Level Solutions for Turbine and Compressor Wash Skids

Industrial gas turbines are used in plants throughout the power industry. While these turbines can be very effective in generating power, fouling on the compressor blades of a gas turbine can diminish performance of the turbine and reduce the power output of the plant. The cause of fouling comes principally from dust and lubricating oil leakage from the compressor’s main bearings. This results in a buildup of oily dirt and dust that causes increased surface roughness that can result in pitting of the blades. Performance gains of 2 to 4 percent are often achieved by regular cleaning. Using a turbine and compressor wash can help achieve a cleaner system.

Plant operators are increasingly configuring their wash units as modular skid systems in order to reduce site disruption and simplify the process. This post discusses level solutions for turbine and compressor wash skids and is part of an occasional Magnetrol® blog series on modular skid systems.

Turbine and Compressor Wash Skids

Online/offline wash skids are used to store, pump and heat solutions for cleaning turbine blades and vanes. Skids range from small, wheeled carts to large, fixed-skid installations that clean multiple generators.

Turbine and compressor wash skids typically consist of an electric heater, cleaning solution, mixing and storage tanks, wastewater tanks, control system, pumps, instrumentation, valves and interconnects. Updated water wash pumping systems use a variable frequency drive (VFD) to accurately control high-pressure water flow.

turbine and compressor wash skids

Level Solutions

  1. Cleaning Solution Mix Tank
    Mixing and blending the detergent concentrate with water is essential to the cleaning operation. An impeller in the mixing vessel accomplishes the blending of water and concentrates. Level controls monitor the mix tank and trigger alarms in the event of tank underfill or overfill incidents.
    Continuous Level: Eclipse® Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter; Pulsar® Model RX5 Radar Transmitter or Model R82 Radar Transmitter
    Point Level: Model B35 External Cage Float Switch; or Echotel® Model 940/941 Ultrasonic Switch
  1. Detergent Concentrate Storage
    To create the turbine wash solution, precise quantities of detergent concentrates are injected into the mix tank by a metering pump system. Concentrate storage tanks require stringent level monitoring in order to maintain continuous availability of the cleaning solution.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter; E3 Modulevel® Displacer Transmitter; PULSAR Model R96 Radar Transmitter or Model R82 Radar Transmitter
    Point Level: Tuffy® II Float Level Switch or ECHOTEL Model 910 Ultrasonic Switch
  1. Cleaning Solution Storage Tank
    The process-ready cleaning solution is stored in a metal or plastic tank. Tank level controls actuate tank-filling operations and protect against underfill and overfill conditions.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter; E3 MODULEVEL Displacer Transmitter; PULSAR Model R96 Radar Transmitter; Model R82 Radar Transmitter or ECHOTEL Model 355 Non-Contact Ultrasonic Transmitter
    Point Level: TUFFY II Float Level Switch or ECHOTEL 910 Ultrasonic Switch
  1. Spent Wash Solution Tank
    Spent water wash is collected in a dedicated collection tank and is periodically discharged as wastewater. Level monitoring will actuate fill valves and trigger an alarm in the event of an overfill incident.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter; PULSAR Model R96 Radar Transmitter; Model R82 Radar Transmitter or ECHOTEL Model 355 Non-Contact Ultrasonic Transmitter
    Point Level: TUFFY II Float Level Switch or ECHOTEL Model 961/962 Ultrasonic Switch

modular_skid_systems

Posted in Modular Skid Systems | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Improving the Efficiency of Industrial Steam Generation: Case Studies

Steam generation is an essential part of numerous industries. Although the pulp and paper industry is one of the largest producers of steam outside power generation, the primary metals, petroleum refining, chemical process, and food processing industries also allocate significant portions of their total energy consumption, anywhere from 10% to 60%, to the production of steam. Effective instrumentation solutions can improve the efficiency of industrial steam generation, helping plants to reduce fuel consumption, ensure product screen-shot-2016-09-01-at-4-40-09-pmquality and lower maintenance costs.

Two industrial plants implemented level control throughout the steam generation cycle and saw improved results. Here are the stories of how better instrumentation led to more efficiency throughout industrial steam generation.

