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Measurement of Gas by Multipath


Ultrasonic Meters
Transmission Measurement Committee Report
No. 9

Copyright 1998 American Gas Association


All Rights Reserved

Operating Section
American Gas Association
1515 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22209
U.S.A.

Catalog No. XQ9801

2005

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DISCLAIMERS AND COPYRIGHT

Nothing contained in any American Gas Association (A.G.A.) publication is to be construed as


granting any right, by implication or otherwise, for the manufacture, sale or use in connection with
any method, apparatus or product covered by letters patent, nor as insuring anyone against liability
for infringement of letters patent.
This A.G.A. publication may be used by anyone desiring to do so. Efforts have been made to ensure
the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in this publication; however, A.G.A. makes no
representation, warranty or guarantee in connection with A.G.A. publications and hereby expressly
disclaims any liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from their use; for any violation of
any federal, state or municipal regulation with which an A.G.A. publication may conflict; or for the
infringement of any patent from the use of any A.G.A. publication. Nothing contained in this report
should be viewed as an endorsement by A.G.A. of any particular manufacturers products.

Copyright 1998 American Gas Association, All Rights Reserved

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FOREWORD

This report is published as a recommended practice and is not issued as a standard. It has been
written in the form of a performance-based specification. Multipath ultrasonic meters should meet or
exceed the accuracy, functional and testing requirements specified in this report and users should
follow the applicable installation recommendations.
A.G.A. Engineering Technical Note M-96-2-3, Ultrasonic Flow Measurement for Natural Gas
Applications, is included in Appendix C, as a source of background information on ultrasonic gas
metering. Contents of this technical note were based on the information available when the note
was written in March 1996. Therefore, in case of any conflict between the information in the main
report and the technical note (Appendix C) the content in the main report prevails.
Various combinations of upstream fittings, valves and lengths of straight pipe can produce profile
disturbances at the meter inlet that may result in flow-rate measurement errors. The amount of
meter error will depend on the magnitude of the inlet velocity profile distortion produced by the
upstream piping configuration and the meters ability to compensate for this distortion. Other effects
that may also result in flow-rate measurement errors for a given installation include levels of
pulsation, range of operating pressures and ambient temperature conditions. However, Research
results and flow-meter calibration data have indicated that multipath ultrasonic flow meters can
accurately measure gas flow rate when installed with upstream piping lengths and/or flow
conditioning systems sufficient to maintain the integrity of the flow calibration.
Flow-calibration guidelines are provided for occasions when a flow calibration is requested by the
user to verify the meters accuracy or to apply a calibration factor to minimize the measurement
uncertainty (see Appendix A).
Unlike most traditional gas meters, multipath ultrasonic meters inherently have an embedded
microprocessor system. Therefore, this report includes, by reference, a standardized set of
international testing specifications applicable to electronic gas meters. These tests, summarized in
Appendix B, are used to demonstrate the acceptable performance of the multipath ultrasonic
meters electronic system design under different influences and disturbances.
This report offers general criteria for the measurement of gas by multipath ultrasonic meters. It is the
cumulative result of years of experience of many individuals and organizations acquainted with
measuring gas flow rate. Changes to this report may become necessary from time to time. When
any revisions are deemed advisable, recommendations should be forwarded to: Operating Section,
American Gas Association, 1515 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209, U.S.A. A form is
included for that purpose at the end of this report.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Report No. 9, Measurement of Gas by Multipath Ultrasonic Meters, was developed by a
Transmission Measurement Committee (TMC) task group

A.G.A.s Transmission Measurement Committee members represent a broad base of


experience in natural gas measurement technologies. Through its committee structure,
A.G.A. provides the mechanism by which these committee members experiences and
technical expertise are used collectively to prepare industry guidelines, recommendations
and reports.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................... 1

1.1 Scope............................................................................................................................................................. 1

1.2 Principle of Measurement .......................................................................................................................... 1

2 TERMINOLOGY, DEFINITIONS, AND UNITS .......................................................... 2

2.1 Terminology................................................................................................................................................. 2

2.2 Engineering Units........................................................................................................................................ 2

2.3 Definitions .................................................................................................................................................... 2

3 OPERATING CONDITIONS...................................................................................... 5

3.1 Gas Quality .................................................................................................................................................. 5

3.2 Pressures ...................................................................................................................................................... 5

3.3 Temperatures, Gas and Ambient ............................................................................................................... 5

3.4 Gas Flow Considerations ............................................................................................................................ 6

3.5 Upstream Piping and Flow Profiles ........................................................................................................... 6

3.6 Acoustic Noise.............................................................................................................................................. 6

4 METER REQUIREMENTS ........................................................................................ 8

4.1 Codes and Regulations................................................................................................................................ 8

4.2 Meter Body .................................................................................................................................................. 8


4.2.1 Maximum Operating Pressure ............................................................................................................... 8
4.2.2 Corrosion Resistance............................................................................................................................. 8
4.2.3 Meter Body Lengths and Bores............................................................................................................. 8
4.2.4 Ultrasonic Transducer Ports .................................................................................................................. 9
4.2.5 Pressure Tap.......................................................................................................................................... 9
4.2.6 Miscellaneous...................................................................................................................................... 10
4.2.7 Meter Body Markings ......................................................................................................................... 10

4.3 Ultrasonic Transducers............................................................................................................................. 10


4.3.1 Specifications ...................................................................................................................................... 10
4.3.2 Rate of Pressure Change...................................................................................................................... 10
4.3.3 Exchange ............................................................................................................................................. 11
4.3.4 Transducer Tests ................................................................................................................................. 11

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4.4 Electronics.................................................................................................................................................. 11
4.4.1 General Requirements ......................................................................................................................... 11
4.4.2 Output Signal Specifications ............................................................................................................... 11
4.4.3 Electrical Safety Design Requirements ............................................................................................... 12
4.4.4 Component Replacement..................................................................................................................... 12

4.5 Computer Programs.................................................................................................................................. 12


4.5.1 Firmware ............................................................................................................................................. 12
4.5.2 Configuration and Maintenance Software ........................................................................................... 13
4.5.3 Inspection and Auditing Functions...................................................................................................... 13
4.5.4 Alarms ................................................................................................................................................. 13
4.5.5 Diagnostic Measurements ................................................................................................................... 14

4.6 Documentation........................................................................................................................................... 14
4.6.1 After Receipt of Order......................................................................................................................... 15
4.6.2 Before Shipment.................................................................................................................................. 15

5 PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS....................................................................... 16

5.1 General Performance Requirements ....................................................................................................... 16


5.1.1 Large Meter Accuracy......................................................................................................................... 17
5.1.2 Small Meter Accuracy......................................................................................................................... 17

5.2 Pressure, Temperature and Gas Composition Influences...................................................................... 18

6 INDIVIDUAL METER TESTING REQUIREMENTS ................................................ 18

6.1 Leakage Tests ............................................................................................................................................ 18

6.2 Dimensional Measurements...................................................................................................................... 18

6.3 Zero-Flow Verification Test (Zero Test) ................................................................................................. 19

6.4 Flow-Calibration Test............................................................................................................................... 19


6.4.1 Test Reports ........................................................................................................................................ 20
6.4.2 Calibration of Metering Package......................................................................................................... 21
6.4.3 Calibration Adjustment Factors........................................................................................................... 21
6.4.4 Test Reports ........................................................................................................................................ 22
6.4.5 Final Considerations............................................................................................................................ 22

6.5 Quality Assurance ..................................................................................................................................... 23

7 INSTALLATION REQUIREMENTS......................................................................... 23

7.1 Environmental Considerations................................................................................................................. 23


7.1.1 Temperature ........................................................................................................................................ 23
7.1.2 Vibration ............................................................................................................................................. 23
7.1.3 Electrical Noise ................................................................................................................................... 23

7.2 Piping Configuration ................................................................................................................................ 24


7.2.1 Flow Direction..................................................................................................................................... 24

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7.2.2 Piping Installations.............................................................................................................................. 24


7.2.3 Protrusions .......................................................................................................................................... 26
7.2.4 Internal Surface ................................................................................................................................... 26
7.2.5 Thermowells........................................................................................................................................ 27
7.2.6 Flow Conditioners ............................................................................................................................... 27
7.2.7 Orientation of Meter............................................................................................................................ 27
7.2.8 Filtration.............................................................................................................................................. 27

7.3 Associated Flow Computer....................................................................................................................... 28


7.3.1 Flow Computer Calculations ............................................................................................................... 28

7.4 Maintenance .............................................................................................................................................. 29

8 FIELD VERIFICATION TESTS ............................................................................... 29

9 ULTRASONIC METER MEASUREMENT UNCERTAINTY DETERMINATION...... 29

9.1 Types of Uncertainties .............................................................................................................................. 30

9.2 Meter Calibration Uncertainty ................................................................................................................ 30

9.3 Uncertainties Arising Differences Between the Field Installation and the Calibration Lab .............. 30
9.3.1 Parallel Meter Runs............................................................................................................................. 30
9.3.2 Installation Effects............................................................................................................................... 30
9.3.3 Pressure and Temperature Effects ....................................................................................................... 31
9.3.4 Gas Quality Effects ............................................................................................................................. 31

9.4 Uncertainties Due to Secondary Instrumentation .................................................................................. 32

9.5 Analysis Procedure.................................................................................................................................... 32

10 REFERENCE LIST............................................................................................... 33

APPENDIX A : Multipath Ultrasonic Meter Flow-Calibration Issues ............................ A-1

APPENDIX B : Electronic Design Testing a standardized set of international


testing specifications applicable to electronic gas meters .................... B-1

APPENDIX C : A.G.A. Engineering Technical Note M-96-2-3, Ultrasonic Flow


Measurement for Natural Gas Applications, March 1996 ........................ C-1

APPENDIX D : Flow Meter and/or Flow Conditioner Performance Verification Test .. D-1

APPENDIX E : Example of Ultrasonic Meter Uncertainty Calculation...E1

FORM FOR PROPOSALS ON A.G.A. REPORT NO. 9......................................................... P1

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1 Introduction

1.1 Scope

This report was developed for multipath ultrasonic transit-time flow meters used for the
measurement of natural gas. Multipath ultrasonic meters have at least two independent pairs of
measuring transducers (acoustic paths). Typical applications include measuring the flow of gas
through production facilities, transmission pipelines, storage facilities, distribution systems and large
end-use customer meter sets.

1.2 Principle of Measurement

Multipath ultrasonic meters are inferential meters that derive the gas flow rate by measuring the
transit times of high-frequency sound pulses. Transit times are measured for sound pulses
transmitted and received between pairs of transducers positioned on or in the pipe. Pulses
transmitted downstream with the gas flow are accelerated by the flow and pulses transmitted
upstream against the gas flow along the identical acoustic path are decelerated. The
difference in these transit times is related to the average gas flow velocity along the acoustic paths.
Numerical calculation techniques are then used to compute the average axial gas flow velocity and
the gas volume flow rate at line conditions through the meter.

