Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

29/3/2015 AutomationBasics:Flow:BehindthescenesofsteamflowmeasurementISA

TRAINING & STANDARDS & CONFERENCES NEWS & TECHNICAL PROFESSIONAL


MEMBERSHIP CERTIFICATIONS PUBLICATIONS & EVENTS PRESS RELEASES RESOURCES TOPICS DEVELOPMENT STORE

HomeISAPublicationsInTechMagazine2008/MayAutomationBasics:Flow:Behindthescenesofsteamflowmeasurement

May 2008
Flow
Behind the scenes of steam flow measurement
By Jesse Yoder
Steam,orvaporizedwater,isanimportantpartofourdailylives.Itiseasyenoughtoexperiencesteamsimplyboilingwaterwillproduceit.Butsteamhasequallyimportantusesas
asourceofpowerforships,inpaperproduction,andforcoolingandheatingbuildings.Probablythemostimportantuseofsteamisasasourceofpowerinelectricityproduction.

Steamisdifficulttomeasureaccurately,mainlybecauseofitssensitivitytochangesintemperatureandpressure.Steamisoftenclassifiedintothreetypes,whichreflectthedifferent
pressureandtemperatureconditionsthatsteamissubjectto.

Wetsteamcontainssteamandcondensedwater.Theamountofwaterinwetsteamisdesignatedbythetermquality.Thequalityofsteamreferstothepercentofsteamflowthatis
steamandwaterbyweight.Steamthatis90%steamand10%waterisknownas90%qualitysteam.Wetsteamisthemostdifficulttypeofsteamtomeasure,anditisalsoknownas
qualitysteam.

Saturatedsteamexistsatonepressureandcorrespondingtemperature,anditdoesnotcontainanywater.Saturatedsteamissaturatedwithheat.Ifheatisaddedtosaturated
steam,thetemperatureofthesteamisincreasedabovetheboilingpoint.Ifheatisremovedfromsaturatedsteam,condensationoccurs,andthefluidbecomesqualitysteam.

Superheatedsteamexistswhenthetemperatureofthesteamisabovetheboilingpoint.Theterm"degreesofsuperheat"referstohowfarabovetheboilingpointthesteam
temperatureis.

Twoimportantapplicationsforsteamareinpowerplantsanddistrictheating.Inbothapplications,steamisgeneratedtoserveasasourceofenergy.

Powerplants

Inapowerplant,steamisgeneratedinaboiler,flowsfromtheboilertoaturbine,andthenpassesthroughtheturbineandflowstoacondenser.Herethesteamisconvertedbackto
watersoitcanbereusedasboilerfeedwater.

Districtheating

Indistrictheating,acentralizedheatingsystemprovidesheatforabuilding,agroupofhomes,orevenawholetown.Districtcoolingworksinasimilarway,exceptthegroupof
buildingsorhousesiscooledinsteadofheated.Indistrictheating,eitherwaterorsteamservesasthemediumfordistributingheat.

Othersteamflowapplications

Measuringsteamataboileroutletanddistrictheatingareimportantapplicationsforsteamflowmeasurement.Heatingprocessfluidscouldoccurinaprocessplant,andsteam
injectiontakesplaceinoilproduction.Otherapplicationsmentionedincludeheating,ventilating,andairconditioningandcustodytransfer.Thissurveyreinforcestheimportanceof
steamflowmeasurementinpowerplantsanddistrictheating,butalsoshowsitisimportantinothercontextsaswell.

Steamflowmeasurement

Moststeamflowmeasurementhappenseitherwithdifferentialpressure(DP)flowmetersorwithvortexmeters.DPflowmetersconsistofaDPflowtransmittertogetherwithaprimary
element.Theprimaryelementcreatesaconstrictionintheflowstream,resultinginareductioninpressuredownstreamfromtheprimaryelement.TheDPflowtransmittersensesthe
differenceinpressureupstreamanddownstreamfromtheprimaryelement,andusesthisvaluetocomputeflowrate.Bernoulli'sPrincipleisusedtoperformthiscalculation.

Themostcommontypeofprimaryelementusedinflowmeasurementistheorificeplate.Orificeplatesarealsowidelyusedformeasuringsteamflow.However,othertypesof
primaryelementsarealsoused.Flownozzlesworkwellwithsteamflowmeasurementbecausetheycanreadilyhandlethehighvelocitiesandpressuresassociatedwithsteamflow.
OthertypesofprimaryelementsusedtomeasuresteamflowincludeVenturisandaveragingPitottubes.

Vortexflowmetersalsoseeusetomeasuresteamflow.Vortexmetersworkwellbecausetheycauseminimalpressurelossandcantoleratehightemperaturesandpressures
commoninsteamflow.Indistrictheating,avolumetricvortexmeterisoftencombinedwithapressuretransmitterandtemperaturesensor.Aflowcomputerusesthesevaluesto
computemassflow.Multivariablevortexmetersmeasurevolumetricflow,pressure,andtemperature,andusethesevaluestocalculatemassflow.Multivariablevortexmetersarea
fastgrowingproductsegmentwithinvortexflowmeters.

https://www.isa.org/standardspublications/isapublications/intechmagazine/2008/may/automationbasicsflowbehindthescenesofsteamflowmeasurement/ 1/2
29/3/2015 AutomationBasics:Flow:BehindthescenesofsteamflowmeasurementISA

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


JesseYoder,Ph.D.,ispresidentofFlowResearch,Inc.(www.flowresearch.com),inWakefield,Mass.Contacthimatjesse@flowresearch.com.

https://www.isa.org/standardspublications/isapublications/intechmagazine/2008/may/automationbasicsflowbehindthescenesofsteamflowmeasurement/ 2/2