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Wastewater Monitoring Coriolis vs.

Ultrasonic Flowmeters FCC Rules On Radar Level Probes

SOLUTIONS for FLUID MOVEMENT,


MEASUREMENT & CONTAINMENT

NO

YES

Is It Time To SWITCH?
Key Considerations for Managing Wet Seal to Dry Seal Conversions

MARCH 2014 Vol. XX, No. 3


www.FlowControlNetwork.com

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contents

march 2014 | Vol. XX, No. 3


61
16

features

16
61
22

22

Wet to Dry Seal Conversion


By Raphal Bridon
Dry gas seals are specified in the majority of new centrifugal
compressors; yet many installed units are still equipped with
conventional oil sealing systems.

Using Ultrasonic Level


Transmitters for Wastewater
Discharge Monitoring
By Peter Ward
Businesses that make discharges into rivers, smaller watercourses, or the sea are usually required to monitor flow to meet
local requirements and protect the environment and human
health. Accurate measurement of these flows is not only important for local compliance, but also, submitting inaccurate data
could significantly impact a companys operating costs.

26

Seeing Through the Steam

30

Coriolis vs. Ultrasonic


Flowmeters

61
26

Flow Control (ISSN #1081-7107) is published 12 times a year


by Grand View Media Group, 200 Croft Street, Suite 1, Birmingham, AL 35242.
A controlled circulation publication, Flow Control is distributed
without charge to qualiied subscribers. Non-qualiied subscription rates in the U.S. and Canada: one year, $99; two year,
$172. Foreign subscription rates: one year, $150; two year,
$262. Wire Transfer: $180. Please call or e-mail the Circulation
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U.S. funds.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Flow Control, PO BOX
2174 Skokie, IL 60076-7874. Periodical postage rates paid at

2 | March 2014

By Amin Almasi
Steam generation systems are critical units in many industrial
and power plants, and the boiler feedwater (BFW) pump plays a
key role in steam generation systems. The BFW pump is a special kind of pump that requires careful design and operation.

By Jesse Yoder, Ph.D.


It is interesting to compare Coriolis and ultrasonic flowmeters,
as a great deal of new product development is occurring with
both of these meter types. In addition, Coriolis and ultrasonic
represent the two fastest growing flowmeter categories, with
the possible exception of multiphase flowmeters.

Birmingham, AL 35242 and additional mailing ofices.


Entire contents copyright 2014. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher. Views expressed by the bylined contributors should not be construed as relecting the opinion
of this publication. Publication of product/service information
should not be deemed as a recommendation by the publisher.
Editorial contributions are accepted from the luid handling
industry. Contact the editor for details. Product/service information should be submitted in accordance with guidelines
available from the editor. Editorial closing date is two months
prior to the month of publication. Advertising close is the last
working day of the month, two months prior to the month of
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Flow Control Magazine

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GREEN BLUE

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contents continued
columns
6

VIEWPOINT so many ways to follow flow control

14 APPLICATIONS CORNER
the new guy steps out on a troubleshooting mission

34 PUMP GUY life is good (or is it?)


38 AUTOMATION FILE
considering emersons integrated operations initiative

38

departments
8

NEWS & NOTES

what do the fccs revised


rules for radar level devices mean?; water & wastewater
to drive pump sales in china; us cybersecurity framework
provides how to guide for critical infrastructure

40 UP CLOSE
with Rosedales high-flow filtration system

42 NEW PRODUCTS
45 WEB RESOURCE FILE
46 ADVERTISER/PRODUCT INDEX
47 WORD SEARCH natural gas
48 QUIZ CORNER
which flowmeters measure velocity?
On the Cover: Background image by Irina Titova/ThinkStock;
seal image courtesy of Dresser-Rand.
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4 | March 2014

Flow Control Magazine

Dynamic testing to
ISO/IEC 17025 ensures

accuracy.

FMC Technologies accredited Flow Research and Test Center puts every meter
manufactured through the paces, giving you conidence that the volume of
product delivered is accurate. Our experienced technicians perform dynamic
testing of low rates to 6,670 m3h (42,000 bph) and viscosities to 250 cSt;
the widest measurement capabilities in the world today. Whether its a
custom ultrasonic or a specialized turbine meter, you know that Smith Meter
products from FMC Technologies will perform in the ield as they did in our
test center. For more information visit www.fmctechnologies.com/labfc

FMC Technologies Flow


Research and Test Center
is accredited through NVLAP
(NVLAP Laboratory Code 200939-0).

Copyright FMC Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

www.fmctechnologies.com

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VIEWPOINT

So Many Ways to
Follow Flow Control
I

f you follow Flow Control magazine online at


FlowControlNetwork.com, you may have noticed
that we launched several new e-products last
month, including our Weekly Buzz, Blog Roll, From
the Vault, and Premium Content e-newsletters.
These new offerings aim to provide you devices for
quickly and easily locating compelling content on
different parts of our website.

The Weekly
Buzz is a listbased e-newsletter, highlighting five new and notable posts
from the prior week on FlowControlNetwork.
com. Any given edition of this e-newsletter
may showcase interesting news, technical
articles, white papers, videos, job opportunities, etc. recently added to our website.
The Blog Roll is a bi-weekly e-newsletter that features recent posts on our
FlowStream Blog. Our blog covers stories
related to our focus on solutions for fluid
movement, measurement, and containment. Our goal with the FlowStream Blog
and our Blog Roll e-newsletter is to shed
light on stories that that make you say to
yourself, Ah, thats interesting.
From the Vault is a monthly enewsletter that digs back into the Flow
Control archive to showcase a popular
article from our past. Over the years, weve
published quite a few technical articles and
guest columns that have generated significant reader feedback These are the articles that youre likely to find featured in
our From the Vault e-newsletter.
Finally, our Premium Content e-news6 | March 2014

letter highlights new technical feature articles posted to FlowControl Network.com.


The items featured here will include the
cover stories from each edition of Flow
Control magazine and other articles
that may have been cover-worthy, if
only we had more covers to work with.
When you click through to the article,
youll have the opportunity to download a PDF version of the article as it
appeared in the print edition. This option aims to make it easy for you to
save articles that are of particular interest for future reference.
If you arent a subscriber to Flow Controls e-newsletters, I encourage you to
sign up now at flwctrl.com/fc-enews. As
always, we welcome your feedback on any/
all of the above. Please send your comments and suggestions at the email address below. FC

G R A N D

GV

V I E W

M E D I A

G R O U P

PUBLISHER
MICHAEL C. CHRISTIAN | (908) 507-5472
mikec@grandviewmedia.com
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS
DEVELOPMENT
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MATT MIGLIORE | (610) 828-1711
matt@grandviewmedia.com
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JAKE MASTROIANNI | (205) 408-3784
jmastroianni@grandviewmedia.com
COLUMNISTS
LARRY BACHUS;
DAVID W. SPITZER; JESSE YODER
ART DIRECTOR
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EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

Larry Bachus: Bachus Company Inc.


Gary Cornell: Blacoh Fluid Control
Jeff Jennings: Equilibar LLC
Mitch Johnson: JMS Southeast
Peter Kucmas: Elster Instromet
Jim Lauria: Water Technology Executive
James Matson: GE Measurement & Control
John Merrill, PE: EagleBurgmann Industries
Steve Milford: Endress+Hauser U.S.
David W. Spitzer, PE: Spitzer and Boyes LLC
Tom Tschanz: McIlvaine Company
John C. Tverberg: Metals and Materials
Consulting Engineers
Jesse Yoder, Ph.D.: Flow Research Inc.
WINNER

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Thanks for your readership,


WINNER

Matt Migliore, Director of Content


Matt@GrandViewMedia.com
Flow Control Magazine

Flexibility is the main principle

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THE OUTLOOK | News & Notes

New FCC Rules On Radar Level Probes


Enable LPRs to Operate Virtually
Anywhere In the US Without a License
The order modifies Part 15 of the FCC rules for level probing radars to operate on an
unlicensed basis in the 5.925-7.250 GHz, 24.05-29.00 GHz, and 75-85 GHZ bands.
By Jake Mastroianni

he U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC, www.


fcc.gov) has adopted rules that are geared specifically to
level probing radars (LPRs) that allow these devices to operate
anywhere in the country without a license. The Measurement,
Control & Automation Association (MCAA, www.measure.org)
worked with the FCC to provide information to the technical
office within the FCC, which crafted a Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking in 2012. The FCC action amends the existing
rules to account for LPR special technical characteristics,
which posed previous obstacles to FCC approval.
Previously, the methodology for
measuring radio-frequency emissions
made it virtually impossible for LPRs to
meet the requirements unless they were
contained (primarily used in tanks),
says Cynthia Esher, president of MCAA.
The new rules allow LPRs to be used in
the U.S., virtually anywhere, in a number of frequency bands.
Prior to this new ruling, level probing radars had to be licensed as lowpower devices per the rules in FCC Part
15.209, says John Benway, engineering manager for Magnetrol International
(www.magnetrol.com). The low power
requirements restricted level probing radars to applications inside tanks.
However, Benway says end-users
are increasingly interested in using the
technology outside tanks. A typical application is flow in the water & wastewater industry. The level in a specially
designed constriction of a flume or weir
can be related to flow. These measurements are made outside. The technology generally used today is ultrasonic,
which can be susceptible to environmental conditions, such as temperature, wind, and humidity, none of which
8 | March 2014

A recent FCC ruling opens up the opportunity for radar level devices to be
employed for applications outside of
tanks, such as open-channel flumes.
Previously these applications were
primarily handled with ultrasonic
level measurement devices (pictured
here). (Photo courtesy of Magnetrol
International.)

are an issue for radar technology.


Specifically, the order modifies Part
15 of the FCC rules for level probing radars to operate on an unlicensed basis
in the 5.925-7.250 GHz, 24.05-29.00
GHz, and 75-85 GHZ bands, and revises

the measurement procedures to provide


more accurate and repeatable measurement protocols for these devices.
Customers increasingly requested
these products, which are available in
other parts of the world, said Esher.
Obtaining individual waivers to sell in
specific applications or in individual
frequency bands was very difficult and
time consuming, which limited the ability of manufacturers to meet the needs
of their customers.
The basis for this ruling was brought
to attention of the MCAA staff and
Board of Directors in 2009, and several
companies decided to work together on
the project, reviewing the existing FCC
rules for level probing radar equipment.
Once funding for the project was
received, the group began developing
a proposal for workable rules, which
included procedures for testing devices
for compliance. MCAAs memorandum
on the issue was submitted to the FCC
in early 2011.
It took over a year for the FCC Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking to be issued
as they allowed for comments and responses from the public. The new rules
were published in January of this year.
The initial press release on the ruling noted that special technical characteristics posed previous obstacles
to FCC approval. Esher touched on this
by saying, The previous FCC rules for
unlicensed devices, including radars,
required low transmitter power and a
relatively uniform signal that lacks extreme peaks of energy. An LPR signal is
inherently peaky and, for that reason,
did not comply. Moreover, the permitted
transmitter power was inadequate for
Flow Control Magazine

many LPR applications.


