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A REVIEW OF BALANCE UNCERTAINTIES AND DATA

RECONCILIATION WITHIN FLOW MEASUREMENT


SYSTEMS
A Report for

National Measurement System Directorate


Department of Trade & Industry
151 Buckingham Palace Road
London, SW1W 9SS

Project No: FEOT10

Report No: 2005/203

Date: September 2005

The work described in this report was carried out under contract to the Department of Trade & Industry
(the Department) as part of the National Measurement Systems 2002-2005 Flow Programme. The
Department has a free licence to copy, circulate and use the contents of this report within any United
Kingdom Government Department, and to issue or copy the contents of the report to a supplier or
potential supplier to the United Kingdom Government for a contract for the services of the Crown.
For all other use, the prior written consent of TUV NEL Ltd shall be obtained before reproducing all or
any part of this report. Applications for permission to publish should be made to:
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TUV NEL Ltd
Scottish Enterprise Technology Park
East Kilbride G75 0QU
E-mail: jduff@nel.uk
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TUV NEL Ltd 2005

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A REVIEW OF BALANCE UNCERTAINTIES AND DATA


RECONCILIATION WITHIN FLOW MEASUREMENT
SYSTEMS
A Report for

National Measurement System Directorate


Department of Trade & Industry
151 Buckingham Palace Road
London, SW1W 9SS

Prepared by: Mr A MacGillivray

Approved by: Mrs J A Sattary


Date: September 2005
For Mr M Valente
Managing Director

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In many situations the acquisition of accurate flow data is important for a range of financial
and operational reasons. However, the value of this data to operators may be reduced by the
uncertainty in the measurements. The most obvious way of minimizing this is to invest in
more accurate meters. Very often this is expensive and a more cost-effective method of
handling uncertainties is sought. Two such methods involve the calculation of balance
uncertainties and data reconciliation.
Flow measurement systems, such as water trunk mains, are normally made up of networks
of pipes and channels that intersect at various points. To evaluate instrument performance
and system integrity, operators often look at the imbalance between the sums of in-flows and
out-flows at these points. This can assist in the identification of instrumentation that may
require calibration and of leaks. The imbalances have an associated uncertainty, which is
calculated by combining the uncertainties of the constituent flows. Data reconciliation takes
this process further by looking at the system as a whole, made up of the individual nodes. It
calculates adjustments to each of the flows to remove the imbalance at every system node.
The accuracy of each measurement is evaluated by comparing the size of the adjustment
with its uncertainty. This report describes the application of methods to calculate balance
uncertainties and data reconciliation to flow measurement systems in different sectors of
industry.
Current practice in the application of both techniques in each industrial sector is described.
The calculation of balance uncertainties is commonly used in flow measurement systems in
many industrial sectors. However, the degree of rigour with which it is applied varies widely
depending on a number of factors, such as the value of the fluid and the level of regulation.
Data reconciliation is much less commonly used, and where it is applied, the types of
calculation involved can vary widely, making comparison of results difficult.
Four case studies describing the application of these techniques are presented two on the
calculation of balance uncertainties and two on data reconciliation. The first study examined
the calculation of uncertainties in Anglian Waters annual water balance. The analysis
enabled the company to identify and minimize the components of the balance that
contributed most to the overall uncertainty. The second study looked at the calculation of
uncertainty in an off-shore gas pipeline where the flow was estimated by a technique called
metering by difference, using projected production profiles supplied by BP. The financial
exposure from using this technique was compared to that from direct metering. This allowed
BP to plan future investment in new metering. The third case study described the application
of data reconciliation to flows from Anglian Waters highest capacity trunk main. The
calculation enabled the identification of the least accurate meters in the system, allowing the
company to target maintenance budgets to the appropriate equipment. The final study
concerned the reconciliation of data from a steam-turbine power plant. This involved
reconciliation of several types of measurements, not just flow. Scarcity of measurements
made this difficult, with reconciliation of 50% of the data only possible for three of the four
weeks over which data was available. However, this was enough to identify several
flowmeters that were reading outside their uncertainty bands. Full accounts of the case
studies are presented in Appendix 3.
The final part of the report describes the formulation of generic methods for the calculation of
balance uncertainties and data reconciliation that may be applied across industry. This was
done by identifying features common to each, both from accounts of current practice and
from the case studies and incorporating them in concise procedures. These methods are
presented in full in Appendices 1 and 2.

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CONTENTS
Page
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..................................................................................

INTRODUCTION ..............................................................................................

OBJECTIVES ...................................................................................................

THE TECHNIQUES

3.1
3.2

Uncertainty Balancing.......................................................................................
Data Reconciliation...........................................................................................

CURRENT PRACTICE

4.1
4.2

Uncertainty Analysis .........................................................................................


Data Reconciliation...........................................................................................

CASE STUDIES

.....................................................................................

11

5.1
5.2

Uncertainty Balancing.......................................................................................
Data Reconciliation...........................................................................................

11
12

DEVELOPMENT OF GENERIC METHODS

6.1
6.2
6.3

Introduction .......................................................................................................
Uncertainty Balancing.......................................................................................
Data Reconciliation...........................................................................................

12
12
13

CONCLUSIONS ...............................................................................................

15

7.1
7.2
7.3

Balance uncertainties .......................................................................................


Data reconciliation ............................................................................................
General .............................................................................................................

15
15
16

REFERENCES.............................................................................................................

16

FURTHER READING...................................................................................................

16

4
5

6
9

APPENDICES
1.

GENERIC METHOD FOR CALCULATING BALANCE UNCERTAINTIES ......

18

2.

GENERIC METHOD FOR DATA RECONCILIATION ......................................

21

3.

CASE STUDY REVIEWS .................................................................................

29

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INTRODUCTION

In many sectors of UK industry, the acquisition of flow data is important for a range of
financial, operational and regulatory reasons. For example, flow data may be used for
demand forecasting in the water supply sector or planning investment in metering
infrastructure off-shore. However, the value of this data to the operator may be undermined
by meter uncertainty. This problem can be reduced by investment in more accurate, but
expensive, meters. Alternatively, statistical methods, such as uncertainty analysis and data
reconciliation, can be used to learn more about the behaviour of the flowmeters in the
system.
The use of uncertainty analysis in system mass and energy balances is widespread across
UK industry. However, due to differing operational and economic drivers, the degree of rigour
to which it is applied varies widely, resulting in variable quality. Data reconciliation (DR) is a
statistical technique that can be used to improve data quality and reliability. It works by
calculating adjustments to measurements in such a way that the modified values obey the
mass conservation equations that describe the flow in the system. However it is not yet
commonly used in UK industry. A comprehensive assessment of the measurement
uncertainties is a prerequisite to the effective application of DR.
This project highlights examples of the use of both methods in different sectors of UK
industry and attempts to identify common features that can be used to develop standard
methods for universal application.

OBJECTIVES

This project had four principal objectives. The first was to establish current practice in the use
of both uncertainty analysis and data reconciliation across different sectors of UK industry.
The main sectors examined were water supply, oil and gas production and power generation.
The second objective was to develop a series of case studies, drawn from each of these
sectors, to illustrate the benefits that can accrue from the application of the techniques. To
achieve these aims a steering group, composed of representatives from each sector was
formed. The role of the group was to provide information about current practice and data for
the case studies. This was done either directly or by providing contact details of a suitable
person within the relevant industry. The third objective was, as far as possible, to develop
generic forms of both techniques that can be applied to all of the industries considered. This
was done by identifying common themes and methodologies in both current practice and the
case studies. The final aim was to disseminate the findings of the project in the form of a
report and a guidance note.