Case Study #1: J.R. Simplot Fertilizer Plant

Operators at the J.R. Simplot fertilizer plant decided to optimize the efficiency of their existing steam system. For a cost of $180,000, a number of repairs were implemented and new instrumentation was installed. The focus was on improving boiler operation and increasing condensate recovery. The plant achieved this in a variety of ways, including improving its insulation and repairing steam traps. J.R. Simplot also began using recycled steam for greater energy efficiency. The result was a cost savings of $335,000 a year and energy savings of 75,000 MMBtu. J.R. Simplot saw a return on investment less than seven months after implementing these changes.

Case Study #2: Goodyear Tire Plant

The Goodyear tire plant needed to improve steam system efficiency in order to better manage cost and energy. There were three main components to the improvement process in the tire plant:

  • Phase 1: boiler operation optimization—boilers were tuned to reduce excess oxygen and lower fuel consumption.
  • Phase 2: a heat exchanger was installed to raise makeup water temperature using energy in condensate, enabling the plant to recover process waste heat.
  • Phase 3: insulation was added to process equipment in order to lower steam system energy consumption.

Goodyear spent $180,000 on implementation and saw a return on investment in less than three months. The improvements to the steam system resulted in a cost savings of $875,000 annually and energy savings of 93,000 MMBtu.

More Information

Optimizing the industrial steam generation cycle and condensate recovery process can reduce spending and increase energy efficiency in your industry plant. To learn more about instrumentation for all aspects of the steam generation cycle, visit steamgen.magnetrol.com.

steam generation

Posted in Steam Generation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ultrasonic Level Measurement Technology Replaces Tuning Fork for International Oil and Gas Company

Ultrasonic level measurement is an advanced technology that can be used as an alternative to the traditional tuning fork or vibration technologies in liquid level applications. One of the world’s leading oil and gas companies needed a reliable low level alarm in a propane stripper. Their refinery had been using tuning fork or vibration technology, but this technology failed due to the low density of the liquid propane (429 kg/m3 or 0.429 SG). Magnetrol® proposed its Echotel® Model 961, an ultrasonic level measurement technology that is immune to low or changing density without the need for calibration or reconfiguration. It operates independent of varying density, dielectric, and thermal conductivity.

ultrasonic level measurement

Magnetrol® Echotel® 961 mounted in an external chamber

The 961 allowed for reduced wiring costs by providing an alternative to relays. It is a two-wire, loop-powered device with a current output. The current output shifts from 8 mA during normal operation to 16 mA upon level alarm. If a fault condition or failure occurs, the current will go low or high per NAMUR NE 43. A failure can be simulated as well through a manual self-test that is available from the bezel. Plant personnel receive unparalleled visibility into the operation of the 961 to prevent undetected level alarms, thereby increasing the efficiencies and safety of the refinery.

Included in the safety requirements of the refinery was the need for Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 2 rated devices. Both the single-point 961 and the dual-point 962 are suitable for use in SIL 2 loops. The 961/962 has unique diagnostics to assist in troubleshooting should a failure occur. Aside from the manual self-test, the microprocessor in the electronics continuously monitors all self-test data. Should a fault occur, the microprocessor can determine whether the malfunction is due to the electronics, transducer, or the presence of environmental noise. The primary sensors in the transducer are the crystals and they are continuously monitored. For accessibility, safety, and ease of use, the electronics can optionally be remote-mounted from the transducer.

The success of the MAGNETROL ECHOTEL 961 in the low density propane stripper has opened the door for other ultrasonic opportunities, such as level detection of sour water in an acid gas knockout drum. To learn more about applications and benefits of ultrasonic level measurement technology, visit echotel.magnetrol.com.

ultrasonic level measurement 2

Posted in Oil & Gas Processing, Ultrasonic Level Transmitter | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Level and Flow Solutions for Ammonia Refrigeration Skids

Refrigeration is a key component of almost every industry. Aside from the obvious applications, like air conditioning and cold storage, refrigeration is used throughout many industries to facilitate processing. It’s employed for solvent recovery, liquefaction, gas separation, condensing, and heat exchange. In power generation, it cools inlet air for improved turbine performance. In oil refineries and chemical plants, refrigeration maintains low temperature processes, as in the alkylation of butane. Pharmaceutical refrigeration chills glycol in reactor vessels and immersion chillers, and removes water vapor and CO2 from preparations. With the majority of countries now agreeing to eliminate hydro-chlorofluorocarbon coolants by 2020, absorption refrigeration (also known as ammonia refrigeration) has become a leading industrial refrigerant.