The new rules are designed to take
these issues into account in permitting
usefully high transmitter power, while
avoiding significantly increasing the risk
of interference to other spectrum users.
The ruling harmonizes the requirements with European standards, says
Benway. The sister organization to the
MCAA, the Canadian Process Control
Association (CPCA), is working with Industry Canada to have the Canadian
rules harmonized.
Harmonization of the standards in
the U.S., Canada, and Europe means
manufacturers can now supply a single
product that can be sold in each of
these regions. The ruling also standardizes and harmonizes the testing methods. These are major benefits for suppliers, says Benway.
The order from the FCC mentions
MCAAs request that the agency continue to provide an option to certify
LPRs under the general emission limits

of Section 15.209. FCC also agreed to


continue to allow LPRs to operate in any
frequency range that does not contain a
restricted band, as permitted by Section
15.209, since some LPRs need bandwidths wider than the new rules permit
to achieve precision measurements.
While members would have liked to
include other frequency bands, Esher
says The new rules will allow the ma-

jority of manufacturers to provide LPR


instrumentation to customers for use in
a wide range of applications without licensing from the FCC.

Jake Mastroianni is the managing editor of Flow Control magazine


and FlowControlNetwork.com. He
can be reached at JMastroianni@
GrandViewMedia.com.

Upcoming Events:
International Biomass
Conference & Expo
March 24-26, 2014
Orlando, Fla.
www.biomassconference.com
Offshore Technology Conference
May 5-8, 2014
Houston, Texas
otcnet.org/2014/
International Fuel Ethanol
Workshop & Expo
June 9-12, 2014
Indianapolis, Ind.
www.fuelethanolworkshop.com
National Advanced Biofuels
Conference & Expo
Oct. 13-15, 2014
Minneapolis, Minn.
www.advancedbiofuelsconference.com
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March 2014 | 9

THE OUTLOOK | News & Notes

trendlines

Water & Wastewater to Drive Pump Sales


In China to $8.5B in 2014

ump sales in China will


reach $8.5 billion in
2014, according to Pumps
World Market report by
McIlvaine Company (www.
mcilvainecompany.com). Over
$3 billion will be spent by
municipalities for wastewater
and drinking water plants.
The continuing population shift to cities, the higher
standard of living, and increased expectations are
driving infrastructure expansion, the report says.
The report says the pump
expenditures by power plants will exceed $1.2 billion, and there will be an

addition of more than 50,000 MW of


new power plants this year.
In addition, there will be some retro-

fits of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems. These


systems have large pump
requirements. A big effort
to reduce NOx is resulting
in a market for ammonia
pumps, the report says.
The chemical industry
is growing thanks to both
international and domestic investment.
The report says mines
will spend over $600 million for pumps for use in
iStock/ThinkStock
China. Chinese companies are also influencing
pump purchases in Africa and South
America.

Gas Turbine and Combined Cycle Power Plants Bolster


Uptake for Cross-Flow Membrane Systems

he market for cross-flow membrane systems, repair parts,


replacement membranes, chemicals, and related instrumentation for use in gas turbine and combined cycle power
plants will exceed $550 million in 2014, according to McIlvaine
Company (www.mcilvainecompany.com). Gas turbine systems
utilize cross-flow systems, including reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, and microfiltration, in a number of processes.

Applications include:
1 Intake water
2 Boiler feedwater
3 Cooling tower recycle
4 Fogging nozzle dematerialized water
5 Wastewater from the cooling tower and balance of plant.

Global Valve Market to Reach


$82.5B By 2017

lobal demand for industrial valves is


forecasted to rise 5.1 percent a year
through 2017 to $82.5 billion, according
to World Industrial Valves by The Freedonia
Group Inc. (www.freedoniagroup.com).
Although growth is expected to be healthy
across the globe, the drivers of growth
will vary by region. Advances in developing areas, such as China and India, will
result from ongoing industrialization, as
investment in water infrastructure and
electricity generation grows, says Michael
10 | March 2014

Deneen, Freedonia analyst. In developed


areas, continued advances in manufacturing output are expected to provide growth
in the process manufacturing market. Oil
producing nations, such as those in the
Middle East, will see gains due to rising
production, according to the report. In the
U.S., demand in the oil and gas market
is expected to benefit from infrastructure
construction and increased production due
to shale development, as well as from the
improved economy.

accountability file
In the February 2014 issue of
Flow Control, we incorrectly noted
the website address for the Control System Integrators Association
(page SS-7). The correct website
address is www.controlsys.org.
Help us make Flow Control the
best it can be! If you see any
errors, mix-ups, or oversights,
whether grammatical or technical, please email JMastroianni@
GrandViewMedia.com.

Flow Control Magazine

best practices & standards

EPA Revises Guidelines for the Use of Diesel Fuels In


Hydraulic Fracturing

he U.S. Environmental Protection


Agency (EPA, www.epa.gov) released
revised underground injection control
(UIC) program permitting guidance for
wells that use diesel fuels during hydraulic fracturing activities.
The EPA developed the guidance to
help clarify how companies can comply
with a law passed by Congress in 2005,
which exempted hydraulic fracturing operations from the requirement to obtain
a UIC permit, except in cases where diesel fuel is used as a fracturing fluid.
The EPA is issuing the guidance
alongside an interpretive memorandum,
which clarifies that class II UIC require-

ments apply to hydraulic fracturing activities using diesel


fuels, and defines the statutory term diesel fuel by reference to five chemical abstract
services registry numbers.
For EPA permit writers,
the guidance outlines existing class II requirements for
diesel fuels used for hydraulic
fracturing wells and technical
recommendations for permitting those
wells consistently with these requirements.
The EPA says decisions about permitting hydraulic fracturing operations

iStock/ThinkStock

that use diesel fuels will be made on


a case-by-case basis, considering the
facts and circumstances of the specific
injection activity and applicable statutes, regulations and case law.

Valves, Actuators & Controls 101 Course Set for April


2-3 in Kansas City

he Valve Manufacturing Associations


(VMA, www.vma.org) next Valves,
Actuators & Controls 101 course will
take place April 2-3 at the Hilton
Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Mo.
The seminar is designed to give professionals and distributors a better under-

standing of modern valves, actuators,


and controls. The Valves, Actuators &
Controls 101 course consists of lessons
that aim to guide attendees through the
world of valves and the systems they
help control, starting with the simplest
types of valves and moving into the

more complicated automated products,


including actuators and controls. The
course has been expanded to two full
days, with the addition of two new lessonsSolenoids and Limit Switches,
and Positioners and Other Actuator
Accessories.

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March 2014 | 11

THE OUTLOOK | News & Notes

best practices & standards

US Cybersecurity Framework Aims to Provide


How-To Guide for Critical Infrastructure

he Obama Administrations Cybersecurity Framework is the


result of a year-long private-sector led effort to develop a
voluntary how-to guide for organizations in the critical infrastructure community to enhance their cybersecurity. The framework
is a deliverable from the Executive Order on Improving Critical
Infrastructure Cybersecurity that President Obama announced
in the 2013 State of the Union. Through the development of
this framework, industry and government aim to strengthen

the security and resiliency of critical infrastructure in a model


of public-private cooperation. Over the past year, individuals and organizations have provided their thoughts on the
kinds of standards, best practices, and guidelines that would
meaningfully improve critical infrastructure cybersecurity. The
Department of Commerces National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST, www.nist.gov) consolidated that input
into the voluntary Cybersecurity Framework.

Fieldbus Foundation Postpones 2014 General


Assembly in Rotterdam Due to Security Restrictions

he Fieldbus Foundation (www.fieldbus.org) has postponed


its 2014 General Assembly in Rotterdam due to travel and security restrictions associated with the upcoming
Global Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague, The
Netherlands. Originally planned for March 25-28, the Fieldbus
Foundations global FOUNDATION fieldbus end-user seminar

will be rescheduled for the fall of this year somewhere in


Europe (location pending), while its End User Advisory Council
(EUAC) meeting and business meeting will be conducted electronically on the original dates of March 26 and March 28,
respectively. The EUAC session will be the first in a series of
such meetings to be held electronically this year.

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12 | March 2014

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Flow Control Magazine

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APPLICATIONS CORNER | Process Instrumentation

Back to Basics
David W. Spitzer

The New Guy steps out on a troubleshooting mission

ast month, I alluded to a complicated problem at a in a submerged piping leg at approximately waist height
plant where I was a new hire (Flow Control, February, above grade. Its corresponding control valve was located
page 12). My recollection is that the issue surfaced downstream and was almost entirely covered with ice. The
during the second week that I worked in the plant when my midget-maker was open to allow access to the flowmeter
immediate supervisor and my (only) electrical/instrumenta- electronics.
What is a midget-maker? you might ask. Well, cabinets
tion foreman were both coincidently on vacation, so I carried
the radio.
It was a warm day in June when I was
It was a warm day in June when I was
called out to the unit at about 2 p.m. after
a unit shutdown because the flow of one
called out to the unit at about 2 p.m. after a
of the reactor feeds was low. New to the
unit shutdown because the flow
plant and on my own, I had to rely on my
knowledge of basics, such as understandof one of the reactor feeds was low.
ing Process and Instrumentation Drawings
(P&ID), loop drawings, heat and material
balances, operating procedures, safety procedures, hazard typically open to the left or to the right, depending upon the
location of their hinges. In this installation, the cabinet was
reviews, and pump curves to resolve the problem.
When I arrived at the unit, I found the flowmeter installed installed with its hinges on the top so it opened upwards
and was held open by a precarious-looking metal brace. The
technicians referred to this cabinet as the midget-maker
because if the metal brace became dislodged while a technician was working on the flowmeter, its door would fall onto
the technician and make him shorterhence the midgetmaker nickname.
I probably dont have to say (but I will anyway) cabinet
hinges should be located on the left or right; not on the top or
bottom. More next month FC

David W. Spitzer is a regular contributor to Flow

Flow Problems?
We Can Help
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>

Troubleshoot Problem Flow Measurements

Control magazine and a principal in Spitzer and Boyes, LLC


offering engineering, seminars, strategic, marketing consulting, distribution consulting and expert witness services
for manufacturing and automation companies. Spitzer and
Boyes is also the publisher of the Industrial Automation
Insider. David has more than 35 years of experience and
has written over 10 books and 300 articles about flow
measurement, instrumentation and process control.

Assess Billing Flowmeter Accuracy


Close Plant and Water Balances
Improve Flowmeter Accuracy

David can be reached at 845 623-1830 or www.spitzerand


boyes.com. Click on the Products tab to find his Consumer
Guides to various flow and level measurement technologies.

Select and Specify Flowmeters


Train Your People

WE KNOW FLOW!
www.spitzerandboyes.com 1.845.623.1830

FLOWSTREAM Find related content @


flowcontrolnetwork.com
David W. Spitzer | Flowmeter | Instrumentation |
Process Measurement | Reactor

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14 | March 2014

Flow Control Magazine

On-spec. Not off-the-shelf.


While some flowmeter companies offer off-the-shelf solutions that may or may not work for you, Hoffer Flow Controls engineers and builds
flowmeters for your specific purpose, regardless of what that purpose requires. We meet the critical demands of even the most challenging applications.
And we know that the best flowmetering system is often the solution designed specifically for it. Regardless of your application, you can count on Hoffer
to engineer a precisely accurate, reliable, easy-to-implement flowmetering system. Purpose-built. No matter what your purpose.