THE TECHNIQUES

3.1

Balance Uncertainties

3.1.1

Measurement Errors

It is a common misconception that measurement is an exact science. In fact all


measurements are merely estimates of the true value being measured and the true value
can never be known. All process measurements are inevitably corrupted by errors during the
measurement, processing and transmission of the measured signal. The total error in the
measurement is the difference between the measured value and its true value. Normally
this can be represented as the sum of contributions from two different types of error
random errors and systematic errors.
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Random errors are associated with inherent random fluctuations of any measurement
apparatus. For example if the mass flowrate of a fluid flowing through a pipeline is measured
many times, a range of values will be obtained fluctuating about a mean. The fluctuations
may come from many sources, such as changes in ambient conditions, signal conversion
noise and transmission effects. Since such random fluctuations are inherent and can arise
from different sources, they cannot be completely eliminated and are always present in every
measurement. Random errors may be controlled by increasing the number of
measurements. Unlike systematic errors, random errors have no definite algebraic sign and
denote their size using the notation.
In contrast, systematic errors are caused by non-random events such as instrument
malfunction, miscalibration and performance degradation through the wearing of sensors.
This type of error is inherent in the measuring apparatus and has a definite algebraic sign.
Systematic errors normally occur less frequently than random but their magnitudes are
typically larger.
Errors in measured data can lead to a significant reduction in system performance and, in
some cases, drive processes into an uneconomic or, more seriously, an unsafe operating
regime. It is therefore important to reduce, if not completely eliminate, the effect of both
random and systematic errors.
3.1.2

Uncertainty Analysis

Uncertainty of measurement gives an indication of the quality of a measurement or a result


that is derived from a number of measurements. No measurement is ever absolute: there is
always a margin of doubt even in the most accurate of circumstances. It is therefore
necessary to estimate the size of the margin and to quantify the level of confidence in that
estimate. Uncertainty calculation identifies the reliance that can be placed upon results that
are derived from either measurements or estimates. It can also be used, for example to
determine where effort needs to focused to improve the overall uncertainty of reported
results.
3.1.3

Balance Uncertainties

Flow measurement systems, such as water trunk mains, are often made up of networks of
pipes and channels that intersect at various points. To check system integrity and the
performance of instrumentation, many operators perform mass balances about these
intersections or nodes. This calculation consists of adding up all the in-flows and out-flows
and subtracting one from the other to get an imbalance at each node. Each imbalance has
an uncertainty associated with it. This is calculated by combining the uncertainties from each
of the constituent in-flows and out-flows. Since the imbalance is formed by subtracting the
total out-flow from the in-flow, the uncertainty in the imbalance often exceeds the absolute
value.
3.2

Data Reconciliation (DR)

3.2.1

Introduction

Over the last few years UK industry has come under pressure from regulatory bodies to
increase the accuracy and reliability of their metering. This has necessitated investment in
new plant, data control systems and general data acquisition infrastructure. A cost-effective
way of increasing confidence in data is to use a technique known as data reconciliation. This
uses matrix algebra and statistics to correct measured values in such a way that the full set
of measurements fulfils all of the conservation laws such as mass balances. Using this
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technique engineers quickly identify which meters are reading outside their uncertainty bands
and take remedial action. It is important to note at this point that the assignment and
calculation of uncertainties is an important point of the data reconciliation calculation. As
such it may be stated that accurate calculation of balance uncertainties is a pre-requisite to
the application of DR.
3.2.2

Implementation

Data reconciliation can be applied to different types of system from which numerical data is
acquired such as water mains, steam or gas turbines, and oil or gas pipelines. It may be
applied either to simple systems consisting of only a few measurements or to complicated
systems with several hundred meters. It is normally assumed that the systems to which data
reconciliation is applied are at steady state. Each of these systems can be described by
conservation equations applied to the measured quantity of interest. None of the equations is
strictly obeyed by the measurements: there is some degree of inconsistency inherent in the
systems. To make the measurements obey the equations exactly, data reconciliation uses a
minimization of error squares to apply a correction to each measured quantity. This is similar
to performing a least - squares fit of a line through data points on a graph. The size of the
correction can then be compared with the uncertainty through the calculation of a quality
index. These indices are compared with limits to determine if the device is operating
accurately. They can also be graphed against time to evaluate any fall-off in instrument
performance. The technique relies on data redundancy: that is the existence of more than
one way of evaluating a given quantity. Due to the large number of calculations involved,
data reconciliation is particularly suited to software application.
3.2.3

Gross Error Detection

For data reconciliation to be effective there should be


measurements or in the process model constraints. Gross
technique to data reconciliation that has been developed
errors. Data reconciliation and gross error detection can be
accuracy of measured data.

CURRENT PRACTICE

4.1

Uncertainty Analysis

4.1.1

Introduction

no gross errors either in the


error detection is a companion
to identify and eliminate gross
applied together to improve the

The concept of measurement uncertainty has been in existence for many years. As early as
the 1960s it was recognised that, to give a quantitative indication of the quality of a
measurement, it was necessary to report the uncertainty of that measurement. During the
1970s work was carried out to standardise on a single method for estimating uncertainty in
flowrate measurement and in 1978, the first International Standards Organisation (ISO)
document, specifically dealing with uncertainty [1] was published. Since then flow specialists
have gained a lot of practical experience of measurement uncertainty and a revised version
of ISO 5168 has been published recently [2]. In many industries uncertainty analysis is now a
well established method and short texts [3, 4 and 5] are available to interpret the definitive
ISO text [6].
Uncertainty analysis is now applied to flow measurement across many sectors of UK
industry. However, the rigour with which it is applied varies from one sector to another

Numbers in parentheses [ ] denote references at the end of this report.

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depending principally on the thermodynamic state and financial value of the fluid that is being
metered.
4.1.2

Water Supply

In the water supply sector, the Office of the Water Industry Regulator (OFWAT) requires
each company to present a balance sheet of water supplied by the company and water used
by its customers. It is used to compare the relative performance of UK water companies as
well as to provide a basis for demand forecasting and corroboration of reported leakage
figures. Each of the inputs is either measured or estimated and both techniques are subject
to uncertainties. These uncertainties propagate through to the imbalance and result in the
uncertainty in that figure. Figure 1 is a simplified schematic of the calculation showing the
balance of supply and demand.
Supply Sources

Demand Sources

Balance Point

Total
Supply

Total
Demand

Figure 1: The Annual Water Balance Calculation


OFWAT set confidence grades for each component in the balance. They have least
confidence in the largest components. The accuracy of the overall balance is the calculated
imbalance between water delivered and customer use. Achieving an A1 grade requires that
the imbalance should be less than 2%.
This type of calculation is used across the water distribution industry in the UK. Although
standard uncertainty analysis techniques are applied, they are generally done with less
rigour than in other sectors of UK industry. The main reasons for this are

some of the input and output flows are estimates rather than measurements
flows are subject to leakage