Many owner/operators, OEMs and plant engineers fabricate their refrigeration units as modular skid systems. These systems are growing in popularity due to their efficiency and minimal site disruption. This post discusses level and flow solutions for ammonia refrigeration skids and is part of an occasional Magnetrol® blog series on modular skid systems.

Ammonia Refrigeration Skids

In an ammonia refrigeration skid, the refrigeration process cycles ammonia (refrigerant) and water (absorbent) through a compressor, condenser, high and low pressure receiver tanks, a throttling device, and evaporators, from where the process recycles.

ammonia_refrigeration

Level and Flow Applications

  1. Condenser
    The condenser transfers heat from the refrigerant to a coolant medium—usually ambient air. Water-cooled condensers continuously circulate water to absorb refrigerant heat. Level controls monitoring the water basin include high and low level alarms.
    Continuous Level: Eclipse® Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or E3 Modulevel® Displacer Transmitter
    Point Level: Tuffy® II Float Level Switch or Echotel® Model 910 Ultrasonic Switch
  1. High Pressure Liquid Receiver
    A high pressure receiver tank provides a buffer for liquid refrigerant as demand varies, and uses a recirculator to pump the refrigerant to multiple evaporator units. The tank is monitored for level.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter
    Point Level: Model B35 External Cage Float Switch
  1. Low Pressure Liquid Receiver
    A low pressure receiver tank provides a buffer for liquid refrigerant as demand varies, and uses a recirculator to pump the refrigerant to multiple evaporator units. The tank is monitored for level.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter
    Point Level: External Cage Displacer Switch or ECHOTEL Model 940/941 Ultrasonic Switch
  1. Evaporator
    Water level in the evaporator needs to be controlled close to the setpoint. Higher levels can put the refrigerant compressor in danger due to liquid carryover, while lower levels will result in smaller heat transfer rates.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or E3 MODULEVEL Displacer Transmitter
    Point Level: Model B35 External Cage Float Switch or ECHOTEL Model 940/941 Ultrasonic Switch

Pump Protection
Pumps operating on the skid are protected by flow switches that actuate an alarm in the event of no-flow conditions.
Flow Alarm: Thermatel® Model TD1/TD2 Thermal Dispersion Switch for low-flow cutoff

modular_skid_systems

Posted in Modular Skid Systems | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Optimizing Plant Energy Management to Increase Efficiency

When it comes to plant energy management, the ability to better monitor combustion air, fuel gas flow and compressed air can help identify losses that over short periods of time can affect profitability. Regardless of the scale of an operation, any improvements in efficiency to purchased fuel and electricity consumption drop directly to a company’s bottom line. The ability to monitor the end-use location of fuel throughout a facility as well as the consumption specifics for individual applications — predominately the boiler — can offer insight to potential areas of improvement. The same is true of electricity consumption. In both instances, reductions can be realized by simply identifying where the energy is being lost.

The ideal instrumentation for monitoring energy usage is cost-effective and provides a strong return on investment. The goal is to realize the benefit in the shortest time frame possible at the most reasonable cost. Thermal dispersion mass flow meters are an optimal choice for both these considerations.

plant energy management

A Magnetrol® TA2 thermal mass flow meter in the field

Benefits of Thermal Mass Flow Meters for Energy Management

Thermal mass flow meters are primarily used in air and gas flow measurement applications. The meters consist of a transmitter and probe with temperature sensors (RTDs) located in the pins at the bottom of the probe. The reference sensor measures the process temperature and the other sensor is heated to a specific temperature above the reference. As the flow rate increases, heat gets taken away from the heated sensor. More power is then applied to the heated sensor to maintain the temperature difference. The relationship between power and mass flow rate is established during factory calibration.

