Control Stabilizes Haitian Power Grid

Control Stabilizes Haitian Power Grid | Flowmetrics

The Haitian electric utility company E-Power S.A. began construction of a 30 Megawatt power facility for Port-au-Prince in 2008. While under construction the 2010 magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck. Along with immense loss of life and mental wel-being for the people, the electric infrastructure of Haiti was irreparably damaged. Recovery was in danger.

“So much was destroyed in 2010 that we had no way for Hyundai to unload the equipment for the new plant near Port-au-Prince,” says Ludwig von Lignau, operations manager at E-Power. “There was also no bridge from the Dominican Republic that could handle this equipment, and so the U.S. Army agreed to build a makeshift dock near the site.”

E-Power’s facility was commissioned to run outdated software as their control system, but in order to better aid with the recovery endeavors leaders implemented a custom controls system redesign. By adapting non standard implementations and culling excessive operator interactions the plant is now providing 35% of the local power with unimaginable reaction time.

“We’re able to respond very fast to changing electricity demand because we can start units in just 10 minutes. We can react quickly to high-frequency requirements.” -von Lignau


Click here to reed the full article by Jim Montague.

Meltdown-Proof Nuclear Reactors

Meltdown-Proof Nuclear Reactors | Flowmetrics


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Flow Control Through Smart Components

Flow Control Through Smart Components | Flowmetrics

Hydraulic-power units in Colorado’s Carter Lake are being fit with smart systems to optimize the flow rate of water through the dam. Through the use of PID controllers, position feedback devices, and backup manual valves installed in parallel Carter Lake Hydroelectric maintains the flow of water through its wicket gates in turn regulating the generation of electricity from the flowing water.

The entire hydaulic system is designed for long term use with little maintenance. Redundant oil filters maintain internal hydraulic components, fluid check valves prevent counter-flow from harming sensitive pressure sensors and flow meters. 


Click here for the full article by Leah Scully.

Choose a Flow Meter That Is Right for You

Choose a Flow Meter That Is Right for You Flowmetrics

Not everyone has the mechanical knowledge necessary to find the variable area flow meter that they need. There are several common types that satisfy the needs of the majority of people: in-line, single flow and multi-stage flow, all with unique characteristics that make them function differently. Educate yourself on the technicalities of your problem and the flow meter that you want so that repairs and constructions can be easier.


In-Line Flow Meters

An in-line meter is a high-pressure machine installed on horizontal and vertical pipe lines. It typically measures water, oil, hydraulic fluids, acids, glycerin, naptha and cotton seed oil. It is used for residential or commercial purposes. Quality in-line meters typically resist shocks and vibrations and have alarms that can alert people when the pressure is too high or low.

Make sure to select a product with the correct gallons per minute (GPM) capability, seal, fitting and size measurements. Anything from stainless steel with a Teflon seal to aluminum with Viton is available.


Single Flow Meters

Single flow meters offer a little more sophistication than in-line models. Many have a custom scale attached that allows for direct reading of measurements. They are used in any different industries, including aerospace, military, chemical, pharmaceutical and energy, for applications such as foam production and bench testing.

Take the time to decide on a proper precision accuracy rate, flow and pressure rates and temperature requirement to eliminate unnecessary features and save money. Many of these flow meters last a good 15 to 20 years, and more efficient models are always being developed. It is worth the time to speak to a professional who can give you valuable advice and information about the latest models.


Multi-Stage Flow Meters

Multi-stage meters have pressure reduction capabilities for temperature control and an internal filter. If needed, a sensitive valve provides highly accurate readings. Since multi-stage products typically have anywhere between two and four tubes, there are many customization options available for interstage piping and valving, and end fittings.

To protect yourself against future malfunctions, search for products that have a warranty; you might find a quality product that is guaranteed up to one year.  Finding the right multi-stage meter can increase your machines’ productivity and efficiency, saving you time and money. Every industry is different; purchasing the right product can have big payoffs for companies heavily dependent on mechanical liquid flow, such aviation manufacturers or laboratory facilities.


Installing Your Flow Meter

Once you purchase an appropriate model, it is time to install it on your machine. Many figure out how to do it themselves, but to ensure that your meter is functioning properly it never hurts to turn to an expert. Many companies have professionals that provide installation and calibration service that you can take advantage of to make sure your meter is tweaked precisely so you can receive optimal benefits.

With a little research, you can decide which flow meter is truly right for your needs. A reputable company that has been in business for a long time and has strict testing standards for its products is your best bet for answers if you have any questions.


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Extracting Uranium from Seawater

Extracting Uranium from Seawater | Flowmetrics

It is estimated that the oceans hold 4 billion tons of uranium. This amount of uranium would be enough to power the world’s major cities for thousands of years, the trouble is getting it out of the water. Scientists have shown progress on using a material that binds to uranium dioxide in seawater and can later be treated to remove the uranium. This process would entail dragging braided polyethylene fibers coated with amidoxime through the oceans.

The process is still inefficient and expensive, but finding alternatives to uranium ore mining is a necessary step in planning for the future of nuclear energy.

Uranium is only found in seawater at a concentration of 3.3 micrograms per liter, that converts to 1 particle of Uranium to every 3,000,000,000,000,000 particles of the remainder of seawater. The material is inefficient in that only 6 grams of Uranium is adsorbed for every kilogram of the material, or an efficiency of .6% after 8 weeks of collection.

If constant extraction via this method were to be enacted a fleet would need roughly 693,000 kilograms of the material being dragged at all times, just to fuel a single Gigawatt nuclear power plant for the same duration.


Click here for the full article by Jennifer Hackett.