4.1.3

Oil and Gas

The high monetary value of oil and gas means that high accuracy metering and the rigorous
application of uncertainty analysis are both very important to operators. This has become
increasingly true in recent years with many new smaller companies extracting oil and gas
from marginal fields in the North Sea.
Currently many fields are operated as tie-backs to other fields or platforms. The streams of
oil and gas from some of these fields are measured by multiphase meters. These streams
normally contain unwanted by-products, such as sand, water and gas and since all three
phases are present the meter uncertainty is normally between 5 and 10% which is a high
value in oil and gas terms. It is therefore desirable that streams are metered at the platform
after most of the impurities have been separated out. This allows operators to measure more
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accurately the proportion of oil delivered to the platform coming from their field. This process
is known as allocation. It is of vital strategic and financial importance that the streams are
measured accurately and the allocation meters on a platform typically have expanded
uncertainties of 0.5%.
Normally the total flow of oil to a platform is metered after the in-coming flows have been comingled and produced water, flare gas and other impurities separated out. At this point the
flows of oil and gas through the pipelines taking them on-shore can be measured to a high
degree of accuracy using a fiscal meter. These meters can typically have uncertainties as
low as 0.25% and are used as the basis of calculating the tax revenue payable to the UK
government.
The high-accuracy meter installations used for allocation and fiscal metering are costly and
platforms usually have limited space. For these reasons a technique called metering by
difference is often used to calculate the flow in streams. This necessitates the rigorous use of
uncertainty analysis techniques to compute the overall uncertainty in the flows. This, in turn,
is used to calculate the operators financial exposure. For example, the exposure for
projected production profiles caused by using metering by difference can be compared with
the cost of purchasing a high accuracy meter.
Flare Gas
Platform
Water
Allocation Meter
0.5%

Separator

Oil

Separator

Surface

Gas

Fiscal Meter
0.25%

Sea Bed
Multiphase
Meter
5 - 10%

Field 1

Field 2

Field 3 Field 4 Field 5

Figure 2: Off-shore metering arrangement


In this way uncertainty analysis of flows often has a direct impact on the operational and
strategic decisions made by operators. The technique is used commonly, and to a high
degree of sophistication throughout the oil & gas sector.
4.1.4

Power Generation

Most power generation plant contains a large number and variety of instruments measuring a
range of different quantities, such as mass flow, temperature, pressure and turbine torque.
This potentially produces a large number of complicated uncertainty calculations. However,
in most power stations rigorous uncertainty calculations are not usually performed plant-wide
on a regular basis. Instead, estimates of uncertainty of the instruments are used. These
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estimates tend to be of variable accuracy and, for older plant, may not be changed for long
periods of time.
Most operators are primarily concerned with optimising the overall efficiency of the power
station by comparing the rate of fuel consumption with the power produced. This overall
figure is dependent on the thermal efficiencies of the individual items of process equipment,
such as the boiler and turbines. Optimizing each of these figures has a direct effect on the
financial performance of the plant and therefore it is at these points that the uncertainty
calculations are carried out most often. Uncertainty calculations are also commonly used
during maintenance phases where instrumentation is being re-calibrated or replaced. The
effect of varying individual measurement uncertainty on the overall power uncertainty is often
calculated to make a case for undertaking the maintenance.
During the design phase of a new power station the operators normally demand guarantees
from the manufacturer on the thermal efficiency of the plant. These guarantees normally
include environmental impact, such as flue-gas emissions and noise. Missing these targets
means losses for both the manufacturer and the operator: the manufacturer will have to
accept financial penalties and price reductions while the operator will have to operate with
lower efficiencies. To assess the performance against guarantee the plant undergoes a
series of performance tests immediately after it has been built. These are usually undertaken
by a third party and involve connecting instrumentation to the plant to evaluate its thermal
efficiency. These tests are conducted to rigorous standards and involve the use of
comprehensive uncertainty analysis of the acquired measurements. They are repeated
periodically, usually after maintenance periods (often dictated by the performance of the
boiler) or when the station is being run only at peak periods (as opposed to satisfying base
load demands).
4.2

Data Reconciliation

4.2.1

Introduction

Data reconciliation is based on mathematical techniques developed independently by Gauss,


Legendre and Andrain almost 200 years ago and was initially used in Astronomy and later in
Cartography. The technique was first applied in the process industry by Kuehn and Davison
of IBM in 1961. During the subsequent four decades more than 200 research papers have
been published covering it. Since the 1980s the technique has been applied to many
different areas of different industries such as financial accounting and engineering. An
English translation of a German Guideline (VDI 2048), originating from the power generation
sector and giving a detailed mathematical description of the data reconciliation technique,
was issued in October 2000 [7]
4.2.2

Software

Due to the number and level of sophistication of the calculations, data reconciliation is most
effectively applied using a computer code. There is a range of software currently available
that contains data reconciliation capability. Some packages have data reconciliation as their
primary function, whereas others have it as an optional add-in. Table 1 gives a brief
summary of some of these packages.

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Company

Package Name

Type

Main Sector

SimSci-Esscor

Datacon

OSI Software

Sigmafine

Standalone
Both

Belsim

Vali

Oil, chemical,
petrochemical
Oil, chemical,
petrochemical
Nuclear, oil, chemical

CPT

Recon

Sofbid
Thermoflow

Ebsilon Validate
Data Reconciliation
System
DATREC
DVAL

Technip
NEL

Standalone
Standalone
Add-in
Add-in

Power
Process

Both

Oil & Gas


Water and Oil & Gas

Petrochemical

Table 1: List of current data reconciliation products


4.2.3

Water Supply

The use of data reconciliation within the UK water industry is at present not widespread.
Several of the major water supply companies have investigated its potential to increase data
quality and estimate the size and location of leaks. However, so far only two water suppliers
have actually used data reconciliation techniques to validate their data. In both cases flow
measurement data from trunk mains were imported into a stand-alone data reconciliation
software package operated by a consultant (NEL). Both exercises successfully identified
instrumentation that was either reading outside its estimated uncertainty bands or had
developed a fault.
Both organisations are currently investigating the feasibility of applying the techniques on
line, that is using them as an analysis tool that is part of their data control system and can be
applied by the operator to data as it is acquired. They anticipate that initially it will be used in
trunk mains rather than at the domestic metering level. This is the type of use where the real
benefits of data reconciliation will be derived by users in the water sector. By using live
softwarebased reconciliation tools as part of their data control system, companies can use
the techniques as an early warning system to highlight problems with their instrumentation
and estimate the size and location of leaks in their trunk mains.
The profile of this technique in the water industry is rising steadily. Once several of the major
water companies have demonstrated the benefits of its use through cost savings and
increased data quality it is anticipated that it will become more widespread in the next few
years.
4.2.4

Power Generation

Although most producers are aware of it, data reconciliation is not commonly used in the UK
power generation sector. This is primarily due to the fact that normally insufficient
measurements are taken to provide the redundancy of data required to apply the technique.
Part of the reason for this is that much of the UKs steam turbine plant was built in the 1970s
when computerized data management methods were in their infancy. It is possible to add
new instrumentation to provide the required redundancy, but this requires investment that is
usually regarded by operators as uneconomic and a duplication of resources.

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At least one of the major UK power producers has investigated the feasibility of applying data
reconciliation calculations to its steam turbine plant. This involved the development of a set
of data reconciliation calculations in a module that interfaced seamlessly with the data
acquisition system to reconcile data after it had been acquired.
It is envisaged that, with the development of modern generating plant, such as Combined
Cycle Gas Turbines, with computerized data control systems, data reconciliation will soon
become more popular in the UK power generation sector. This process may be accelerated
by raising the profile of the technique with operators, the regulator OFGEM and the
Environment Agency.
Recently data reconciliation has been introduced as a component of performance
acceptance testing. This assists in increasing the accuracy of the calculations. It is generally
applied during the data analysis phase after the test has been completed. It is a particularly
useful technique for correcting measured values gained from instruments that are used for
calculation, diagnosis or monitoring.
4.2.5

Oil and Gas

Data reconciliation is used to varying degrees across this sector. Economic drivers, such as
the price of the product, make its application to reduce flow uncertainties desirable. However,
the complicated pipe networks where the technique is best applied are rare, especially offshore, and this limits its range of application.
Data reconciliation is more effectively applied within refineries, where extensive mass
balancing is performed. Variants of data reconciliation are applied by several operators in onshore installations to increase the accuracy and reliability of flow measurement. However the
techniques applied vary widely from one operator to another and often vary within a single
company. This makes it very difficult to compare like with like when evaluating instrument
performance. The effectiveness of such techniques depends critically on the degree of
measurement redundancy in the system. This again varies widely across the industry.
To encourage increased use of data reconciliation the industry should be made aware of a
standard reconciliation method that can be applied to flow measurements systems, not only
across the oil & gas sector but across UK industry as a whole.

