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API 624 Valve Emissions

Standard Update

Considering K-Factor

How to Calculate
Orifice-Plate Flow Rate

9 5 - 2 015



special section | pg 23

pumps, bearings
and seals

Technology Report

january 2015 Vol. XXI, No. 1

Solutions for Fluid Movement, Measurement & Containment


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The Two-Wire Advantage

Special Section

By Steve Milford
Advances in two-wire instrumentation, specifically in relation to flowmeters, have enabled significant cost benefits for new technology installations in terms of capital investment and cost of ownership.


Compensating for Compressibility

In Gas Flow Measurement

By Kevin Clark
K-factor adjustment is a key factor in ensuring accurate gas flow measurement for inline turbine meters. The K-factor is established by an
initial factory calibration. In the case of a non-compensated flow monitor, any variations in pressure and temperature will require manual
adjustments to the K-factor.

page 23

Pumps, Bearings & Seals Technology Report


The Complicated Case of Compressors

with Side-Streams


By Amin Almasi

How Pumping Systems Design Affects

Sealing Performance


By Chris Boss

Bearings & Couplings Suppliers Position

to Drive Market Growth
By Amy W. Richardson

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

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2 | January 2015

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Entire contents copyright 2015. 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 reflecting the opinion
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january 2015 | Vol. XXI, No. 1

editors file

4 flow things you need to know about

this month

a coriolis mass flowmeter provides
a better solution

39 word search

temperature measurement

40 quiz corner

how to calculate orifice plate flow rate


Its a Check-All

9 5 - 2 015

News & Notes api 624 valve

emissions update; intelligent features to

boost desal pumps market; hydraulic fracturing water treatment on the rise ...

34 up close with Micro Motions Model

5700 Coriolis Transmitter

36 web RESOURCE filE
38 ad/product index

Return on investment calculations for plant upgrade or new

plant construction projects may go through several iterations
before the trigger is finally pulled, or indeed not pulled.

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Flow Control Magazine

The new Ultra 8c

The capability and performance

your market demands.

FMC Technologies Ultra 8c ultrasonic flowmeter shares the advanced technology

of the next generation Smith Meter Ultra Series meters. With its touchscreen
interface, upgradable memory and high-speed processor, the Ultra 8c provides
cutting-edge performance and diagnostic ability. And with additional measurement
paths, the Ultra 8c has even better cross-flow and swirl compensation for improved
accuracy and repeatability. Whether for leak detection or custody transfer, the
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Editors File

4 Flow Things
You Need to Know


Matt Migliore, Executive Director of Content,



20 Years of Flow Control: This
year marks the 20th Anniversary of
Flow Control magazine. Launched
in 1995 with the aim of serving technical
professionals involved with designing, operating and maintaining fluid handling systems in a wide range of
9 5 - 2 015
industries, Flow Control has leveraged its many years of experience to establish a unique niche and reputation for providing
high-quality information to you, our subscribers. I congratulate everybody who helped
Flow Control get to where it stands today. Heres to another 20 years of success.

Training Time: Its a new

year, and we have two new
training opportunities for
you to enhance your skillset in 2015.
Regular Flow Control columnists David W. Spitzer and Larry Bachus will
be presenting three-day courses on
Flow Measurement and Pumping
Systems, respectively. I encourage
you and your colleagues to take advantage of these important training
opportunities. For more details, see &


Oil & Gas Gender Gap: Results of a

new global workforce survey, conducted by and Air Energi,
show a gender gap in the oil & gas industry
persists despite ongoing efforts to recruit more
women into the industry. According to hiring
managers, the
top three factors
that significantly
contributed to
the gender gap
in the oil & gas
industry are:
1. A lack of women entering the industry (55
2. An industry culture created by a male-dominated environment (53 percent)
3. The logistics requirement, i.e., travel, shift,
and working patterns in the field (30 percent)

For more on this story and an infographic, see
Rockwell Automation Fair 2014: Our colleague
Kevin Parker at Processing magazine attended the
annual Rockwell Automation Fair, Nov. 9-10, in
Anaheim, Calif. Parker gleaned some interesting perspective on key trends in process automation, including:
1. Hardware and software are more blended than ever.
2. Fog computing (a kind of cloud computing) is making
headway in industrial engineering environments where latency is a critical concern.

group Publisher
processing/flow control
MICHAEL C. CHRISTIAN | (908) 507-5472
National Accounts Manager
Jim Semple | (908) 963-3008
Executive Director of Content
MATT MIGLIORE | (610) 828-1711
Managing Editor
AMY W. RICHARDSON | (205) 408-5050
Larry Bachus;
Art Director
julie flynn
MANAGER - digital operations

Administrative Team

General Manager
Chief Operations Officer
Vice president of finance
brad youngblood
Vice Pressident of B2B Group
mike wasson
Chief Revenue Officer
Chris Dolan
VP, Audience Development
Audience Development Manager
Anna Hicks
Digital Audience
Development Analyst
Stacy Barnes

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
John Merrill, PE: EagleBurgmann Industries
Steve Milford: Endress+Hauser U.S.
Tom OBanion: Emerson Process
Management, Micro Motion
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.





For Parkers full report from the Automation Fair, see
6 | January 2015

Flow Control Magazine

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the outlook | News & Notes

Valve Standards Update

End-users ramp up compliance efforts for API 624
as new specifications emerge on the horizon

1 ISO15848 Measurement, test and qualification procedures for fugitive emissions

a. Part I Classification system and qualification procedures for type testing of valves
b. Part II Production acceptance test of valves
2 API 622 Type Testing of Process Valve Packing for Fugitive
3 End-user defined fugitive emission reduction requirements

Key aspects of valve testing per API 624 include:

The standard covers rising and rising-rotating stem
valves up to 24 diameter.
Class 1500# valves are not covered.
The test medium is methane.
310 test cycles are required, with three thermal cycles.
Temperature application range is from -29 C to 538 C,
with last cycle 10 cycles user-defined (can be -45 C).
Re-tightening of gland bolts is not permitted during test.
Valve stem test orientation is vertical.
Several valves must be tested to achieve API 624 compliance. Similar industry principles applied to test valves
qualify two nominal sizes smaller, one size larger, and one
pressure class below.
Allowable leakage is 100 PPM maximum.
Gate and globe valves need to be tested separately.
For example, Gate Valves per API602, four tests; API600,
eight tests (up to 20 diameter); API 603, eight tests; and
for Globe Valves per API 602, four tests.
8 | January 2015

Global valve fugitive emissions

End User response at best
End User response actual


Will API 624

have a step
effect in reducing

1992 1998 2003 2008 2013 2020

Test valves should be production valves, not specially

manufactured test valves.
As a result of the release of API 624, testing companies have
been gearing up for an increase in the number and size of
test valves, and new test houses are coming to market. With
this in mind, implementation of API 624 needs to be carefully
monitored, and claims from valve manufacturers should be
validated by requesting to view test results. Important factors
to be mindful of include:
Number of cycles on some valves could be detrimental
to packing, as certain smaller size valves dont come with
grease ports to keep the stem lubricated all of the time.
Test failures of valve stem threads, yokes and glands.
Grease traps into packing and causes leakage.
At higher temperatures, a few greases create volatile
organic compound and burn off.
Testing in vertical generates more heat in yoke area.
Certain challenges need a good testing company that has
experience in testing on fugitive emissions and provides
guidelines to manufacturers in terms of use of packing, valve,
grease, testing requirements, etc.
A preliminary survey was conducted with end-users regarding current utilization and application of API 624. For a summary of responses from this survey, visit

Gobind Khiani, P.Eng., is with Fluor Canada Ltd. Khiani has

spent 20-plus years in the energy and power business and 10plus years in the Western Canadian oil and gas industry. He
can be reached at 403 850-6982 or
Flow Control Magazine

source: Gobind khiani

Million of tonnes / year

n the May 2014 issue of Flow Control (page

16), the new standard, API 624 Type Testing
of Rising Stem Valves Equipped with Graphite
Packing for Fugitive Emissions, First Edition, was
addressed. This standard, which was published
and put into effect in February 2014, establishes guidelines for testing industrial valves for
emissions compliance. Since the publication of
the May article, further requests from industry
have spurred the creation of another specification, API 641 Type Testing of Quarter-Turn
Valves, and an API Piping and Valves committee has been formed. Regulators and end-users
are also working on:

By Gobind Khiani


Intelligent Features to Boost Global Water

Desalination Pumps Market

he Global Water Desalination

Pumps Market is expected to grow
at a CAGR of 7.7 percent from 2015 to
2019, according to a new report from
TechNavio (
The report shows demand for water
treatment has increased significantly in
developing countries, where fresh water resources can be scarce. Providing
clean and potable water to huge populations has become a priority, which is
pushing the demand for water desalination pumps in the market, according to
The report emphasizes the emergence of intelligent pump systems as
a major driver of market growth. Intelligent pumps possess the ability to
regulate flow and pressure, and these
systems can automatically adjust to
process and pump system changes.