The accuracy of an ultrasonic gas meter depends on several factors, such as

Precisely measured dimensions of the meter body and ultrasonic transducer locations

the velocity integration technique inherent in the design of the meter

the shape of the velocity profile at the meter, levels of pulsation that exist in the flowing gas
stream

the accuracy of the transit-time measurements

The accuracy of the transit-time measurement depends on

the electronic clock accuracy and stability

accurate, consistent detection of sound pulse transmit and receive times

proper compensation for signal delays of electronic components and transducers

dimensional integrity, over time, of the meter body.

UM accuracy is dependent on these fundamental characterizations, and their continued integrity


over time: i.e., these accuracy dependencies may be adversely influenced by operational
degradation of the UM over time (for e.g., dirt build up on the meter walls, electronics drift, etc).
Emphasis on UM diagnostic data collection and interpretation in this document is made to
impress upon users the need to continuously monitor of UM integrity so that accuracy is
maintained.

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2 Terminology, Definitions, and Units

For the purposes of this report, the following terminology, definitions, and units apply:

2.1 Terminology

auditor Representative of the operator or other interested party that audits operation of
multipath ultrasonic meter.
designer Company that designs and constructs metering facilities and purchases multipath
ultrasonic meters.
inspector Representative of the designer who visits the manufacturers facilities for quality
assurance purposes.
manufacturer Company that designs, manufactures, sells and delivers multipath ultrasonic meters.
operator Company that operates multipath ultrasonic meters and performs normal
maintenance.
SPU Signal Processing Unit, the portion of the multipath ultrasonic meter that is made up
of the electronic microprocessor system.
UM Multipath ultrasonic meter for measuring gas flow rates.

2.2 Engineering Units

The following units should be used for the various values associated with the UM.

Parameter U.S. Units SI Units


density lb/cf kg/m3
energy Btu J
mass lb kg
pipe diameter in mm
2
pressure psi or lbf/in bar or Pa
temperature F C
velocity ft/s m/s
viscosity, absolute dynamic lb/(ftsec) cP or Pas
volume cf m3
actual (at flowing conditions) volume flow rate acf/h am3/h
standard volume Scf Sm3

2.3 Definitions

Percent error ((Measured value reference value) / reference value) x

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100.

Error The result of a measurement minus the true value of the


measurand.
Note 1: Since a true value cannot be determined, in practice a
conventional true (or reference) value is used.

Mean error The arithmetic mean of all the observed errors or data
points for a given flow rate.

Maximum Error The allowable error limit within the specified operational
range of the meter, as shown in Figure 1 and Sections
5.2.1 and 5.2.2.

Maximum Peak-to-Peak Error The largest allowable difference between the upper-
most error point and the lower-most error point as
shown in Figure 1 and Section 5.2. This applies to all
error values in the flow-rate range between qt and qmax.

Maximum Error Shift with The maximum deviation between the error observed, at
One Path Failed one flow rate, with all paths in operation compared to
the error, at the same flow rate, with any one of the
meters paths inactive.

Speed of Sound Deviation: The maximum difference, in percent, between the


average speed of sound reported by the meter during
dry calibration and the speed of sound of the reference
gas, as calculated per AGA report No.10,.

Maximum SOS Path Spread During dry calibration, the maximum difference in speed
of sound values between the acoustic paths

qmax The manufacturer stated maximum gas flow rate


through the meter (see Figure 1).

qt The flowrate at which the allowable error changes. (See


Figure 1). Since flow calibration is required for fiscal
measurement, perhaps we can also state that the Qt
and Qmin can be expanded after flow calibration? With
the ability to perform multipoint adjustments, the Qt and
Qmin basically become the point where the repeatability
exceed 0.4% (JL)

qmin The minimum gas flowrate through the meter as


specified by the manufacturer (See Figure 1).

qi The actual measured gas flowrate passing through a


meter under a specific set of test conditions.

Reference Gas A gas of known physical properties, e.g., nitrogen

Reference Meter A meter or measurement device of proven flow


measurement accuracy.

Repeatability (when discrete error values are given) The closeness

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of agreement between successive flow rate


measurements when obtained under the same
conditions (same fluid, same flow meter, same operator,
same test facility, and a short interval of time, and
without disconnecting or dismounting the flow meter).

Repeatability (when discrete error values are not given) The


acceptable error tolerance within which 95% of all flow
rate errors must lie, when obtained under the same
conditions (same fluid, same flow meter, same operator,
same test facility, and a short interval of time, and
without disconnecting or dismounting the flow meter).

Reproducibility The closeness of agreement among a number of


consecutive measurements of the output of the test
meter for the same reference flow rate under the same
operating conditions from one day to the next.

Resolution The smallest step change of flow velocity that is


indicated by the meter. See Section 5.2.

Velocity Sampling Interval The time interval between two succeeding gas velocity
measurements by the full set of transducers or acoustic
paths. Typically, between 0.05 and 0.5 seconds,
depending on meter size. See Section 5.2.

Zero-Flow Reading The maximum allowable flow-velocity reading when the


gas is assumed to be at rest. That is both the axial and
non-axial velocity components are essentially zero. See
Section 5.2.

Note : Mean error to be determined for at least seven different flowrates, such as 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 50,
75, 100 percent of maximum flow rate. A 95% confidence level of the mean error shall be reported
for the data collected at each flowrate along with the number of samples used to compute the
interval. A minimum number of three flow rate error values shall be determined at each flow rate.
True Value The true value is the value determined with a perfect
measurement process. The true value is always
unknown because all measurement processes are
imperfect to some degree.

Uncertainty Uncertainty is an estimate of the interval bounding the


measured value within which the true value lies.

Accuracy An accuracy specification usually means inaccuracy


but can be interpreted as uncertainty. A manufacturer
states that the accuracy is 1.0%really means that
the accuracy is 99%.

Confidence Level Confidence level (or confidence interval) is the


degree of confidence, expressed as a percent, that
the true value lies within the stated uncertainty. A

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proper uncertainty statement would read: "qm=500


cfh 1.0% at a 95% level of confidence". This means
that 95 out of every 100 observations are between
495 and 505 cfh.

3 Operating Conditions

3.1 Gas Quality

The meter shall, as a minimum requirement, operate with any of the normal range natural gas
composition mixtures specified in A.G.A. Report No. 8. This includes relative densities between
0.554 (pure methane) and 0.87.
The manufacturer should be consulted if any of the following are expected: 1) acoustic wave
attenuating carbon dioxide levels are above 10%, 2) operation near the critical density of the natural
gas mixture, or 3) total sulfur level exceeds 20 grains per 100 cubic feet (320 PPM approx.),
including mercaptans, H2S and other sulfur compounds.
Deposits due to normal gas pipeline conditions (e.g., condensates, glycol, amines, inhibitors, water
or traces of oil mixed with mill-scale, dirt or sand) may affect the meters accuracy by reducing the
meters cross-sectional area. Deposits may also attenuate or obstruct the ultrasonic sound waves
emitted from and received by the ultrasonic transducers, and in some designs reflected by the
internal wall of the meter.

3.2 Pressures

Ultrasonic transducers used in UMs require a minimum gas density (a function of pressure) to
ensure acoustic coupling of the sound pulses to and from the gas. Therefore, the designer shall
specify the expected minimum operating pressure as well as the maximum operating pressure.

3.3 Temperatures, Gas and Ambient

The UM should operate over a flowing gas temperature range of -13 to 131 F (-25 to 55 C). The
designer shall specify the expected operating gas temperature range.
The operating ambient air temperature range should be at a minimum -13 to 131 F (-25 to 55 C).
This ambient temperature range applies to the meter body with and without gas flow, field-mounted
electronics, ultrasonic transducers, cabling, etc. If the meter and the associated electronics are in
direct sun light the temperature limits stated may not be adequate. Therefore, It is recommended
that a sun shield be considered.

The manufacturer shall state the flowing gas and ambient air temperature specifications for the
multipath ultrasonic meter, if they differ from the above.

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3.4 Gas Flow Considerations

The flow-rate limits that can be measured by a UM are determined by the actual velocity of the
flowing gas. The designer should determine the expected gas flow rates and verify that these values
are within the qmin, qt and qmax specified by the manufacturer (see Section 5.1 for definitions). The
accuracy requirements for operation within qmin, qt and qmax are stated in Sections 5.2, 5.2.1 and
5.2.2 of this report. The designer is cautioned to examine carefully the maximum velocity for noise
and piping safety (erosion, thermowell vibrations, etc.) concerns.
UMs have the inherent capability of measuring flow in either direction with equal accuracy; i.e., they
are bi-directional. The designer should specify if bi-directional measurement is required so that the
manufacturer can properly configure the SPU parameters.

3.5 Upstream Piping and Flow Profiles

Upstream piping configurations (i.e., various combinations of upstream fittings, valves, regulators,
and lengths of straight pipe) may affect the gas velocity profile entering a UM to such an extent that
significant flow rate measurement error results. The magnitude and sign of the error, if any, will be,
in part, a function of the ability of the meter to correctly compensate for such conditions. Research
on the effect of upstream piping configuration on meter accuracy was still ongoing as of the
publication date of this report. In general, research results have shown that this effect is dependent
on the meter design, as well as the type and severity of the flow field distortion produced at the
meter. Although a substantial amount of data is available on the effect of upstream piping, the full
range of field piping installation configurations has not been studied in detail. Meter station
designers/operators may gain insight into expected meter performance for given upstream piping
installation configurations by soliciting available test results from meter manufacturers or by
reviewing test data found in the open literature. However, to truly confirm meter performance
characteristics for a particular piping installation configuration, flow testing of the meter installation is
usually required. In order to achieve the desired meter accuracy, it may be necessary for a
designer/operator to alter the original piping configuration or include a flow conditioner as part of the
meter installation. Further recommendations are provided in Sections 7.2.2 and 7.2.7 of this report.

3.6 Acoustic Noise

The presence of acoustic noise in a frequency range coincident with a UMs operating frequency,
may interfere with pulse detection, and therefore, transit time measurement. If the UM cannot detect
pulses, their transit times between transducers cant be measured and flow measurement ceases.
Acoustic noise interference can also cause pulse mis-detection resulting in erroneous transit time
measurements that translate into volumetric errors. Users must consider whether interfering
acoustic noise is anticipated at a particular installation, and take steps to prevent adverse effects on
UM performance during the station design phase.

Acoustic noise may be generated from numerous sources related to gas flow turbulence: high gas
velocities through piping and/or fittings, protruding probes, flow conditioners or pressure and
regulating control valves. Since UM manufacturers specify the operating frequencies of their
transducers, the frequency range in which a particular meter might be affected by acoustic noise is
known. Dynamic operating conditions (flow, pressure and temperature) and the variety of acoustic

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noise generators, make prediction of offending noise frequencies difficult. Consequently,


decoupling a UMs operating frequency from piping system noise can be challenging.

Manufacturers recognize the potential for operating problems, and most UMs have diagnostic
outputs that indicate when acoustic noise impairs meter performance. Strategies have also been
devised by users and manufacturers to estimate and/or limit a UMs susceptibility to noise
interference:

enhanced signal processing to improve ultrasonic pulse recognition and detection

signal filtering to narrow the bandwidth surveyed for better/faster pulse recognition

installation of fittings, such as blind tees or filters, to isolate noise source from the UM

development of specialized silencers that are installed in the piping between UM and noise
sources to isolate the meter from the offending noise

evaluation of UM response to acoustic noise prior to station installation.