CASE STUDIES

Four case studies were undertaken: two illustrating the benefits of calculating balance
uncertainties and two the benefits of data reconciliation. Two are drawn from the water
supply sector, one from power supply and one from oil and gas production.
5.1

Balance Uncertainties

One of these case studies examined Anglian Waters annual water balance (June Return)
figures. This involved the calculation of balance uncertainties to mass flows acquired over a
relatively long period of time. The result is a direct comparison of the total water delivered
with the volume used by customers and the associated uncertainty. Sometimes (as in this
case) the uncertainty can substantially exceed the imbalance. The main benefits of applying
uncertainty analysis to this type of situation are that

it allows operators to identify the principal sources of uncertainty, and


it allows maintenance budgets to be targeted at the meters with the highest
uncertainty

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The other uncertainty case study evaluated BPs financial exposure by calculating the
uncertainty in energy content in a North Sea gas stream and compare with the cost of
purchasing a meter and measuring it directly. The cumulative exposure was calculated using
projected production profiles covering the period 2003 to 2010. The application of this type of
calculation is very common when the financial value of the fluid is high. It allows operators to
plan future investment in metering infrastructure and assists in the identification of the largest
contributors to the uncertainty. More information on this may be found in Case Study 3,
included in this report.
5.2

Data Reconciliation

The first of these studies looked at the application of data reconciliation to Anglian Waters
highest volume trunk main. For each system measurement an adjustment was calculated to
eliminate the imbalances in mass flow at each node. This process identified which meters
were most responsible for the imbalance. There are many benefits of applying this type of
calculation to water trunk mains. The most important of these are

Identification of meters that may have drifted out of calibration.


Targeting of maintenance to meters operating outside uncertainty bands.
Assistance in the production of better demand forecasting and asset management.
Detection of the presence of leaks in the system.

The second study examined how data reconciliation can be applied to a steam-turbine set in
a power station. This is a more complicated process than the trunk main in the first study
because it involves the reconciliation of more than one type of quantity pressures,
temperatures and enthalpies as well as flow. In addition, because there were insufficient
measurements to meet the needs of the analysis technique, it was necessary to supplement
data with assumptions about some component efficiencies and pressure ratios. Although the
calculation identified meters that were over-reading, the lack of redundancy of
measurements in the system made the application of data reconciliation to every
measurement over the full month of operation impossible. It was, however, possible to
reconcile 50% of the data for three of the four weeks covered. Another major finding from this
study was that data reconciliation would be most effectively used as an automated tool when
integrated into a data acquisition system. This would enable it to check and filter plant data
and to detect potential problems with instrumentation without user intervention.

DEVELOPMENT OF GENERIC METHODS

6.1

Introduction

One the principal objectives of this project was to formulate methods of calculating balance
uncertainties and data reconciliation that can be applied across different sectors of UK
industry. This was done by identifying features common to each and incorporating them in
clearly defined and concise procedures.
6.2

Balance Uncertainties

As illustrated in the case studies, most flow-measurement-based systems can be reduced to


a series of nodes where the flows converge and around which mass conservation equations
can be developed. An example of a node is a treatment works in a water distribution system
or a reaction vessel in a chemical plant.
The calculation of balance uncertainties should be divided into four stages:
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Identification of the system measurements


These are divided into nodal in-flow and out-flow.

Assignment of uncertainties to each of the measurements.


The evaluation of the uncertainty of an individual measurement can itself be reduced
to a simple step-by-step procedure. The principal steps are

For each input, draw up a list of all the factors that contribute to the
uncertainty.

For each of the sources, make an estimate of the magnitude of the


uncertainty.

Combine all the input uncertainties to obtain the overall uncertainty.

Express the overall uncertainty as an interval about the measured value within
which the true value is expected to lie with the required level of confidence.
The interval is often quoted as a percentage at 95% confidence level.

Combination of the uncertainties in both the in-flow and out-flow.


This is done using the root-sum squared method described in Appendix 1.

Calculation of the mass balance and the associated uncertainty


For flow measurement this means the subtraction of the total out-flow from the total
in-flow and the combination of the uncertainty in the in-flow and out-flow.

The technique is best illustrated using a numerical example. The example is based on the
flow of water into and out of a treatment works on a water trunk main and is presented in
Appendix 2.
6.3

Data Reconciliation

Whereas individual balance uncertainty calculations are concerned with single nodes, data
reconciliation is applied to the system (made up of the nodes) as a whole and uncertainty
calculations are an important component of DR. As explained in section 4.2, variants of DR
are applied across different sectors of UK industry. It is obviously desirable that a standard
method is used so that data from different sources can be compared meaningfully. The
method presented here was developed by drawing on techniques used in the case studies
and methods currently employed in different industrial sectors. As with uncertainty balancing
calculations, the method is divided into a series of steps and illustrated by an example.
The calculation can be divided into five stages

System definition
This is divided into five stages.

Determination of variable type. Normally this will be mass flow but for pipe
systems it may also be enthalpy and pressure (accounting for frictional
losses).
Determine the number of measurements in the system.
Normally the system under consideration will be illustrated by an engineering
drawing. The next stage in the process is to reduce the drawing to a simple

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schematic. Much of the detail should be suppressed with only the relevant
nodes and streams retained.
Formulate conservation equations. For each node in the system, write down
the equations which balance the input and output quantities.
Calculate redundancy. This calculation can be performed for each
measurement in the system and for the overall system. For a single variable,
redundancy is simply the number of conservation equations containing the
variable. For the system it is defined as the sum of the measurement
redundancies divided by the number of measurements in the system. If this
figure exceeds one then the chosen system is amenable to reconciliation.

Measurement Pre-processing
This consists of the calculation of standard uncertainty and variance for each of the
measurements. This stage requires knowledge of the expanded uncertainties of each
of the measurements.

Balance Pre-processing
This essentially consists of the process outlined in 6.2. The inputs to the calculation
are the standard uncertainties of the measurements and the input and output
expressions. The output is the standard uncertainty of the balance.

Reconciliation
This stage in the process involves the calculation of a series of adjustments to the
measurements so that the in-flows and out-flows at each of the nodes balance
exactly. This is done subject to the constraint that the sum of the squares of the
errors between the measured and reconciled flows is minimized.

Quality Indication
There are two types of quality indication that may be produced for a reconciliation
calculation. The first is a single figure that applies to the calculation as a whole.
Effectively it is the ratio of the sum of the squares of the errors between the
reconciled and measured data to the number of conservation equations. If this ratio
exceeds a statistical test value a second indicator applicable to each measurement
can be calculated. This figure compares the size of the adjustment required to
reconcile the mass balances at each node with the measurement uncertainty. If this
figure exceeds the students t statistical test value either the uncertainty assigned to
the measurement is too low or the instrument used to measure the quantity has
drifted out of calibration.

As with balance uncertainties, the best way to illustrate the technique is by working through
an example. This is presented in Appendix 3.