Reality is Biggest Innovation Challenge

Reality is Biggest Innovation Challenge | Flowmetrics

In 2013 right before the final switch was thrown on a huge energy demonstration there were a lot of observers with crossed fingers. Despite all the effort and research by engineers in creating the demo, the true test of the system would be the first startup.

“Just because something should work, technically, is no promise it’ll work. We had the necessary systems and engineering skills and experience, but making it real was the challenge.” -John Stampfel, VP & GM of Electrical Engineering Services & Systems


Click here for the full article and details by Jonathan Salem Baskin.

Your Business is Impacted by Fluctuating Commodities

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Your Business is Impacted by Fluctuating Commodities | Flowmetrics


The commodity market is ever-changing and in  business predictions are key to securing profitability. When the cost of raw materials fluctuates manufacturing can quickly eat into profit margins and smaller companies can quickly turn south. There are some basic tips to building a safety net against the fluctuations in the commodity market.

Planning for eventual ups and downs is the best step you can take to dealing with commodities. By adding in a sliding scale for prices into your contracts, the changing costs of raw materials can be accounted for up to a predictable swing. If this method is taken, communicate with your clients that the prices are tied to the commodities used in your manufacturing. Stress that prices could go down just as much as go up to assuage any feelings of unfairness.

Another method to prepare for price changes is to build in prices of commodities higher than the predicted price. If you find that the market has shifted downwards you can offer a “discount,” yet if an increase occurs there is no change.


Click here for the full article by Tommy Wyher from

Digital Energy Lifelines

Digital Energy Lifelines | Flowmetrics

The digital oil field promises lower costs and improved production in times of low energy prices. While lower prices are good for consumers, energy producers are hurting and looking towards technology to save them.

Traditionally well and pipeline data has been gathered manually. Technicians, armed with wrenches and clipboards, record flow rates, adjust valves, measure tank levels, read gauges, and travel to the next site down the supply line. Each round of visits can be expensive in both money and time, as technicians must fix any malfunctions and return to relay their findings. Flow meters, level indicators, and internet-connected well sites are the expected solutions.


The digital oil field combines a number of old and new technologies into a network permitting remote operation of wells, no matter how distant and isolated their locations.


Click here for the full article from Hart Energy.

Refineries Refocus on Wastewater

Refineries Refocus on Wastewater | Flowmetrics

Oil and gas companies as an industry are placing higher priorities on waste water management for operational and economic challenges. This trend is in response to the current 2.5 billion barrels of waste water produced yearly by American O&G operations.

Current procedures for oil and gas refining call for a water to oil ratio of 8:1, showing the massive quantities of water required for daily operations. To reduce this vast usage certain engineering feats will have to succeed in improving efficiency or broadening the optimum ranges for processing. One refinery was faced with an exponentially growing cost if a conventional reverse osmosis filtering system was to be placed within the plant. To solve this problem without raising the budget, a 750-gpm unit was installed in a three-tiered skid arrangement and placed in a non-hazardous area of the plant. This resolution saved the refinery from erecting another building for its water management, and kept all extra processing equipment nearby. 

In certain locations and climates, severe droughts are raising doubts about heavy water using industrial plants. High water prices are causing increased costs for operations and drawing needed water away from residents in neighboring counties. New legislation in California has required O&G operators to submit monthly water usage statements to the government to be approved before operation occurs. Being able to reduce the necessary water for cooling, dilution, and transport of these products would improve the chance of continued operations.


Click here for the full article by Mike Jenkins.

Avoiding Common Risks in a Propane Transfer

Avoiding Common Risks in a Propane Transfer | Flowmetrics

In terms of energy usage, propane makes up less than 2 percent, but it is still a potential source of danger if you are not exceedingly careful when handling it. This hydrocarbon is used commonly for cooking and heating, but it is one of the most flammable chemicals. This makes it easy to use for such activities, but it also means that it should be handled cautiously. A propane transfer is something you might need to do for several reasons, but when you do, there are a number of risk factors you should be aware of before you begin. This guide can help you avoid some of the mistakes that most often lead to injury and accidents.

Understand the Risks Propane Can Pose

Propane has no odor nor no color, so you will not have a way of immediately identifying it. It does, however, pose risks that you need to be aware of. Propane acts as an asphyxiate. This means that it can deprive your body of oxygen and result in any of the following injuries:

  • Suffocation
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Seizures
  • Frostbite
  • Migraine
  • Damage to nerves

These are the symptoms that may occur after highly concentrated quantities of propane are released. Signs of lesser exposure include numbness, nausea, congestion, hallucinations and hyperventilation among other various symptoms. It is important to understand these risks so that you can seek immediate help if you begin to suspect you have poisoning from the propane.

Consider Whether It Is a DIY or Professional Job

Depending on what purpose you are attempting a propane transfer for, you may or may not need to call a professional to complete the task for you. It is never a bad idea, but many people do propane transfers in order to move the chemical from a large and unwieldy tank into a smaller and more compact one. Since propane can take the form of either a gas or a liquid, you can heat the larger tank so that the propane vaporizes and cool the smaller tank so that it liquefies, transferring the chemical through a hose connecting the two containers.

Use the Right Tools

If you have decided to attempt a propane transfer, you will need the following supplies:

  • Two tanks of different sizes
  • POL fittings
  • Dual-sided hose
  • Warm and cold water to control temperature

These supplies will allow you to attempt the propane transfer at home, but as is noted above, you should proceed with caution. The process may take a long time.

Trust Professional Expertise When Necessary

Even if you use all of the right tools and precautions, you will likely not be able to perform a basic propane transfer the way a professional can. If the project surpasses your expertise, a professional with a flow meter can help you. What function does a flow meter serve in this context? It provides information regarding the flow and pressure of the propane, so any risks such as leaks can be detected early. This can be an invaluable resource for people who need to transfer a chemical but don’t want to take the risk of personally attempting it at home.



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