There are many benefits to using thermal dispersion mass flow meters in plant energy management applications:

  • Repeatability of ±5% of reading
  • Direct mass flow measurement without the need for pressure or temperature compensation
  • Easy installation
  • No on-site or in-situ calibration
  • Strong signal, high turndown and good sensitivity with low flow rates
  • Accurate measurement under varying pressures

Considerations for Better Plant Energy Management

When looking for ways to improve plant efficiency, there are a few areas where better, more accurate measurement can make a difference. Combustion air flow measurement to a boiler is important to maintain a stoichiometric ratio with the amount of fuel being supplied. Too little air flow can result in incomplete combustion along with additional carbon monoxide or pollutants depending on the fuel being burned. On the other hand, too much air flow can cool the furnace and waste heat out of the stack. The repeatability of the air measurement is essential to obtaining the most efficient air-fuel ratio (AFR).

Measuring fuel gas flow (natural gas or propane) usage to individual combustion sources compared to the output (steam/hot water) can help optimize boiler efficiency and better manage energy consumption. Knowing individual boiler performance may also assist in operating those offering the best efficiency. Lowering fuel consumption is one of the easiest methods to reduce cost and improve profits.

Another key component of energy and facilities management is making compressed air systems more reliable and efficient. Valuable resources are wasted when a leak goes unnoticed or cannot be easily isolated.

By implementing more effective measurement solutions, plants can reduce the inefficiencies that lead to hidden maintenance costs and improve their steam generation. To learn more about level and flow measurement for all aspects of the steam generation cycle, visit steamgen.magnetrol.com.

steam generation

Posted in Steam Generation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Level Solutions for Yeast Separator Efficiency

Yeast, the microorgan­ism responsible for fermenta­tion, also greatly influences a beer’s flavor and character. In the latter stages of beer production, brewers remove the spent yeast from fer­mented beer through the use of a yeast separator. The fermented beer is processed down­stream and the spent yeast is processed for resale.

In addition to their battle to gain the favor of consumers, attaining operational efficienciesyeast separator has always been essential for brewers. Beer and yeast separation and recovery is one aspect of the brewing process where using a yeast separator with a cyclone can realize greater efficiencies.

Separating Yeast From Beer

Separators have been essential equipment in beer brewing for decades. They ensure economical operation, a higher quality of beer, and efficient reclamation of beer and spent yeast. Over a period of time, however, a work­ing separator starts to lose its efficiency due to yeast packing, and the bowl of the separator must be dis­charged of packed yeast. The bowl discharge of the sepa­rator is called a “shoot.” The objective of controlling the shoots is to clean the separator bowl of caked yeast and also minimize the amount of beer that is lost when the separator bowl is open.

When the separator bowl shoots, it discharges the beer and yeast mixture into the top of the cyclone, tan­gentially to the sidewall. The yeast/beer slurry decelerates and col­lects in the bottom of the cyclone. The spent yeast is then pumped out of the bottom of the cyclone by means of a positive displacement or peristaltic pump and enters a yeast decanter or thermalizer. Any beer that is discharged with the shoot is lost.

The cyclone also acts as a surge vessel between the separa­tor bowl and the spent yeast storage, located below the pump. When the bowl shoots, additional beer will be dis­charged with the yeast into the cyclone.

Level Measurement for Yeast Separators

One Magnetrol® customer, a major U.S. brewer, had controlled the level in 64 cyclones throughout its breweries by using a competitor’s point level capacitance probe. The probe measured high level only and indicated when the cyclone was full of yeast/beer slurry. The brewer wanted to use a more precise measurement technique to capture more information about the cyclone.

MAGNETROL worked with one of the company’s brew­eries to prove that continuous level measurements could be made in a cyclone using guided wave radar (GWR) technology.