Purpose-Built

800-628-4584 www.hofferlow.com
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MAINTENANCE & RELIABILITY | Sealing Systems

Wet Seal to Dry Seal

CONVERSION
Considering the benefits of retrofitting your compressor
By Raphal Bridon

ry gas seals are specified in the majority of new centrifugal


compressors; yet many installed units are still equipped
with conventional oil sealing systems. The benefits of dry gas
seals are such that conversions from traditional oil seals to
dry gas seals may be advantageous to compressor operators.
However, end-users should ask themselves several questions
before deciding to retrofit their compressors with dry gas seals.
The decision to retrofit a compressor with these upgraded
seals may be dictated by economic factors, HSE constraints,
or technical considerations. Users should consider all of these
factors when deciding whether or not to upgrade a compressor
with dry gas seals.

In addition, the following precautions


should be taken during project execution to ensure successful conversion:
perform a detailed physical integration
analysis of the dry gas seal in the existing compressor; conduct a detailed rotor dynamic analysis; select the proper
gas seal system design for the compressor; and plan for operator training.
This article will discuss the factors
end-users should consider before upgrading to dry gas seals, and the steps
that should be taken to ensure a successful conversion once the decision is
made to retrofit a compressor with dry
gas seals.

Gas seals are among the most efficient means to minimize process gas
leakage to the atmosphere and to reduce wear and friction.
The gas seal is also a reliable means
to route effluent leaks to safe areas. Overall, the whole gas compression process
benefits from the dry gas seal system.
Figure 1 shows the location of the
seals in a typical centrifugal compres-

sor. Their location is quite strategic, as


they are the interface between the inside of the compressor (gas process at
high pressure, high temperature) and
the atmosphere (air and oil mist from
the bearing cavity).
Due to the balance line, the gas seal
only has to deal with the intake pressure
of the compressor.
As will be explained later, the gas seal
requires a high-quality gas to operate.
Therefore, instead of using the gas present in the balance line, the seals are fed
with a clean and dry gas, typically taken
at the discharge of the compressor.
This gas is dried, filtered, heated (if
necessary), and its pressure lowered to
slightly above the intake pressure before being injected at the primary port
of the seal.
The gas-seal principle is simple (Figure 2). The leakage (process gas) must
be routed to a safe area; therefore, the
leakage is forced to pass between a
static and a rotating part. The rotating
part is a grooved ring driven by the com-

Dry Gas Seals


To expect a totally leak-free sealing
system between two parts in relative
movement is unrealistic (e.g., between
a static and a rotating part; between a
housing and a shaft; in pumps, thermal motors, etc.). There are, however,
efficient devices that may limit leaks,
friction, and wearing at the interface of
the moving parts.
16 | March 2014

Figure 1. Centrifugal compressor cut-away

Flow Control Magazine

prevents the parts from rubbing against


each other and makes the gas seal a
contact-free device.

Gas Seal Arrangements

Figure 2. Cutaway and cross-section of a simplified gas seal.

pressor shaft. The static part is a ring


facing the rotating ring (but with only
light axial movement).
When rotating, the grooves generate
an aerodynamic effect that creates a
gap (from 4 microns to 10 microns) between the rotating and stationary rings.

The flow generated by the pressure differential leaks between the two faces,
and then this gas leakage is routed
to the venting system of the machine
(flared) or vented.
Because of the gas film between the
faces, this constant gap between them

A tandem gas seal is typically


used for non-hazardous gases. In
this arrangement, the sealing gas is injected at a pressure slightly above the
intake pressure, so that a vast majority (over 80 percent) of it passes under
the inner labyrinth teeth. The remainder
(less than 20 percent) passes through
the gap created by the lift-off effect and
leaks to the flare (18 percent). The last
sealing gas residues (2 percent) leak
through the secondary stage to the vent.
The other important device in the
compressor seal is the tertiary (or separation) seal, which may be a labyrinth or
segmented carbon rings. Its function is
to prevent the bearing oil mist from migrating to the seal and the sealing gas
from migrating to the bearing oil. This
separation is made by a gas leak, which
prevents the oil from entering the gas

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March 2014 | 17

MAINTENANCE & RELIABILITY | Sealing Systems

Figure 3. Tandem gas seal with intermediate labyrinth

seal area on the inboard side, and also


prevents the sealing gas coming from
the secondary stage of the seal from
polluting the bearing oil.
So, depending on the nature of the
separation gas, the gas seal vent may
vent a mixture of sealing gas (hydrocarbon) and nitrogen, or a mixture of sealing gas and air.
A tandem gas seal with an intermediate labyrinth is used when
the process gas is hazardous, e.g.,
lethal gas, flammable gas, or when
it condensates at the primary seal
outlet (Figure 3). In this scenario, a
buffer gas, such as nitrogen, sweet gas
or fuel gas, is required.
The principle is the same as in the
tandem gas seal with the addition of an
intermediate labyrinth fed with an intermediate (sometimes called a buffer)
gas, generally nitrogen. This prevents
hazardous seal gas from leaking into the
atmosphere.
A double (-opposed or back-toback) gas seal is used when the process gas is dirty, or when the sealing pressure is close to atmospheric
pressure. A sealing gas (typically auxiliary gas) is needed, such as nitrogen,
sweet gas or fuel gas.
The configuration consists of two
sealing faces (rotating ring and static
seats) in a back-to-back arrangement.
A primary advantage of this seal type is
the lower number of ports required
one for the sealing gas; one for the
18 | March 2014

vent; one for the separation gas; and


one for the buffer gas (optional).
Because of the pressure differential
between the inboard side of the gas seal
and the sealing-gas port, and between
the vent and the sealing-gas port, the
flow is not symmetrical (a majority of
the sealing gas enters the machine).
Generally in low-pressure applications, the available process gas pres-

Dry gas seals are non-contacting


mechanical seals, which eliminates the
issue of seal wear. Theoretical lifetime
is limited only by the secondary sealing
elements (usually o-rings or polymerbased seals) whose lifespan can be as
long as 15 years. It is not uncommon to
see dry gas seals operating for more
than 10 years before being refurbished,
which is much longer than is expected
for oil seals.
Not only is the seal itself more reliable; so is the whole sealing system,
because it is made of static components. Oil seal systems, on the other
hand, have more components, including rotating machines (pumps, motors/
turbines) and are more often prone to
unscheduled maintenance.
Local (or company-wide) HSE
Regulations: Elimination of oil
contamination by process gas has a
positive environmental impact, since
sour oil needs to be treated, stored,
and disposed of. Sour seal oil treatment and disposal also has a significant cost.

Dry gas seals have several advantages compared


to conventional wet seals: higher reliability; safer
operation; reduced emissions; lower operation
and maintenance costs; and improved process gas
quality. These advantages may help end-users
justify an investment if an acceptable return on
investment can be demonstrated.

sure is not suitable to feed the gas seal,


so an alternate source must be considered (e.g., nitrogen, fuel gas).
The nature of the sealing gas must
also be compatible with the nature of
the process; the alternate source could
trigger unwanted chemical reactions or
damage the downstream catalyst.

Why Convert Wet Seals to


Dry Gas Seals?
The number one reason for
retrofitting conventional wet
seals to dry gas seals is reliability.

In terms of safety, disposing of contaminated oil removes a hazard of explosive mixtures in the oil reservoir of
seal (and lube) systems.
Reduced Operating Costs:
Energy costs drop significantly,
since seal oil pumps and degassing
tank heating systems are not required
when using dry gas seals. Power losses
due to shear forces in gas seals are
much lower than losses experienced in
oil seals, which results in energy savings as well.

Flow Control Magazine

dry gas seals in the original compressor head/cavity must be checked.


The number and location of supply
and vent ports (at least four ports
are required on gas seals) should be
reviewed. End-users should also consider inboard and outboard diameters;
seal cartridge length; and the locking
system of the gas seal to the compressor shaft.

Reduced Maintenance Costs:


As stated above, the simplicity of
gas seal systems means routine maintenance is less frequent and less costly
than it is with oil seal systems.

Reduced Emissions: Wet seal gas


leakages are reduced 10-fold with
gas seals, credited to the very thin running
gaps between the seal faces. This results
in cost savings for the end-user and
reduced penalties on taxable gas flaring.

Process Quality: Contamination


of process gas by seal oil is
eliminated, enabling higher quality process gas. Costs related to oil removal
from process gas are also eliminated. A
good example is closed loop/refrigeration processes where process gas treatment is costly.

Maintainability: Some operators now have more experience


with dry gas seals than with oil seals.
This may compel end-users to retrofit a
fleet at a specific plant or site to
achieve consistent sealing technology
throughout.
Dry gas seals are supplied as cartridges by vendors, and the gas seal
OEM usually performs their maintenance/refurbishment.
These seven benefits may not be applicable to all situations, and it should be
noted that wet seals to dry gas seals conversions are not straightforward. The following recommendations are offered to
help make the retrofit project a success.

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How to Ensure a Successful


Retrofit from Wet Seals to
Dry Gas Seals
Physical Integration: Integration of the
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March 2014 | 19

MAINTENANCE & RELIABILITY | Sealing Systems

Rotor Dynamic Check:


Retrofitting from wet seals
to dry gas seals will affect
rotor dynamic response
since oil seals have better damping characteristics
than dry gas seals. Performing a rotor dynamic analysis
will confirm if amplification
factor and logarithmic decrement are still acceptable
with gas seals. In most cases, no further modification is
required; however, there are
some critical applications
(long shaft, high speeds,
etc.) where additional upgrades must be incorporated (damper bearings, hole
pattern seals, etc.).

In some instances, compressor shaft and compressor head


rework are required. This should be assessed as soon as possible during the project to avoid project delays and cost overruns.
Seal Systems Study: While dry gas seals operation is usually not a concern during normal running conditions, transient conditions (start-up including first start, shutdown) and
standby (pressurized and unpressurized) must be taken into
account during the seal system design. In other words, a
supply of dry and filtered seal gas at the right pressure must
be ensured at all times.
The use of an alternate source of seal gas may be required
during start-up, shutdown, and standby. If not available on
site, end-users may consider supplying a conditioning skid.
This can include a pre-filter, booster, and heater.
In any case, the best way to select the proper source of
seal gas is to run a phase map analysis and make sure that
a sufficient margin (20 C per API 614) to the dew point line
(and hydrates formation line, if applicable) is maintained at all
times in the gas seal panel and inside the gas seal.
On top of the suitability of seal gas, availability and suitability of secondary seal gas (when tandem gas seals with
intermediate labyrinth are selected) and separation gas (usually nitrogen or air for separation barrier seals or labyrinth)
must be checked.
Finally, a physical integration study of the gas seal panel
must be performed, including space requirements and interconnecting piping/tubing to and from the compressor.

Training: Training should


be standard practice. While
dry gas seals usually require
little monitoring, they are considered black boxes. There are
a few indicators that can help assess the health of a gas seal.
Proper assembly and disassembly (in and from the compressor) is also of prime importance. Failing to do so may lead
to premature dry gas seal failures.