The growing demand for clean water worldwide will continue to augment
the demand for water desalination sys-

tems, which will propel the Global Water

Desalination Pumps Market during the
forecast period.

Intelligent pump systems are being adopted by many manufacturers because of the
high level of fault tolerance ability, which
leads to a significant
reduction in the total
cost of ownership.

Intelligent pump systems are being adopted by many manufacturers

because of the high level of fault tolerance ability, which leads to a significant
reduction in the total cost of ownership, said Faisal Ghaus, vice president
of TechNavio, in a news release. The
adoption of these systems will also
help industries comply with current European Union regulations in relation to
reduction in energy consumption.

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January 2015 | 9

the outlook | News & Notes


Hydraulic Fracturing Water

Treatment & Reuse Expected to Soar
but that is likely to change if droughts
persist. Meanwhile, state regulators are
beginning to tighten control of produced
water disposal. In Pennsylvania, where
policymakers in 2010 placed discharge
limits on wastewater from unconventional oil & gas operations, statewide
treatment and reuse rates for the Marcellus jumped to 90 percent in 2014.
The increasing cost of transport and
injecting water into wells now accounting for 66 percent of water services
spending and the improving cost
structures of treatment provide another
driver of reuse, Bluefield reports. Well
operators that employ treatment and reuse solutions spend on average $8.80
per barrel of water used compared to
$10.20 per barrel of water trucked and
injected into wells, although cost comparisons are site specific.
Fracking has been the Wild West for
the U.S. water industry, said Reese Tisdale, president of Bluefield Research, in
a prepared statement. There are three
reasons for this: first, there has been
an explosive build-out of fracking well
installations, now surpassing 126,000.
Second, there has been a lack of clear



US $6.38

regulation on water management in key

markets. And third, there is not a onesize-fits-all treatment solution for fracking, meaning solutions providers have
had to ascend a steep learning curve
to treat the variable wastewaters that a
single well is capable of producing.
Tisdale notes that these inhibitors,
while still acute, are beginning to take on
a new form. This is partially due to significant gains in water management experience, realized adoption of more efficient
water management strategies among
well operators, and the emergence of
new policy mechanisms from regulators
that are playing catch-up with the fastmoving hydraulic fracturing industry.

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10 | January 2015

Flow Control Magazine


astewater treatment spending for

hydraulic fracturing is expected to
grow almost three-fold, from $138 million in 2014 to $357 million in 2020 in
the U.S., according to a new report from
Bluefield Research.
The U.S. hydraulic fracturing industry
consumes over 1 billion barrels of water annually, producing 450500 million barrels of contaminated water for
disposal, with only about 14 percent
treated and reused. Bluefield cites water
supplies increasingly at risk, tighter regulations emerging in key states, and costs
of disposal on the rise as factors contributing to the substantial rise in water
treatment and reuse, which is expected
to account for 27 percent of total produced and flowback water by 2020.
Overall, the U.S. hydraulic fracturing
industry will spend $6.38 billion in 2014
on water management. Water transport
and disposal costs will account for 66
percent of the total water management
spent this year, with treatment comprising roughly 2 percent.
Bluefield reports water scarcity in
Western U.S. states has had little impact to date on fracturing water supply,


research & development

New Technique Could Reduce

Energy Required for Oil Refinement


K scientists have developed a The University of Nottingham, the extechnique they say has the poten- isting industrial process uses huge
tial to dramatically reduce the amount amounts of energy to separate and puof energy required for the refinement rify these gases, so the new technique
has the potential to revolutionize the oil
of crude oil.
Professor Martin Schrder and Dr. industry by significantly reducing carSihai Yang from The University of Not- bon emissions and making the process
tingham ( have more environmentally friendly.
led a multi-disciplinary team of scientists from Nottingham, the Science and Commercially Useful
Technology Facilities Councils (STFC) Crude oil is a raw material that is
ISIS Neutron Facility, Oak Ridge Na- refined to produce fuel for cars, to
tional Laboratory, and Diamond Light heat homes, and to create polymers
Source, to discover a porous material and other useful materials. It is made
that works like a chemical sponge to up of a complex mixture of hydroseparate a number of important gases carbons (chemical compounds that
from mixtures generated during crude contain only hydrogen and carbon), of
oil refinement.
which certain components are espeAccording
CIC-10307 halfp page ad.qxd 3/25/07 cially
PM Page 1 useful.

One industrial process used to

achieve hydrocarbon separation is
called cryogenic distillation, which is
widely used worldwide and uses vast
amounts of energy to generate the high
pressures and cryogenic temperatures
required to ensure efficient separation


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January 2015 | 11

the outlook | News & Notes

of hydrocarbon mixtures into pure components.

However, researchers say an innovative solution may
have come in the form of a novel chemical sponge. This
porous material, a metal-organic framework, was developed by the same team at Nottingham just two years ago.
Now, in research published in Nature Chemistry, for the
first time, scientists have proven that it can be used to
separate hydrocarbon mixtures without the need for high
process pressures or very low process temperatures.

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NOTT-300 can be removed without a significant energy
input and, therefore, the material can be easily reused.
The team of scientists from Nottingham used Diamond,
the UKs synchrotron science facility, as well as STFCs
ISIS Neutron Facility and Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
the UKs and USAs world-leading neutron facilities, respectively, to prove that the sponge works under real-life
Professor Martin Schrder, Dean of the Faculty of Science at Nottingham said in the news release, It is a very
important to be able to separate different hydrocarbons effectively and efficiently with low-energy consumption. Porous solids, such as the metal-organic framework system
studied here, represent important materials for the future
development of low-energy separation technologies. We
are most grateful to our collaborators at ISIS Neutron Facility, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Diamond Light
Source in bringing this work to fruition.

Significant Impact on Oil Industry

Dr. Sihai Yang, the winner of Diamond Young Scientist

and BTM Willis Prize, is a Senior Research Fellow at
Nottingham. He led the project together with Professor
Martin Schrder. Yang said, With the help of advanced
central facilities like Diamond, ISIS, and ORNL, we have
developed a new separation technique which can potentially reduce the energy usage associated with oil, petroleum, and chemical industries which require the separation of raw hydrocarbons from crude oil.
The discovery of the new material, NOTT-300, could
have a significant impact on the oil industry by removing
the necessity for some energy-intensive refinement processes, researchers say.
The research was funded by Engineering and Physical
Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the European Research Council (ERC), The University of Nottingham and
Leverhulme Trust.

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12 | January 2015

Flow Control Magazine

These new spool valves will fit right in.

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Applications Corner | Process Instrumentation

Problem Solved ... Again!

David W. Spitzer

A Coriolis mass flowmeter provides a better solution

This is the final article in a series based on the troubleshooting of a mysterious unit shutdown due to flowmeter performance problems.

By the early 1990s, changes were implemented that eliminated all process cooling requirementsexcept for the small
jacketed cooler upstream of the liquid ammonia flowmeter. In
other words, after these changes, the entire cooling system
would be operated and maintained to cool a few meters of
one small ammonia pipe. Coincidently, at about the same
time, Coriolis mass flowmeters became more mature and
could reasonably measure the mass flow of liquid streams
with homogeneous low levels of vapor.

f youve followed this column for most of 2014, you know

that what should have been a liquid ammonia stream to the
feed plant became problematic due to the occurrence of
bubbles of ammonia gas. These bubbles caused an ultrasonic
flowmeter in a unit to indicate zero flow and caused the reactor
to scram (shut down) under warm operating conditions.
The source of the bubbles was traced back to the presThe purchase and installation of a
sure drop associated with a control valve located at the
Coriolis mass flowmeter was given
exit of the liquid ammonia tank farm.
This issue was resolved by identifying the problem
high priority given its impact on unit
and fixing it at its source. This was a pragmatic apoperation, economics and safety.
proach at the time (early 1980s) given the operation
of3 the
cooling system in the unit and the limited selec3/8 x 4 7/8 Ad 2-21-13 12/10/14 10:10 AM Page 1
The convergence of these two events resulted in another
tion of applicable flowmeter technologies.
approach to the problem that was not available in the early
1980si.e., install a Coriolis flowmeter that could operate in
For Better Piping System Performance
the presence of bubbles. The purchase and installation of a
Coriolis mass flowmeter was given high priority given its impact on unit operation, economics and safety (by eliminating
Ideal for
the midget-maker (see March 2014, page 14)).
Plant requirements and the technology that can meet
plant needs keep changing. An excellent solution today can
First State approved
become outdated in just a few years. However, there are few
thermoplastic valve for
substitutes for understanding fundamentals when addressing
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a problem. In other words, there can be more than one way
Rugged thermoplastics
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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. Spitzer can be reached at 845 6231830 or at
flowstream Find related content @


973-256-3000 Fax 973-256-4745
w w w. p l a s t o m a t i c . c o m i n f o @ p l a s t o m a t i c . c o m

Ammonia Gas | Coriolis Flowmeter |

David W. Spitzer | Scram | Troubleshooting

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14 | January 2015

Flow Control Magazine

Beyond Control.
The NEW Research Control SRD positioner does
everything you expect any valve positioner to do,
plus more. The SRDs comprehensive diagnostics tool
continuously monitors for fugitive emissions, delivers
real-time performance statistics, and facilitates both
proactive and reactive process management. Available
with integrated network communications, the SRD is
compatible with Research Control valves and most other
pneumatically-actuated valves.
Visit or
call 877-243-1010 for more information today.

