Thermo Fisher Scientific’s product specialist, Raj Chelladurai, spoke to Manufacturers’ Monthly about the benefits of using portable ultrasonic flow meters for preventive maintenance and measurement validation.
Around 1500 BC, the Egyptians invented the water clock and the concept of flow metering came to existence. However, only since the industrial revolution has flow metering developed to satisfy the need to measure flows accurately for billing purposes and/or to monitor industrial processes.
Flow, along with pressure and temperature, is one of the most important parameters when monitoring or controlling the fluids in pipes. Over recent years, a number of technologies have been deployed to increase accuracy of flow metering.
Thermo Fisher Scientific’s product specialist, Raj Chelladurai, told Manufacturers’ Monthly
that ultrasonic flow meters are a relatively new addition to the portfolio of flow metering technologies, having been present in the global market for about 20- 30 years.
While fixed installations of flow meters offer the maximum accuracy for high precision tasks, Chelladurai explained that many industrial applications can benefit from using lightweight, portable ultrasonic flow meters.
“Portable, clamp-on flow meters can be used as a lightweight tool, either to verify the performance of installed flow meters or to measure spot flow rates for preventive maintenance.
“Using the clamp-on flow meters, technicians can check whether the installed flow meter is working well. Being clamp-on, means there will be no disruption during installation as there is no need to shut down the process or cut into the pipes,” he said.
Clamp-on ultrasonic flow meters can be used for a wide range of fluids from ultra-pure water to extremely dirty liquids such as raw sewage and slurries. They are also suitable for gas flow measurement for gases such as superheated steam, natural gas, compressed air, nitrogen and oxygen.
Introducing TransPort PT900
Thermo Fisher Scientific is an authorised distributor for BHGE – Baker Hughes, a GE company – in Australia. The company has recently introduced PT900, the latest generation of portable clamp-on flow meters from GE’s Panametrics line of ultrasonic meters.
The new product follows on the footprint of its predecessor, the PT878, with an improved level of intuitive and user-friendly capability.
“While the PT878 has been successfully deployed for over 15 years, the new PT900 clamp-on ultrasonic flow meter, launched by GE about a year ago, improves the user experience by offering more storage capacity, an interactive touch screen, and wireless communication,” Chelladurai explained.
The PT900 system includes a clamping fixture with transducers, a flow transmitter (the electronics), a wireless tablet and relevant accessories. The key improvements
of PT900 over its predecessor include a redesigned fixture and a streamlined user interface on an Android tablet.
“Users can easily install the clamping fixture, connect the transmitter and transducer cables, turn on the tablet and pair it via Bluetooth with the transmitter and start taking measurements within minutes,” Chelladurai said.
In addition to measuring the flow, Chelladurai said the portable flow meters can also be used by users for energy management.
“Using the optional energy management kit, users can calculate energy flow rate and totalised energy. This application helps the users to measure the energy consumed by the process and have a clear picture of their energy consumption,” he said.
The PT900 portable ultrasonic gas flow meters are designed to measure flow of acoustically conductive fluids, including most clean liquids and many liquids with small amounts of entrained solids or gas bubbles.
They can be installed on pipes from 0.5 to 24 inches (15 to 600 mm) in diameter – and up to 300 inches (7,500 mm) upon request. In addition to total flow, they measure parameters including velocity, volume, mass and energy. The clamp-on transducers have a standards temperature range of -40 to 150°C and an optional range of -200 to 400°C.
The flow measurement principle used in PT900 is the patented correction transit-time technique, wherein two ultrasonic transducers act as both signal generators and receivers and are in acoustic communication with each other.