Weighing the Advantages


Dry gas seals have several advantages compared to conventional wet seals: higher reliability; safer operation; reduced
emissions; lower operation and maintenance costs; and
improved process gas quality. These advantages may help
end-users justify an investment if an acceptable return on
investment can be demonstrated.
However, as described in the second part of this article, a
careful review of the system and its operating conditions is required. Provided all precautions are taken, dry gas seals may well
be the most reliable mechanical seals currently available. FC

Raphal Bridon began his career with Dresser-Rand in


1999 as a Technical Support Engineer. He then moved to
a Project Development Engineer position for reciprocating
compressors before working as a Key Account Purchaser
in the aeronautic business. He returned to Dresser-Rand
in 2007 as the Manager for the Gas Seals and Bearings
Business Unit. Mr. Bridon earned his masters degree from
Ecole Centrale Nantes (France).

www.dresser-rand.com

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Compressor | Maintenance | Mechanical Seal | Reliability
20 | March 2014

Flow Control Magazine

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TECHNOLOGY SPOTLIGHT | Water & Wastewater

WASTEWATER

Discharge Monitoring
Using ultrasonic level transmitters for open-channel flows

By Peter Ward

relationship, the flow can be determined


by accurately measuring the water level
or head using a level sensor.
To satisfy the needs of regulatory
bodies for continuous, accurate, and
reliable flow data, electronic measuring
devices are being increasingly specified
for the measurement of water level.
These have become the instrument of
choice as they provide higher accuracy, improved reliability, and reduced
maintenance. Level sensors based on
ultrasonic technology meet these requirements and are being increasingly
deployed for the measurement of flow
in open channels.

Uncertainty In Measurement
Systems

Large Parshall flume

usinesses that make discharges into rivers, smaller


watercourses, and the sea are usually required to monitor flow to meet local requirements and protect the environment and human health. Accurate measurement of these
flows is not only important for local compliancesince
most wastewater treatment companies base their charges
on volumetric dischargesubmitting inaccurate data could
have a significant impact on a companys operating costs.

Accurately Measuring Flow


Open channels are widely used by
industrial companies for the discharge
of wastewater.
The most common method of measuring flow through an open channel is
to measure the height or head of the
liquid as it passes over an obstruc22 | March 2014

tionfor example, a flume or weir in the


channel. There is a specific relationship
between the height of inlet water and
the flowrate for every open channel that
is free flowing through a specific controlled metering structure. This means
that for any given inlet height there will
be a corresponding flow. By plotting this

In open channel applications, even with


the best equipment and robust maintenance regimes, regulatory authorities
accept that there will be an uncertainty
of measurement. The regulatory authority typically establishes uncertainty limits. For example, in the UK the target is
+/- 8 percent uncertainty for the total
daily volume of effluent discharged.
To achieve this figure, consideration
must be given to all components of the
flow measurement system, including
the manufacture and installation of the
primary devices (flumes and weirs) to
the relevant standards, installation, and
commissioning of level measurement
devices and the flow calculation.
Inaccuracies in an open-channel
flow system can be caused by calibration faults, incorrect installation, incorrect construction, super critical flow in
weirs, subcritical flow in flumes, floating
debris, environmental conditions, poor
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computational methods, and the inability of the measurement system to respond to rapidly changing flowrates. In
open-channel installations, measurement errors can introduce significant inaccuracies and these errors can be categorized into either systematic or random errors.
Systematic errors are repetitive errors that are repeated
in each measurement. These can be caused by a calibration
error or incorrect flume dimensions, etc. Once identified,
these errors can usually be eliminated or reduced.
Random errors are much more difficult to identify. They
are caused by unpredictable or random eventsfor example, debris underneath the sensor or the blockage of a Vnotch.
In open-channel flow measurement, most random errors
directly affect the level in the channel or weir, which can
have a considerable effect on the total accuracy. A good understanding of primary device construction and installation,
and good housekeeping practices will help to keep these
errors to a minimum.
Flumes are available in all shapes and sizes and must be
dimensionally compliantusually in line with an appropriate
standardfor example, BS or ISO.
Maintenance is a major consideration, and cleanliness is important in achieving accurate flow data. If sediment or bio growth forms on the sides of the approach
channel and flume cheeks, the flowmeter will invariably
read high. This would have a significant impact on industrial dischargers who usually pay for the volumetric discharge based on cubic meters or per 100 gallons. A high
flow reading means excessive charges for the business.

The Importance of Accurate Level


Measurement
When determining the uncertainty of flow measurement in
an open-channel application, the measurement that has
the greatest effect is the upstream level measured in the
approach channel. It is therefore very important that the
level measurement device used is accurate, reliable, and

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March 2014 | 23

TECHNOLOGY SPOTLIGHT | Water & Wastewater

sonic pulse rate is required. For example, the ultrasonic pulse


rate of certain modern ultrasonic transmitters is 1 per second
(user configurable 0.5 to 2 seconds), enabling the tracking of
changing flow profiles as they occur.
The resolution of the measuring device is also very important in open-channel applications. Resolution defines the
systems ability to detect and respond to small changes in the
open channel level. For example, a level error of just a few
mm in the inlet height could result in a significant totalized
flow error. A transmitter with a resolution of 1 mm ensures
that errors due to small changes in channel height are minimized.
To confirm the accuracy of the results provided by the level
transmitter, it is good practice to install a reference target for
the transmitter. This provides both a rigid structure to mount
the instrument and incorporates a retractable target plate
to produce a reference reading at a pre-determined height
above the datum level. This is usually set during commissioning using an optical or laser level, which enables the end user
to perform easy checks on the system to ensure the readings
are correct.

Data Recording

Regular inspections ensure systems comply with national


standards.

unaffected by environmental changes, such as temperature.


The latest generation ultrasonic level transmitters have
been developed specifically for use in open-channel flow
measurement and provide highly accurate results. The ultrasonic sensor is mounted above the flow stream and transmits
a sound pulse that is reflected by the surface of the liquid.
The time required for a pulse to travel from the transmitter to
the liquid surface and back to the receiver is used to determine the liquid level.
However, since the speed of sound in air varies with its
temperature, it is necessary to compensate for factors such
as the weather and heat gain from sunlight. For example, a
change in air temperature from 20 C to 22 C would translate
into a 1.2 cm (~0.5) change in distance to surface value.
Depending on the size and shape of the channel, this error
could have a significant effect on calculated volume flow.
To overcome this problem, some modern ultrasonic transmitters are capable of automatically compensating using a
remote temperature sensor connected directly into the transmitter. This is positioned above the liquid surface to accurately monitor air temperature.
The accuracy of flow measurements can also be affected
by variations in surface level caused by surface turbulence or
a sudden variation in flow that cause wave effects. In order
to take account of these changing conditions, a rapid ultra24 | March 2014

To convert the level measurements into flow, the digital data


from the level transmitter is sent to a flow logger. This combines the characteristics of the flume or weir with the level
data and performs the on-board flow calculation and integrates flow to provide cumulative and daily totals so that dischargers can be charged based on their actual flow volumes.

Ultrasonic level transmitter with reference reflector

Flow Control Magazine

Meeting the Need for Continuous Monitoring


To meet the regulatory requirements for emissions monitoring
of discharges, many companies must continuously monitor
their emissions to meet quality requirements.
The most common method of measuring flow through an
open channel is to measure the height (or head) of the liquid
as it passes over an obstruction. The requirement for accurate and reliable continuous measuring devices has seen the
growth in the use of ultrasonic level transmitters for emissions
monitoring applications.
Ultrasonic level transmitters do not require any maintenance and they have been developed specifically for use in
open-channel flow measurement. Temperature sensors are
used to compensate for changes in air temperature. When
used with a flow logger, ultrasonic level transmitter can be
employed to provide historical data in a format that can be
used to confirm compliance with local requirements. FC

Schematic diagram showing ultrasonic level transmitter


and flow logger

For example, some modern ultrasonic level transmitters


will accept a 4-20mA or HART transmitter input. They can be
pre-programmed with standard volumetric and flow equations
to convert a level signal into contents or flow.
Regulatory authorities usually require historical data of
flow volumes, so the ultrasonic level transmitter should be
able to store flow data in a form that can be downloaded as
an ASCII file, saved as a CSV file on a PC, and imported into
Excel for generating custom reports.

Peter Ward is a senior product manager for Ultrasonic


Level Instrumentation with Mobrey Measurement, Emerson
Process Management, based in Slough, UK. Prior to
Mobrey, he worked for GEC Elliott Process Instruments
involved with design of level and flow control systems, and
later Arkon Instruments, Ltd., specializing in open-channel
flow. Mr. Ward has more than 35 years experience in the
Water & Wastewater industry and has been an MCERTS
Inspector (Monitoring Certification Scheme) for flow measurement on behalf of the UK Environment Agency.

www.mobrey.com

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March 2014 | 25

INSTALLATION GUIDELINES | Boiler Feedwater Pumps

Seeing Through

THE STEAM
Considering the critical role of boiler feedwater pumps
in steam generation systems

team generation systems are critical units in many industrial and power plants, and the boiler feedwater (BFW)
pump plays a key role in the operation of these systems. The
BFW pump is a special kind of pump that requires careful
design and operation.
BFW pumps are used for feeding water to a boiler, where heat
energy will be supplied and feedwater will be changed into steam
under pressure. Nowadays, BFW
pumps commonly operated at
temperatures of 120260 C (or
more), operating pressures of 50
250 Barg (or above), and power
ranges of 19 MW. High-speed
pumps of 3,000 RPM or more are
normally employed in BFW services. Due to the extreme conditions
An installation of a boiler feedwater pump
in which BFW pumps operate, they
are prone to failure when impropsupply of feedwater, which is within
erly designed or operated and are a ma- close temperature limits of the rated
jor cause of steam system unavailabil- temperature to avoid thermal shock and
ity. Specifying, purchasing, installation, possible damage or even catastrophic
commissioning, operation, and reliability failure. It is therefore essential that a
improvements on BFW pumps require a standby BFW pump be available at all
deep knowledge and experience of their times. The standby BFW pump should
hydraulic, process, thermal, mechanical, be capable of accepting within a few
and dynamic behaviors.
seconds the full flow of full-temperature
water irrespective of its standing temperature, which may be 100-150 C lowBFW Pumps
BFW pumps for steam boilers should be er than that of the running pump. The
capable of withstanding severe thermal major factor in the mechanical design
shocks in order to protect the boiler of a BFW pump is the thermal shock
since a boiler failure would result in an to which the pump may be subjected.
unacceptable and costly plant shut- In addition to the stresses imposed by
down due to steam unavailability or pressure and by operation, consideration should therefore be given to the
damage.
For safe and reliable operation, the stresses due to differential thermal exboiler should have an uninterrupted pansion during rapid changes of tem26 | March 2014