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systems design | Flow Measurement

The Two-Wire
New wiring options enable modern instruments
to drive cost savings in existing plant systems

By Steve Milford


infrastructure. The budget approval decision for new plant

construction must weigh such costs against projected market
conditions for the products that the plant is intended to manufacture. In todays volatile global marketplace, return on investment calculations for plant upgrade or new plant construction
projects may go through several iterations before the trigger is
finally pulled, or indeed not pulled.
This article describes advances in two-wire instrumentation, specifically in relation to flowmeters, that have taken
place in the past few years, and the significant cost benefits
that this new technology can realize for plant builders and operators in terms of capital investment and cost of ownership.

The Significance of Two-Wire Loop Power

Advances in two-wire instrumentation have enabled modern technology to be employed to the advantage of older
plant and process systems.

ome chemical manufacturing plants are

competing for survival, not only externally
against other global companies, but also
internally among the global facilities of their
own company. Other industry sectors face
similar challenges.
Process improvements to increase yield or cut manufacturing costs typically require enhanced process control, but the
installed base of measurement instrumentation in a process
plant may simply be unable to facilitate improvements because
of age, inadequate performance, or unreliability. Maintenance
cost and unscheduled process downtime for an aging process
plant can be very damaging to the balance sheet. Upgrading
to new, more accurate, and more reliable instrumentation can
be prohibitively expensive. New plant construction must also
maintain a focus on optimizing costs for the process control
16 | January 2015

A survey involving 204 participants in the chemical industry across Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Canada, and the
United States (Manfred Koenig, Ph.D., K.I.M. Ludwigshafen,
Germany, 2006) revealed an 87 percent preference for twowire instrumentation versus four-wire in process applications,
and 89 percent for utilities. This overwhelming preference
may stem from the fact that older process plants were built
with two-wire, twisted-pair cable networks, connecting all
process units and measuring instruments together in an
overall plant control scheme.
However, these existing cables are relatively unsophisticated and incapable of supporting anything but low-energy
instrumentation that is insensitive to interference from other
electrical sources that might be sharing the same cable conduit. Further, the low energy levels supported by these twowire loops are more easily rendered safe in terms of explosive risk in hazardous areas containing flammable materials.
Many older process plants are also likely to have a significant
installed base of flowmeters employing pre-war (pre-1945)
technology, such as positive displacement (PD), turbine, variable area (VA or Rotameter), and differential pressure (dP).
Market data firm Flow Research Inc. (www.flowresearch.
com) indicates collectively a future compound negative annual
growth rate approaching minus 3 percent to 5 percent for PD,
turbine and VA flowmeter types, while dP is expected to keep
pace with market growth (World Market for Flowmeters, 2010).
Flow Control Magazine

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Figure 1. A two-wire ultrasonic flowmeter, released in 2006, operated on

a single, 4-20 mA two-wire loop.

The Need to Replace Older Technologies

Until the 21st century, two-wire loops were only able

to support these relatively unsophisticated instruments,
which convert their measurement by various means into a
4-20mA output or pulse signal to the control system. The
more advanced post-war flowmeter technologies, such as
Coriolis, ultrasonic or electromagnetic flowmeters have,
until just eight years ago, required a dedicated power supply for their function, in addition to the output loop, and
thus a four-wire infrastructure was required as a minimum.
Therefore, upgrading older two-wire meter devices to more
modern four-wire technology could require significant
expenditure in terms of the installation of separate power
cables and supply modules.
There was a major breakthrough in 2006 when a true
two-wire, loop-powered inline liquid ultrasonic flowmeter
was introduced (Figure 1). The nature of this breakthrough
was innovation in device power management. This was the
missing piece up to that point, because to be a true looppowered device, the meter had to directly provide a full 16
mA span using less than 3.6 mA of remaining loop current
and less than 1 Watt of electrical energy. The flowmeter
operated on a single, 4-20 mA HART two-wire loop, was
remotely powered by a DC supply, was certified Class 1 Division 1, and could be deployed as Intrinsically Safe through
the use of an approved safety barrier.
A true two-wire, loop-powered Coriolis flowmeter followed
in 2011 (Figure 2), employing a new and more advanced
common electronics platform. A two-wire loop-powered inline
ultrasonic flowmeter for low-pressure gas was introduced in
2012, and a second two-wire loop-powered Coriolis meter followed in 2013, offering improved measurement performance
and an additional high-performance meter tube material.
Electromagnetic and vortex flowmeters had already been
available for some years in two-wire loop-powered form, but
improved performance resulted as these designs were incor-

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Temperatures up to
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NPT or BSP Threads
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Positive Displacement
Flow Meter for Solvents
FPD3300 Series
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January 2015 | 17

systems design | Flow Measurement


Figure 2. Two-wire Coriolis flowmeters became available in 2011.

porated into their new, common electronics platform in 2013. So all the modern
flow measurement technologies that
is to say those introduced post-war
have become available as two-wire, looppowered devices with one exception,
namely, thermal mass (thermal dispersion) meters. Unfortunately, the power
requirements for this technology exceed
what is currently deemed possible with
two-wire, loop-power management.

the existing meters flow signal to the

control room can be used unaltered
for the complete electrical installation
aspects of the Coriolis flowmeter.
The upside of the change is significant and clear cut. Assuming the existing meter measurement uncertainty was
0.2 percent of reading, then measurement uncertainty improves through use
of Coriolis to 0.1 percent of reading,
giving a 0.1/100 x $14,400,000 improvement in control of the ingredient
annually, or $14,400. A two-wire Coriolis
mass flowmeter with 0.1 percent mass
flow accuracy would be paid for in approximately 6-8 months. In practice, the
improvement in measurement uncertainty would be greater, as the operator
would gain temperature and density information from the Coriolis and the measurement would be devoid of any fluid
property dependence. Viscosity change,
for example, can have a major impact on
turbine meter performance. Mechanical
wear and tear that turbine meters eventually experience, which causes them to
under-register flow, is precluded by modern devices like Coriolis.
Furthermore, if the process ingredient
was being blended with another, then additional process improvements could be
realized through in-line blending control

devices are also available with Profibus

or Foundation Fieldbus communication.

Cutting Wiring Costs

In 2003, WIB/EXERA (International

Instrument Users Associations) Report
T 2732 X 03 was published, and it provided an average survey of prices quoted
in projects at that time for the provision
of power supplies for four-wire instruments. The price ranged from 1,200
to 1,800 per instrument, depending
upon design and plant characteristics,
for an average cost of 1,500 (about
$2,000). It would be reasonable to
assume an inflationary factor of 2 percent per annum, giving an approximate
current-day figure of $2,500.
From another source within the
chemical industry, an estimation of
$40/foot to $50/foot was given for installation of four-wire cabling. For a
linear 50-foot cable run, with, for example, a 10-foot vertical at each end,
this equates to $3,150. Actual costs
and budget estimates have been given
as high as $10,000.

The Extent of the Opportunity

The modern post-war flow measurement technologies have different power

requirements, and consequently, they
are not all available for the
same size range in two-wire,
Payback for
marloop-power form. For example,
Technology Upgrade
two-wire Coriolis flowmeters
Consider a 1 process line
ketplace, return on investment
limited to 2 diameter;
containing a liquid process
calculations for plant upgrade or are
electromagnetic and inline
ingredient costing $1/lb at a
mass flowrate of 150 lb/minnew plant construction projects low-pressure gas ultrasonics
are limited to 8; and vortex
ute. We have $150/minute
may go through several iteraand inline liquid ultrasonic are
flowing in the line, translating
to $9,000/hour, and $72,000
tions before the trigger is finally limited to 12.
per eight-hour shift. That calNevertheless, for the
pulled, or indeed not pulled.
culates further to $360,000
chemical industry in particuper five-day working week, and
lar, perhaps two-thirds of the
for a working year of 40 weeks, for using Coriolis technology for final density process pipes in a plant will be no larger
example, that is $14.4 million. Assume as the control point. It is possible to have than 2, and even when the host process
the existing device is a turbine flowmeter. dual 4-20 mA outputs from two-wire pipe is larger, a correctly sized flowmeter
Now, imagine a two-wire, loop- loop-powered meters, but as the main can still be less than 2. There is considpowered Coriolis mass flowmeter is 4-20 mA output representing the prima- erable scope for two-wire loop-power to
installed in place of the existing meter. ry variable is also HART, then an external deliver value for flow measurement apThe line would need to be drained, and HART Loop Converter or HART I/O card in plications with total safety.
The virtues of Coriolis technology
probably one process flange replaced the control system can provide secondallowing the Coriolis to fit mechanically ary, tertiary and quaternary variables as have been covered, but what about
in place of the turbine. However, the 4-20 mA signals. A Coriolis meter is truly other two-wire technologies? An electwo-wire loop already used for carrying a multi-variable device. Certain two-wire tromagnetic flowmeter in two-wire form