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CONCLUSIONS

The main conclusions that can be drawn from this study are:
7.1

Balance Uncertainties

Uncertainty analysis, and specifically the calculation of balance uncertainties, is


commonly used in flow measurement systems in UK industry

The degree of rigour with which it is applied varies widely depending on the value of
the fluid. This results in varying data quality.

In the water supply sector, the calculation of balance uncertainties is used in the
annual water balance figures supplied to OFWAT. The application of the technique
allows water supply companies to identify and reduce the components that contribute
most to the overall uncertainty. This has potentially substantial financial benefits.

Due to the high economic value of the fluids, the calculation of balance uncertainty is
very commonly used in the oil and gas industry. It can be used to calculate the
uncertainty of the flow of oil or gas in an un-metered line using a technique called
metering by difference. The technique can be used to calculate the financial exposure
resulting from existing metering and to plan future investment.

In power-generation plant, uncertainty analysis is most commonly applied to


measurements taken at equipment that has a high impact on the overall thermal
efficiency of the plant, such as the turbines and the boiler. It is also used during the
performance testing that is carried out periodically to verify plant thermal efficiencies.

7.2

Data Reconciliation

Data reconciliation is not yet commonly used in UK industry.

Where it is applied, the techniques vary, making comparison difficult.

Its application is critically dependent on having enough measurements.

The water supply industry in the UK has only recently become aware of the
techniques and so far only two major suppliers have used it. Its application in this
sector has several benefits including early identification of instrumentation problems
and the location of leaks.

Similarly, it is not commonly used by power producers. One major UK producer has
investigated the feasibility of applying reconciliation calculations to its steam-turbine
plant but scarcity of measurements made this difficult. Reconciliation is more
commonly used during acceptance testing.

Data reconciliation is used to varying degrees in the oil and gas sector to increase the
accuracy and reliability of flow measurements. It is most often applied in refineries
where there are complicated pipe networks. The techniques used vary from one
operator to another making, comparison of instrument performance difficult.

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7.3

General

Data reconciliation would be most effectively applied as an automated process when


integrated with a data acquisition system. It could then act as an early warning
system for instruments drifting out of calibration.

REFERENCES
Uncertainty
1. BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTE. BS 5844:1980, ISO 5168-1978. Measurement of
Fluid Flow Estimate of uncertainty of a flow rate measurement. ISBN 0 580 11156 3.
2. BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTE. BS ISO 5168:2005. Measurement of fluid flow
evaluation of uncertainty. ISBN 0 580 46279 X.
3. BELL, S. A Beginners Guide to Uncertainty of Measurement. Measurement Good
Practice Guide No 11. National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, UK. ISSN 1368-6550,
1999.
4. BIRCH, K. An Intermediate Guide to Estimating and Reporting Uncertainty of
Measurement in Testing. Measurement Good Practice Guide 36. National Physical
Laboratory, Teddington, UK. ISSN , 2003.
5. BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTE. PD 6461-4:2004. General metrology Part 4:
Practical guide to measurement uncertainty. ISBN 0 580 44033 8, 2004.
6. BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTE. PD 6461-3:1995.
uncertainty in measurement. ISBN 0 580 23482 7, 1995.

Guide to the expression of

7. VEREIN DEUTSCHER INGENIEURE. VDI 2048 Part 1 Uncertainties of measurement


during acceptance tests on energy-conversion and power plants Fundamentals. 2000.
Available in English from British Standards Institute.
FURTHER READING
Data Reconciliation
1. NARASIMHAN, S and JORDACHE, C. Data Reconciliation & Gross Error Detection
An intelligent use of Process Data. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston Texas. ISBN
088415 2553. 2000.
2. MACGILLIVRAY, A. Formula for eradicating leaks. Water & Waste
Treatment, February 2003 p 11
3. SOUDEK, A. Data reconciliation and data quality. OSIsoft Inc., San Leandro, California.
Downloadable from www.osisoft.com/DataReconciliation.doc.
4. MADRON, F and RUBEK, J. Benefits of process data validation by reconciliation and
related methods. In Proceedings of Technical Meeting on Increasing instrument
calibration interval through on-line calibration technology Halden, Norway, 27-29
September 2004. International Atomic Energy Agency.
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5. GTZ, W and REISACHER, S. Data validation improves reliability and accuracy of


performance monitoring and field acceptance tests. Power-Gen International
Conference, Orlando, Florida, December 1998.
6. GTZ, W and REISACHER, S. Increased data reliability by data validation during
performance tests and field acceptance tests on combustion engines. In Proceedings of
3rd European Conference on Turbomachinery, Vol B Fluid dynamics and
thermodynamics, p1075-1086. Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London, 2-5 March
1999.
7. LANGENSTEIN, M and JANSKY, J. Process data reconciliation on nuclear power
plants BTB-Jansky GmbH 2003. Downloadable from www.btbjansky.com.
8. MINET, F, HEYEN, G and KALITVENTZEFF, B. Dynamic data reconciliation of
regenerative heat exchangers coupled to a blast furnace. In Proceedings of Symposium
of the Working Party on Computer Aided Process Engineering - ESCAPE 11 Kolding
(Danemark), May 27-30 2001
9. VEVERKA, V. Balancing and data reconciliation minibook. Report CPT-189-04
ChemPlant Technology, Czech Republic 2004. Downloadable from www.chemplant.cz.

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APPENDIX 1
GENERIC METHOD FOR CALCULATING BALANCE UNCERTAINTIES
To evaluate the uncertainty at a balance point or node in a system of measurements the
following calculation should be performed. The technique is best illustrated using a numerical
example.

Values
(Ml/d)
x1 = 27.51
x2 = 42.35
x3 = 10.14
x4 = 12.38
x5 = 42.63
x6 = 20.33
x7 = 24.01

x2

x1

x3

x4

x5

x7
x6

Uncertainties
(Ml/d)
U*(x1) = 2.5%
U*(x2) = 5.0%
U*(x3) = 3.0%
U*(x4) = 10.0%
U*(x5) = 10.0%
U*(x6) = 15.0%
U*(x7) = 5.0%

Figure 1: Node in a flow distribution system

Measurements

Identify the inputs to the node

In this case these are the mass flows into the node

x in = x 1 + x 2 + x 3 + x 4 = 27.51 + 42.35 + 10.14 + 12.38 = 92.38 Ml / d

Identify the outputs from the node

In this case these are the mass flows out of the node

x out = x 5 + x 6 + x 7 = 42.63 + 20.33 + 24.01 = 86.97 Ml / d

Uncertainties

Evaluate the input standard uncertainties

The relative expanded uncertainties U* are evaluated at 2% at a 95% confidence level. The
coverage factor corresponding to this is k = 1.96. The standard uncertainty is calculated from
u(x i ) =

where
U(x i ) =

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U(x i )
k

U * (x i )
xi
100

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This gives absolute standard uncertainties values of (in Ml/d)


u ( x 1 ) = 0.3509

u ( x 2 ) = 1.080

u ( x 3 ) = 0.1552

u ( x 4 ) = 0.6316

Evaluate the output standard uncertainties


u ( x 5 ) = 2.175
u ( x 6 ) = 1.556

u ( x 7 ) = 0.6125

Combining Uncertainties

Combine the input uncertainties

This is done assuming that the measurements are completely uncorrelated and so uses the
root sum squared method. A more complete discussion of the method of combining
uncertainties is given in References 2-6: the novice reader should start by reading Reference
3.
u ( x in ) = u 2 ( x 1 ) +u 2 ( x 2 ) +u 2 ( x 3 ) +u 2 ( x 4 )

u(x in ) = 1.309 Ml / d

Combine the output uncertainties


u ( x out ) = u 2 ( x 5 ) +u 2 ( x 6 ) +u 2 ( x 7 )

u(x in ) = 2.743 Ml / d

Balance

Compute the input/output balance

x bal = x in x out = 92.38 86.97 = 5.41 Ml / d

Compute the standard uncertainty in the balance


u ( x bal ) = u 2 ( x in ) +u 2 ( x out )

u(x bal ) = 3.039 Ml / d

Compute the expanded uncertainty in the balance

There is a one in three chance that the true value lies outside the range defined by the
standard uncertainty and to increase confidence it is necessary to increase the range. This
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is done by multiplying the standard uncertainty by a coverage factor dependent on the level
of confidence required.
U ( x i ) =k u ( x i )