In general, noise sources upstream of UMs have a more adverse impact on meter performance
than those installed downstream, although downstream installation of pressure reduction or other
noise generating equipment doesnt guarantee interference wont occur. Also, greater separation
between a noise source and the UM and the consequent increased number of fittings, provides
more attenuation than if meter and source are installed in close proximity to one another.

When considering installation of a UM, particularly in the vicinity of pressure or flow regulation, the
following factors should be assessed during the station design phase:

the valves (i.e., noise source) installed position relative to the meter; upstream or
downstream, distance between meter and source, number and type of fittings between
meter and source

operating frequency of the meters ultrasonic transducers, and the range of frequencies
generated by the noise source (noise reduction trim valves are of particular concern since
the design generates noise exceeding audible frequencies which are often times in the
ultrasonic range)

whether additional attenuation between noise source and UM is required which could
include blind tees or other fittings or acoustic filters.

whether enhanced filtering of digital signal processing should be applied, and if so, whether
it slows signal processing time beyond acceptable limits (limits prescribed for a linear
measuring device in API MPMS Chapter 21.1)

the cost/benefit of pursuing one or more strategies to limit UM exposure to offending


acoustic noise

When installation of a UM near a potential noise source is anticipated, it is recommended users


contact manufacturers for recommendations specific to their products prior to finalizing station
design. Cooperation between users and manufacturers during facilities design can avoid the need
for potentially expensive remedial actions at a completed meter installation.

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4 Meter Requirements

The following requirements are based both on meter performance and operational necessities.

4.1 Codes and Regulations

The meter body and all other parts, including the pressure-containing structures and external
electronic components, shall be designed and constructed of materials suitable for the service
conditions for which the meter is rated, and in accordance with any codes and regulations applicable
to each specific meter installation, as specified by the designer.
Unless otherwise specified by the designer, the meter shall be suitable for operation in a facility
subject to the U.S. Department of Transportations (DOT) regulations in 49 C.F.R. Part 192,
Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline: Minimum Federal Safety Standards.

4.2 Meter Body

4.2.1 Maximum Operating Pressure

Meters should be manufactured to meet one of the common pipeline flange classes ANSI Class
150, 300, 600, 900, etc. The maximum design operating pressure of the meter should be the lowest
of the maximum design operating pressure of the following: meter body, flanges, transducer
connections, transducer assemblies.
The required maximum operating pressure shall be determined using the applicable codes for the
jurisdiction in which the meter will be operated and for the specified environmental temperature
range. The designer should provide the manufacturer with information on all applicable codes for
the installation site and any other requirements specific to the operator.

4.2.2 Corrosion Resistance

All wetted parts of the meter shall be manufactured of materials compatible with natural gas and
related fluids.
All external parts of the meter should be made of a non-corrosive material or sealed with a
corrosion-resistant coating suitable for use in atmospheres typically found in the natural gas
industry, and/or as specified by the designer.

4.2.3 Meter Body Lengths and Bores

The manufacturers shall publish their standard overall face-to-face length of the meter body with
flanges, for each ANSI flange class and diameter. For meters without flanges the manufacturer
shall publish their standard overall length of the measurement section for each diameter size and
schedule.

The manufacturer shall publish the standard meter bore diameter of the measurement section.

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At the points of connection between the pipe and meter body the inside diameters of the meter and
meter tube shall be of the same internal diameter to within 1%. The meter inside diameter in the
measurement section shall be of constant diameter to within 0.5% of the average internal diameter
of the measurement section.

The measurement section average internal diameter shall be determined by a minimum of four
equally spaced individual internal diameter measurements made in a plane at the meter
measurement section entry, middle, and exit.

For meters having a bore diameter different from the meter tube, a maximum transition taper of 8
degrees is allowed outside of the measurement section.

Designer shall specify requirements for ensuring meter tube to meter alignment, such as pinning or
companion flanges.

4.2.4 Ultrasonic Transducer Ports

Because natural gas may contain some impurities (e.g., light oils glycols, amines, inhibitors or
condensates), transducer ports should be designed in a way that reduces the possibility of liquids or
solids accumulating in the transducer ports.
If specified by the designer and available from the manufacturer, the meter should be equipped with
valves and necessary additional devices, mounted on the transducer ports in order to make it
possible to replace the ultrasonic transducers without depressurizing the meter run. In that case, a
bleed valve may be required in addition to the isolation valve to ensure that no pressure exists
behind a transducer before releasing the extraction mechanism.

4.2.5 Pressure Tap

At least one pressure tap shall be provided for measuring the static pressure in the meter body.
This pressure tap is designated for use in determining corrected volume. Each pressure-tap hole
should be between 1/8" and 3/8" nominal inside diameter and cylindrical over a length at least 2.5
times the diameter of the tapping, measured from the inner wall of the meter body. The tap hole
edges at the internal wall of the meter body should be free of burrs and wire edges, and have
square edges. For a meter body with a wall thickness less than 5/16", the hole should be 1/8"
nominal in diameter.
Female pipe threads should be provided at each pressure tap for a 1/4" NPT or 1/2" NPT isolation
valve. Turning radius clearance should be provided to allow a valve body to be screwed directly into
the pressure tap. Pressure taps can be located at the top, left side, and/or right side of the meter
body. Additional taps may provide the designer with flexibility in locating pressure transducers for
maintenance access and proper drainage of gauge line condensates back into the meter body.

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4.2.6 Miscellaneous

The meter should be designed in such a way that the body will not roll when resting on a smooth
surface with a slope of up to 10%. This is to prevent damage to the protruding transducers and SPU
when the UM is temporarily set on the ground during installation or maintenance work.
The meter should be designed to permit easy and safe handling of the meter during transportation
and installation. Hoisting eyes or clearance for lifting straps should be provided.

4.2.7 Meter Body Markings

A nameplate containing the following information should be affixed to the meter body.
the manufacturer, model number, serial number and month and year manufactured
meter size, flange class and total weight
internal diameter
maximum and minimum storage temperatures
body design code and material, and flange design code and material
maximum and minimum operating pressure and temperature
maximum and minimum actual (at flowing conditions) volumetric flow rate per hour
direction of positive or forward flow
(optional) purchase order number, shop order number and/or user tag number
Each transducer port should be permanently marked with a unique designation for easy reference. If
markings are stamped on the meter body, low-stress stamps that produce a rounded bottom
impression should be used.

4.3 Ultrasonic Transducers

4.3.1 Specifications

The manufacturers should state the general specifications of their ultrasonic transducers, such as
critical dimensions, maximum allowable operating pressure, operating pressure range, operating
temperature range and gas composition limitations.
The manufacturer should specify the minimum operating pressure based on the ultrasonic
transducer model, UM size and expected operating conditions. This minimum pressure should be
marked or tagged on the UM to alert the operators field personnel that the meter may not register
flow at reduced pipeline pressures.

4.3.2 Rate of Pressure Change

Sudden depressurization of an ultrasonic transducer can cause damage if a trapped volume of gas
expands inside the transducer. If necessary, clear instructions should be provided by the
manufacturer for depressurization and pressurization of the meter and transducers during
installation, start-up, maintenance and operation.

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4.3.3 Exchange

It shall be possible to replace or relocate transducers without a significant change in meter


performance. This means that after an exchange of transducers and a possible change of SPU
software constants directed by the manufacturer, the resulting shift in the meters performance shall
not be outside the limits of the performance requirements specified in Sections 5.2, 5.2.1 and 5.2.2.
The manufacturer should specify procedures to be used when transducers have to be exchanged,
and possible mechanical, electrical or other measurements and adjustments have to be made.

4.3.4 Transducer Tests

Each transducer or pair of transducers should be tested by the manufacturer and the results
documented as part of the UMs quality assurance program. Each transducer should be marked or
tagged with a permanent serial number and be provided with the general transducer data listed in
Section 4.3.1. If the SPU requires specific transducer characterization parameters, each transducer
or transducer pair should also be provided with test documentation that contains the specific
calibration test data, calibration method used and characterization parameter(s).

4.4 Electronics

4.4.1 General Requirements

The UMs electronics system, including power supplies, microcomputer, signal processing
components and ultrasonic transducer excitation circuits, may be housed in one or more enclosures
mounted on or next to the meter and is referred to as a Signal Processing Unit (SPU).
Optionally, a remote unit containing the power supplies and the operator interface could be installed
in a non-hazardous area and connected to the SPU by multi-conductor cable.
The SPU should operate over its entire specified environmental conditions within the meter
performance requirements specified in Sections 5.2, 5.2.1 and 5.2.2. It should also be possible to
replace the entire SPU or change any field replacement module without a significant change in
meter performance. Significant change is explained in Section 4.3.3.
The system should contain a watch-dog-timer function to ensure automatic restart of the SPU in the
event of a program fault or lock-up.
The meter should operate from a power supply of nominal 120V AC or 240V AC at 50 or 60 Hz or
from nominal 12V DC or 24V DC power supply/battery systems, as specified by the designer.

4.4.2 Output Signal Specifications

The SPU should be equipped with at least one of the following outputs.
serial data interface; e.g., RS-232, RS-485 or equivalent
frequency, representing flow rate at line conditions
The meter may also be equipped with an analog (4-20mA, DC) output for flow rate at line conditions.
Flow-rate signal should be scaleable up to 120% of the meters maximum flow rate, qmax.

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A low-flow cutoff function should be provided that sets the flow-rate output to zero when the
indicated flow rate is below a minimum value (not applicable to serial data output).
Two separate flow-rate outputs and a directional state output or serial data values should be
provided for bi-directional applications to facilitate the separate accumulation of volumes by the
associated flow computer(s) and directional state output signal.
All outputs should be isolated from ground and have the necessary voltage protection to meet the
electronics design testing requirements of Appendix B.

4.4.3 Electrical Safety Design Requirements

The design of the UM, including the SPU, should be analyzed, tested and certified by an applicable
laboratory, and then each meter should be labeled as approved for operation in a National Electric
Code Class I, Division 2, Group D, Hazardous Area, at a minimum. Intrinsically safe designs and
explosion-proof enclosure designs are generally certified and labeled for Division 1 locations. The
designer may specify the more severe Division 1 location requirement to achieve a more
conservative installation design.
Cable jackets, rubber, plastic and other exposed parts should be resistant to ultraviolet light, flames,
oil and grease.

4.4.4 Component Replacement

The ability to replace or relocate transducers, cables, electronic parts and software without a
significant or appreciable change in the meters performance is a requirement. The manufacturer
shall provide proven procedures for the user and sufficient data to demonstrate that following the
replacement or relocation procedure for any of these components will not shift the meter outside the
performance requirements in Section 5.2, 5.2.1, 5.2.2 or 5.2.3.