18 | January 2015

Flow Control Magazine


Figure 3. A modern instruments display module can provide continuous plaintext self-diagnostic and process-related information.

can be used on water, wastewater, or

a light water-based slurry provided the
fluid has around a 20 Seimens/centimetre (S/cm) electrical conductivity.
A magnetic flowmeter is full bore, unless flowrates dictate a reduced meter
size in the interests of performance, and
so there are no intrusions into the flow
stream and no pressure loss. An accuracy of 0.5 percent of reading is normal
from a two-wire magnetic meter, and a
modest five diameters (5D) of straight inlet run is needed to avoid error from upstream flow disturbances. When the fluid
exhibits insufficient conductivity, then
the same performance and installation
requirements can be met by an inline ultrasonic flowmeter provided the liquid is
essentially clean and bubble-free.
For gas or steam applications, a vortex meter is the normal choice. Using a
built-in temperature sensor, a two-wire,
loop-powered vortex meter can calculate
mass flow of saturated steam using internal steam tables. An external pressure
input allows mass flow of steam to be accurately calculated even when saturated
steam becomes superheated, as can occur downstream of a pressure regulating
valve. With mass flow known, the vortex
meter can calculate energy and heat flow.
A new and exciting development is
the ability of the vortex meter to indicate


wet steam and calculate dryness fraction or steam quality. For safety and efficiency, saturated steam should be dry
and free from condensate; that is to say,
it should possess a high steam quality
factor. However, the dry or wet state of
saturated steam can sit on a knife-edge
and shift to the opposing state due to
the slightest change in process conditions. Rapid and reliable indication of
this change of state is now available.
Perhaps the most astonishing
achievement in the power management
of two-wire, loop-power flowmeters is
that of the ultrasonic biogas meter. It is
now possible not only to measure the
flow of wet, dirty, variable composition
and low-pressure anaerobic digester
gas, landfill gas, and coal bed methane
gas with a two-wire, loop-powered ultrasonic flowmeter, but also the same device uses an inbuilt temperature sensor
in combination with measured sound
velocity to calculate methane content,
calorific value, and energy flow.

Technology to Take Us

Modern flow technologies provide instrument engineers with vital self-monitoring

information. The format of such information is easier to understand and act
upon when presented in accordance

with harmonized international guidelines

for online plant asset management; e.g.,
NAMUR Standard 107.
Continuous plain-text self-diagnostic
and process-related information, with
suggested remedies (Figure 3) make it
possible for instrument engineers and
operators to take action at the appropriate time immediately or during
the next scheduled shutdown saving
time and money by knowing the exact
health of their measuring point and the
probable actions required to rectify any
abnormal conditions. Device verification, offering third-party validated traceability, can be performed on demand either locally or remotely from the control
room without the expense of a man in
the field. Calibration is then avoided or
deferred without process interruption.
Where a process plant has a large
installed base of older mechanical technologies, the decision to embark upon a
program of replacement for plant modernization cannot, of course, be taken
easily. There are the stocks of spare
parts to consider along with the plant
instrument technicians who are trained
on, and at ease with, the old devices.
However, a process plant that retains
the older technology going forward will
be at risk and may find it increasingly
difficult or even impossible to maintain
a cost position that competes effectively in the global market. FC



is a Flow Product
Business Manager
for Endress+Hauser
Inc. in Greenwood,
Ind. He has been
involved in flow
measurement since
Steve Milford
1983 and has been
actively involved with standards development for flow technology within the
International Standards Organization
(ISO) and the British Standards
Institute. Mr. Milford can be reached

Find related content @ flowcontrolnetwork.comSearch on:

Coriolis Flowmeter | Magnetic Flowmeter | Two-Wire | Ultrasonic Flowmeter | Vortex Flowmeter

January 2015 | 19

application notes | Flow Measurement

Compensating for
Compressibility in
Measuring Gas Flow
Why K-factor adjustment is essential for
accurate inline turbine flow measurement

nlike crude oil and other liquid fossil

fuels, natural gas poses a challenge
in monitoring the quantity of gas flowing
through pipelines. While liquids do not compress, gases do, and the mass flowrate of
gas being transmitted through gathering
lines depends on both the pressure and

The bottom line is the volume of gas under one set of

pressure and temperature conditions is not the same as it
would be for the gas under different conditions. Why is this
important? Without compensation for compressibility, readings taken by gas flowmeters can result in measurements
and costs to the buyersignificantly lower or higher than they
should be.
The flow of gas in a system can be accounted for and
reported in a number of ways, such as by volume, by mass
flowrate, and by energy. Inline turbine meters can offer both
reliability and accuracy in measuring gas flow when matched
with a monitor capable of calculating and displaying results
that have been adjusted for the nature of the gas, and importantly, the pressure and temperature.

By Kevin Clark

incorporates magnets (or magnetic blades, depending on the

design), while the housing is non-magnetic.
A proximity sensor (also known as a pickup coil) is located
in line with the rotor and detects the electrical pulses generated by the ferrous rotor spinning through the magnetic field.
Each pulse represents a discrete volume of gas. The output frequency provides the indication of the gas flow rate, and
the accumulated pulses over a specified time represent the
total volume of fluid for that measurement period.

Need for Calibration

The flowrate of the gas through the meter cannot be determined accurately unless the meter is calibrated. The factory calibration determines the meters constant, known
as a K-factor, which is then inputted into the gas monitor.

With an inline turbine meter, gas flows into the meter through
a length of piping that helps to pre-condition the flow by
reducing undesirable swirls and asymmetry. Where considered necessary, a flow straightener may even be installed in
line, to create a uniform flow profile to the extent possible.
As can be seen in Figure 1, a rotor support within the turbine housing further conditions the flow and directs it through
the blades of the rotor. High-precision ball bearings allow the
rotor to freely rotate on the shaft.
The rotors rotational speed is directly proportional to the
velocity of the fluid passing through the meter. The rotor itself
20 | January 2015


Measuring Flow with an Inline Turbine


Figure 1. Internal components of a liquid turbine flowmeter.

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application notes | Flow Measurement

Gas flowmeters measure the actual volume of gas passing

through the meter per minute irrespective of pressure and
The volumetric flowrate of a gas is often corrected to
standardized conditions of pressure and temperature. While
standard conditions can vary, depending on the definition,
in the U.S. this typically means a pressure of 14.73 PSIA
(pounds per square inch absolute) and a temperature of 60 F.
The flowrate measurement is reported in standard cubic feet
per minute (SCFM).
Compensating for changes in pressure and temperature is
critical. Consider a meter system setup for flowing conditions
of 60 PSIG (pounds per square inch gauge) and 60 F, and the
line pressure decreases to 50 PSIG, while the temperature
remains constant. The difference in SCFM between the two
is more than 15 percent, which would cost the buyer more
for the gas than it should. As Table 1 demonstrates, even a
small variation in pressure will result in a surprisingly high error percentage.
Constant Temperature with Varying Pressure



% Error





















































































Table 1. Error induced by line pressure changes

22 | January 2015

Automation of the K-Factor

The K-factor is established by an initial factory calibration. In

the case of a non-compensated flow monitor, any variations
in pressure and temperature will result in manual adjustments needed to the K-factor. In order to maintain accurate
flow measurement, users must monitor pressure and temperature and make corresponding adjustments to the K-factor.
To eliminate these manual adjustments, some suppliers offer
a flow monitor that automatically adjusts for any changes in
pressure and temperature.
These monitors provide accurate flow measurement regardless of changing environmental conditions, in some cases supporting applications with pressures as high as 15,000 PSIG and
temperatures between -350 F to 350 F with a standard accuracy of +/-1 percent over a flow range of 0.5 ACFM to 650 ACFM.

Final Notes

During the operation of a flowmeter system, the ability to obtain

a readout and to adjust for line pressure and temperature
changes is sometimes compromised by a lack of electric
power. This issue is especially true along gas pipelines in remote
areas. To overcome this limitation, some manufacturers have
designed low-powered flow monitors, which can operate for up
to on year on a single lithium D-cell battery.
It is important for users to recognize the effects of the
compressibility of gas. As such, the quantity of a gas flowing through a gas flowmeter depends on the pressure and
temperature. In order to ensure accuracy, any flowmetering
system must employ a means to correct for these effects.
Otherwise, the readout is certain to be in error and could be
unnecessarily costing money. This is particularly crucial on
wellhead production and in billing scenarios. FC

Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark is senior development engineer for Turbines Research

& Development LLC. Turbine R&D is a
subsidiary and the research and technical support arm of Turbines Inc., which
serves a range of industries and applications, from oil & gas, to cryogenic liquids,
to custody transfer.