For 90% confidence the factor k is 1.64, and for 95% confidence k is 1.96.
The mass balance around the node can therefore be quoted as
x bal = 5.41 1.96 3.04 Ml/d
= 5.41 5.96 Ml/d (95% confidence)

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APPENDIX 2
GENERIC METHOD FOR DATA RECONCILIATION
The calculation should be divided into the following stages

System definition
Measurement pre-processing
Balance pre-processing
Reconciliation
Quality indication

System Definition

Specify variable type

Select the type of variables xi to be conserved. Normally this will be mass flow, but for
pipe systems it may also be enthalpy and static pressure (accounting for frictional
losses).

Specify number of measurements n

Specify the number of measurements n to be included in the system

Simplify the network diagram


o

Each network diagram should be reduced to a schematic made up from r


nodes, streams and n measurements.

The stream direction in and out of nodes should be marked with arrows.

In the original network diagram each piece of process equipment should either
be taken out if the stream variable is unchanged or replaced by a node if
several streams converge.

Formulate conservation equations

For each node, write down r unique equations which balance the input and output
quantities.

Calculate system redundancy


o

Calculate redundancy for each measurement in the system and for the overall
system.
R(xi) = number of equations containing the variable xi
n

R(x )
i

R system =

i=1

If Rsystem is greater than or equal to 1 then the system is amenable to data reconciliation.
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The following stages in the calculation are described by listing the inputs, any calculated
quantities and the outputs.

Measurement pre-processing

Input
o

Measurements

x i i = 1, , n
o

Expanded uncertainties

U(x i ) i = 1, , n

Output
o

Standard deviation of measurements

s(x i ) i = 1, , n
The variance of a measurement is calculated as the square of the standard deviation.

Balance pre-processing

Input
o

Balance expressions (around each of the r nodes).

Calculated as the imbalance between flow in and out of each node. They will
normally be non-zero.

f j (x i ) j = 1, , r i = 1, , n
o

Standard deviation of measurements

s(x i ) i = 1, , n

Calculate

Sensitivity coefficients

How each balance expression depends on each variable.

c ji =

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Output

Standard deviation of balances

()

s fj =

(c s(x ))

ij

i=1

Reconciliation

Input

Balance expressions (around each of the r nodes).

f j (x i ) j = 1, , r i = 1, , n
o

Standard deviation of measurements

s(x i ) i = 1, , n

Output

Adjustments

Adjustment vi to each measurement xi so that


f j (x i + v i ) = 0 j = 1, , r i = 1, , n
subject to the constraint that the sum of the squares of the errors between the
measured and reconciled values is minimised.
o

Reconciled Uncertainties

Quality Indication

Input

Standard deviation of measurements

s(x i ) i = 1, , n
o

Adjustments

Balance expressions (around each of the r nodes).

v i i = 1, , n

f j (x i ) j = 1, , r i = 1, , n

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Output

The Quality indicator for each point is calculated using

Qi =

vi

s 2 (x i )

max s 2 (v i ),
10

where s2(vi) is the variance of the corrections. For each measurement this should be
compared with a factor k which relates the standard and expanded uncertainties. For 95%
confidence k should take the value 1.96. If the quality index exceeds 1.96 then the
measurements adjustment exceeds the uncertainty and should be investigated.
EXAMPLE OF RECONCILIATION ON A SIMPLE FLOW NETWORK

The following simple example is used to illustrate the data reconciliation technique applied to
flow measurement.
i

Meter i with indicated


flowrate kg/s

xx.xx

7
9.77

12.51

10.85

71.55

22.75

5
34.78

12
23.22

8
8

12.57

14
70.88

9
18.63

11
5

31.58

13
45.34

31.06

10
12.11

U*(Xi) = 2%

Figure 1: Simple flow network with nodes indicated

System definition
The system consists of a pipe network with 14 measurements of mass flowrate. The
measured mass flows, expressed in kg/s are marked on Figure 1. The system has 8 nodes
(where the pipes intersect). These are also marked on the figure.
For simplicity it is assumed that the expanded uncertainty of each of the flows is 2% at 95%
confidence level, although it is more normal for different levels of uncertainty to apply to each
meter.

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Conservation Equations

x1 = x 2 + x3 + x4
x5 = x2 + x3
x 4 = x 9 + x 10
x 5 = x6 + x 7 + x8
x 11 = x 7 + x 9
x 13 = x 10 + x 11
x 12 = x 6 + x 8
x 14 = x 12 + x 13

Node 1:
2:
3:
4:
5:
6:
7:
8:
Redundancy

The redundancy of each measurement is defined as the number of balance equations


containing that measurement. Thus x1 appears only in the balance at Node 1 and R(x1) =1;
x2 appears in the balances at Node 1 and Node 2 and R(x2) =2.
The system redundancy is calculated from
14

R system =

R ( x i )
i=1

1+ 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 +1
= 1.85
14

As Rsystem exceeds 1, a reconciliation calculation can be carried out on the system.

Measurement pre-processing
The measurements and the relative expanded uncertainties are used to compute the
absolute values of the variance. This is tabulated in Table 1.
Measurement

Value

Relative
Expanded
Uncertainty

Absolute
Expanded
Uncertainty

x1
x2
x3
x4
x5
x6
x7
x8
x9
x10
x11
x12
x13
x14

(kg/s)
71.55
10.85
22.75
31.06
34.78
9.77
12.57
12.51
18.63
12.11
31.58
23.22
45.34
70.88

(%)
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

(kg/s)
1.431
0.217
0.455
0.621
0.696
0.195
0.251
0.250
0.373
0.242
0.632
0.464
0.907
1.418

Table 1: Flow measurements and their uncertainties


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Absolute
Variance
s 2 (X i )
(kg/s)2
0.533
0.012
0.054
0.100
0.126
0.009
0.016
0.016
0.036
0.015
0.104
0.056
0.214
0.523

NEL

Balance pre-processing
Figure 2 evaluates the mass imbalances at each node. Reconciliation should adjust all of
these values to zero.