By Amin Almasi

perature.
The shell of the barrel of a BFW
pump is usually exposed to severe temperature fluctuations on its inner wall,
while its outer wall, usually exposed to
atmosphere, would tend to lag in temperature behind the inner walls
during temperature changes.
This makes BFW pumps prone
to temperature stress within the
metal due to the differential expansion between the inner and
outer walls.
The thermal shock can cause
risk of internal and external misalignments if the elements of the
pump are allowed to expand unequally with respect to the axis of
the shaft. Internal misalignments
could be because of misalignment
of bearings and internal parts of
pumps. External misalignments
are the misalignment of pump, gear unit
(if used), and driver. Stresses can generally cause risk of misalignment if they are
unsymmetrical around the shaft axis.
The symmetric design is the key for
reliability and safety of BFW pumps. Generally, in modern turbo-machine designs
particular for extreme temperatures (high
or low temperatures) and high pressure
applications, symmetry about the shaft
axis is an important consideration. The
symmetry of construction, of flow and
of stresses in order to withstand rapid
temperature changes and high pressures without distortion or misalignment
issues, should always be respected for
BFW pump design and selection. It is essential that all thermal flow during transient conditions, all water flow, all presFlow Control Magazine

sure containing sections, and all stresses


should be as symmetrical as possible
about the shaft axis.
BFW pumps are most often under
rapid heating and relatively slow cooling.
The heating rate could be around 400
550 C per minute and the cooling rate
would be around 4070 C per minute.
The thickness of the high-pressure BFW
pump casings could be 20100 mm,
which is usually the thickest in pumps.
In most severe thermal shock situations, there is a possibility that stresses
at 515 percent of the casing thickness pass the allowable stress limit,
particularly for large and high-pressure
pumps at high heating-up rates. There
is often no danger in this case, since
the frequency of such shock is relatively
small with respect to the fatigue range
of the material, and since the reversal
shock of cooling is much less severe.
Based on thermal and stress studies for
BFW pump casings, a high tensile steel
should be used. The resulting reductions
of the casing thickness had the advantage of a very much lower temperature
differential between walls, and since the
material had a higher yield point and
consequently higher allowable stresses.
In these designs, maximum experienced
stresses would not pass the limits. An
improvement of corrosion and erosion
resistance could also be obtained with
the higher tensile steels.
The bolts holding the casing elements together to form a pressure containing system are partially exposed to
the air, and consequently will change
temperature less rapidly than the casing
wall, which is in contact with the BFW.
When the pump is heated suddenly, the
bolt stress is increased by the differential expansion between the hot casing
and the cool bolts. During this heating
period, the stresses in the bolts should
not exceed the allowable stresses (allowable stresses should be defined
based on yield stresses of the materials
with sufficient safety factors). Conversely, when the pump casing is cooled to
a temperature below that of the bolts,
the resulting differential expansion will
cause a reduction of bolt tension. It is
essential that at their minimum stress
conditions, the bolts contain a suffi-

cient margin of tension to hold the main


joints against risk of leakage.

Corrosion & Erosion


The BFW should be specially treated to
avoid problems in the boiler and downstream systems. Untreated boiler feedwater can cause corrosion and fouling.
Corrosive compounds, especially O2 and
CO2, should be removed, usually by the

use of a deaerator.
Deposits reduce the heat transfer
in the boiler, reduce the flowrate, and
eventually block boiler tubes. Any nonvolatile salts and minerals that remain
when the BFW is evaporated should be
removed, as they can become concentrated in the liquid phase and require
excessive blowdown (draining) to prevent the formation of solid precipitates.

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World Headquarters
Carl-Friedrich-Gau-Str. 5
47475 Kamp-Lintfort, Germany
O: +49/2842/961-0
F: +49/2842/961-40
info@almatec.de

www.almatec.de

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March 2014 | 27

FLOW UPDATE continued


INSTALLATION
GUIDELINES | Boiler Feedwater Pumps

Even worse are minerals that form scale.


The treatment of feedwater to give minimum corrosion
and scale formation of the boiler may result in a liquid that
is quite erosive at the flow speeds associated with a highpressure (high-speed) pump.
In other words, the BFW treatment is usually designed to
give minimum corrosion at the boiler. Such treatment may,
however, result in a liquid which is strongly corrosive and erosive at the high flow speeds and pick-up speeds associated
with high-pressure pumping. The generation of high heads
per stage involves correspondingly high flow velocities in the
BFW system. The BFW system can be highly corrosive and
erosive at high velocities, since the protective film of the salt
or oxide of the metal, normally found in static corrosion, is
eroded away by the high velocity of the system. This corrosion and erosion occurs despite the fact that there may be no
abrasive particles in BFW. The proper type of stainless steel or
alloy steel should be used in BFW pumps to prevent corrosion
and erosion.
The erosion-corrosion and the corrosion-fatigue have
been reported for BFW pumps. The erosion-corrosion is the
acceleration or the increase in rate of deterioration or attack
on a metal because of relative movements between a corrosive fluid and metal surfaces. Cavitation damage is usually
considered a special form of the erosion-corrosion, which is
caused by the formation and collapse of vapor bubbles in the
liquid near a metal surface. The corrosion-fatigue is defined
as the reduction of fatigue resistance due to the presence of
a corrosive medium. The corrosion-fatigue is also influenced
by the corrosive to which the metal is exposed.
The oxygen content, temperature, pH, and solution composition can influence corrosion-fatigue. The corrosion-fatigue resistance might be improved by using proper coatings.
However, a coating is usually discouraged in BFW pump applications. A proper design with a correct material selection
is nearly always selected. Too often, the corrosion-fatigue
process could result in cracks in pump components. The
high-speed of BFW pump rotating parts favored the growth
of cracks, and finally the component could be broken. There
have been some unplanned shutdowns of steam generation
systems because of the corrosion-fatigue in BFW pumps.
The material selection is an important consideration for
BFW pumps. The use of suitable grades of stainless steel in
BFW pumps have resulted in better reliability, safety, and the
long lasting of various components and parts.

Reliability & Availability


High availability, usually above 99 percent, has been required
for a BFW pumping system. High availability is required in
BFW applications in order to keep the steam generation unit
running at its own maximum availability. Operators dont want
to have to shut down the plant (whether an industrial plant
or a power generation unit) for failure of an auxiliary pump
system. A standby BFW pump is necessary for nearly any
BFW pump system.
A considerable amount of attention is being given to suc28 | March 2014

tion piping and suction system performance. An important


reason is the possibility of cavitation. The size of steam generation units has been increased constantly in the last couple
of decades. The capacity of steam generation units has been
increased steadily in the last 50 years, which resulted in the
demand for higher capacity BFW pumps, higher speeds, and
more NPSHR. However, the height at which a deaerator is
installed (which is related to the NPSHA) has not been increased with the same rate. In modern large steam generation unit designs, the height at which the deaerator is installed
and the BFW pump suction piping require special attention.

Pump Configuration
Multistage BFW pumps are often designed and built in two
different configurations:
The In-Line configuration (also known as the Equidirectional configuration).
The Back-to-Back configuration (also known as the
Opposite-Impeller configuration).
Advantages and disadvantages of the two designs are analyzed and described in this section. In the selection, different
factors such as hydraulic, structural, dynamic, and operational considerations should be respected. Particular attention is
required for the axial load balance and the lateral dynamic
behavior, with new and worn clearance conditions.
The in-line configuration is simpler, more compact, and in
many cases more efficient. In this configuration, the flow leaving the impeller outlet is conveyed into the diffuser and then
to the eye of the subsequent impeller.
The back-to-back configuration consists of two groups of
impellers, with one group installed opposite the other group.
The number of impellers in the first group is half of the total
number of impellers if the number is even. If the total number
of impellers is odd, the number of impellers in the first group
of impellers is usually half of the total minus one. After the
first group of impellers, the BFW flow is conveyed via two
crossover channels to the second group of impellers, which
are situated opposite the pump. During this crossing, the flow
is subjected to a pressure drop. The hydraulic efficiency of
the pumpand as a consequence the overall efficiencyis
affected by this pressure drop.
On the other hand, the in-line configuration brings a very
high axial load, due to the sum of the axial thrusts of every
impeller. A balancing drum is necessary to balance the thrust
and to reduce the load acting on the thrust bearing.
Back-to-back pumps are always well balanced (especially
when the number of stages is even), and the balancing drum
is less critical. This is an important issue, particularly when all
clearances begin to increase. Assuming a uniform wear of all
seals and rings, when clearances are increased with respect
to design ones, a back-to-back pump is still well balanced,
while for an in-line pump the axial load increases to a high
value, which could be 5-10 times the rated axial load of an
axial bearing.
Different flow leakages are reported on balancing drums
for both pump configurations. An in-line pump balancing drum
Flow Control Magazine

pressure multistage BFW pumps.


The back-to-back configuration has
small hydraulic and technological disadvantages for the crossover channel
required to convey the flow from the
first group to the second group of impellers. On the other hand, it seems
more advantageous for the balancing of
axial load and for volumetric efficiency,
mostly in worn clearance conditions.

is usually subjected to a total differential


pressure of all stages. On a back-to-back
pump, the total differential pressure
is usually subdivided in two balancing
drums. The diameter and clearances
of an in-line pump balancing drum are
greater because of a higher axial load.
Therefore, the balancing drum total leakage is greater for an in-line pump compared to a back-to-back pump. Leakages
in an in-line pump drum could be 3065
percent more than ones in a back-toback pump. This could affect the volumetric efficiency and the overall performance of a BFW pump.
It is difficult to give a general instruction on which configuration is the
best for BFW services. Both configurations are used today for different BFW
pumps. Generally, the best selection is
dependent on the application. However,
there is a preference for large, high-

FLOWSTREAM

Different dynamic studies indicated that


the back-to-back configuration can lead
to a rotor behavior, which is less sensitive to the increase of clearances. The
damping factors of this configuration
are usually high. In most applications,
particularly large, high-pressure multistage BFW pumps, the back-to-back
configuration can increase the reliability
of the pumps. FC

Amin Almasi is a senior rotating machine consultant in Australia. He is


a chartered professional engineer of Engineers Australia (MIEAust CPEng
Mechanical), IMechE (CEng MIMechE), holds bachelors and masters
degrees in mechanical engineering, and is a registered professional engineer in Queensland. He specializes in rotating machines, including centrifugal, screw, and reciprocating compressors, gas turbines, steam turbines,
engines, pumps, subsea, offshore rotating machines, LNG units, condition
monitoring, and reliability. Mr. Almasi is an active member of Engineers
Australia, IMechE, ASME, and SPE. He has authored more than 100 papers
and articles dealing with rotating equipment, condition monitoring, offshore,
subsea, and reliability. He can be reached at amin.almasi@ymail.com.