1. The measurement factor in the U.S. is known as the

ACFM, actual cubic feet per minute. (Metric units are typically
ACM/H, actual cubic meters per hour).

Find related content @
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Accuracy | Turbine Flowmeter
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January 2015 | 23

Considering key system design requirements

to ensure operational efficiency

ome compressors in certain applications

have one or more incoming side-streams
(or side-loads) that introduce side-stream
flow to mix with the core flow. In other words,
a radial side-stream inlet is utilized in multiimpeller centrifugal compressors to introduce
additional gas into the mid-stage of a compressor. This design enables optimization in
some process plants. However, the flow distribution after the junction of the side-stream
and the main return channel of the upstream
section can significantly affect the performance of the next section of compressor.
In most cases, the pressure levels at these
side-streams should be accurately predicted
to meet the theoretical performance.

The design and operation of compressors with sidestreams has always been difficult because flow entering the
compressor needs to be mixed with the core flow already
in the compressor (compressed in section-1) in a manner
that does not degrade the aerodynamic performance of surrounding sections. Minimizing losses and ensuring proper
mixing of the side-stream flow and core-flow are required to
ensure effective performance of a compressor of this sort.
Key considerations for an application involving compressors with side-stream flow include:
The plant process typically dictates the side-stream
flange pressure.
The impellers upstream of the side-stream should
achieve the necessary pressure for the core-flow.
The side-stream flow is typically at a temperature dif-


By Amin Almasi

January 2015



The Complicated Case of

Compressors with Side-Streams

Compressor station at a natural gas processing plant.

ferent from compressor core-flow temperature.

Process plants need some degree of operational flexibility, i.e., the ability to support variations in core-flow conditions and side-stream conditions.
Modern process plants are usually specifying more than
one operating conditions (sometimes two or more mandatory conditions), which can present challenges to compressors with side-streams. Adding to these issues, modern
compressors should operate with much higher impeller tip

Flow Control Magazine

speeds and inlet Mach numbers compared to previous

fect the compressor rotor dynamgenerations of compressor technology.
ics, the rotor length, and overLikewise, side-streams are now comall compressor performance
monly used with medium-sized and
(design, cost, operation and
large-sized compressors (e.g., 160
MW). The costs associated with corThe side-stream exit pressure
rections on side-stream compres(side-stream pressure at inlet
sor applicationsany repair,
of the mixing section) is mainly
inefficient operation, and power
a function of the side-stream
losseswould be very high. Furflow velocity and the presther, compressors with side-streams
sure in the previous section of
are usually sensitive and difficult
the compressor. Conversely, the sidemachines to operate. In particular,
stream flange pressure can depend on
performance curves (performance,
side-stream flow velocity and section-1
pressures, efficiency, etc.) are senexit conditions. Therefore, the side-stream
sitive to suction inlet conditions,
inlet flange volume flow is a function of the
Figure 1. An example of a centrifugal
side-stream inlet conditions, volflange pressure, compressibility (at that
compressor with side-stream.
ume flow ratio (side-stream volpressure and temperature), and mass flow.
ume to core-flow volume), and side-stream losses.
Some engineers assume that the side-stream flange presCompressors with side-stream often perform far below sure is equal to the inlet pressure of the first impeller of the
expectations. The main reason is that side-stream compres- section-2. This is not true. The mixed total pressure can be
sors are different than conventional compressors (without estimated on a mass-averaged basis using side-stream total
a side-stream) in design and operation. For a compressor pressure and return channel exit (section-1) total pressure.
with side-streams, tighter tolerances in operating conditions
In some designs, because of the lower static pressure at
must be identified and applied. Uncontrolled variations of the side-stream exit, the total pressure at the return channel
suction pressure or side-stream pressure are major prob- exit is lower even though the velocity upstream is roughly
lems. Another major issue is the variations of the flow ratio matched for both streams. The pressure usually increased
(side-stream flow to core-flow).
at the returned channel, but it can be reduced again at the
side-stream exit. While simple in nature, this can have an
Compressor Side-Stream & Mixing Section impact on the prediction of pressure at the side-stream exit
In many centrifugal compressors, the portion of the side- and overall mixing section performance. Based on basic flow
stream system from the flange connection to the mixing principles, it was usually assumed that the static pressure
section is similar to a compressor inlet. A great challenge was equal between both flow streams at the mixing location.
is ensuring the mixing section provides circumferentially While this assumption might be used in rough calculations,
uniform merged-flow with minimum losses. This can be the accurate simulations have shown this assumption is not
achieved via effective design of the inlet configuration and true. In fact, there are some points (for instance, the shroud
mixing section of the side-stream compressor, such that wall at the exit of the return channel and the hub wall at
the impeller can be maintained over the whole operating the exit of the side-stream) where this assumption is true.
range of the compressor. In many cases, while there are However, this is not valid for all locations. There are pressure
mixing sections provided for the machine, the flows do not changes that occur from a side-stream flange to the inlet
completely mix before entering the impeller of the section-2 of the next section (section-2), which depend on different
(the impeller after the mixing section). Non-uniformity at factors. The first factor is the frictional losses due to sideinlet flow to the impeller is a key concern for compressor stream geometry, from side-stream flange, to plenum, mixperformance.
ing section, etc. The other factors are pressure changes due
Another consideration is a compact design of the side- to local curvature and geometry details of mixing section.
stream mixing section. Specifically, a mixing section with
Another consideration is the operation of a compressor
less axial length is always preferred. This axial length can af- with side-stream at part-load. The performance of the side-

January 2015




stream path, the mixing section, and

the downstream impellers when machine is operated at part-load or even
off-design operating flows will result
in additional compressor performance
problems. In such a case, both velocity profiles and pressure variations in
various parts (side-stream path, mixing
section, etc.) will be different, resulting
in complicated flow patterns and complex aerodynamics behaviors.

Side-Stream Compressor
Sectional Performance
Typically, vendor-supplied compressor
performance curves reflect flange-toflange performance because that is
what the plant engineers need to
evaluate the proper operation of their
system (for example, from suction to
side-stream and from side-stream to
discharge). In many cases, compressor vendors also provide the overall compressor performance curves
and performance curves for section-1
(from suction to side-stream) and section-2 (from side-stream to discharge).
Flange-to-flange data, if not interpreted properly, can lead to false conclusions about the relative performance
of individual sections of a compression
system. For example, if side-stream
losses from the flange to mixing section are attributed to the downstream
section (section-2), it will cause the
downstream section (section-2) to
appear low in performance, while the
upstream section (section-1) will show
high performance levels.
An important behavior to consider is when the actual side-stream
pressure is different than the rated
side-stream pressure. When the sidestream pressure is slightly higher than
the outlet pressure of the section-1,
it (section-1) shows a relatively higher
performance compared to the real sec-

January 2015

tion-1 performance. In some cases,

the performance of section-1 could be
considerably higher than section-2. In
other words, when performance is determined flange to flange, the higher
flange pressure is seen as extra pseudo work done by the section (since this
is an inconsistent thermodynamic volume), resulting in a relatively high sectional efficiency (section-1 shows a relatively high efficiency). This is the case
for many compressors with side-stream
because the whole system is designed
(or specifically the side-stream location
is selected) in a way aimed at maintaining the real side-stream pressure
(side-stream inlet) above the section-1
outlet pressure because if the real sidestream pressure becomes lower than
the section-1 outlet pressure, the flow
may (theoretically) reverse.
This is particularly important when
the side-stream mass flow is much
lower than the mass flow of core-flow.
The above-mentioned reasons explain
why in many simulations, calculations, and performance reports related
to compressors with side-stream, the
section-1 shows a relatively good efficiency and section-2 appears low in
When the side-stream pressure is
slightly lower than the outlet pressure
of the section-1, the section-1 might
show a relatively lower performance
compared to section-2. This could occur in some recycle services where the
side-stream is actually a recycle flow
with a mass flow around two to five
times the core-flow. The side-stream
(recycle) flow is returned from downstream of the compressor to be slightly
compressed and recycled to the downstream. Such a recycled side-stream
compressor can present unique challenges for design and operation. This
kind of machine usually needs very

special operating procedures and very

fine adjustments regarding operating
pressures and flows.