With the MAGNETROL Eclipse® GWR transmitter, the probe rod can be bent, enabling the brewer to measure down the sidewall, down the cone at the bottom of the cyclone, and into the discharge piping below the cyclone. By measuring level down to the outlet, the brewer can determine when there is slurry in the bottom of the cyclone and initiating pumping into the spent yeast cyclone. When the level is low, the pump will be stopped. This operation controls the discharge of the cyclone during separator shoots.

During normal separation of yeast (clarification of the beer), the separator bowl remains closed – not discharging slurry into the cyclone. However, the bowl of a separator is sealed by an elastomeric gasket. That gasket is prone to leakage, allowing good beer to be discharged at a low rate into the cyclone.

Using a guided wave radar transmitter, this brewer now monitors the cyclone level between shoots of the separator. If the separator bowl seal is leaking, the level in the cyclone will slowly increase. Therefore, by monitoring the level between shoots, the “health” of the separator bowl seal is monitored. If a leak is identified, the yeast separator is scheduled to have the bowl seal replaced.

Magnetrol now has 64 ECLIPSE trans­mitters installed to provide continuous cyclone measurement through­out the company’s breweries.

If this brewer can save one tenth of one percent of the beer by utilizing GWR, this translates into saving tens of thousands of gallons of beer per year! To learn more about guided wave radar and its other applications, visit radar.magnetrol.com.

guided wave radar

Posted in Guided Wave Radar, Ultrasonic Level Transmitter | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Level and Flow Solutions for Pump Skids

Pump skids for fluid transfer are often found in field and factory processes. These skids move a broad range of fluids: from asphalt, cement slurries and drilling mud to potable water, hot condensate and every imaginable liquid chemical. Pump skids typically range from 10 HP electric-powered units to 1500 HP diesel skids with multiple pumps.

These pumps, especially condensate recovery pumps, can be configured as self-contained, modular skid systems. Modular skids are favored by many owner/operators, OEMs and plant engineers because of their flexibility, cost-effectiveness and reduced site disruption during fabrication. This post will discuss level and flow solutions for pump skids in the power industry used for condensate recovery and is part of an occasional Magnetrol® blog series on modular skid systems.

Condensate Recovery Pump Skid

Because condensate leaving a steam trap retains up to 25% of its original heat energy, recovery and utilization of condensate reduces feedwater make-up, fuel and water treatment costs. Pumping is necessary when the condensate return pressure is higher than the process/source condensate pressure.

A condensate recovery pump skid typically has one to four pumps, a condensate receiver tank (15 to 1,500 gallons; 57 to 5,678 liters), control panel, gate valves, drain valves, blowdown valves, condensate piping, and may include a heat exchanger, flash vessel or condensate cooler.

pump_skids

Level and Flow Applications for Condensate Recovery Pump Skids 

  1. Heat Exchanger or Steam Heater
    In steam heaters, steam is condensed while the process fluid is heated. One common control arrangement cascades the temperature controller to a level controller. The controller senses the rise in level due to an increase in process load and opens a fluid valve.
    Continuous Level: Eclipse® Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or E3 Modulevel® Displacer Transmitter
    Point Level: Model B35 External Cage Float Switch
  1. Condensate Receiver Tank
    A receiver tank is placed below the heat exchanger to receive condensate that drains from the bottom. When the control senses the high level in the tank, it will actuate a valve to remove the accumulated condensate.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter; E3 MODULEVEL Displacer Transmitter; Pulsar® Model RX5 Radar Transmitter; Model R82 Radar Transmitter or Echotel® Model 355 Non-Contact Ultrasonic Transmitter
    Point Level: Model B35 External Cage Float Switch
  1. Flash Vessel and Condensate Cooler
    Condensate and flash steam enter the flash vessel. The condensate falls to the base of the vessel where it is drained. Level measurement is necessary to control the flash tank level. In this stage of the process, the challenges are elevated temperatures and pressures.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter
    Point Level: Model B35 External Cage Float Switch
  1. Pump Protection
    Pumps operating in a reduced or no-flow condition can overheat and rupture the pump’s seal. A flow switch along a pump’s discharge piping will actuate an alarm and shut down the pump when liquid flow drops below the minimum flow rate.
    Flow Alarm: Thermatel® Model TD1/TD2 Thermal Dispersion Switch for low-flow cutoff

