Home > News > Content

Vortex Flow Meters Provide A Reliable Solution For Demanding Marine And Solar Applications

Jan 03, 2019

Vortex flow meters provide a reliable solution for demanding marine and solar applications

Innovative case studies: National oil companies, independent oil companies and oil well service companies all operate offshore oil rigs, and their key units operate to support the production of petroleum products. The instruments used on these platforms include a variety of flow meter technologies that are selected for each application based on flow measurement requirements and flow meter technology capabilities. After reviewing all published specifications and manufacturer's recommendations for flowmeter selection, select the vortex flowmeter for water flow measurement of the first stage separator.

Vortex flow meters provide a reliable solution for demanding marine and solar applications

    After nearly a year of service, a service technician was sent to check the failure of the vortex flowmeter. At this point, the maintenance technician knows that the flowmeter that has reliably reported the flow for several months suddenly drops to a 4 mA (or zero flow) output. The technicians duly followed the instructions in the operating manual and found that the vortex flowmeter had failed. Fortunately, the line does not need to be turned off to replace the faulty sensor - because existing replacement sensors are available.


Vortex flow meters provide a reliable solution for demanding marine and solar applications

    As a follow-up to the failure, the technician sends the sensor out for analysis to determine the failure mode. A few days later, the failure analysis results came back, showing that the sensor failed due to stress corrosion cracking caused by chloride in the sensor leads. Although the sensor is separated from the process fluid, it is exposed to the chloride-rich offshore environment. In addition, the sensor is very close to the high temperature production line, which further accelerates the corrosion.

    After verifying with the factory, service technicians learned that a new vortex flowmeter called a severely serviced sensor can now be used. The new sensor uses Monel 400 sensor leads and Inconel 600 sensor housing material. Both materials have been shown to be resistant to stress corrosion cracking caused by chlorides. After using the new vortex flowmeter to repair the sensor and replace the standard sensor, the technician confidently concluded that the replacement sensor can withstand the challenging marine environment.

Vortex flow meters provide a reliable solution for demanding marine and solar applications

    The design of the vortex flowmeter's severe service sensor takes into account the most demanding process conditions. Unique nickel alloy sensor leads and structural housing materials support corrosion resistance in environments with elevated chloride levels, such as nearshore or offshore marine environments. The proprietary piezoelectric crystal is designed to handle continuous exposures of process temperatures previously considered unacceptable. The combination of these two key features makes the flowmeter's harsh condition sensor a truly rugged and reliable eddy current sensor for the most difficult applications.

    Solar applications: Spain is one of the most advanced countries in solar energy development. A concentrating solar power plant uses solar cells. These solar troughs are basically long parabolic troughs that focus the solar energy on the pipeline. The pipe contains a high efficiency heat transfer oil that is heated and delivered to a central unit where heat can be used to generate steam and ultimately generate electricity. These solar tank pipes can be heated up to 600 °F to 700 °F. The flow meter technology used to monitor these flows must be able to withstand continuous high temperature process fluids.

    Eddy current technology was previously selected in solar projects to measure the flow of heat transfer fluid. Unfortunately, the selected flowmeter manufacturer provided a flow meter with a gasket and a vortex flowmeter that failed after only two months of installation. After a short installation life, the vortex flowmeter not only fails but also loses the ability to reliably report flow. Checking the metering point at the time of failure indicates that the meter also connects the leaky heat transfer oil sensor and two process methods through the gasket for eddy currents. Lan.

    The customer evaluated the vortex flow meter design and was impressed with the high temperature performance of the harsh working sensor and the welded terminal watch body design, eliminating all leaks in the flowmeter installation. After a few months of use, the severe service sensor stays online and continues to run, while no leaks are detected at the installation point.