Side-Stream Compressor
Performance & Operation
An important consideration is the sensitivity of compressor overall performance curve and sectional performance curves to the flow ratio (ratio
of side-stream flow to core-flow) and
to the inlet conditions. Variations in
the flow and pressure of the main
suction and side-stream inlet should
be controlled within tight tolerances.
For compressors with side-stream, the
ASME PTC-10 code stipulates limits on
flow ratio (side-stream volume to coreflow volume). The acceptable variation
in volume flow ratio in a compressor
with a side-stream is +/-5 percent as
per ASME PTC code. The requested
side-stream pressure tolerance is not
usually specified in compressor codes,
but it should be around +/- 2 percent
(or sometimes +/- 2.5 percent).
Variance in flow ratio impacts the
velocity levels where the two streams
merge. Significant variation in the velocity profile upstream of the impeller
changes the incidence on the blade
leading edge of the following impeller. This change in incidence leads to a
change in sectional performance, overall compressor performance, and train
If the flow ratio is varied between 95
percent and 105 percent (tolerances
specified in the ASME PTC-10 code),
the flange pressure changes accordingly, resulting in a change in the sectional performance and overall performance. The sectional efficiency varies
sometimes more than +/- 4 percent.
This variance reduces as the flow is decreased toward surge. However, as the
flow is increased toward overload, the

Flow Control Magazine

variance increases up to higher values

(even in some cases three to five times
compared to variations near the surge
zone). For example, in a case study
for a compressor with side-streams, a
+/- 5 percent variation in flow ratio and
associated changes (pressures, losses,
etc.) the sectional efficiency reduced by
approximately 3.4 percent at the rated
flow; at allowable operating points at
the end of curve (near the overload,
i.e., choke) efficiency reduced by approximately 5.5 percent. These results
show that the variation in sectional
performance and overall performance
due to flow ratio is highest at operating points near the overload and lowest at operating points near the surge.
For compressors, which work most of
the time at high flow (flow higher than
rated flow and discharge pressure lower than rated pressure), the effects of
flow ratio deviations (and subsequently
efficiency reduction) would be higher
than compressors working on the lefthand side of curve (say with sufficient
margins near the surge).
In the compressor codes (such as
API 617), the compressor power variations should be maintained below 4
percent. However, in some applications, clients require tighter tolerances
on the consumed power, sometimes
below 2 percent (or even below 1.5
percent). Some studies suggest while
+/- 5 percent of volume flow ratio is
suitable for performance test as per
ASME PTC-10 code, some plants require tighter control on the consumed
power and compressor performance
(lower limits on the efficiency), the tolerances on the volume flow ratio could
be tighter than ASME PTC code. In this

regard, +/- 4 percent tolerance can be

suggested on the volume flow ratio (ratio of side-stream flow to core-flow) of
compressors with side-streams.
Based on operational experiences,
acceptable variations in volume flow
ratio and inlet pressures (suction inlet
and side-stream inlet) of a compressor
with side-streams are +/- 4 percent
and +/- 2 percent, respectively.
Another important consideration is
the required adjustments for the flow
ratio (side-stream flow to core-flow).
Compressors with side-stream usually
require fixed side-stream flange pressures. For a compressor with some
variations in operation conditions (even
small changes), it is not usually possible to achieve optimum operation by
keeping the flow ratio (side-stream to
core-flow) constant. The flow ratio has
to be adjusted according to the inlet
flow at which the machine is operating
in order to get the required corresponding side-stream flange pressure.
Thermal changes have also been
known to cause some instability in
centrifugal compressors. An example is
the thermal-induced change of residual unbalance. For compressors with
side-streams, which feature temperature differences between core-flow and
side-stream flow, the thermal behavior of the compressor is usually more
complex and requires more attention.

Heavy Gas Challenge

Heavy gases (such as heavy hydrocarbon gases, e.g., propane, propylene,
MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether))
have very low gas sonic velocities that
produce high Mach numbers in the
aerodynamic flow paths. For these

services, because of high Mach number, high flow coefficient stages have
very narrow flow maps characterized
by limited surge and choke margins.
Compressors with side-streams in
these services present great challenges. This is to say, the side-streams and
associated mixing further complicate
design, operation and performance
prediction because the pressure, temperature and flow conditions at each
one of these side-streams, as well
as at the exit of the machine, require
stringent tolerances to optimize the
overall efficiency and performance.
As such, it is important to accurately
model, design, operate, and monitor performance characteristics of any
impellers, diffusers, return channels,
and generally all flow-path components
in a compressor with side-stream. FC



is a senior rotating
machine consultant
in Australia. He is
a chartered professional engineer of
Engineers Australia
(MIEAust CPEng
Amin Almasi
Mechanical) and
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 can be reached

flowstream Find related content @ flowcontrolnetwork.comSearch on:

Compressor | Gas Flow | Performance Curve | Side-Stream Flow

January 2015



How Pumping Systems Design

Affects Sealing Performance
By Chris Boss

nderstanding how different types of pump designs impact is subject to frictional heat and to presealing is critical to optimizing efficiency, safety and lon- vent air from entering the pump, which
reduces flow and operating efficiency.
gevity of the sealing system. Used for a wide variety of media,
Centrifugal pumps utilize three
including clear fluids, solutions and slurries, single-stage types of impellersopen, semi-open
and closed (Figures 2, 3 & 4). Open
centrifugal pumps are one of the most common
designs prevent fluids with large solids
types (Figure 1). Fluid drawn into these pumps
from clogging the impellers, but at the
enters the eye of an impeller that spins it
expense of pump efficiency. Backing
to the outside of its container,
plates on semi-open designs serve to
or volute, building pressure as
trap the fluid for more efficient operation. Closed impellers are for use with
it moves toward discharge.
clean fluids, since solids could acSome of this fluid will work
cumulate in the eye, which would reits way behind the impeller,
quire tearing down the pump to remove
where it must be sealed with
compression packing or a
Figure 1.
Single-Stage Centrifugal
mechanical seal.

The pressure in the stuffing box

containing the packing can be estimated by the following equation:
SBP = [Discharge Suction] / 3 + Suction
Pressure at the bottom of the stuffing box will be higher than the suction
pressure, but considerably lower than
the discharge pressure. It should be
noted this calculation will yield a conservative estimate of stuffing box pressure that can be further reduced by
pump design.
A hole in the stuffing box serves as
a port for injecting clean fluid that circulates around a lantern ring aligned
under the flush port. The fluid flushes
solids back into the process to protect
the packing from abrasive wear. If the


January 2015

clean fluid is injected at a pressure exceeding that at the bottom of the stuffing box, some of it will leak back into
the process and some will leak out to
the atmosphere. Recommended flush
injection pressure is 1530 PSI (12
Bar) greater than the pressure at the
bottom of the stuffing box.
Fluid injection is also used to lubricate and cool dry-running packing that

Figure 2.

Figure 3.

Single-stage centrifugal pumps typically have good bearing support of the

shaft with few run-out or whip problems. However, in some cases they
are subject to cavitation. This occurs
in the eye of the impeller, where the
fluid is under vacuum. If the pressure
is low enough, it will cause the material
to vaporize, forming air or water vapor
bubbles. As the fluid passes through

Figure 4.

Flow Control Magazine

the pump under increasing pressure,

these bubbles implode, sending shock
and vibration through the impeller,
adversely affecting the seal. This phenomenon can be mitigated by running
the pump at slower speed and higher
pressure at the suction end to prevent
air from entering the fluid.

Double-Ended Split-Case
Operating on the same centrifugal principle, but slightly different geometry, are
double-ended split-case pumps (Figure
5). Fluid enters both ends of the pump
and is directed into the eye of an impeller, which spins it out of the volute to
discharge. Packing is installed on both
the shaft and bearing ends, so the stuffing box is exposed only to suction pressure, which is usually quite low.

to serve both as a bearing and a seal. To

withstand these conditions, the packing
should be resilient, elastic and resistant
to deformation. These properties rule
out packing such as graphite foil in favor
of fiber-based materials.

Multi-Stage Pumps
Figure 6.

Vertical Pumps
Vertical turbine pumps are typically
flange-mounted on a floor, extending
downward into a water-filled sump
hole (Figure 7). Available as single- or

Multi-stage pumps are used for highpressure applications such as feeding

the boilers in steam-powered generating
plants. Stuffing box pressure can vary
with pump design and number of stages. Designed for clean fluids and high
operating speeds, these pumps typically
have high- and low-pressure ends with a
hydraulic pressure equalization line running between the stuffing boxes.
Like vertical pumps, multi-stage
pumps feature a series of impellers to
build fluid discharge pressure. In the
case of the six-stage pump pictured in
Figure 8, fluid enters at the drive end,
where a stuffing box is exposed to suc-

Figure 8.

Figure 7.
Figure 5.

Axial Flow Pumps

Axial flow pumps operate like hydro
turbines in reverse, whereby a propeller
(or axial impeller) pushes the fluid to
discharge (Figure 6).
Since the stuffing box is located
downstream of the propeller at the discharge end of the pump, the packing is
exposed to the full discharge pressure.

multi-stage pumps, they feature an

impeller or series of impellers rotated
simultaneously by a single shaft. The
impellers increase the pressure of the
upward flow, subjecting the stuffing box
to full discharge pressure.
Vertical pumps can be quite long, so
inadequate bearing support can cause
the shaft to run out. This can induce
undesirable lateral motion on the packing. Worse, the packing may be forced

tion pressure. Channeled from one

impeller to the next through the pump
casting, the fluid can reach extremely
high pressures at discharge.
A second stuffing box located at the
bearing end is exposed to an intermediate pressure from the third impeller. This
pressure is greater than the suction pressure, but much less than the discharge
pressure, which can reach 2,000 PSI.
Fortunately, the stuffing boxes in
these pumps are not exposed to discharge pressures and typically see below 500 PSI, which is within the range
of some packing materials.