modular_skid_systems

Posted in Modular Skid Systems | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Guided Wave Radar Helps Drive Performance for Oil Well Cementing Trucks

oil well cementing

An Eclipse® guided wave radar transmitter in use in an oil well cementing truck

Mixing and pumping cement into a drilled borehole is one of the most critical steps in oil and gas well production. The injected slurry hardens to form a strong, protective sheath around the drilling string and isolates it from surrounding geologic features. Oil well cementing is typically among the first operations to prepare a well for production and one of the last operations to plug a well prior to its abandonment.

The cement sheath creates a smooth internal bore for operating well-drilling equipment. It fortifies drill pipe strength, protects the casing from shock loads during operation, and wards off contamination and corrosion. Through zonal isolation, cementing segregates the various zones that may have different pressures or fluids. By sealing off high-pressure zones from the surface, cementing curbs blowout potential.

Cementing also stabilizes surrounding geology and prevents unstable formations from caving-in and bogging down the drill string to bring production to a halt. Cement’s impermeable seal prevents water, soil, and sand from contaminating the well flow.

Level Control Considerations for Oil Well Cementing

Mixing and injecting the cement into a well is accomplished by truck-mounted, trailer-mounted and skid-mounted equipment configurations. The mobile cementing truck, with its integrated mixing, pumping, and control systems, is the preferred choice among oilfield professionals. Trucks feature bulk transport or batch mixing units and an accompanying high-pressure pump to force the slurry down the casing. The mixing system blends Portland cement, water, and various additives that affect the weight, density, behavior, and setting time of the slurry. Control systems typically include automatic density control and data recording systems with user-friendly interfaces, serial data output, and manual backup controls. An essential consideration for the performance of the control system is effective level control.

Accurate mixing and storage tank levels are key parameters. Measurement must be precise and responsive since sluggish level response can lead to delayed control reactions that damage cementing systems and shut down operations when tanks exceed high or low level limits. The level control’s ability to deliver consistently uniform, blended slurries that meet performance criteria is vital throughout the life of the equipment. In addition to accuracy, responsiveness, user-friendliness, and reliability, the mobile level controls must be extremely robust to tolerate the day-in, day-out concussions of oilfield travel.

A Measurement Success Story

A leading manufacturer of cementing equipment in China wanted the above attributes in level controls for the cementing trucks it manufactures. The measured medium is a complex mix: an agitated slurry with foam, solids, and changing density. Operation is under atmospheric pressure with a typical temperature of around +95oF (+35o C). Liquid additives mixed into the slurry reduce viscosity to about 60 centipoise (cP), which is similar in viscosity to corn oil.

Given the nature of this application, the petroleum machinery manufacturing company selected the Magnetrol® Eclipse® Guided Wave Radar (GWR) level transmitter with an overfill-capable probe installed in an external cage with a 31 inch (800 mm) center-to-center measurement range. The closed coaxial design tends to reject the false target that foam is known to produce, and the probe’s high accuracy ensures safe and efficient operation. The convenient user interface makes field adjustment and configuration quick and easy.

The ECLIPSE guided wave radar unit was tested against competitive GWR instrumentation. Two advantages gave ECLIPSE transmitters the edge. First, the response time was extremely quick – within one second – and thus showed operators real-time level. Competitors’ units required a full 10 seconds to respond. Second, the overfill safe probe delivered outstanding performance, giving accurate level readings to the top of the probe and close to the very top of the tank. By demonstrating best-in-class transmitter response time and full probe measurement range, over 100 ECLIPSE GWR transmitters were used for upgrades to the customer’s oil well cementing trucks.

More Information

For more information on guided wave radar and how it performs in a variety of applications, visit radar.magnetrol.com.

guided wave radar

Posted in Guided Wave Radar, Oil & Gas Processing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Magnetrol International NV Nominated for Entrepreneurship Award

As they have in previous years, the Belgian economic magazine “Trends” searched for “Gazelles”—fast growing companies that symbolize competitive entrepreneurship.

