Micronics’ ultrasonic, clamp-on flow and heat metering products. 

Demonstrating benefits

Monitoring the performance of water and energy saving initiatives is essential to demonstrate the benefits, ensuring that systems operate to specification and are tuned to maximise savings and deliver fast pay-back on investments. Projects  carried out by PA Energy include rainwater harvesting, fuel cell and solar/thermal installations on commercial buildings in the London area. The simple clamp-on, non-invasive solutions from Micronics are said to offer advantages over the traditional alternative of in-line meters and their requirement for system drain-down, pipe cutting, re-filling systems and the associated costs, which are all avoided by the use of a clamp-on solution.

For the rainwater harvesting project a claim for a reduction in the sewage charge is being developed by using a Micronics U3000 to demonstrate how much rainwater is being dumped to sewage. This is achieved by metering the amount of water being pumped into a grey water tank in comparison to the boosted cooling water entering the tank. Another application was measuring the LTHW heat flow from a fuel cell calorifier again with a U3000 to demonstrate the performance of the fuel cell process. And yet another was monitoring the heat transfer/performance from a solar/thermal panel by measuring the water/glycol mix and differential flow and return temperature with a heat calculator to calculate heat transfer to the buffer vessel heat exchanger to demonstrate the performance of the solar/thermal system i.e. that it was performing to specification. 

PA Energy selected clamp-on ultrasonic flow meters for the low cost, non disruptive, simple to install advantages.  PA’s managing director, Percy Albuquerque said: “The Micronics clamp-on flow meters have proved to be an effective component in providing accurate water flow and heat measurement data for our web based aM&T plus data analysis services. The product performance has been good, even on partially filled pipes and on the rare occasions that we have had application problems the Micronics support has been good.”


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