January 2015



Gear Pumps
Positive-displacement or gear pumps
operate on a different principle than
centrifugal pumps. In external gear
pumps the fluid flows around the outside of the gears, the intermeshing
of which forces it through the pump
to discharge (Figure 9). This design

Figure 9.

makes these pumps particularly suitable for use with highly viscous fluids
such as resins, emulsions, syrups and
adhesives. As such, they are used for
transfer or metering applications.
It should be noted gear pumps will
continue to displace fluid as long as
their shafts are turning, which can pose
a problem if a clog occurs at the discharge. The resulting buildup of pressure can blow out seals and damage
the pump. Therefore, most gear pumps
have pressure relief valves to divert

Figure 10.

fluid back to the suction side for recirculation through the pump. Internal
gear pumps operate slightly differently,
but also have pressure relief valves to
prevent damage from excessive pressure (Figure 10). In both external and
internal gear pumps, the maximum
stuffing box pressure is determined by
these valves.
Other rotating equipment includes
mixers/agitators, which are similar to
pumps in terms of the speeds to which

The packing in side-entry mixers may

be fully or intermittently exposed to fluid, as well as side loading and vibration.
Aside from media, temperature,
speed, and other application variables,
the configurations and operating principles of rotary-type pumps exert different forces on the seals used to keep
them from leaking. These forces can
spell the difference between acceptable seal performance and failure.
Understanding these differences has

Aside from media, temperature, speed, and

other application variables, the configurations
and operating principles of rotary-type
pumps exert different forces on the seals used
to keep them from leaking. These forces can
spell the difference between acceptable seal
performance and failure.

the packing is exposed. There are basically three types of mixers/agitators,

top-, bottom- and side-entry. Top-entry
models are subject to the same concerns about shaft run-out, whip and
lateral forces on the paddles that are
encountered in some vertical pumps.
Although some fluid may splash onto
the packing, these mixers basically run
dry, so the packing must have the ability to dissipate the resulting frictional
In bottom-entry mixers, the packing
is always exposed to fluid and may also
be exposed to solids, requiring abrasion-resistance. If the seal fails, the entire contents of the tank will eventually
drain out onto the bearings, the floor,
and other components under the stuffing box.

important implications that should be

taken into account to assure proper
sealing selection for long-term, trouble-free performance. FC

Chris Boss is
a senior applications engineer for
Palmyra, NY. He
has held various
positions in producChris Boss
tion engineering,
product development, and applications engineering for the companys
compression packing division. He
is a BSME graduate of the State
University of New York at Buffalo. Mr.
Boss can be reached at 800 4486688 or

flowstream Find related content @ flowcontrolnetwork.comSearch on:

Cavitation | Centrifugal Pump | Pump Packing | Sealing System


January 2015

Flow Control Magazine




on the

Subscribe now at
Published by Spitzer and Boyes, LLC
Write in 15 or Request Info Instantly at


Bearing & Coupling Manufacturers Focus

on Developing Economies
& Efficiency Innovation
By Amy W. Richardson

new study from Frost & Sullivan ( forecasts steady growth for the overall bearings and couplings
market based on rapid industrial development in high-growth
regions. Specifically, Frost predicts development in Mexico,
Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey, Brazil, Russia, India, and China
will help boost the bearings & couplings market from $22.06
billion in 2013 to an estimated $26.76 billion in 2018.
Frost says the push from developing
economies is important, as the market
is technologically mature and seeing
restricted growth in developed economies. This is particularly true in Europe
and North America where recent financial instability has


The development of maintenance-free

or predictive technologies will help
boost growth in the bearings market.
For example, SKF is developing
products that will automatically notify
users when a bearing or mechanical
rotating component is approaching
the end of its useful life. Pictured here
is an SKF Microlog analyzer, a portable condition monitoring tool.


January 2015

reduced capital expenditure across enduser industries.

Bill Moore, senior vice president of
sales development and channel management for global bearings manufacturer SKF, says smart products and
the expansion of robust reliability programs are helping to drive new investment, particularly in developed countries where the cost to compete is
high. Frost says the magnitude of
the existing global installed base will
strengthen the need for replacement
and upgrades, adding to market demand as well.
Frost says despite the potential
in developing economies, the focus
on price as a product differentiator
may lead to intense price pressures
among manufacturers and bring down
the value of the overall market in the
short term. The growing trend among
consumers to choose low-cost Chinese
imports will complicate this challenge.
As price and quality become standardized across the globe, customers
will base more of their purchasing decisions on value-added services, accord-

ing to Frost. This will push manufacturers to create more maintenance-free

solutions, such as lubrication-free
bearings, that offer end-users savings
on service and replacement costs and
reduce downtime.
Offering a complete line of products with comprehensive services will
be another feather in the cap of vendors looking to widen their consumer
base, notes Frost Industrial Automation and Process Control Research
Analyst, Guru Mahesh.
Moore says the trend of outsourcing
manufacturing to regions where labor
and production costs are favorable is
becoming less of a factor.
The days when cheap labor made
a significant difference in where a product is manufactured particularly high
value-added products or high weight
and bulk products are coming to
an end as the cost of transportation,
storage and inventory balance out the
benefits of production costs where labor is a smaller percentage of the cost
of manufacturing, Moore says. Local
manufacturing development will indeed
come to developing countries as their
ability to create markets that generate
economies of scale that support local
production is a clear trend and one that
all manufacturers will pay attention to.
Moore says that development of
maintenance-free or predictive technologies and products will be a significant advantage to everyone in the

Flow Control Magazine

production chain.
still space for technological
In a world where plant floor
In a world where plant floor
advances in the market to
and maintenance expertise will
and maintenance expertise will
help with the growth trend.
developbe challenged, we are developMoore says the combination
ing easy-to-install products that
of intelligent electronic teching easy-to-install products
will not only help developing
nology with traditional methat will not only help develcountries, but also help speed
chanical technology is one
replacement cycles in highly
of the areas that will develop
speed replacement cycles in
developed countries, with the
quickly over the next decade.
High investment and
result being improved produchighly developed countries....
operations cost sectors are
tivity and thus improved cusmuch more willing to look
be done in a way that will significantly
tomer profitability, Moore says.
At SKF we are developing prod- increase the life of the asset that the at new technological innovations both
ucts that will automatically notify users bearing, gear or seal is supporting.
in products and services that will imwhen a bearing or mechanical rotating
Mahesh notes that fluctuating prove productivity and reduce the cost
component is approaching the end of currency exchange rates will also en- of downtime, Moore says. FC
its useful life, Moore says. In addi- courage manufacturers to expand
tion, we are developing products and geographically, further extending their Amy W. Richardson is the managing editor of Flow Control magazine.
services that will help factory operators reach to high-growth regions.
While described as mature in terms She can be reached at ARichardson@
predict failure and then identify the root
LarryBachus-datescartoon:Layout 1 11/6/12 3:56 PM Page 1
cause of the failure so that repair can of technology, suppliers believe there is

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

Write in 16 or Request Info Instantly at

January 2015


up close | Flow Measurement


Next-Generation Coriolis Transmitter

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Micro Motion Model 5700 Coriolis transmitter delivers the best in measurement technology and offers

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Key System Features:

1. Total Measurement Confidence: The faster pro-

cessing speed provides unmatched sensitivity to dynamic

flow conditions, with better response and less noise. Plus,
the online diagnostics tool, Smart Meter Verification, provides a quick and reliable indication of the meter health
from tube structure to electronics.

3. Unmatched System Connectivity: Availability of

up to five fully configurable I/O channels allows you to monitor more process measurements from a single device. Also,
you can purchase the transmitter integrally mounted to your
sensor or as a remote-mount transmitter, which offers both
4-wire and 9-wire connectivity.

2. Simplified Work Practices: The intuitive transmitter 4. Powerful Tools For Greater Process Insight:
interface allows for easier navigation, greater control and
the ability to configure the meter directly from the display.
And, the new file shuttling capability allows you to configure
and audit the meter from the safety and comfort of your
office reducing your time spent in the field.

Actionable alerts provide guidance on operational issues with

descriptive details about the alert and recommended actions.
Detailed history files deliver key time-stamped information, from
configuration changes and alerts to process events and statistics, for easier troubleshooting and process optimization.

On the Web: For daily product notes, visit the Featured Products section
34 | January 2015

Flow Control Magazine

new products
FREE PRODUCT INFO: For FREE PRODUCT INFO, write in the numbers listed with each product in the FREE INFORMATION
section on the reader service card bound in this issue of the magazine, or visit
Liquid Level Detector

Peristaltic Pump Tube Assembly

Automation Products Inc.s Dynatrol CL-10GH Liquid Level Detector has no floats, diaphragms, packing
glands, or moving parts. The CL-10GH is designed for
more stability by utilizing the Dynatrol
EC-501A(G) control unit to eliminate
the variances of direct input power. The
detector requires no field adjustments
and can be installed in almost any
position in a vessel
or pipe. Specifications include
Explosion Proof: CSA
NRTL/C approved
for Class 1, Group D,
Division 1 Class 2, Groups E, F, and G; Pressure Rating: 3000 PSIG at 100 F; Temperature Rating: 300
F (high temperature construction available); Pressure
Connection: 3/4 NPT; Conduit Connection: 1/2 NPT;
Process Contact Surfaces: 316 S.S. (standard).