Changing any of these components without recalibration may lead to additional measurement
uncertainty, the level of which must be specified by the manufacturer. The operator should maintain
a set of normal reference data (See Section 5.5.3) and when components are replaced, will want to
compare the indicated velocity ratios to the other paths. The previous normal function should be
compared to the post replacement condition

4.5 Computer Programs

4.5.1 Firmware

Computer codes responsible for the control and operation of the meter should be stored in a
nonvolatile memory. All flow-calculation constants and the operator-entered parameters should also
be stored in nonvolatile memory.
For auditing purposes, it should be possible to verify all flow-calculation constants and parameters
while the meter is in operation.

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The manufacturer should maintain a record of all firmware revisions, including revision serial
number, date of revision, applicable meter models, circuit board revisions and a description of
changes to the firmware.
The firmware revision number, revision date, serial number and/or checksum should be available to
the auditor by visual inspection of the firmware chip, display or digital communications port.
The manufacturer may offer firmware upgrades from time to time to improve the performance of the
meter or add additional features. The manufacturer shall notify the operator if the firmware revision
will affect the accuracy of a flow-calibrated meter.

4.5.2 Configuration and Maintenance Software

The meter should be supplied with a capability for local or remote configuring of the SPU and for
monitoring the operation of the meter. As a minimum, the software should be able to display and
record the following measurements: flow rate at line conditions, mean velocity, average speed of
sound, speed of sound along each acoustic path and ultrasonic acoustic signal quality received by
each transducer. As an option, the manufacturer can provide these software functions as part of the
meters embedded software.

4.5.3 Inspection and Auditing Functions

It should be possible for the auditor or the inspector to view and print the flow-measurement
configuration parameters used by the SPU; e.g., calibration constants, meter dimensions, time
averaging period and sampling rate.
Provisions should be made to prevent an accidental or undetectable alteration of those parameters
that affects the performance of the meter. Suitable provisions include a sealable switch or jumper, a
permanent programmable read-only memory chip or a password in the SPU.
(Optional) It should be possible for the auditor to verify that all algorithms, constants and
configuration parameters being used, in any specific meter, are producing the same or better
performance as when the meter design was originally flow-tested or when the specific meter was
last flow-calibrated and any calibration factors were changed. The auditor may have to rely on the
manufacturer for portions of this verification because of the proprietary nature of some UM
algorithms.
In general, the metering system should conform to the requirements provided in American
Petroleum Institutes Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards Chapter 21.1 for electronic gas
measurement. In addition, the operator should baseline the meter by documenting the relationship
between path transit time (if available), path automatic gain control (AGC), path velocity of sounds,
meter average velocity of sound, meter average velocity (were applicable), and meter uncorrected
volume (were applicable) during meter dry calibration, flow calibration, and initial installation. These
baseline relationships are useful in establishing acceptance criteria for the various relationships and
determining the need for meter recalibration after changing components and/or firmware.

4.5.4 Alarms

The following alarm-status outputs should be provided in the form of fail-safe, dry, relay contacts or
voltage-free solid-state switches isolated from ground.
output invalid: when the indicated flow rate at line conditions is invalid

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(optional) trouble: when any of several monitored parameters fall outside of normal
operation for a significant period of time
(optional) partial failure: when one or more of the multiple ultrasonic path results is not
usable

4.5.5 Diagnostic Measurements

The manufacturer should provide the following and other diagnostic measurements via a serial data
interface; e.g., RS-232, RS-485 or equivalent.
path AGC levels
path transit times
average axial flow velocity through the meter
flow velocity for each acoustic path (or equivalent for evaluation of the flowing velocity
profile)
speed of sound along each acoustic path
average speed of sound
velocity sampling interval
averaging time interval
percentage of accepted pulses for each acoustic path
status and measurement quality indicators
alarm and failure indicators

4.6 Documentation

Other sections of this report require documentation on accuracy, installation effects, electronics,
ultrasonic transducers and zero-flow verification. The manufacturer should also provide all
necessary data, certificates and documentation for a correct configuration, set-up and use of the
particular meter so that it operates correctly. This includes an operators manual, pressure test
certificates, material certificates, measurement report on all geometrical parameters of the spool
piece and certificates specifying the zero-flow verification parameters used. Quality-assurance
documentation should be available for the inspector or the designer upon request.

The manufacturer should provide the following set of documents, at a minimum. All documentation
should be dated.
a. a description of the meter, giving the technical characteristics and the principle of its
operation
b. a perspective drawing or photograph of the meter
c. a nomenclature of parts with a description of constituent materials of such parts
d. an assembly drawing with identification of the component parts listed in the nomenclature
e. a dimensioned drawing
f. a drawing showing the location of verification marks and seals
g. a dimensioned drawing of metrological important components

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h. a drawing of the data plate or face plate and of the arrangements for inscriptions
i. a drawing of any auxiliary devices
j. instructions for installation, operation, periodic maintenance and trouble-shooting
k. maintenance documentation, including third-party drawings for any field-repairable
components
l. a description of the electronic SPU and its arrangement, and a general description of its
operation
m. a description of the available output signals and any adjustment mechanisms
n. a list of electronic interfaces and user wiring termination points with their essential
characteristics
o. a description of software functions and SPU configuration parameters, including their default
value and operating instructions
p. documentation that the design and construction comply with applicable safety codes and
regulations
q. documentation that the meters performance meets the requirements of Section 5,
Performance Requirements
r. documentation that the meters design successfully passed the tests in Appendix B,
Electronics Design Testing
s. upstream and downstream piping configurations in minimum length that will not create an
additional flow-rate measurement error of more than 0.3%
t. maximum allowable flow-profile disturbance, which will not create an additional flow-rate
measurement error of more than 0.3%
u. a field verification test procedure as described in Section 8
v. a list of the documents submitted

4.6.1 After Receipt of Order

The manufacturer should furnish specific meter outline drawings, including overall flange face-to-
face dimensions, inside diameter, maintenance space clearances, conduit connection points and
estimated weight.
The manufacturer should provide a recommended list of spare parts.
The manufacturer should also furnish meter-specific electrical drawings that show customer wiring
termination points and associated electrical schematics for all circuit components back to the first
isolating component; e.g., optical isolator, relay, operational amplifier, etc. This will allow the
designer to properly design the interfacing electronic circuits.

4.6.2 Before Shipment

Prior to shipment of the meter, the manufacturer should make the following available for the
inspectors review: metallurgy reports, weld inspection reports, pressure test reports and final
dimensional measurements as required in Section 6.2.

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5 Performance Requirements

This section specifies a set of minimum measurement performance requirements that UMs must
meet. If a meter is not flow-calibrated, the manufacturer shall provide sufficient test data confirming
that each meter shall meet these performance requirements. It is recommended that UMs be flow
calibrated per Section 6.4 to improve measurement accuracy beyond the minimum performance
requirements. When a meter is flow-calibrated, it shall meet the minimum measurement
performance requirements detailed below before the application of any calibration-factor
adjustment. The amount of calibration-factor adjustment, therefore, should be within the error limits
stated in these performance requirements. This is to ensure that a major flaw in the meter is not
masked by a large calibration-factor adjustment.

Calibration-factor adjustments are made to minimize a meters measurement bias error. The
designer is referred to Appendix A and Section 6.4.1 for an explanation of the methods and benefits
of flow-calibrating a meter and for calibration-factor adjustment. The designer should also follow
carefully the installation recommendations of Section 7, as any installation effects will add to the
overall measurement uncertainty.

For each meter design and size, the manufacturer shall specify flow-rate limits for qmin, qt and qmax
as defined in Section 5.1. Each UM, whether flow-calibrated or not, shall perform within the more
accurate measurement range for gas flow rates from qt to qmax and within the less accurate range for
gas flow rates less than qt but greater than or equal to qmin, as defined in Sections 5.2, 5.2.1, 5.2.2
and 5.2.3.

Calibration Verification Test Points:


The meter user is left to specify the number of flow rate verification points after the application of a
single meter calibration factor.

5.1 General Performance Requirements

The general flow-measurement performance of all UMs shall meet the following requirements, prior
to making any calibration-factor adjustment.

Repeatability: 0.2% for qt qi qmax


0.4% for qmin qi < qt

Resolution: 0.003 ft/s (0.001 m/s)

Velocity Sampling Interval: 1 second

Zero-Flow Reading: <0.020 ft/s (6 mm/s) for each acoustic path

Speed of Sound Deviation: 0.2%

Maximum SOS Path Spread: 1.5 fps (0.5 m/s)

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5.1.1 Large Meter Accuracy

UMs of 12-inch (nominal) diameter size and larger shall meet the following flow-measurement
accuracy requirements, prior to making any calibration-factor adjustment.

Maximum Error: 0.7% for qt qi qmax


(See Figure 1) 1.4% for qmin qi < qt

5.1.2 Small Meter Accuracy

UMs less than 12-inch (nominal) diameter shall meet the following flow-measurement accuracy
requirements, prior to making any calibration-factor adjustment. Note that the requirements for the
smaller meters have been relaxed slightly because of the difficulty in measuring acoustic transit
times in turbulent gas flow when the path lengths are shorter.

Maximum Error: 1.0% for qt qi qmax


(See Figure 1) 1.4% for qmin qi < qt

Zero-flow reading <0.04 ft/sec (for each path)

1.6
1.4 Expanded error limit +1.4% (qi < qt)
1.2 Repeatability 0.4% (qi < qt)
1.0 Small meter error limit +1.0%
0.8
Large meter error limit +0.7%
0.6
Percent error

0.4
0.2
-0.0
-0.2 Maximum peak-to-peak error 0.7% (qi qt)

-0.4
-0.6
Large meter error limit -0.7%
-0.8
-1.0 Small meter error limit -1.0%
-1.2 Repeatability 0.2% (qi qt)
qt 0.1qmax
-1.4 Expanded error limit -1.4% (qi < qt)
-1.6
qmin qt qmax
Flow rate (qi)

Figure 1

Performance Specification Summary

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5.2 Pressure, Temperature and Gas Composition Influences

The UM shall meet the above flow-measurement accuracy requirements over the full operating
pressure, temperature and gas composition ranges without the need for manual adjustment, unless
otherwise stated by the manufacturer. If the UM requires a manual input to characterize the flowing
gas conditions (e.g., gas density and viscosity), the manufacturer shall state the sensitivity of these
parameters so that the operator can determine the need to change these parameters as operating
conditions change.

6 Individual Meter Testing Requirements

Prior to the field operation of each UM package, the following tests and checks on each meter shall
be performed. The results of all tests and checks performed on each meter shall be documented in
a report (see Section 6.4.2) retained by the designer or the operator.

6.1 Leakage Tests

Every UM, complete with transducers and transducer isolation valves (if used), shall be leak-tested
by the manufacturer after final assembly and prior to shipment to the designer or flow-calibration
facility. The test medium should be an inert gas, such as nitrogen. The leak test pressure shall be a
minimum of 200 psig, maintained for a minimum of 15 minutes, with no leaks detectable with a non-
corrosive liquid solution or an ultrasonic leak detector as described in ASTM E 1002 - 93. This leak
test does not preclude the requirements to perform a hydrostatic qualification test.

