What to Know About Your Flow Computer

What to Know About Your Flow Computer | Flowmetrics

Flow meters today are designed to function with flow computers. An efficient and sophisticated piece of equipment, the flow computer is able to receive and interpret signals from digital and analog instruments such as flow meters, temperature and pressure gauges, flow control valves, samples and liquid provers. The computer makes a complete record of all data received, along with any changes to parameters.

Diverse Uses

In order to fulfill its intended function, a flow computer must be highly precise and able to monitor and record measurements in extremely small increments. Another universally necessary characteristic is durability. These devices are in use across a variety of industries, where they are frequently employed in an environment with varying temperatures and may come into contact with damaging gases or liquids. In order to ensure that measurements and records remain reliable and accurate, it is important to ascertain that your flow computer’s casing and components are designed to perform in the environment you need.

Flow computer are used in many diverse industries today in order to obtain precise measurements and analyses of products. These devices are sometimes referred to as cash registers, due to being widely used to monitor custody and transfer of substances such as natural gas and oil. Computers are also used to monitor and record steam, liquids and gases by food and drink manufacturers, water companies, plants that mine and process metals and minerals, chemical factories, pulp and paper companies and power stations.

Precise Function

Flow computers are used to monitor the flow of gases and liquids in many types of industries, from petrochemicals to food manufacture. In order to obtain optimal results, it is best to choose a computer that is most suited for your purposes. Today, there are many types of computers available with a wide range of attributes and options. It is important to select the one that performs the full range of measurements you need without being cluttered with unnecessary functions. For example, some flow computers also perform chemical analyses and gas density calculations. Other functions may include:

  • Environmental compliance monitoring;
  • Remote metering capacity;
  • Heat flow equations.


Most flow computers need some additional configuration and calibration in order to perform most accurately. Look for models that are easy and intuitive to set up; an overly complicated system is more likely to cause setup errors and ultimately cause inaccurate reporting from your computer.

Maintenance and Inspection

To remain at the peak of their function, computers should be inspected regularly. Scheduled inspection and maintenance is a good way to assure that you are getting the precise measurements you need, along with a comprehensive record. If your flow computer was installed many years ago, some of its components may be obsolete and no longer available on the market; support from the manufacturer may be very limited or entirely non-existent. With new advances in digital technology being made continually, computer manufacturers are able to offer ever-increasing precision in measurement. Updated proprietary metal alloys are also available for durable and secure casing.

The flow computer is an essential part of many types of industries. Manufacturers rely on it for accurate measurement and analysis of work product. Keep your in good order with regular inspections and updates when necessary.

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Oil Producers Explore Crackers

Oil Producers Explore Crackers | Flowmetrics

From the installation near Monaca, Pa liquefied natural gas will be exported to consumers, and industry leaders expect growth in liquefied natural gas demand to remain. Ethane crackers utilize high heat, catalysts, and solvents to break the molecules of larger ethane into ethylene.

As supply of crude oil deposits dwindle, more energy producers are focusing on liquid natural gas for itsportability. Once cooled below its vapor point, natural gas compresses 600 times which makes it easier to transport and ship to other regions including international destinations.

Recently, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected domestic ethane production to grow from 1.1 million barrels per day in 2015 to 1.4 million barrels each day in 2017, an increase of 300,000 barrels daily.


Click here for the full article by Casey Junkins.

Vent Guard Protects Flow Level Indicators

Vent Guard Protects Flow Level Indicators | Flowmetrics

Liquid level gauges report the amount of flow through a pipeline, or the amount of liquid in a container. To accomplish this goal the gauge needs to be vented regularly, and often enough this venting is to the atmosphere. To protect gauges, and the liquid inside of the container, from dust and debris in the air a gravity vent guard is installed.

The simplest level indicator gauge for liquid reservoirs is attached to the container and fills to the same level as the container, but must be subjected to the same pressure as the container to work. Because most reservoirs are not held at pressure or vacuum, both the gauge and container are vented to the atmosphere to equalize the pressure. The problem with venting is that it leaves the liquids open to contamination.

The gravity vent guard was first utilized in a coal burning power plant to prevent fine coal dust suspended in the air from entering the gauge.


Click here for the full article from Industrial Equipment News.

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.

Field Performance of Centrifugal Compressors

Field Performance of Centrifugal Compressors | Flowmetrics

Information systems provide pivotal visualizations of performance for machinery in varied conditions. Being able to see how operations change over time can improve future plans and efficiency, but how the data is presented is often challenging to understand. Most of the difficulty comes from the deviations between expected values and actual field values. These discrepancies can come about because of inlet gas contaminations, or changing environment conditions.

Adjusting the expected performance values of centrifugal compressors to more accurately reflect the field values requires constant monitoring of field conditions and analyzing the differences. The methodology in place to accomplish this task is to monitor both the design conditions and the field conditions, but to manipulate design conditions until expected performance matches field performance as closely as possible.

Software is available to crunch the numbers in real-time to provide expected performance figures based on the field conditions. Field conditions such as pressure, tempreature, and relevant gas mixture composition are input through sensors and automated calculations are performed to result in expected compressor performance curves. Other features allow storage of the data in databases for historical trends and later analysis by engineers for future designs.


Click here for the full article by Massimiliano Di Febo and Pasquale Paganini.

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.



If you are reading this on any other blog than Flowmetrics it is stolen content. Follow us on Twitter@Flow_metrics. Come and visit our blog at https://flowmetrics.com/blog/.

Fluid Pressure Sanitizes Food?

Fluid Pressure Sanitizes Food? | Flowmetrics

For years we have been preserving food through the application of extreme heat. Pasteurization has been the staple in protecting consumers by killing any harmful bacteria by heating a food item to a high enough temperature for a long enough duration. The exact temperature and duration are dependent on the pathogen the food is being treated against. A new method uses high pressure to achieve the same goal.

High Pressure Processing, HPP, sounds frightening in terms of food but in fact is less detrimental to nutritional characteristics than the common method. In common pasteurization temperatures used are so brutal that often vitamins and useful proteins breakdown, in the end the food is safe for consumption but at a degraded nutritional value. In HPP vitamins and proteins are not destroyed, but bacteria within the food item are ruptured.

Pressures used can reach 87,000 psi delivered via a pressurized water bath within a pressure chamber, and some even use moderate heat to further prevent spoilage in certain products.

HPP promises the same level of food safety that heat pasteurization does, but without damaging the nutrients in fruits and vegetables. According to Dr. Barrett, several studies have found that vitamin C is relatively unaffected by the process for instance.


Click here for the full article by Sorina Buzatu.

Precision Volume Pumps

Precision Volume Pumps | Flowmetrics

For when you need an exact amount of fluid moved from one spot to another, precision pumps will disburse exactly what you need when you need it. The two categories of precision dosage pumps are piston and diaphragm pumps.

Piston Pumps

These types of pumps are designed for continuous flows against a multitude of pressures, even upwards of 1000 Barg. A piston inside the pump recirculates up and down with seals to prevent leaks and create suction.

Diaphragm Pumps

Diaphragm pumps utilize a plastic membrane or multiples of membranes to create a vacuum and discharge the fluid. Because there is no direct contact with the pumping mechanics, these pumps are situated well for toxic, harmful, or abrasive fluids.


Click here for the full article by Amin Almasi.