Blue-Whites Flex-A-Prene heavy-duty, multi-channel pump tube assembly is designed exclusively for
Blue-Whites Flex-Pro and Proseries-M Peristaltic
Metering Pumps. Flex-A-Prene is engineered and
designed for
optimum performance and pressure capability
up to 110 PSI.
With tube life of
up to four times
longer than conventional tube
designs, precise flow rate, and excellent chemical
resistance, this pump tube is designed to cut down
on pump maintenance and cost. The clamp-less
tube fitting is available with multiple connection fitting types, including M/NPT, barb fitting and 3/8
tube compression, tri-clamp and quick disconnect.



Pneumatic Needle Valves

3 Coriolis Flowmeter

Clippards new GNV Series of miniature pneumatic

needle valves is available with 1/8, 1/4 and 3/8
port sizes with flow rates up to 60 scfm at 100 PSIG.
Mounting options
include direct and
in-line, as well as
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by either a recessed
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knob. Needle valves
are used to control the rate of flow in a pneumatic
system by controlling flow in both directions. Material
enters the input port, travels through an adjustable
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needle valves offer a rugged and compact design,
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TRICOR Coriolis Technologys 3 Coriolis flowmeter in the TCM series is particularly suited to the
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degree of accuracy (0.1 percent
of reading). Hazardous-area certifications include
ATEX Ex IIC T4, IECEx, Zone 1, Group IIB, T4, and
CSA/cUS Class 1 Div 1.



January 2015 | 35

web resource file
Process & Control Instruments Brochure

ABB Measurement Products

has a new 24-page brochure
that details the companys
recording and controlling instrumentation. Available as a PDF
download, the brochure includes
photos of all devices along with
detailed descriptions of features
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instrument models versus general capabilities, inputs/outputs,
advanced features, communications, and physical attributes. FREE INFO: write in 200
CMEs Smart Digital Flowmeters Equipped
with Easy-to-Read Digital Display

CMEs Smart Digital

Flowmeters are a
combination of the
companys Laminar
Flow Elements and
its Flow Computers.
Temperature, absolute pressure, and
differential-pressure transducers housed within the Flow
Computer monitor the conditions of the gas in the flow
stream as it flows through the Laminar Flow Element.
CMEs digital flowmeters are also equipped with a large,
easy-to-read digital display. FREE INFO: write in 202
Instrumentation & Control Catalog/App

Dwyer Instruments Inc.s

free 2015 instrumentation
and controls catalog is now
available in print or digital
CD. The CD offers interactive
features, including keyword
search, notes addition, page
print, and page save in PDF.
Also available for download is
the 2015 Dwyer Catalog App
on the iOS and Google Play
markets for the iPad, iPhone,
or any Android mobile device. You may now download the
entire catalog to view offline. FREE INFO: write in 204
36 | January 2015
Pressure & Temperature Website

Ashcrofts newly enhanced website reflects the

instrument manufacturers
refreshed brand and image
and provides tools that
include a product selector,
product part number configurator, material selector,
and a wake frequency calculator. Also new are industryspecific guides to assist in
locating the most appropriate instrument for customer
requirements. FREE INFO:
write in 201
Mining & Mineral Processing Brochure
Chemineers new brochure describes the customer benefits associated
with its heavy-duty mixing
products and its customer
services provided for the
mining industry. The brochure details manufacturing
capabilities, available products for minerals processing, and information about
Chemineer Express (aftermarket sales and service)
facilities and services. FREE INFO: write in 203
Environmental Monitoring Catalog

New Horizons in Environmental Monitoring is comprised of more than 150 full-color

pages that feature the latest
environmental-related products
from Omega Engineering. The
book is divided into the following
sections: Temperature, Heaters,
Flow, Level, pH, Conductivity &
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Acquisition. A user-friendly index is
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economical choices, popular models, and accessories. FREE INFO: write in 205
Flow Control Magazine

A New Series of Six Studies from Flow Research - NOW AVAILABLE!

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advertiser/product index
Find company websites and get free product information online at
BC = Back Cover - IBC = Inside Back Cover - IFC = Inside Front Cover







Flexim Americas Corp



The Pump Guy




Flow Research Inc



Rosedale Products Inc





FMC Technologies

Sage Metering

Hoffer Flow Control



Spitzer & Boyes LLC




Viega LLC


John C Ernst Company




Magnetrol International

Automation Products Inc






Blue-White Industries



Omega Engineering Inc






Plast-o-Matic Inc



TRICOR Coriolis Technology








Bachus Inc


Badger Meter
CheckAll Valve
CME Aerospace Control

40, 36 18, 202

Collins Instrument Co


Eldridge Products



Emerson Process
Management Micro



Endress + Hauser


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Flow Control Magazine

think tank | Temperature Measurement
















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Temperature Measurement
ABSOLUTE ZERO: Temperature at which thermal energy
is equal to zero. Defined as zero Kelvin, calculated to be
-273.15 C or -459.67 F.
AMBIENT TEMPERATURE: The temperature of the environment surrounding a particular location.
CHARACTERIZATION: The ability of a smart transmitter
to compensate for ambient temperature changes, non-linearities, and other outside influences.
COMPRESSIBILITY: The ability of a substance to expand
or contract in volume when acted upon by either temperature or pressure. Liquids are normally considered non-compressible by pressure. They expand and contract to a limited
degree in volume depending on their temperature. Gases are
compressible and their volume is greatly affected by changes
in pressure and temperature.
CONDENSATE: Distillate just after it has been cooled
from steam into the liquid state.
DROOP: A common occurrence in time-proportional controllers. It refers to the difference in temperature between the set
point and where the system temperature actually stabilizes
due to the time-proportioning action of the controller.
DRT: Digital Reference Thermometer (pronounced as DART)
used to monitor temperature of media after holding tube in
aseptic or HTST pasteurizer system.
MELTING POINT: The temperature at which a substance
transforms from a solid phase to a liquid phase.
OVERSHOOT: The number of degrees by which a process
exceeds the set-point temperature when rising up to the setpoint temperature.
RTD: Abbreviation for resistance temperature device. A
temperature-sensing device that provides temperature information as the change in resistance of a metal wire element,
often platinum, as a function of temperature.
RTD TRANSMITTER: A device that converts resistance value
from an RTD to a standard instrument signal (such as 4-20 mA)
that can be communicated within a measurement control loop.

THERMAL GRADIENT: The distribution of a differential

temperature through a body or across a surface.

THERMISTOR: A temperature-measuring device, similar

to a resistance temperature detector, made of heat-treated

metallic oxide.

THERMOCOUPLE: A temperature-sensing device composed of dissimilar thermoelectrically homogeneous wires,

joined at one end to form a measuring junction. From a
thermocouple, a voltage, or EMF (electromotive force) is produced if a temperature gradient exists between the measuring junction and the reference junction.
UNDERSHOOT: The difference in temperature between the
set-point temperature and the temperature a process goes to
below the set point after the cooling cycle is turned off.
Source: Endress+Hauser, industrial measurement instrumentation, services and solutions provider (
January 2015 | 39

think tank | Flow Measurement

By David W. Spitzer

quiz corner:
How to Calculate Orifice Plate Flow Rate

A. 10 percent of full scale flow

B. 25 percent of full scale flow
C. 33 percent of full scale flow
D. 50 percent of full scale flow
E. None of the above

n orifice plate is designed to generate a differential pressure of 1,000 mm of water column at a full scale flow rate
of 100 liters per minute. What is the approximate flow rate
when the orifice plate generates 100 mm of water column?


The differential pressure developed across an orifice plate is

proportional to the square of the flow. Therefore, one-third
flow will generate one-ninth of the differential.
Conversely, the flow through an orifice plate is proportional to the square root of the differential pressure developed. In this case, 10 percent of the differential pressure is
developed (100/1000), so the flow rate can be calculated
as the square root of 0.10, or approximately 31.6 percent
of full scale flow.
Answer C is closest to the calculated flow rate.

Additional Complicating Factors

This calculation assumes that the orifice flowmeter is



designed, installed, calibrated and operated correctly. This

is not necessarily the case, especially in gas applications
where the gas density is affected by varying operating conditions such as pressure, temperature and composition. 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. Spitzer has more than 35 years of
experience and has written over 10 books and 300 articles
about flow measurement, instrumentation and process
control. He can be reached at 845 623-1830 or www. Click on the Products tab to find
his Consumer Guides to various flow and level measurement technologies.

with Model 60B Flow Computer
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40 | January 2015

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
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Write in 19 or Request Info Instantly at

Write in 20 or Request Info Instantly at