Gas at the wellhead
Conventional differential pressure instruments are both lacking in accuracy and reliability. Due to their small turndown ratio, they usually work in a cascading fashion to cover the wide flow range, thus entailing large pressure losses. They are also subject to wear and tear. The tiny pressure taps for orifice plates are particularly exposed to clogging due to the possible formation of hydrates or gas contaminants.
This results in excessive maintenance efforts associated with pipework and therefore partial downtimes of plant sections.
Measuring simply from the outside of the pipe clearly proves to be the better solution.
FLEXIM's acoustic measurement offers high accuracy in both flow directions over an extremely large measurement range. Therefore, one FLUXUS G gas flow meter replaces two or more conventional flow meters. As the clamp-on transducers do not come into direct contact with the gas flowing inside, they are not affected by solid particles, hydrates or by high moisture contents.
In addition, non-intrusive gas flow measurement with FLUXUS G does not cause any pressure loss and therefore does not negatively affect the energy efficiency of the plant.
Application example at RWE Group, Kalle, Germany:
Since 1978, the utility company RWE has been operating an underground natural gas reservoir in Kalle.
Natural gas reservoirs are used as buffers between suppliers and consumers:
They compensate for seasonal fluctuations, as well as short-term peaks in consumption and bottlenecks in supply. The liberalization of the European gas market has increased the importance of gas storage. The RWE gas storage facility is an aquifier reservoir. Gas is injected through nine wells into a 45 feet thick layer of porous sandstone some 6300 feet underground and is extracted when required.
RWE's natural gas reservoir is connected to the european gas network by three pipelines. Through these, dry and marketable natural gas with a pressure of about 800 psi is fed into the reservoir. During injection, the gas is pressurised up to 4000 psi. The withdrwan gas is vapor-saturated and needs to be dried and depressurized prior to being returned into the gas transmission system.
Input and output measurements at the reservoir are carried out with calibrated gas flow meters. In order to create a balance for the entire reservoir, it is necessary to monitor the bi-directional flow through each individual wellhead. In the past, orifice meters were generally used for this purpose. However, they are maintenance-intensive and lack accuracy given the wide flow range.
Non-intrusive ultrasonic flow measurement does not have these problems.
The simple installation of the clamp-on gas flow meter transducers on the outside of the pipes does not require pipe work nor process interruption. This makes it highly suitable for retrofitting. But even for new installations, clamp-on is the better solution. The measuring procedure is maintenance-free and delivers highly accurate measurements over the entire measuring range. The high moisture content of the natural gas at extraction does not affect the measurement.
Advantages of FLUXUS gas flow measurement:
- Accurate flow metering at thick walled steel pipes (up to 0.9 inch)
- Reliable measurement for a wide turndown range and bi-directional flows
- Measurement not affected by high moisture content (wet gas) - absolutely wear resistant, little maintenance work required
- Long-term stability, no calibration intervals required