23.22

22.28
2
1

64.66

33.60

+0.94

34.85

34.78

34.78
+1.18

+0.07

70.88

68.56

71.55
-6.89

+2.32

31.58
31.20
3

5
+0.38

30.74
-0.32

31.06

45.34

43.69
+1.65

Figure 2: Mass balances around nodes

Equation
f1(X) = x2 + x3 + x4 x1
f2(X) = x5 x2 x3
f3(X) = x9 + x10 x4
f4(X) = x6 + x7 + x8 x5
f5(X) = x11 x7 x9
f6(X) = x13 x10 x11
f7(X) = x12 x6 x8
f8(X) = x14 x12 x13

Node

Value

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

-6.89
1.18
-0.32
0.07
0.38
1.65
0.94
2.32

Absolute
Expanded
Uncertainty
1.639
0.859
0.762
0.800
0.774
1.131
0.558
1.745

Absolute Variance
2 f j

()

0.699
0.192
0.151
0.167
0.156
0.333
0.081
0.793

Table 3: Mass balances around each node

Data Reconciliation
The objective of the data reconciliation calculation is to adjust each of the measured values
in this network so that they obey the 8 nodal mass conservation equations. From Figure 2
and Table 3 it may be seen that there are inconsistencies in the mass balances about each
of the nodes using the measured flowrates.
f j (x i ) 0 j = 1, ,8 i = 1, 14
To perform a reconciliation, a correction vi should be applied to each measurement Xi so that
f j (x i + v i ) = 0 j = 1, ,8 i = 1, 14

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and that for each measurement the sum of the squares of the ratio of the corrections to the
standard deviations is a minimum.
+0.26
+0.07

10.85

22.75

66.61

+1.15

-4.94

12.57

-0.03

23.90

18.63

-4.27

31.75

45.34
44.13

+0.17

+0.58

+0.53

66.61

31.58

31.59

70.88
+0.12

12.54

19.21
31.06

12.51
12.63

35.01

71.55

34.78

-0.74

23.22
22.48

9.84

+0.23

11.11

9.77

-1.21

12.11
12.38

U*(Xi) = 2%

+0.27

Figure 3: Reconciled flow values and the required adjustments

Figure 3 shows the results of the reconciliation calculation. The values in the blue rectangles
are the original measured flowrates and those in the green are the reconciled values. Beside
each pair of rectangles is a third indicating the magnitude and sign of the correction made to
each measurement to remove the imbalance at each node.

Quality Indication
This compares the size of the correction factor required to reconcile each of the
measurements to the size of the uncertainty of the measurement. A quality indicator is output
for each measurement. If it exceeds the k factor (1.96 for 95% confidence) then the
measurement should be checked. The results for this system are recorded in Figure 4.

7
9.77

6.42
2

6.42

71.55

22.75

34.78

0.42

1.71
8

12.57

4.63

0.62
5

31.58

2.80

31.06

45.34

5.53
12.11

Figure 4: Quality indicators for each system measurement


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6.11
70.88

18.63

1.94

0.71

3.59
23.22

12.51

10.85

7.00

1.71

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U*(Xi) = 2%

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Quality values exceeding 1.96 are coloured in brown. Of the 14 system measurements 8
require investigation. Rectification of the measurement with the highest quality value often
results in reductions in all the other quality values in the system. It is therefore
recommended that the measurements are examined in order of descending quality until they
are all less than 1.96. When this happens the system is behaving well.

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APPENDIX 3
CASE STUDY REVIEWS

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THE IMPACT OF MEASUREMENT


UNCERTAINTY ON THE WATER BALANCE
Sector
Calculation
Partners
Contact

Telephone
email

Water Supply
Balance Uncertainties
NEL
Anglian Water
David Jacobs
Anglian Water
ThorpeWood House
Peterborough
PE3 6WT
01733 414562
djacobs@anglianwater.co.uk

Background
As part of the process of monitoring the water supply industry, the Office of the Water
Industry Regulator (OFWAT) requires each company to present an annual balance sheet of
water supply and usage. This type of calculation may be used to

evaluate the overall performance of the distribution system


provide the basis for demand forecasting
quantify the level of leakage in the system
target maintenance budgets on the meters that have the highest uncertainty

The imbalance between water supplied and used often fluctuates from one reporting period
to the next. OFWAT has expressed concern at the size of these fluctuations and has set a
target of 2% for the imbalance. This case study assesses the impact of input uncertainty on
the water balance calculation and uses Anglian Waters annual balance as an example.

Water Balance
This calculation is basically a measure of the imbalance between water delivered and
customer use. The inputs to this calculation are measurements from flowmeters and
estimates of flow from other sources. Each of these quantities has an uncertainty associated
with it which propagates through to the imbalance and results in an overall uncertainty in that
figure. A simple schematic of the calculation is shown in Figure 1
BALANCE
TOTAL

Total Water
to Supply
Undelivered
Supply

Total Water
Delivered

Total
Measured
Total Customer
Use
Total
Unmeasured

TOTAL DELIVERED TOTAL CUSTOMER USE

Figure 1: Simple schematic of a water balance


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Each of the components in this schematic can be further broken down into individual sources
of supply and demand.

Example
The example used is a set of annual water balance figures from Anglian Water.
Objectives

To evaluate the impact of uncertainties on the water balance calculation, and


To identify and minimise the principal contributors to the overall uncertainty in the
imbalance.

Results
The results of the water balance calculation are shown in Figure 2.

Total Water
Delivered
898.4 62.3
Ml/d

Water Balance
-17.1 73.7
Ml/d

Total Customer
Use
915.5 39.3
Ml/d

Figure 2: Results of the water balance calculation

The largest contributor to the overall uncertainty was water into supply. This is made up of
the output from the treatment works and the imported supplies from other companies.
Anglian Water investigated this figure in more detail to identify the individual meters that
contributed most to the uncertainty. Rather than seek to identify sources of uncertainty in all
208 supply meters, it was decided that the study should concentrate on the 23 sites that
produced the highest volume of water: these sites account for 71% of the water produced.
The uncertainty in the water-into-supply flowrate was dominated by a limited number of
meters, situated mainly at Anglian Waters largest treatment works. These high-volume
meters were listed in descending order of annual flow and examined in turn to reduce their
uncertainty. This involved inspection and re-calibration. This process reduced the uncertainty
in the water balance from 73 Ml/d to 48 Ml/d, which is 4.2% of the input. This is still short
of OFWATs target of 2% and a further reduction in this figure could only be realised by
addressing the next level of input uncertainties, such as the method of estimating unmetered
consumption by domestic customers. By allowing the list of input uncertainties to be ranked
in order of importance, the analysis of the balance uncertainty ensured that efforts aimed at
reducing the overall uncertainty were at all times targeted on the most important sources,
thus giving the best return on the resources employed.

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MEASUREMENT UNCERTAINTY IN A
CUSTODY TRANSFER APPLICATION
Sector
Calculation
Partners

Oil & Gas


Balance Uncertainties
NEL
BP

Contact

Mark Skelton
Dimlington Terminal
Hull
HU12 0SU
01964 652121
skeltoma@bp.com

Telephone
email

Background
In the off-shore industry it is increasingly common for oil or gas from several fields operated
by different companies to share a pipeline that delivers the product to shore. Due to the high
cost of product and the large volumes involved, it is crucial to the operators that they
measure the product with a high degree of accuracy and this is factored into each new feed
into the pipeline. Space constraints and the design of the original pipeline often make it
necessary for the new fields to be tied in upstream of the original meters. Interrupting
production to install direct metering for the original field would be expensive and it is often
judged more economic to calculate flow from that field using measurements of total flow and
flow from the other fields sharing the pipeline. This is called metering by difference. This
case study examines the impact of this method on the uncertainty in the mass flow.