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Boiler Feedwater Pump | Cavitation | Corrosion | Power Plant | Pumping System | Steam

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March 2014 | 29

FLOW UPDATE | Coriolis & Ultrasonic Flowmeters

Coriolis vs. Ultrasonic


Flowmeters
Comparing and contrasting two popular
solutions for flow measurement

By Jesse Yoder, Ph.D.

t is interesting to compare Coriolis and ultrasonic flowme- and then determines how long it takes
signal to cross the pipe in the reters, as a great deal of new product development is occur- the
verse direction. The difference between
ring with both of these meter types. In addition, Coriolis these times is proportional to flowrate.
and ultrasonic represent the two fastest growing flowmeter Transit-time ultrasonic flowmeters are
categorieswith the possible exception of multiphase flow- mainly used for clean fluids, while Dopmeters. Both Coriolis and ultrasonic flowmeters are widely pler meters are used for dirty fluids.
used in the oil & gas markets, and both are used for custo- Early Adoption Issues
dy-transfer applications. The following article examines how Ultrasonic flowmeters were introduced
these two meter types are alike, as well as how they differ. by Tokyo Keiki in Japan in 1963, while

Principle of Operation
Despite their similarity, Coriolis and
ultrasonic flowmeter have very different principles of operation. Coriolis
flowmeters are composed of one or
more vibrating tubesusually bent. The
fluid to be measured passes through
the vibrating tubes. The fluid accelerates as it passes towards the point of
maximum vibration and decelerates as
it leaves this point. The result is a twisting motion in the tubes. The degree of
twisting motion is directly proportional
to the fluids mass flow. Position detectors sense the positions of the tubes.
While most Coriolis flowmeter tubes

are bent, some manufacturers have


also introduced straight-tube Coriolis
flowmeters.
There are two main types of ultrasonic flowmeterstransit time and
Doppler. Transit-time ultrasonic flowmeters have both a sender and a receiver.
They send an ultrasonic signal across a
pipe at an angle, and measure the time
it takes for the signal to travel from one
side of the pipe to the other. When the
ultrasonic signal travels with the flow,
it travels faster than when it travels
against the flow. The ultrasonic flowmeter determines how long it takes for the
signal to cross the pipe in one direction,

Shipments of Coriolis Flowmeters


Worldwide by Fluid Type in 2011
13.3%

Coriolis flowmeters were first brought to


the commercial market in 1977. After
their introduction, both meters went
through a difficult acceptance period.
Many of the first ultrasonic flowmeters
were clamp-on meters, and end-users
had difficulty positioning them correctly. They also were not as accurate
as later inline ultrasonic meters. In
the 1980s, Panametrics (now part of
GE Measurement & Control, www.gemcs.com) and Ultraflux (www.ultraflux.
net) did research on using ultrasonic
flowmeters for measuring gas flow.
By the 1990s, ultrasonic meters had
advanced technologically to the point
where they began receiving wider end-

Shipments of Ultrasonic Flowmeters


Worldwide by Fluid Type in 2011
2.1%

0.2%

17.0%

41.4%

33.2%

Petroleum
Liquids

Petroleum
Liquids

Non-petroleum
Liquids

Non-petroleum
Liquids

Gas

Gas

Steam

Steam
53.3%

39.5%

Source: Flow Research, Inc.

30 | March 2014

Flow Control Magazine

user acceptance.
Early Coriolis flowmeters had technical problems that
interfered with their acceptance. Problems with vibration
made it difficult to maintain zero point stability. End-users
found the large size and weight of even two-inch or four-inch
meters to be prohibitive. Their high price also presented an
issue for many end-users, as Coriolis flowmeters are the
most expensive meter, even today. By the 1990s, some of
the technical issues with Coriolis flowmeters had been resolved. In 1994, KROHNE (us.krohne.com) introduced the
first commercially successful straight-tube Coriolis flowmeter. This design addressed some problems with fluid buildup and pressure drop in bent-tube meters.

Differences In Line Size


Coriolis and ultrasonic flowmeters are dramatically different
in terms of line sizes. Over two-thirds of Coriolis meters are
made for line sizes of 2 or less. Until recently, the only
Coriolis flowmeter above 6 was made by Rheonik (now
part of GE Measurement). In the past five years, three more
companies have introduced Coriolis meters for line sizes
above 6. The companies include Micro Motion (a division
of Emerson Process Management, www.micromotion.com),
Endress+Hauser (us.endress.com), and KROHNE. These
meters are designed for line sizes of 8 to 16, and they are
mainly designed for custody transfer of oil and gas. While
their price tag can be as high as $75,000, higher oil prices,
and the increased value of natural and industrial gas, have
made it beneficial for some companies to pay for the higher
accuracy afforded by these large Coriolis meters.
While Coriolis meters excel in the lower line sizes, ultrasonic meters do best in line sizes of 4 and up. The larger
diameters make the differences in transit time of the ultrasonic signal easier to detect, although they can perform well
in smaller line sizes. Ultrasonic meters do not have the large
line size limit that Coriolis meters have, and it is common for
them to be made in sizes from 12 to 42, or even larger.
Insertion ultrasonic meters can be used in pipes of any size,
though so far no one has made an insertion Coriolis meter.
Likewise, clamp-on ultrasonic meters give ultrasonic technology more versatility in check metering and temporary
measurements. There is no clamp-on Coriolis flowmeter.

Both Flowmeter Types Benefit from


Industry Approvals
Custody transfer of natural gas is a fast-growing market,
especially with the increased popularity of natural gas as an
energy source. Natural gas changes hands, or ownership,
at a number of points between the producer and the enduser. These transfers are called custody-transfer points, and
they are tightly regulated by standards groups such as the
American Gas Association (AGA, www.aga.org). Other geographic regions have their own regulatory bodies.
One important function of the AGA and the American
Petroleum Institute (API, www.api.org) is to establish standards or criteria for sellers and buyers to follow when trans-

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March 2014 | 31

| Coriolis & Ultrasonic Flowmeters


FLOW UPDATE continued

ferring ownership of natural gas and petroleum liquids from


one party to another. In the past, these groups have published reports on the use of orifice-plate meters and turbine
meters for use in the custody transfer of natural gas. The
importance of these reports is illustrated by the example of
ultrasonic flowmeters. In the mid-1990s, a European association of natural gas producers called Groupe Europeen de
Recherche GaziSres (GERG) issued a report laying out criteria to govern the use of ultrasonic flowmeters in the custody
transfer of natural gas. This resulted in a substantial boost
in the sales of ultrasonic flowmeters for this purpose in Europe. In June 1998, the AGA issued AGA Report 9, which also
gave criteria for using ultrasonic flowmeters in natural gas
custody-transfer situations. This caused a substantial boost
in the sales of these meters for that purpose, especially in
the U.S. The market for using ultrasonic meters to measure
natural gas for custody transfer is one of the fastest growing
segments of the flowmeter market.
The AGA approved a report on the use of Coriolis flowmeters for custody transfer of natural gas in 2003. This report
is called AGA-11, and it is, in part, responsible for the overall positive growth rate of Coriolis flowmeters, which are now
widely used for natural gas custody-transfer applications. Even
though it often takes some time for end-users to adopt a new
technology, this report has provided a significant boost to the
use of Coriolis flowmeters for natural gas flow measurement.
The API has issued a draft standard entitled Measurement
of Single-Phase, Intermediate, and Finished Hydrocarbon Fluids by Coriolis Meters. This document was added to the API
Library in July 2012. A second draft standard called Measurement of Crude Oil by Coriolis Meters has also been approved
by the API.

Ultrasonic Meters Do Well On Both Liquid


and Gas
Both ultrasonic and Coriolis flowmeters do well on liquids.
Ultrasonic meters are widely used on both hydrocarbon
liquids and on water, and they perform well on both.
Multipath ultrasonic flowmeters, meaning those with three
or more paths, are used to measure the custody transfer
of hydrocarbon liquids. Coriolis flowmeters are widely used
to measure hydrocarbon liquids, especially for distribution
purposes downstream from a refinery. Many of these are
custody-transfer applications. Coriolis flowmeters are less
widely used in the water and wastewater industry because
the type of accuracy they afford is often not required in water
and wastewater applications at this time. This may change
in the future.
Ultrasonic meters excel in measuring the flow of natural
gas. They are widely used for custody transfer of natural gas
on pipeline transmission lines, where the pipe sizes can get
quite large. The AGA-9 Report approves them for custody

FLOWSTREAM

transfer of natural gas. Multipath meters are required for custody transfer of natural gas. The price tag on many of these
multipath meters is in the range of $35,000 to $40,000.
Coriolis meters can measure gas flow, but it is not an ideal
application for them. Gas is not as dense as liquids, and Coriolis meters rely on the momentum of the fluid to create the
deflection necessary to measure flow. Even though gas is not
the ideal medium for Coriolis meters, they have still had significant success in measuring gas flow.

Neither Meter Does Well with Steam Flow


While suppliers of Coriolis meters have tried to develop
meters to measure steam, they have not been very successful so far. Like gas, steam is not as dense as water, and
it is difficult to generate the necessary fluid momentum to
deflect the meter sufficiently for a reliable flow measurement.
In addition, the temperatures and pressures of some steam
may exceed the tolerance measurement. The temperatures
and pressures of some steam applications also exceed the
limits of some Coriolis flowmeters, but steam measurement
may be an area of future development for Coriolis flowmeter
suppliers.
Ultrasonic flowmeter suppliers have had more success in
measuring steam. For example, GE Measurement & Control
has developed several ultrasonic meters that can measure
steam flow. However, ultrasonic meters still account for a very
small portion of those meters used to measure steam, as
differential-pressure (DP) and vortex flowmeters remain the
dominant technologies used to measure steam flow.

Where Do We Go From Here?


It is curious that two types of flowmeters could be so much
alike and yet so different. For Coriolis flowmeters, the frontiers of development are larger line sizes, developing lighter
and smaller meters, creating more accurate Coriolis meters
for gas flow, and developing steam flowmeters. For ultrasonic
meters, frontiers of development include getting more accuracy and performance out of multipath flowmeters, developing more accurate clamp-on flowmeters, having more calibration labs built, and improving steam flow measurement. FC

Jesse Yoder

Jesse Yoder, Ph.D., is president of


Flow Research Inc. in Wakefield, Mass.,
He has 25 years of experience as an
analyst in process control. Dr. Yoder can
be reached at jesse@flowresearch.com.
For more on Flow Researchs work in the
area of Coriolis and ultrasonic flow measurement, visit www.flowcoriolis.com and
www.flowultrasonic.com.

www.flowresearch.com

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Flow Measurement | Coriolis Flowmeter | Custody Transfer | Jesse Yoder | Ultrasonic Flowmeter
32 | March 2014

Flow Control Magazine

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THE PUMP GUY | Pumping Systems

mailbag: Life Is Good (Or Is It?)


Larry Bachus

Challenging pumps to match the pace


of change in the modern era

34 | March 2014

ThinkStock

he pace of life continues to accelerate every day.


When the Pump Guy was a Pump
Kid in Alabama, we ate lunch at school.
We would meet as a family at the breakfast and dinner table. The TV was off.
We had a home telephone, but no one
would call because they were also at
home eating dinner with the TV off.
Nowadays, family members grab a
breakfast bar from the fridge and gulp
a glass of nondescript exotic juice-like
drink over the sink. In the evenings,
we demonstrate family etiquette with
please and thank you as we hog the
microwave.
As a pre-teen Pump Geek, I played
games like checkers, chess, Monopoly,
and Scrabble. We called them board
games. Today, those are called bored
games. My children have their own personal electronic games that they play
on their own personal screens.
Yes, times are a-changin, and this
brings me to this months Pump Guy
article. In a world where entire industries have disappeared or been seriously
marginalized because they were unable
to keep up with the pace of innovation,
I think its time we started rethinking
how pumps are designed. Allow me to
elaborate.
Recently, I was looking at some
pump and valve pictures from the Second World War. The pumps and valves
look the same today as they did in the
1940s. Oh yes, todays pumps may
have new construction materials and
finite element analysis, but the basic
design of impellers, volutes, and flanges has been the same for the last 60
years. The molds and castings havent
changed. Compare this to how automobiles, telephones, and televisions have
evolved during this same time period.