6.2 Dimensional Measurements

The manufacturer shall measure and document the average internal diameter of the meter, the
length of each acoustic path between transducer faces and the axial (meter body axis) distance
between transducer pairs.
The average internal diameter should be calculated from a total of 12 inside diameter
measurements or the equivalent determined by a coordinate measuring machine. Four internal
diameter measurements (one in the vertical plane, another in the horizontal plane and two in planes
approximately 45 from the vertical plane) shall be made at three meter cross-sections: 1) near the
set of upstream ultrasonic transducers, 2) near the set of downstream transducers and 3) half way
between the two transducer sets.
If the acoustic path lengths or the axial distances between ultrasonic transducer pairs cannot be
directly measured, then the unknown distances shall be calculated using right-angle trigonometry
and distances that can be measured directly. Where the measurement of angles is difficult and the
result is imprecise, such measurements shall not be used to calculate the required distances.
The meter body temperature shall be measured at the time these dimensional measurements are
made. The measured lengths shall be corrected to an equivalent length at a meter body
temperature of 68 F (20 C) by applying the applicable coefficient of thermal expansion for the
meter body material. The individual corrected lengths shall then be averaged and reported to the
nearest 0.0001" (0.01 mm).
All instruments used to perform these measurements shall have valid calibrations traceable to
national standards; e.g., NIST in U.S.A.

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These measurements and calculations shall be documented on a certificate, along with the name of
the meter manufacturer, meter model, meter serial number, meter body temperature at the time
dimensional measurements were made, date, name of the individual who made the measurements
and name of the inspector if present.

6.3 Zero-Flow Verification Test (Zero Test)

To verify the transit-time measurement system of each meter, the manufacturer shall perform a
Zero-Flow Verification Test. The manufacturer shall document and follow a detailed test procedure
that includes the following elements, at a minimum.
After blind flanges are attached to the ends of the meter body, the meter shall be purged of
all air and pressurized with a pure reference gas. The selection of the reference gas shall be
the responsibility of the manufacturer. However, the acoustic properties of the reference gas
must be well-known and documented.
The gas pressure and temperature shall be allowed to stabilize at the outset of the test. The
gas velocities for each acoustic path shall be recorded for at least 30 seconds. The mean
gas velocity and standard deviation for each acoustic path shall then be calculated.
Adjustments to the meter shall be made as necessary to bring the meter performance into
compliance with the manufacturers specifications and the specifications stated in this report.
If the measured speed-of-sound values are compared with theoretical values, the theoretically
determined value shall be computed using a complete compositional analysis of the reference gas,
precise measurements of the reference gas pressure and temperature and the equation of state
used in AGA Report No. 10, Speed of Sound in Natural Gas and Other Related Hydrocarbon Gases
or another method that produces results that agree with those derived using AGA Report No. 10 to
within 50 parts per million.

As part of the test procedure, the manufacturer shall document the ultrasonic transducer serial
numbers and their relative locations in the meter body. The manufacturer shall also document all
parameters used by the meter; e.g., transducer/electronic transit-time delays, incremental timing
corrections, and all acoustic path lengths, angles, diameters and other parameters used in the
calculation of the gas velocity for each acoustic path. The manufacturer should note if the constants
are dependent on specific transducer pairs.
The manufacturer may also implement a zero-flow offset factor, in engineering units of positive or
negative feet per second or meters per second. This zero-flow offset factor would be applied to the
meters flow-rate output. Use of this factor is intended to improve the accuracy of the low gas
velocity measurements, while not significantly affecting the accuracy of the higher velocity
measurements. This zero-flow offset factor, if used, shall be documented by the manufacturer.

6.4 Flow-Calibration Test

Meter package will consist of adequate upstream and downstream piping and any flow conditioning
to ensure that there is not significant difference between gas profile as seen by the meter in the
laboratory and the gas profile as seen in the final installation.

It is a requirement that all custody transfer metering packages be flow calibrated in a flow calibration
facility or by a calibration method traceable to a recognized national/international standard.

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Examples of entities that maintain national measurement standards include NIST, NMI and PTB
standards. The following nominal flow rates are recommended as minimum: 0.025qmax, 0.05 qmax,
0.10 qmax, 0.25 qmax, 0.50 qmax, 0.75 qmax, and qmax. The designer may also specify additional flow
calibration tests at other flow rates. (See the example in appendix A, where additional tests at 0.15
qmax and 0.20 qmax could be useful).

The Designers and /or manufacturer should provide the calibration facility with will provide the
following information:
1. Meter size.
2. Piping data (i.e. schedule, id, lengths and ANSI rating).
3. Flow conditioner(s) type and placement.
4. Maximum flow rate or velocity (Should be manufactures stated qmax).
5. Output signal to be used for calibration. (Serial data, frequency or analog)
6. Position of thermo well(s) and/or temperature element (Appendix C, Sec.3.2.2).
7. Additional data points if desired.
8. A drawing clearly showing the installation should be provided.
9. Any special instructions should be noted (e.g. for bi-directional calibrations either rotate
meter only or rotate meter and meter tubes).
10. Position, size, type and location for sample system components or any other flow
disturbances.
Any property or thermophysical values (e.g. density, compressibility, speed of sound, critical flow
factor, etc) used during flow calibration shall be computed using methods from A.G.A. Report No. 8,
Detailed Characterization Method Equation of State. The speed of sound shall be computed using
the method in AGA Report No. 10, Speed of Sound in Natural Gas and Other Related Hydrocarbon
Gasses or another method that produces results that agree with those derived using AGA Report
No. 10 to within 50 parts per million.
If the manufacturer recommends any changes to the meter configuration prior to calibration then the
laboratory will be responsible for making these changes according to the manufacturers
recommended method.
The laboratory shall maintain a record of the initial meter configuration as received from
manufacturer and keep a record of all subsequent changes.
All thermowells and/or sample probes should be installed for the calibration. All flanges should be
aligned to minimize any protrusions. Position of primary temperature sensing element should be
reviewed. Section 7.2 provides guidance for piping configurations.

6.4.1 Test Reports

It is recommended that the calibration facility inspect the meter for any obvious physical damage
that may have occurred during shipping and verify that the physical meter configuration matches the
configuration specified by the user.
It is also recommended that the calibration laboratory verify the electronic configuration in the meter
matches the configuration provided by the manufacturer with the supplied meter.

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To identify meter problems it is recommended to perform a zero flow verification test prior to
calibrating the metering package. This should be done as per the manufacturers specification and
should include verification of the individual gas velocities, speed of sound and per path
performance.
Unless specified otherwise by the manufacturer, the meter log must then be evaluated as follows.
It is recommended that no individual path velocity be greater than .04 ft/sec on average. The speed
of sound per path should be within 0.2% of the theoretical value (See Appendix C Section 3.1).
The performance per path should be 100%. All gain levels should be within the nominal limits
provided by the manufacturer. Once all of the above conditions are satisfied, the calibration may
commence.
Finally, the laboratory shall configure the test in such a way that the meter is calibrated using the
output signal requested by the end user.

6.4.2 Calibration of Metering Package

The calibration will involve flowing gas though one or more reference meters in series with the meter
under test at the flow rates outlined above. Flow, temperature, pressure and gas composition data
will be acquired and an error for the meter will be calculated at each flow rate.
All calibrations will be designed using sound statistical techniques to determine the number of
calibration points, the number of samples at each point and the size of each sample.
A calibration point will be derived from a statistically significant measurement.
At least one verification point will be taken after applying adjustment factor(s) as outlined below to
verify the adjustment was calculated and applied properly.
During the calibration, meter log data will be accumulated at each flow rate. At least 120 seconds of
log data at each flow rate are required. This data can be used to develop a finger print of the
meters performance (Appendix X). At least one SOS check should be done during the calibration.

6.4.3 Calibration Adjustment Factors

Calibration adjustment factors should normally be applied to eliminate any indicated meter bias
error. The two accepted methods of applying adjustment factors are:
1) Using the flow-weighted mean error (FWME) over the meters expected flow range
(Calculation of FWME is shown in Appendix A).
2) Using a polynomial algorithm, a piecewise linear interpolation method, etc error
correction scheme)
For bi-directional flow calibrations, a second set of calibration adjustment factors shall be used for
reverse flow. The resulting, as left calibration results must meet the accuracy specification as
outlined in this document.

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6.4.4 Test Reports

The results of each test required in Section 6 shall be documented in a written report supplied to the
designer or the operator. For each meter, the report shall include at a minimum:
1) The name of the manufacturer
2) The name and address of the facility
3) The model and serial number of the meter
4) The SPU firmware revision number
5) The date(s) of the test
6) The name and title of the person(s) who conducted the tests
7) A description of test procedures
8) The upstream and downstream piping configuration including flow conditioner
9) The serial numbers of all piping and flow conditioners.
10) A diagnostic report of the software configuration parameters
11) All test data, including flow rates, velocities, errors, pressure, temperature and gas
composition
12) A statement of uncertainty for the facility with reference to the method used and date of
last verification of traceability to a recognized national/international standard.
13) An identification of adjustment method applied and adjustment factors used
14) Number of page in the calibration document, e.g. (1 of 3)
15) Typed names below signatures of all persons who sign calibration document.
At least one copy of the complete report shall be sent to the designer or the operator. For new
meters one copy will be retained in the manufacturers files. The manufacture shall ensure that the
complete report is available to the operator upon request, for a period of 10 years after shipment of
any meter.

6.4.5 Final Considerations

Upon completion of the calibration, the complete metering package will be marked to indicate
alignment of flanges at time of calibration. The end users can request that the flanges directly up
and downstream of the meter be dowelled to ensure exact positioning upon reassembly in the field.
Designers may consider leaving the complete metering package assembled for shipment to final
installation location. Flow conditioner alignment should also be marked if not already done so by the
flow conditioner manufacturer. In most cases, thermo wells may remain installed to ensure proper
installation in the field.
Write protect jumpers/switches should be installed and sealed to prevent metrology affecting
parameter changes. A copy of the final meter parameter file should accompany the meter to the field
installation location.
Meter log analysis and SOS checks should be included to provide a fingerprint of the metering
package performance. This fingerprint can be used to verify the field installation of the package

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upon startup. It is also useful for the historical health checks of the metering package. It is
recommended that the manufacturers provide the parameters that define the fingerprint for their
products.
Unless specified otherwise by the manufacture, the laboratory diagnostic data will be verified and
the fingerprint factors

6.5 Quality Assurance

The manufacturer shall establish and follow a written comprehensive quality-assurance program for
the assembly and testing of the meter and its electronic system (e.g., ISO 9000, API Specification
Q1, etc.). This quality-assurance program should be available to the inspector.

7 Installation Requirements

This section is directed to Designer to ensure that the UM will be installed in a suitable environment
and in a piping configuration in which the UM can meet the expected performance requirements.

7.1 Environmental Considerations

7.1.1 Temperature

The Manufacturer shall provide ambient temperature specifications for the UM. Consideration
should be given to providing shelter, heating, and/or cooling to reduce the ambient temperature
extremes.

7.1.2 Vibration

UMs should not be installed where vibration levels or frequencies might excite the natural
frequencies of SPU boards, components, or ultrasonic transducers when installed in the meter body.
The Manufacturer shall provide specifications regarding the natural frequencies of the UM
components.

