Flow Measurement and Control at a Compressor Station

Flow Measurement and Control at a Compressor Station

Due to friction, the gas pressure within a pipeline gradually decreases on its way to the consumer. For this reason, compressor units are installed every 100 to 200 km along a transport line.

In the pipeline system of one of Europe's biggest operators, 29 compressor stations with a total of 105 compressor units ensure that the required transport pressure is maintained.

Based on the values of:

  • the current network capacity
  • the input of natural gas via various gateway stations
  • the output of gas to downstream transport networks, regional distribution networks and direct large-scale consumers

The operator assigns values to the relevant compressor stations for the gas volumes to be compressed.

These volumes must be measured. Historically, also insertable lances with impellers were installed at the inlet to the compressor station. This mechanical measuring equipment was subject to wear and tear - particularly as the measuring point was located in front of the input filter.

These problems are not an issue for the non-invasive ultrasonic flow measurement with FLEXIM's clamp-on flow meters and that's why they have proven to be the superior alternative. Since the ultrasonic transducers are simply attached to the outside of the pipeline, they are not subjected to any mechanical wear and tear. Pipe work is not required when setting up the measuring point which means there are no operational interruptions and no risk of leakage. The inertia-free method also proves to be convincing due to its exceptional measuring dynamics: unlike mechanical turbine meters, ultrasonic flow measurement does not require a minimum flow rate. In addition, FLUXUS is also offers much faster measurement readings than most other devices: With readings every 10ms, the respone time for critical compressor operations (e.g. surges) can be shortended signifcantely.

Advantages

  • Non-invasive flow measurement without any wear and tear
  • No pressure loss, which means no reduction of compressor efficiency
  • Exceptional measuring dynamics and fast measurement readings (every 10ms)
  • No additional costs caused by high pressure levels, no material certification required
  • Constant plant availability, no pipe work and no interruption of operation for installation, possible maintenance and no risk of leakage

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