Magnetrol® International NV, located in Zele, Belgium, was among the nominees for this gazelle awardsaward. MAGNETROL was nominated in the “Large Companies” category. The category contains companies with sales of at least €10 million. These companies reinforce the competitive capacity of the area, thereby having a positive influence on business in general.

Based on data and information published in Trends Top 100,000, the editors of “Trends” examine which of the companies have grown the fastest in the period from 2010 – 2014, as far as turnover, personnel and cash flow are concerned.

Since 1971, MAGNETROL International NV has had a branch office in Zele (larger Ghent Area), Belgium. MAGNETROL grows each year and creates additional opportunities on the job market, two key factors that are taken into account when nominating companies for the Gazelles Award. Congratulations to MAGNETROL on this nomination.

Posted in Magnetrol News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Thermal Mass Flow Meters Save Energy in Wastewater Treatment Plants

Thermal mass flow meters are one of many energy-saving technology solutions that can be used in a variety of applications, including the treatment of wastewater. Various types of processes are used by wastewater treatment plants to remove organic pollutants. Activated sludge systems are currently the most widely used biological treatment. In the activated sludge process, a portion of the activated sludge (frequently from the secondary clarifier) is returned to the aeration basin. Wastewater flows continuously into the aeration basin where air is injected into the wastewater to mix it with the activated sludge. This also provides the oxygen needed for the microorganisms to break down the organic pollutants.

Compressed air is normally used to provide air into the basins. Controlling the amount of air that is released is very important since it controls the growth and the health of the microorganisms. Flow meters are typically installed in the pipes to measure and control the amount of air to run the system properly.

The cost of energy to produce compressed air has increased tremendously due to the high cost of fuel. Regulating and controlling the air injection not only reduces the amount of energy consumed but also optimizes the operation of the plant. While there are many technologies to measure the flow rate of air, most of these methods measure the flow rate at the actual operating pressure and temperature, and require pressure and temperature correction to obtain the mass flow. Traditionally, the most common benefit of thermal dispersion mass flow measurement is the inherent ability to directly measure the mass flow without the need for pressure and temperature correction, as required with volumetric gas flow measurement. This not only provides a more useful flow measurement, but also makes thermal very cost-effective.

Thermal Dispersion Technology

Thermal dispersion technologies are based on the operational principle that states the rate of heat transfer by a flow stream is proportional to its mass flow. The flow measurement is accomplished by precisely measuring the cooling effect as the mass (molecular) flow passes the heated sensor. The sensor consists of two elements: the reference, which measures the temperature of the gas, and a second element, which is heated at a variable power to maintain the desired temperature difference between the two sensors. The illustration below shows the amount of power required to maintain a constant temperature difference between the two sensors. Under low mass flow conditions, there is minimal cooling and little power is required. As the mass flow increases, more power is required. The thermal mass flow meter provides excellent low flow sensitivity and high turndown capabilities.

thermal mass flow meters

Technology Benefits

Thermal mass flow meters offer many advantages over traditional technologies:

  1. Mass flow measurement based upon heat transfer. No correction of the gas flow rate for pressure or temperature is required.
  2. Excellent low flow sensitivity. Sensitive to velocities down to 10 standard feet per minute.
  3. Excellent turndown. Turndown of 100:1 or more depending upon the application requirements and calibration of the instrument.
  4. Low pressure drop. The insertion probe has little blockage of the pipe, creating very low pressure drops.
  5. Ease in installation. The insertion probe can easily be installed in a pipe or duct.
  6. Low installation cost. When considering options to measure mass flow, thermal dispersion has the lowest installed cost while providing excellent performance. No additional instrumentation is required to obtain a mass flow measurement.

Improved process optimization and reduced energy consumption are the main benefits of selecting the proper flow meter for your plant. There are multiple ways to measure air and gas flow rates; thermal mass flow meters should be considered as one of the proven and acceptable methods of measuring air and gas flows in the wastewater industry. For more information on flow instrumentation for this and other applications, visit flow.magnetrol.com.

thermal_mass_flow_measurement_2

Posted in Water and Wastewater | Tagged , , | Leave a comment