7.1.3 Electrical Noise

The Designer and the Operator should not expose the UM or its connected wiring to any
unnecessary electrical noise, including alternating current, solenoid transients, or radio
transmissions. The Manufacturer shall provide instrument specifications regarding electrical
noise influences.

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7.2 Piping Configuration

7.2.1 Flow Direction

For bi-directional applications, both ends of the meter should be considered "upstream."

7.2.2 Piping Installations

As previously noted in Section 3.5, various combinations of upstream fittings, valves, and lengths of
straight pipe can produce velocity profile distortions at the meter inlet that may result in flow rate
measurement errors. The amount of meter error will be dependent on the type and severity of the
flow distortion produced by the upstream piping configuration and the meters ability to compensate
for this distortion. For optimum meter performance the Designer must be aware that the
combined effects of various piping elements may affect the UM performance. Research has
demonstrated that asymmetric velocity profiles may persist for 50 pipe diameters or more
downstream from the point of initiation. Swirling velocity profiles may persist for 200 pipe
diameters or more. A flow conditioning elements properly installed upstream of a UM can
produce an exit velocity profile sufficient to eliminate the effects of an upstream flow
disturbance. A UM may be able to compensate for some level of flow profile disturbance. For
custody transfer applications, the use of flow conditioning is recommended to minimize flow
distortion and to provide the basis for a standard UM meter tube design that might be used in
various piping configurations.
In order to achieve the desired meter performance, it may be necessary for the designer to alter
the original piping configuration or include a flow conditioner as part of the meter run.
To ensure that the UM, when installed in the operators piping system, will perform within the
specified flow rate measurement accuracy limits defined in Sections 5.2, 5.2.1 and 5.2.2, the
manufacturer shall do one of the following, as directed by the designer/operator:
1. Recommend at least one upstream and downstream piping configuration, without a flow
conditioner and one configuration with a flow conditioner, that will not create an additional
flow rate measurement error of more than 0.3% after calibration adjustment due to the
installation configuration. This error limit should apply for any gas flow rate between qmin
and qmax. This recommendation should be supported by test data.
2. Specify the maximum allowable flow disturbance (e.g., the limits on swirl angle, velocity
profile asymmetry, turbulence intensity, etc.) at the meters upstream flange, or at some
specified axial distance upstream of the meter, that will not create an additional flow rate
measurement error of more than 0.3% due to the installation configuration. This error limit
should apply for any gas flow rate between qmin and qmax. This recommendation should be
supported by test data.
Instead of following the manufacturers recommendation in 1 or 2 above, the designer may
choose to flow calibrate the UM in-situ, or in a flow calibration facility in which the test piping
configuration is identical to the planned installation or with flow conditioning elements that will
effectively isolate the meter from upstream piping conditions. The presumption after flow
calibration is that the meter performance obtained in the flow lab may be reasonably reproduced in the
field installation. The manufacturer shall recommend installation criteria that will not create additional flow
rate measurement error of more than 0.3%. Of course, no bias is desirable, but may not be achievable
without in-situ validation. By the law of similarity, it is presumed that the field installed meter will

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perform the same way as it did in the flow calibration facility. In-situ flow calibration may not be
practical in all installations.
Research has demonstrated that asymmetric velocity profiles may persist for 50 pipe diameters
or more downstream from the point of initiation. Swirling velocity profiles may persist for 200
pipe diameters or more. A flow conditioner properly installed upstream of a UM may help
shorten the length of straight pipe required to eliminate the effects of an upstream flow
disturbance. A UM may be able to compensate for some level of flow profile disturbance.
Research is still being conducted to quantify the sensitivity of different UM designs to various
flow profile disturbances.

Figure 2 Recommended Default Unidirectional and Bi-directional Installations

When any of the previously discussed conditions exist in the field installations, that are different
from the flow calibration facility conditions, the law of similarity does not apply. It is therefore,
considered prudent for designer to be conservative with the installation design by applying a
qualified flow conditioner and longer pipe dimensions than the manufacturers minimum
recommendations. A qualified flow conditioner is one that has been tested and shown to meet
the requirements of Appendix D. One conservative design is to use 10 nominal pipe diameters
(10 D) between the meter tube inlet and the qualified flow conditioner, 10 D between the
qualified flow conditioner and the meter, and 5D between the meter and the first downstream

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disturbance (See Figure 2). For bi-directional meter tubes the upstream dimensions (20 D and
a qualified flow conditioner) would apply to either side of the meter (See Figure 2). In this
context D is intended to be the nominal pipe diameter truncated to the nearest integer value
commonly used to describe the pipe size, e.g.: 2 , 4, 6, 8, etc.

7.2.3 Protrusions

Changes in internal diameters and protrusions should be avoided at the UM inlet because they
create local disturbances to the velocity profiles. The UM bore, flanges, and adjacent upstream
pipe, should all have the same inside diameter, to within 1%, and be carefully aligned to
minimize flow disturbances, especially at the upstream flange section.. The adjacent upstream
flange internal welds should be ground to a smooth transition with the pipe wall.

No part of the upstream gasket or flange face edge should protrude into the flow stream by
more than 1% of the internal diameter. During installation, three or more insulating flange bolt
sleeves can be used at the 4, 8, and 12 oclock positions to keep the gasket centered while the
tightening the nuts.

Thermowells, located as specified in Section 7.2.5, are excluded from the above protrusion
limits.
Address dowelling or pinning.(R. Fritz)
(FVO)We need to discuss sample probe locations and consider the conflict between the old
AGA 9, API Chapter 14.1 and the GPA standards.

7.2.4 Internal Surface

The internal surface of the UM should be kept clean of any deposits due to condensates or
traces of oil mixed with mill-scale, dirt or sand, which may affect the meter's cross-section area.
The UM's operation depends on a known cross-section area to convert mean gas velocity to a
flow rate. If a layer of deposits accumulate inside the UM, the cross-section area will be
reduced, causing a corresponding increase in gas velocity, thus a positive measurement error..
Examples: Given a 6.000" internal diameter UM, a deposit layer of only 0.008" around the
inside surface will cause a +0.53% flow measurement error. For a 20.000" meter, the same
0.008" coating would cause a +0.16% error. (For comparison, 0.008" equals the thickness of
two pieces of 20# copy machine paper.)
In addition, internal deposits on the wall may also cause velocity profile distortion that can
influence the performance of the meter. A boroscope inspection port can be added 3D
downstream, to determine if there is buildup.
Experience has shown that honing the meter tube internal surface to 250 inch ra or better
smoothness can be an advantageous in minimizing contamination build up.
Deposits of oil, glycol, amine, inhibitor or pipeline rouge on the transducer faces will cause the
meter to over register because the contaminant is a better conductor of sound than gas. The
resulting shortened transit time may be interpreted by the meter as higher flowing velocity. As

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discussed in section 7.2.2, in this instance, the law of similarity will not be applicable to the field
condition..

7.2.5 Thermowells

For unidirectional flow, designer should have the thermowell installed downstream of the meter.
The distance from the downstream flange face to the thermowell should be between 2D and
5D. For bi-directional flow installations, the thermowell should be located at least 3D, but no
farther away than 5D from either UM flange face.

Research on the effects of thermowell placement is ongoing and the designer should consult
with the manufacturer for recommendations based on the most current test data. The
thermowell orientation with respect to acoustic paths should be recommended by the
manufacturer.
The designer is cautioned to limit sample probe insertion length to 1/3 of the pipe internal
diameter or 5, which ever is shorter. The intent is to reduce flow blockage.
The designer is cautioned that high gas velocities may cause flow-induced thermowell or
sample probe vibration. Catastrophic metal fatigue failure of these elements could eventually
result.

7.2.6 Flow Conditioners

Flow conditioners may or may not be necessary, depending on the meter design and the
severity of any upstream flow-profile disturbance and the metering package measurement
performance required. The designer/operator should consult with the manufacturer(s) to
determine the benefits, if any, of installing a particular type of flow conditioner, given the
upstream piping configuration. Refer also to the discussion in Section 7.2.2 above and to
Appendix D Flow Meter Performance Verification Test.

7.2.7 Orientation of Meter

Designer should consult with manufacturer to determine if there is a preferred meter orientation
for a given upstream piping configuration which is known to produce a flow profile distortions.

7.2.8 Filtration

Filtration of the flowing gas is probably not necessary for most applications of a UM. However
the accumulation of deposits due to a mixture of dirt, mill scale, condensates and/or lubricating
oils should be avoided, see Section 7.2.4. Filtration may be necessary if any of the above
conditions are known to exist.

7.2.9 Meter Tube Ports

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Meter tube ports such as for cleaning or inspection shall be located no closer to the meter than
2D. The port diameter should not exceed 6% of the pipe diameter.

7.3 Associated Flow Computer

The UM's output is typically an uncorrected volume, either per unit of time or accumulated.
Therefore, an associated flow computer or corrector must be installed by the designer to correct for
pressure, temperature, compressibility factor, accumulate volumes, and provide the necessary data
retention and audit trail. Optionally, the flow computer functions could be integrated into the UM's
SPU by the manufacturer.
For bi-directional applications, the UM should be treated as two separate meters, associated with
two "meter runs" in a single flow computer or with two separate flow computers.
For other applicable flow computer requirements, the designer should reference API MPMS Chapter
21.1, Flow Measurement Using Electronic Metering Systems. A UM would be considered a Linear
Meter in that document.

7.3.1 Flow Computer Calculations

The equations that should be used in a flow computer for a UM are the same equations as
described in A.G.A. Report No. 7, Measurement of Natural Gas by Turbine Meters. These
equations correct for pressure, temperature and compressibility of the gas. The necessary
calculations are similar to the equations described in A.G.A. Report No. 7, Measurement of Gas by
Turbine Meters, and are summarized in the following expressions:

Qb = Qf (Pf /Pb ) (Tb /Tf ) (Zb /Zf )

Vb = Qb dt
Where:
Qb = Flow rate at base conditions
Qf = Flow rate at flowing conditions
Pb = Base pressure, typically 14.73 psia (101.325 kPa)
Pf = Absolute static pressure of gas at flowing conditions from meter tap
Tb = Base temperature, typically 519.67 R (288.15 K)
Tf = Absolute temperature of gas at flowing conditions
Zb = Compressibility factor of gas at base conditions, per A.G.A. Report No. 8
Zf = Compressibility factor of gas at flowing conditions, per A.G.A. Report No. 8
Vb = Accumulated volume at base conditions
= Integrated over time
dt = Integration increments of time, typically one second.

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The first equation converts the flow rate at flowing conditions of pressure, temperature and
compressibility, to a flow rate at base conditions. The second equation represents the accumulation
process where flow rates at base conditions are accumulated to volumes over time. For more
details, refer to A.G.A. Report No. 7

7.4 Maintenance

Operator should follow manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance. Periodic maintenance


could be as simple as monitoring several SPU diagnostic measurements, such as signal quality and
speed of sound for each acoustic path. For example, it may be possible to detect an accumulation of
deposits on the transducer faces by measuring a reduction in the received ultrasonic pulse strength.
Deposits of oil, glycol, amine, inhibitor or pipeline rouge on the transducer faces will cause the meter
to over register because the contaminant is a better conductor of sound than gas. The resulting
shortened transit time may be interpreted by the meter as higher gas velocity. As discussed in
section 7.2.2, in this instance, the law of similarity will not be applicable to the field condition.