Example
Metering by Difference
This case study uses uncertainty analysis to compare the projected financial exposures
resulting from two different metering configurations in a gas field in the North Sea. The
financial exposure in each configuration is calculated from the value of unit energy of the gas
multiplied by the uncertainty in the energy content of the gas flow. This is computed using
uncertainties in the physical properties of the gas, the gas calorific value and the gas mass
flow. The two configurations are shown in Figures 1 and 2.
Case 1
Gas from a single field is flowing alone and is metered directly.
FIELD
A

METER
A

Figure 1: Configuration for direct metering

Comparison of the projected financial exposure from direct metering and from metering by
difference enables operators to plan future investment in metering infrastructure. Using
uncertainty analysis allows operators to identify and minimize the major contributors to the

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overall uncertainty in both flowrate and energy content. Since accuracy is very important in
custody transfer applications this type of calculation is commonly used in the oil & gas sector.
Case 2
Two other fields are added and metered directly. Flow from the 3 streams combined is
measured by the original meter in case 1. Flow from the original field is metered by
difference.
FIELD
A

METER
A

FIELD
B

METER
B

FIELD
C

METER
C

Figure 2: Configuration for metering by difference

Results and Conclusions


Production profiles for each of the fields used in the study were provided covering the period
January 2003 to December 2010. Over the production periods the uncertainty in the energy
content per month for both cases was compared with a value of 2.5%. The changes in
financial exposure caused by the differing uncertainties were also calculated over this period.
The uncertainty calculated using metering by difference (Case 2) exceeded the uncertainty in
direct measurement by the original meter over the entire projected production period. For
large parts of this period the uncertainty in Case 2 exceeded the target of 2.5%. This has
significant financial implications for the operator of the field. The cumulative financial
exposure of Cases 1 and 2 over the period of the production profiles is plotted in Figure 3.
4.5
4.0

Cumulative Exposure (M)

3.5

Metering by difference

3.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0

Direct metering

0.5
0
Dec-02

Apr-04

Aug-05

Jan-07

May-08

Oct-09

Month

Figure 3: Stream A Cumulative Financial Exposure for Cases 1 and 2

The higher uncertainty in the energy content of Case 2 results in an increased financial
exposure. Over the given period of production profiles this amounts to 2.8m. The operator
then has to decide whether this increased exposure makes it worth investing in an additional
metering installation to allow stream A to be metered directly.
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DATA RECONCILIATION TECHNIQUES


APPLIED TO A WATER TRUNK MAIN
Sector
Calculation
Partners

Contact

Telephone
email

Water Supply
Data Reconciliation
NEL
Anglian Water
David Jacobs
Anglian Water
ThorpeWood House
Peterborough
PE3 6WT
01733 414562
djacobs@anglianwater.co.
uk

Background
Water companies use flow data from their distribution networks for a wide variety of
purposes, including

demand forecasting,
asset management,
compiling June Returns for OFWAT, and
maintenance scheduling.

However the value of the data, and the decisions based on them, can be undermined by
meter error. The resulting uncertainty could be reduced by more frequent calibration or by
purchasing expensive new meters, but a more cost-effective way of reducing uncertainty and
identifying problems with instrumentation is the use of a statistical techniques known as data
reconciliation.

Data Reconciliation
Water distribution systems are complicated networks of pipes consisting of trunk mains,
which carry high volumes, and smaller bore pipes, which convey water to both domestic and
commercial customers. At points where the pipes intersect, the difference between the
volumes flowing in and out can be compared. Due to uncertainties in the flow data, there will
normally be an imbalance of in-flow and out-flow at these points. Data reconciliation is more
than a flow balance: it adjusts each measurement so that the imbalance at these points is
removed across the whole network. For each flow measurement, the size of the adjustment
is compared with the uncertainty by the calculation of a performance index. The higher this
index is, the less accurate the measurement. If it exceeds a statistical test value the
measurement should be checked for accuracy. In this way reconciliation not only highlights
imbalances but also identifies which measurements are most likely to be responsible for
them. Imbalances in flow may be caused by leaks and time trends in the performance indices
will identify potential problems. When combined with pressure integrity testing, data
reconciliation can thus assist in the identification of the position and estimation of the
magnitude of the leak.

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Example
Objectives

To demonstrate that data reconciliation can be applied to flow measurements in a


water trunk main, and

To show that data reconciliation can identify instrumentation that has either
developed a fault or drifted out of calibration.

The System

The trunk main used in this study was Anglian Waters highest capacity network. It has 53
flow measurements taken from a range of different flow meters. Data for each meter
spanning the time period 1st January to 1st June 2004 were supplied by Anglian Water. Flowrates ranged from 200000 Ml/d to less than 1000 Ml/d.
Results

Although data are available for all meters in the main, to illustrate the point of the case study,
performance indices were calculated for the highest volume flows around the primary water
treatment works. Figure 1 shows how the performance indices for these flows varied over the
period studied. The data reconciliation calculations identified one meter (M(3)) with a
significantly poorer performance index than the rest. This indicates that this meter may have
drifted out of calibration. This finding corresponded with Anglian Waters experience, which
indicated that at least one of the meters in the area of the main treatment works was underreading.
14

Performance Index

12
M(3)

10
8
6

M(2)
M(4)
M(1)

4
2
M(5)

M(6)

0
Time
Figure 1: Variation of Quality with time for flows to and from the Water Treatment
Works

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DATA RECONCILIATION IN A COAL


FIRED POWER STATION
Sector
Calculation
Partners
Contact

Telephone
email

Power generation
Data reconciliation
NEL
Alick MacGillivray
TUV NEL Ltd
Napier Building
East Kilbride
G75 0QU
01355 272040
amacgilliv@tuvnel.com

Background
Data collected from power plant are used for many purposes, including

planning and performance forecasting,


maintenance scheduling, and
bidding to supply power for the National Grid.
Errors in measurement can undermine the value of the data, and so undermine the decisions
based on them. A cost effective way of reducing this uncertainty and identify instrumentation
problems is to use a statistical technique called data reconciliation, which examines data on
a plant-wide basis to identify inconsistencies and derive the corrections necessary to remove
these. This case study examines the feasibility of applying data reconciliation to a coal-fired
power station.

Data Reconciliation
Data reconciliation works by calculating adjustments to measurements in such a way that the
modified values obey the relevant conservation equations for mass and energy throughout
the system. To reconcile measurements there must be data redundancy, that is, enough data
to calculate each measured quantity in more than one way. The technique is as yet not
commonly used in the UK power generation sector. This is primarily due to the fact that often
not enough measurements are taken to provide the redundancy of data to apply the
technique. In these cases, a number of assumptions have to be made concerning equipment
efficiencies and pressure ratios before the calculation technique will work. In steam turbine
plant, several different quantities, such as temperature, pressure and enthalpy as well as
mass flows, can be reconciled. The adjustment required to reconcile these measurements is
compared with the uncertainty assigned to each by calculating a performance index for each
measurement. The higher this index is, the less accurate the measurement. If the figure
exceeds a statistical test value then the instrument should be checked.

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Example
Objective

To reconcile measurements from a single steam turbine in a coal-fired power station.

The system
A schematic of the plant used in the reconciliation calculation is shown in Figure 1.

Boiler
Re-heater

HP

IP

LP

Generator

Condenser

HP
Heater

LP
Heater

Figure 1: Steam plant used for data reconciliation

Results and Conclusions


Data were analysed covering a month of peak load operation of a steam turbine. With
flowrates, pressures, temperatures, turbine speeds, and electrical outputs to balance both
mass and energy flows, the system involved 22 balance equations and over 100
measurements. Inevitably in such a complex system there were periods when some
measurements were off line, however, it was possible to reconcile over 50% of the
measurements for most of the one-month period. The main finding of the calculation was
that the four principal flow measurements in the turbine circuit were over-reading by a
significant amount and the conclusion was that these meters should be physically inspected
and, if necessary, re-calibrated.
When data were missing it was not possible to reconcile the balances involving those
measurements and this highlighted that some measurements, particularly flow
measurements, appeared in as many as 50% of the balance equations. If data reconciliation
is to be used as a management tool, and particularly if it is to be used as an automated tool
to monitor plant performance and detect problems, key measurements of this type must be
identified and consideration should be given to providing back-up in the form of a second
meter.

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