Getty Images/iStockphoto/ThinkStock

Televisions have evolved quite a bit over the years.

Getty Images/iStockphoto/ThinkStock

Cars have evolved quite a bit too.

But pumps have relied on the same primary designs for the last 60 years.

Im concerned the pump industry


isnt keeping up with the pace of change
in the modern era. Consider this: typewriters were replaced by word processors; mimeographs were replaced by

photocopiers; and broom and brush


manufacturers lost their market with the
invention of the vacuum cleaner. Most
people know that a passenger jet will
practically fly itself from one airport to
Flow Control Magazine

another. If military and law enforcement


drones exist, its only natural that passenger drones are in our future. Perhaps
its time for a technological shift in the
pump industry.
If an automatic dish washing machine will take a load of dirty dishes,
apply the soap, heat the water, scrub
and wash the dishes while grinding and
flushing the crumbs, rinse and dry the
dishes, then why cant todays pump industry design a product that will allow
a petroleum company to automate the
refining process?
Why cant a refinery use an automated pump solution to convert a load
of crude oil into gasoline or diesel, using
VFDs, controllers, sensors, transducers,
and other integrated electronics, software, and process equipment? Push a
button and refine crude oil into gasoline with minimal or no human intervention. Push a button and homogenize,
pasteurize, chill, and bottle a batch of
cows milk into whole milk, skim milk,

Did You
Know?

chocolate milk, cheese, or cream with


no human intervention.
Todays pump industry ships new
pumps to their customers with no
gauges or other instrumentation. Would
you buy a TV without a remote control?
Would you buy a car without a dash-

board control panel? Why do we accept


our process pumps with absolutely no
instrumentation?
I have asked many pump manufacturers why they continue to ship pumps that
havent changed in 60 years, and why
in 2014 they continue to ship product

Youll find us in the most hostile industrial


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Gorman-Rupp pumps are constructed to handle
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March 2014 | 35

THE PUMP GUY | Pumping Systems

tion software. FC
without instrumentaRecently, I was looking at some pump and
tion. They tell me that
valve pictures from the Second World War. I invite you to attend
the gauges would be
damaged in shipment
The pumps and valves look the same today an upcoming Pump
because they hang off
Guy Seminar this
as in the 1940s. Oh yes, todays pumps
the side of the pump
year. See the neighand would be knocked
boring advertisement
may have new construction materials
off in shipment.
for details or conand
finite
element
analysis,
but
the
basic
tact Matt Migliore
Well, maybe we
should tell the autodesign of impellers, volutes, and flanges has at matt@grandview
media.com,
610
mobile
companies
been the same for the last 60 years.
828-1711.
that they should stop
shipping cars with side
mirrors and antennas
because they might be damaged in shipment and would arrive
Larry Bachus, founder of pump services firm Bachus
broken to the car dealerships. That makes sense, right?
Company Inc., is a regular contributor to Flow Control
The kitchen stove evolved into the microwave. The broom
magazine. He is a pump consultant, lecturer, and inventor
evolved into the vacuum cleaner. Rail travel became air travel.
based in Nashville, Tenn. Mr. Bachus is a retired member
The typewriter became the computer.
of ASME and lectures in both English and Spanish. He can
Process pumps will evolve too, but only when process engibe reached at larry@bachusinc.com.
neers refuse to take delivery on pumps without instrumentation
and electronics to interface with other equipment and automawww.bachusinc.com

FLOWSTREAM

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3:56 PM

Do You
Know & Understand
Your Pumps?
Larry Bachus ("The Pump Guy") is the
co-author of Everything You Need to
Know About Pumps, one of the best
selling technical books on pump systems in
the world. This book is written exclusively for
people who must maintain pumps. Whereas
other pump books are written from a design
point of view, this book is written with
maintenance in mind. While most technical
books sit on a reference shelf gathering dust,
this book gathers dirt smudges. Its pages get
creased and folded when mashed by the lid
of a photocopy machine. It gets sneezed on
and splashed with snot on cold mornings. It gets soaked with leaking oil, grease,
and coffee. Basically, it gets used ... because it's tremendously useful. The
straightforward guidance it provides will help you ensure the efficiency and
lifespan of your pumping systems.

To order your copy of Everything You Need to Know About Pumps,


call (615) 361-7295 or order online at

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36 | March 2014

Flow Control Magazine

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AUTOMATION FILE | Process Automation & Control

Integrated Operations for


Production Efficiency
What Emersons iOps initiative says about larger
trends in industrial process automation

By Matt Migliore

Emersons iOps program includes collaboration centers where team members can video conference to analyze and make
decisions on operational data in real-time from remote and/or geographically disparate locations.

merson Process Management (www.emersonprocess.com)


hosted a grand opening ceremony in late January to showcase its new Innovation Center in Round Rock, Texas. As part
of the festivities, Emerson invited select customers, industry
partners, and members of the press to preview its new iOps
(Integrated Operations) initiative, which aims to help end-users
effectively manage applications that are in remote, hazardous, and/or locations that are generally not suitable for human
beings to live and work. The technology demonstrated at the
event provides some insight on what the future of industrial
process automation and control may look like.

Key Drivers of Integrated


Operations
Running safe, profitable production
operations is becoming increasingly
challenging in the locations our customers are working in, said Peter Zornio,
chief strategic officer of Emerson
Process Management. These locations
38 | March 2014

are sometimes referred to as the Four


Ds: dull, distant, dirty, and dangerous.
These are often places few people want
to go. The cost and scarcity of skilled
workers just compounds their challenges.
To overcome these issues and improve operational effectiveness, Emer-

son expects manufacturers to increasingly look for opportunities to streamline


their operations with remote and/or collaborative capabilities. Zornio said the
concept of Integrated Operations has
been a reality in the oil & gas industry
for quite some time, with offshore drilling platforms being an obvious example.
Other examples of early adopters of remote operations include scenarios where
there are completely built plants within
plants, such as, for instance, industrial
gases and precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) in pulp & paper.
The University of Trondheim in Norway, working in conjunction with North
Sea oil & gas companies, has been a
leading driver of research and development around the Integrated Operations
(IO) concept. The university and oil & gas
companies have formed the Center for
Integrated Operations in the Petroleum
Flow Control Magazine

Industry (www.ntnu.edu/iocenter), which conducts research and this sector are already leveraging solutions along this line to
education on IO with the aim of innovating optimized solutions optimize their processes, maximize profit, and mitigate risk.
I would say the risk mitigation component is very imporfor efficient production and operation in oil & gas.
tant,
because it covers risk to assets, risk to people, and risk
Another key driver of Emersons move toward a centralized command center for operations is the rapid rise in the to profitability itself, said Rao.
From an implementation perspective, iOps is more of an innumber of sensor points businesses are now monitoring. With
the evolution of digital technology and the falling price of sen- formation technology challenge than an industrial engineering
sors, more devices are being introduced into industrial environ- challenge, as it will, in most cases, require end-users to effecments, and they all have a story to tell. At the same time, the tively manage the integration of point solutions. iOps isnt just
continued growth of wireless technology is enabling the remote the control room, said Rao. Its the ability to pull data from
various legacy systems and
monitoring of sensors in distant
make them flow in real time.
and harsh locations.
I
would
say
the
risk
mitigation
Rao said this will be a big step
Emerson uses the phrase Perfor those organizations that
vasive Sensing to describe the
component is very important,
have a history of implementgrowth of sensor points not only in
because it covers risk to assets,
ing point solutions to isolated
the process, but in industrial environments overall. The concept of
risk to people, and risk to profit- challenges. To realize the full
potential of iOps, Rao said endpervasive sensing not only ties into
ability itself, said Rao.
users will need to take a holistic
Emersons iOps initiative, but it is
view of their operation. In the
also critical to the companys push
on another hot topic in the world of industry at the moment near term, Rao said end-users may employ bits and pieces of
iOpsiOps with a small i as he called itbut ultimately he
Big Data, or as Emerson calls it, Big Data Analytics.
We like to say pervasive sensing is the Data in Big Data, said the future is iOps with a big I, driven by end-users who
said Bob Karschnia, VP of Wireless for Emerson Process Man- take a more all-enompasing view of thier operation.
If you look at what people really want, its insightslittle
agement, during his launch event presentation, Pervasive
insights that can make a big impact on the bottom line, said
SensingChanging the Fundamentals of Automation.
Zornio said the collaborative element of Emersons iOps Rao. Therefore, the vision of iOps is sound. I see a lot of opprogram will give it appeal in industries where remote opera- portunities across the integrated value chain.
tion may not be a need, but finding qualified professionals is a
challenge. He said users in refining, petrochemical, and life sci- Putting the Pieces Together
ences have expressed interest in the collaborative elements of Customers have steadily seen operational improvement for
iOps. These customers dont have the remoteness; they face years by deploying smart automation technologies that prothe issue of not having access to skillsets, said Zornio. They vide them more datamore visibilityinto whats really hapdont necessarily see that they are going to remotely operate, pening, said Jim Nyquist, group vice president for Emersons
but what they do see is the opportunity for maintenance and Process Systems and Solutions business. But data alone
reliability programs.
isnt enough. The real opportunity is to imagine new organizational workflows, like the formation of cross functional collaboration centers that bring together decentralized expertise
Addressing the Concept of Span
Sath Rao, vice president of Industrial Automation & Process to enable better, faster decision-making. Thats iOps.
To give end-users a clear sense of whats possible in the
Control for Frost & Sullivan (www.frost.com), described
Emersons iOps initiative as a positive move by the company future of integrated operations, Emerson has recently opened
to address the increasing span of industrial process envi- its state-of-the-art iOps Center at its Round Rock, Texas facilronments. In the past, people viewed span as within the ity. The center is a real-world, working model of a production
four walls of the plant, said Rao. As the technology has enterprise where customers can experience the collaboration
evolved with pervasive sensing, the span increases expo- and real-time, multi-disciplinary decision making that iOps
nentially outside the four walls of the plant. This is driving aims to enable.
Emerson is evaluating plans to expand its network of iOps
companies like Emerson to look at how they can provide
customer experience centers around the globe. FC
added value.
Rao said iOps could potentially be advantageous for any
Matt Migliore is the director of content for Flow
application where there are integrated components of tradControl magazine and FlowControlNetwork.com. He can be
ing, delivery, etc. He said the oil & gas industry is an obvious
reached at Matt@GrandViewMedia.com.
fit for iOps, and, as noted earlier, the companies operating in

FLOWSTREAM Find related content @ flowcontrolnetwork.com ... Search on:


Big Data | Emerson Process Management | Industrial Wireless | Maintenance | Matt Migliore | Reliability
www.flowcontrolnetwork.com

March 2014 | 39

UP CLOSE | Filters & Membranes

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40 | March 2014

Flow Control Magazine

W ELC OME S

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Fork Viscosity Meter for


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Air/Gas Flowmeter Designed


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Scaling Watch Measures Pipe Scale