8 Field Verification Tests

The manufacturer shall provide a written field verification test procedure to the operator that will
allow the UM to be functionally tested to ensure that the meter is operating properly. These
procedures may include a combination of a zero-flow verification test, speed-of-sound measurement
analysis, individual path measurement analysis, internal inspection, dimensional verification and
other mechanical or electrical tests.
The manufacturer should provide an uncertainty analysis to demonstrate that these field
performance verification tests are sufficient to validate the meters specified physical and electrical
performance characteristics. The manufacturer should make reference to the uncertainty method
used in this analysis.
Some performance aspects of the UMs condition should be evaluated by comparing the speed of
sound reported from the meter with the speed of sound derived from the AGA Report No. 10,
Speed of Sound in Natural Gas and Other Related Hydrocarbon Gases or another method that
produces results that agree with those derived using AGA Report No. 10 to within 50 parts per
million. A chromatographic analysis from a sample of gas taken at the time of speed-of-sound
measurement is required for valid comparison. An extended analysis (beyond C6) may not be
necessary for typical natural gas mixtures.

The decision to perform periodic transfer proving or flow calibration is left to the parties using the
meter.

9 Ultrasonic Meter Measurement Uncertainty Determination


Procedures for expressing the uncertainty of measurement using ultrasonic flow meters
shall conform to the following guides:

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9.1 Types of Uncertainties

The in-situ measurement uncertainty of systems based on ultrasonic flow meters is


comprised of:

a) Calibration uncertainties associated with the meter calibration


b) Uncertainties arising from differences between the field installation and the
calibration lab, including those that are a function of age, flow conditions or
contamination
c) Uncertainties associated with secondary instrumentation, such as pressure and
temperature sensors, gas composition measurement, and flow computers

9.2 Meter Calibration Uncertainty

Commercial flow calibration facilities maintain formal estimates of uncertainty for each
operating/test scenario. These estimates recognize the contributing influence of all
measurement parameters involved in the calibration.
A stated estimate of calibration uncertainty must accompany the documentation of each
meter calibration.
The uncertainty of meter calibration remains with the meter assembly for as long as the
calibration parameters are applied to its operation. In-situ sources of uncertainty are
incremental to calibration uncertainty.

9.3 Uncertainties Arising Differences Between the Field Installation and the
Calibration Lab

Measurement uncertainty increases when:


a) the in-situ condition of the meter differs materially from its condition during
calibration
b) the in-situ characteristics of the gas flow differ materially from those present
during calibration

9.3.1 Parallel Meter Runs

As described in Annex J of ISO/DIS 5168, a special situation exists for meters used in
parallel. The combined uncertainty of parallel meter runs may be less than that of
individual meter runs. The process for estimating uncertainty identifies sources that
produce different effects in each meter run, and therefore uncorrelated, versus those
that produce the same effect in each meter assembly (correlated).

9.3.2 Installation Effects

a) Flow distortions from upstream piping elements (valves, headers, flow


conditioners, etc.) may change the registration of a meter. The manufacturer
of the meter should be consulted for estimation of the associated uncertainty.

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b) Acoustic interference, such as that produced by certain types of control


valves may result in loss of acoustic signal quality. Current metering
technology provides diagnostic information which will identify the onset and
extent of signal quality problems.
c) At low flow rates, including temperature induced convective flows in yard
piping, meters may respond with sporadic indications of flow where no flow
was expected. Although the symptoms of this effect may be masked with
automated low flow cut-offs, uncertainty may be increased if the cut-off
points are too high, resulting in un-measured gas.
d) Gas pulsation may result in metering error. No generalized, all-purpose
methods exist for quantifying the magnitude of such errors. However, some
meters may provide an indirect indication of the presence of pulsation, based
on sample rejection, gain levels, sound speeds, etc.

9.3.3 Pressure and Temperature Effects

a) Meter body dimensional changes will result from pressure and temperature
changes in the meter body material. The extent of error can be estimated
arithmetically from material specifications.
b) Stratification of gas may occur, especially when flows are low and
temperature gradients exist between one side of the pipe and the other.
Stratification may produce irregular propagation rates of acoustic signals,
leading to increased uncertainty. Chordal variation of sound speed is a
symptom of this effect, but not a basis for adjustment.

9.3.4 Gas Quality Effects

a) Pipe wall surface contamination of the meter assembly may produce changes
to the internal area of the pipe, as well as changes to the effective roughness.
Industry experience has shown that each effect may result in measurement
bias. In theory, an unplanned reduction in pipe area will produce over-
registration of an ultrasonic flow meter. However, it is not currently feasible to
reliably predict the extent of bias as a function of thin liquid coatings or
increased pipe wall roughness.
b) Transducer surface contamination, due to liquids or solid buildup, may reduce
signal quality or change the effective path length. However, transit-time
ultrasonic meters work on the basis of delta time (Td Tu), which minimizes
the influence of path length variation.
c) Flow conditioner contamination may result in performance changes and, in
extreme cases, distorted flow and measurement bias. Diagnostic information,
such as velocity distributions, from the meter is useful in identifying the onset
of flow conditioner contamination, but not the extent of measurement
uncertainty or bias.

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9.4 Uncertainties Due to Secondary Instrumentation

The uncertainties of field equipment include the permanent, in-situ equipment as well
as calibration devices used to maintain the equipment. Local operating conditions, such
as ambient temperature and current gas pressure may influence the performance of in-
situ equipment as well as calibration equipment.
The performance of pressure and temperature sensors is critical to all metering
technologies. For linear meters, such as ultrasonic flow meters, the relationship
between pressure, temperature, and volume are directly proportional.
Secondary equipment includes devices such as flow computers that are responsible for
converting real-time, uncorrected measurement data to fully corrected volume and
energy data. Applicable standards, such as API MPMS Chapter 21.1, prescribe the
industry-recommended practices with respect to:
Sampling and Integration Frequencies
Linear Meter K Factors
Variable Averaging and Integration
Low Flow Cut-off
Equations of State

9.5 Analysis Procedure

The simplified analysis procedure consists of the five basic steps listed below.
1. Write an equation, called the data reduction equation, which gives the desired
output as a function of one or more variables (components).
2. Identify those components of the data reduction equation that potentially contribute
uncertainty.
3. Determine the sensitivity coefficients for each component in Item 2.
4. Obtain numerical values for the uncertainty of each component in Item 2.
5. Combine the numerical values obtained in Item 4 to give a numerical value for the
uncertainty.

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10 Reference List

A.G.A. Engineering Technical Note M-96-2-3, Ultrasonic Flow Measurement for Natural Gas Applications,
American Gas Association, 1515 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209

A.G.A. Transmission Measurement Committee Report No. 7, Measurement of Gas by Turbine Meters,
American Gas Association, 1515 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209

A.G.A. Transmission Measurement Committee Report No. 8, Compressibility Factors of Natural Gas and
Other Related Hydrocarbon Gases, American Gas Association, 1515 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA
22209

NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, 1996 Edition, National Fire Protection Association, Batterymarch Park,
Quincy, MA 02269

API Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards Chapter 21, September 1993, Flow Measurement Using
Electronic Metering Systems, American Petroleum Institute, 1220 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

ASTM Designation: E 1002 96, Standard Test Method for Leaks Using Ultrasonics, American Society for
Testing and Materials, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, U.S.A.

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49Transportation, Part 192, (49 CFR 192), Transportation of Natural
Gas and Other Gas by Pipeline: Minimum Federal Safety Standards, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, DC 20402

GERG Technical Monograph 8 (1995), Present Status and Future Research on Multi-path Ultrasonic Gas
Flow Meters, Christian Michelsen Research AS, the GERG Project Group and Programme Committee No.
2 - Transmission and Storage, Groupe Europen De Recherches Gazires

ISO 9951: 1993, Measurement of gas flow in closed conduits Turbine meters, International Organization
for Standardization, Case Postale 56, CH-1211 Genve 20, Switzerland

ISO/TR 12765: 1997(E), Measurement of fluid flow in closed conduits Methods using transit time
ultrasonic flowmeters, International Organization for Standardization, Case Postale 56, CH-1211 Genve
20, Switzerland

OIML R 6 General provisions for gas volume meters, 1989 (E), International Recommendation,
Organization Internationale de Mtrologie Lgale, Bureau International de Mtrologie Lgale, 11, rue
Turgot - 75009 Paris - France

OIML D 11 General requirements for electronic measuring instruments, 1994 (E), International Document,
Organization Internationale de Mtrologie Lgale, Bureau International de Mtrologie Lgale, 11, rue
Turgot - 75009 Paris France

Metering Research Facility Program: Performance Testing of 12-Inch Ultrasonic Flow Meters and Flow
Conditioners in Short Run Meter Installations, by T. A. Grimley, draft topical report (Jan. 1999 June
2000) to Gas Research Institute, Report No. GRI-01/0129, GRI Contract No. 5097-170-3937, February
2002.

Overview of GTI MRF Ultrasonic Flow Meter Research Program, by T. Grimley, Presentation at the
NOVA Metcon Meeting, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, October 11, 2001.

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Ultrasonic Flow Meter Topics, by T. Grimley, Presentation to the Houston Gulf Coast Measurement
Society, Houston, Texas, July 23, 2001.

Numerical Simulation of the Flow Field Downstream of 90 Degree Elbows and the Simulated Response of
an Ultrasonic Flow Meter, by Gerald L. Morrison and Karine Tung (Texas A&M University), technical report
to Gas Research Institute, Report No. GRI-01/0090, GRI Contract No. 5097-170-3937, June 2001.

Pipe Wall Roughness Effect Upon Orifice and Ultrasonic Flow Meters, by Gerald L. Morrison (Texas A&M
University), technical report to Gas Research Institute, Report No. GRI-01/0091, GRI Contract No. 5097-
170-3937, April 2001.

GTI MRF Ultrasonic Flow Meter Research Program, by T. Grimley, Presentation at American Gas
Association TMC Meeting, February 6, 2001.

Ultrasonic Meter Installation Configuration Testing, by Terrence A. Grimley, AGA 2000 Operations
Conference, Denver, Colorado, May 7-9, 2000.

Metering Research Facility Program: Performance Testing of 8-inch Ultrasonic Flow Meters for Natural
Gas Measurement, by T. Grimley, topical report (July 1996 - December 1997) to Gas Research Institute,
GRI Contract No. 5097-270-3937, November 2000.

Recent 12-Inch Ultrasonic Meter Tests at the GRI Metering Research Facility, by Edgar B. Bowles, Jr.,
TNO Flow Metering Seminar, Techniek Museum, Delft, The Netherlands, September 20, 1999.

Recent 12-inch Ultrasonic Meter Testing at the MRF, by Terrence A. Grimley, A.G.A. Gas Measurement
Research Council, Seattle, Washington, September 14, 1999.