Flowroxs Scaling Watch is a
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Ultrasonic Flowmeter for


Nominal Temperature Liquids

The ST75
Air/Gas
Flowmeter
from Fluid
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International (FCI)
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fuel gas, process gas, inert gas, waste gases, and
air in small line sizes. The ST75 is a good fit for
optimizing the fuel-to-air ratio for plant burner-boiler
control, which helps reduce plant fuel costs while
protecting the environment. The ST75 Flowmeter is
designed for small line sizes ranging from 0.25 to
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GEs Measurement &


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42 | March 2014

Flow Control Magazine

The Largest Biomass Conference in North America


March 24-26, 2014
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Great show to attend. Excellent


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Matt Weidner, Weidcom

This is a must attend event if you are


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All the burning issues were covered in the
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Condition Monitoring
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SKFs condition monitoring thermometer
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The device offers a measurement range from -200
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TKDT 10 is especially
designed for ODR
maintenance tasks on
bearings, gearboxes,
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44 | March 2014

Flow Control Magazine

WEB RESOURCE FILE

www.cmeflow.com

www.fluidsealing.com

CMEs Smart Digital Flowmeters Equipped


with Easy-to-Read Digital Display

Fluid Sealing Association Updates Its


Website with End-Users In Mind

CMEs Smart Digital


Flowmeters are a combination of the companys
Laminar Flow Elements
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Temperature, absolute
pressure, and differential
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The Fluid Sealing


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launched its newly
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www.fluidsealing.
com, which has
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focuses on four product categories designed to make
it easier to navigate and find the information endusers need on mechanical seals, expansion joints,
pump and valve packings, and gaskets.
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Omega Offers Data Acquisition and


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Remote Monitoring System Tracks Pumps


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Omegas Data
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page on its website offers information on the various
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end-users achieve
efficient performance. Its iNET-iWPLUS data acquisition and control software is designed for use with
instruNEt Data Acquisition Systems. The WinWedge
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The Pump Watch remote monitoring system from PRIMEX


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Armstrong Fluid
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program, ADEPT, which
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intuitive, easy-to-use, and
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Viega LLCs new catalog smartphone application brings 3,000


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March 2014 | 45

ADVERTISER/PRODUCT INDEX
Find company websites and get free product information online at www.flowcontrolnetwork.com/freeinfo.
BC = Back Cover - IBC = Inside Back Cover - IFC = Inside Front Cover

Advertiser

Page

RS#

Page

RS#

Aalborg Instruments and


Controls

IFC

Intl Biomass Conference


& Expo

43

29

Almatec Maschinenbau
GmgH

27

19

John C Ernst Company

12, 41

Ashcroft Inc

IBC

27

KOBOLD Instruments

Assured Automation

11

Bachus Company Inc

36

CheckAll Valve
Collins Instrument Co
CME Aerospace Control
Products
Eldridge Products Inc
Endress+Hauser

Page

RS#

Spitzer and Boyes LLC

14

12

9, NA

Teledyne Isco Inc

31

21

Product Index

Page

RS#

KROHNE Inc

Armstrong Fluid
Technology

45

205

NA

The Lee Company

Emerson Process
Management

42

101

29

20

Magnetrol International

Flowrox

42

102

17

14

Neoperl Inc

36

24

Fluid Components Intl

42

103

Fluid Sealing Association

45

202

Omega Engineering Inc

23

17

42

104

Parker Porter Instrument Div

19

15

GE Measurement &
Control
Moyno

44

105

Pump Guy Seminar

37

NA

Omega Engineering

45

203

PRIMEX

45

204

45, 48 201, 26
13

11

33, BC 22, 28

Advertiser

Advertiser

Flow Research

44

25

Pump Symposium

21

16

FMC Technologies

Rosedale Products Inc

12

10

Rosedale Products

40

100

Gorman-Rupp Company

35

23

Sage Metering

SKF

44

107

Hoffer Flow Controls

15

13

Singer Valve

25

18

Viega

Your Source For Fluid Handling Videos

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46 | March 2014

Flow Control Magazine

THINK TANK | Natural Gas

GLOSSARY OF TERMS:
NATURAL GAS
AGA: American Gas Association
AFV: Alternative-fuel vehicle. A vehicle designed to operate
on an alternative fuel (e.g., compressed natural gas, methane blend, electricity).

BASE GAS: The quantity of natural gas needed to maintain

adequate reservoir pressures and deliverability rates throughout the withdrawal season.

AGA

FRACTIONATION

AFV

GAS WELL

BASE GAS

IMPROVED RECOVERY

CHRISTMAS TREE

LEASE SEPARATOR

CNG

NATURAL GAS LIQUIDS

DISPOSITION

SHALE GAS

DRY NATURAL GAS

RESIDUE GAS

FOSSIL FUEL

Solve This Word Search


Win a $50 Best Buy Gift Card
One lucky entrant who has solved the puzzle correctly will win a $50 Best Buy
gift card. Best Buy is North Americas leading consumer electronics retailer.
You can use your gift card in the store or online at www.BestBuy.com.

Fax solution to: (205) 408-3799


If there are no completely correct entries, a winner will be selected
from among the entries with the most words found.

I would like to receive/continue Flow Control magazine: ____ Yes ____ No


Signature: _____________________________________ Date: _________________
Name: ________________________________________________________________
Title: _________________________________________________________________
Company: _____________________________________________________________
Address/City/State/Zip: __________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________

CHRISTMAS TREE: The valves and fittings installed at


the top of a gas or oil well to control and direct the flow of
well fluids.

CNG: Compressed Natural Gas


DISPOSITION: In natural gas applications, disposition is
the removal of natural, synthetic, and/or supplemental gas,
or any components or gaseous mixtures contained therein,
from the responding companys facilities within the report
state by any means or for any purpose, including the transportation of such gas out of the report state.
DRY NATURAL GAS: Natural gas which remains after:
1) the liquefiable hydrocarbon portion has been removed
from the gas stream (i.e., gas after lease, field, and/or plant
separation); and 2) any volumes of nonhydrocarbon gases
have been removed where they occur in sufficient quantity
to render the gas unmarketable.

FOSSIL FUEL: An energy source formed in the Earths


crust from decayed organic material. The common fossil
fuels are petroleum, coal, and natural gas.
FRACTIONATION: The process by which saturated hydrocarbons are removed from natural gas and separated into
distinct products, or fractions, such as propane, butane,
and ethane.
GAS WELL: A well completed for production of natural gas
from one or more gas zones or reservoirs.

IMPROVED RECOVERY: Extraction of crude oil or natural gas by any method other than those that rely primarily
on natural reservoir pressure, gas lift, or a system of pumps.

LEASE SEPARATOR: A facility installed at the surface for


the purpose of separating the full well stream volume into two
or three parts at the temperature and pressure conditions set
by the separator.

NATURAL GAS LIQUIDS: NGL. A group of hydrocarbons


including ethane, propane, normal butane, isobutane, and
natural gasoline.
SHALE GAS: Natural gas produced from wells that are open
to shale rock formations.

Phone:________________________________________________________________

RESIDUE GAS: Natural gas from which natural gas pro-

E-Mail:________________________________________________________________

cessing plant liquid products and, in some cases, nonhydrocarbon components have been extracted.

January Winner: Robert Nugent, Vertical Product Manager


Peerless Mump, Brookshire, Texas
www.flowcontrolnetwork.com

The terms and definitions for this word search were


abstracted from a resource by the U.S. EIA. Find the full
glossary at www.eia.gov/tools/glossary.
March 2014 | 47

THINK TANK | Flow Measurement

By David W. Spitzer

quiz corner:
Which Flowmeters Measure Velocity?

hich of the following flowmeters measure the velocity of the fluid passing
through the flowmeter?

A. Coriolis mass
B. Magnetic
C. Orifice plate

Commentary
Positive-displacement flowmeters that constantly entrap fluid
to measure the actual volume were discussed last month.
Oscillating piston and oval gear flowmeters are examples of
positive displacement flowmeters.
Various technologies can be used to measure fluid velocity. For example, magnetic flowmeters measure the velocity with which a conductive fluid traverses a magnetic field.
Turbine flowmeters measure the velocity with which the fluid
passes a turbine. Vortex shedding flowmeters measure the
velocity with which the fluid passes the shedder bar.
The correct answers are Answer B, G and I.

Additional Complicating Factors


From an academic perspective, flowmeters that measure the
fluid velocity should display in velocity units of measurement.
This is generally not done because knowing the fluid velocity without knowing the pipe size is effectively useless. For

D. Oscillating piston
E. Oval gear
F. Thermal

G. Turbine
H. Venturi
I. Vortex shedder

example, knowing that the velocity in a pipe is 2 meters per


second is useless without knowing the inside pipe diameter.
It is also complicated because calculations are required to
determine the quantity of flowing fluid in useful units (such
as kilograms or liters).
Therefore, most flowmeters that measure fluid velocity
display in volumetric or mass units of measurement. FC

David W. Spitzer is a regular contributor to Flow


Control magazine and a principal in Spitzer and Boyes, LLC
offering engineering, seminars, strategic, marketing consulting, distribution consulting and expert witness services
for manufacturing and automation companies. Spitzer and
Boyes is also the publisher of the Industrial Automation
Insider. David can be reached at 845 623-1830.
www.spitzerandboyes.com

GAS FLOW ACCURACY


ASSURED

FLOWSTREAM
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flowcontrolnetwork.com Search on:

with Model 60B Flow Computer

David W. Spitzer | Flow Measurement | Flow


Velocity | Flowmeter | Quiz Corner
January Solution: Analytical Systems
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Computer

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Save downtime and money with the FCS 9003 portable Flow Calibrator. It utilizes
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48 | March 2014

Flow Control Magazine

Call us on the Ashcroft ActionLine

Whether the installation requires

The consequences of unreliable


or inaccurate measuring devices

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A-Series: SIL 3 capable

sure and temperature instruments.

L OOK FOR TH ES E MA RK S ON OUR P RODUCTS

ASHCROFT INC.
250 EAST MAIN STREET
STRATFORD, CT 06614-5145, USA
TEL: 203-378-8281 FAX: 203-385-0408
email: info@ashcroft.com

Visit our Booth #4221 at OTC

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Type 1279 PLUS!


Duragauge
Pressure Gauge

A-Series Miniature
Explosion Proof
Pressure Switch

Type 2008 63mm


Panel Gauge

Type 510
Diaphragm Seal

Type EI Bimetal
Thermometer

B-Series Explosion
Proof Pressure Switch

Type 1009 SS Case


Pressure Gauge

Simply reliable:
Process safety by Endress+Hauser
The most simple choices can save a life and some of the best decisions are often the simplest. Empower yourself with
the right field instrumentation partner. At Endress+Hauser, our design, manufacturing and Life Cycle Management
expertise helps you reduce risk in your process. Your mission is our mission. Get in touch with our people and discover
your options. www.us.endress.com/process-safety

Endress+Hauser, Inc
2350 Endress Place
Greenwood, IN 46143
info@us.endress.com
www.us.endress.com

Sales: 888-ENDRESS
Service: 800-642-8737
Fax:
317-535-8498
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