"12-inch Ultrasonic Flow Meter Verification Testing at the MRF," by Terrence A. Grimley, Fourth
Inernational Symposium on Fluid Flow Measurement, Denver, Colorado, June 28-30, 1999.

The Influence of Velocity Profile on Ultrasonic Flow Meter Performance, by Terrence A. Grimley, A.G.A.
1998 Operations Conference, Seattle, Washington, May 17-19, 1998.

GRI MRF Ultrasonic Flow Meter Research Program Draft Plan 1998/1999, by Terrence A. Grimley,
American Gas Association Winter Meeting, Orlando, Florida, March 11, 1998.

Performance Testing of Ultrasonic Flow Meters, by Terrence A. Grimley, The North Sea Flow
Measurement Workshop 1997, Kristiansand, Norway, October 27-31, 1997.

Multipath and Single-Path Ultrasonic Flow Meters, by Terrence A. Grimley, American Petroleum Institute
COPM Measurement Seminar, San Diego, California, October 13, 1997.

Performing Testing of Ultrasonic Flow Meters, by Terrence A. Grimley and Edgar B. Bowles, Jr.,
American Gas Association Operating Section Operations Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, May18-21,
1997.

Performance Tests of 12-Inch Multipath Ultrasonic Flow Meters, by T. Grimley, U.S. Department of
Energys Natural Gas Conference, Houston, Texas, March 26, 1997.

Ultrasonic flowmeters undergo accuracy, repeatability tests, by Terrence A. Grimley, Oil & Gas Journal,
December 23, 1996, pp. 101-104.

Multipath Ultrasonic Flow Meter Performance, by Terrence A. Grimley, the North Sea Flow Measurement
Workshop, Peebles, Scotland, October 28-31, 1996.

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Metering Research Facility Program: Performance Test of 12-Inch Multipath Ultrasonic Flow Meters, by
Terrence A. Grimley, topical report (Oct. 1994-March 1996) to Gas Research Institute, Report No. GRI-
96/0291, GRI Contract No. 5095-271-3363, August 1996.

GRI/MRF Ultrasonic Meter Research Program, by Terrence A. Grimley, A.G.A. TMC Ultrasonic Meter
Working Group, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 21, 1996.

Multipath Ultrasonic Flowmeter Performance, by by Terrence A. Grimley, 1996 A.G.A. Operations


Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 19-22, 1996.

GRI/MRF Ultrasonic Meter Research Program, by Terrence A. Grimley, A.G.A. TMC Ultrasonic Meter
Working Group, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 6, 1996.

Uncertainty Analysis of Turbine and Ultrasonic Meter Volume Measurements, Kegel, T. M., AGA
Operations Conference, Orlando, FL, May, 2003.

Meter Station Uncertainty Determination and Influence, La Nasa, P., American Gas Association
Operations Conference and Biennial Exhibition, April, 2001, Dallas, Texas.

Kegel, T. M., Uncertainty Analysis of Turbine and Ultrasonic Meter Volume Measurements, AGA
Operations Conference, Orlando, FL, May, 2003.

ANSI/ASME MFC-2M, Measurement Uncertainty for Fluid Flow in Closed Conduits, American Society
of Mechanical Engineers, 1988

ANSI/ASME PTC 19.1, Measurement Uncertainty, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1990.

ISO 5168, Measurement of Fluid Flow - Estimation of Uncertainty of a Flow Rate Measurement,
International Organization for Standardization, 1978

Abernethy, R. B. et al, Handbook Uncertainty in Gas Turbine Measurements, AEDC-TR-73-5, Arnold


Engineering Development Center, 1973

ISO Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement, International Organization for


Standardization, 1994

Taylor, B. N., and Kuyatt, "Progress Report on the Implementation of the ISO Guide to the Expression
of Uncertainty in Measurement", Proc. 1994 Meas. Sci. Conf, 1994

ANSI/ASME PTC 19.1, Test Uncertainty, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1998.

Kegel, Thomas, "Basic Measurement Uncertainty," 74th International School of Hydrocarbon


Measurement, Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 25-27, 1999.

Wadsworth, H. M., Handbook of Statistical Methods for Engineers and Scientists, McGraw-Hill, 1990.

ISO/DIS 5168:2003 Measurement of fluid flow Expression of Uncertainties

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NIST Guidelines for Evaluating and Expressing the Uncertainty of NIST Measurement Results
(Technical Note 1297)

ISO Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty (GUM) 1995

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Appendix D: Flow Meter and/or Flow Conditioner Performance Verification Test

This appendix to AGA-9 is intended to provide a method by which an ultrasonic flow metering
system can be shown to perform acceptably (i.e., within the performance specifications described in
Sections 5.2, 5.2.1 and 5.2.2 of this document) under varying test flow conditions.

A series of flow verification tests, with a standard set of flow disturbance elements placed upstream
of the meter, is provided to verify meter measurement performance. The specified upstream piping
installations are intended to create a representative range of flow distortions that are typical of what
may be produced in field service at the inlet to the meter run. It should be cautioned that these test
flow distortions may not necessarily be representative of worst-case field conditions. The meter
manufacturer is responsible for specifying the upstream length(s) of straight pipe and the meter run
piping configuration and for specifying the presence or absence of a flow conditioner. These tests
will allow manufacturers to validate installation recommendations and for designers/operators to
compare meter performance and installation requirements under a common set of operating
conditions.

The purpose of these tests is to help verify that an ultrasonic meter will function within acceptable
measurement performance limits when installed in a field meter station. For the recommended
performance verification tests, it is strongly advised that the test meter piping configuration (i.e., the
flow meter, flow conditioner (if used), and associated upstream and downstream piping) replicate
the field piping as closely as possible. It should be noted that pipe fittings, valves, regulators, etc.
typically located upstream of the flow conditioner are not usually part of a flow-calibrated meter
installation, but such piping elements can adversely affect the flow profile and, potentially, the
measurement accuracy of the meter.

For meter installation configurations that utilize a flow conditioner, the flow conditioner must be
included as part of the test assembly for the initial, or baseline, flow meter calibration. Since the
response of an ultrasonic meter to a flow conditioner is unique to the meter/flow conditioner
combination, tests with one meter/flow conditioner combination should not be used to infer results
when either component or the accompanying piping configuration is changed.

The test meter assembly is defined, as a minimum, as the flow meter body and the straight piping
lengths (to the nearest flange joints) immediately upstream and downstream of the meter body. If
a flow conditioner is included as part of the assembly, then the assembly includes, as a minimum,
the meter body, the piping between the meter body and the flow conditioner, the flow conditioner,
the straight length of piping (to the nearest flange joint) immediately upstream of the flow
conditioner, and the straight length of piping (to the nearest flange joint) immediately downstream
of the meter body.

The basic verification test sequence is as follows:

1. Flow calibrate the test assembly in a baseline installation configuration. The baseline
configuration should be consistent with commercially-available meter calibration installation
configurations. Normally, such a test setup will produce a fully developed, symmetric, swirl-
free turbulent velocity profile at the inlet to the test assembly. A minimum of five test flow
rates over the operational range of the meter should be acquired for the baseline meter
calibration. Although not a requirement, verification tests may be performed at multiple line

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pressures. If possible, at least one line test pressure should closely replicate the nominal
line pressure expected for the intended field service.

2. Subject the test assembly to multiple upstream flow field disturbances (that can be created
by various upstream piping installation configurations) that produce a representative range
of velocity profile disturbances typical of those that may occur at a field installation. The flow
disturbances should include velocity profile asymmetry and swirling flow as independent and
combined effects. These disturbed flow tests may utilize single-and double-elbow
combinations upstream of the test assembly to produce the desired velocity profile
disturbances, although other combinations of upstream flow elements may also be
acceptable. The effects of the disturbed flows on meter accuracy are to be determined by
comparing results from the disturbed flow tests to those from the baseline meter test.

The disturbed flow tests are described below:


Disturbed Flow Test 1: Two close-coupled, 900 long-radius elbows in perpendicular planes
should be installed upstream of the test assembly to assess the
effects of a modest degree of swirl (up to 150 swirl angle) and a
non-symmetrical velocity profile.

Disturbed Flow Test 2: A Single Elbow should be installed upstream of the test
assembly to assess the effect of strong secondary flow with flow
asymmetry and no swirl.

Disturbed Flow Test 3 A gate valve 50% closed should be installed upstream of the test
assembly to assess the effect of a strong non-symmetrical velocity
profile.

Disturbed Flow Test 4: Appropriate piping elements (e.g., a swirl generator) should be
installed upstream of the test assembly to assess the effect of a
high degree of swirl (over 250).

Assess the change in the meter error relative to the baseline for each of the disturbed flow tests.
Acceptable performance would be determined by the accuracy limits defined in Sections 5.2, 5.2.1
and 5.2.2

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Appendix E: Examples of Overall Measurement Uncertainty Calculations - Ultrasonic Meter

1.1. General

The following is a simplified example of estimating measurement uncertainty for sites using ultrasonic
gas flow meters. A single measuring device is considered first followed by discussion of systems
configured for multiple meters operating in parallel.

Following the pattern demonstrated in ISO 5168, the estimation of uncertainty is based on a sequence
of:

a) establishing a mathematical model for the measurement process


b) listing and quantifying the contributory variances
c) combining variances into a composite statement of uncertainty

1.2. The Mathematical Model

The gas volume flow rate at base conditions is given by:

P Tb Z b
Qb = Q f f
Z
Pb T f f
1.3.0 Contributory Variances

Given that Pb and Tb are fixed (by definition) the relative (percentage) combined standard uncertainty
in the measurement is given by the following equation:

u * (Qb ) = u Q* f + u P* f + uT*f + u * Z
2 2 2 2 2

b
Zf

1.3.1 Uncertainty in the Uncorrected Volume Flowrate, Qf

The total uncertainty is composed of uncertainty in the calibration plus long term reproducibility in the
field. Calibration uncertainty is assumed to include the flow laboratory, its chain of traceability and the
repeatability of the meter under test. Uncertainty under field conditions is assumed to include all site-
specific installation effects, including those associated with flow characteristics, equipment age,
cleanliness and data acquisition.

2 2 2
u Q* f = u Q* f + u Q* f
CAL FIELD

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u Q* f = 0.25% , as estimated by flow laboratory


CAL

u Q* f = 0.15% , as estimated by user


FIELD

2
u Q* f = 0.25 2 + 0.15 2

u Q* f = 0.29%

1.3.2 Uncertainty in the Measurement of Pressure

Pressure measurement uncertainty is composed of uncertainty in the calibration and long term
reproducibility in the field. For simplicity, calibration uncertainty is assumed to include the portable field
device and reference equipment in its chain of traceability. The estimate of field uncertainty includes
the effect of ambient conditions, equipment age and data acquisition.

2 2 2
u *Pf = u *pCAL + u *pFIELD

2
u *pCAL = 0.03% , as estimated by the test equipment vendor

2
u *pFIELD = 0.1% , as estimated by the field equipment vendor

2
u P* f = 0.03 2 + 0.12

u *Pf = 0.1%

1.3.3 Uncertainty in the Measurement of Temperature

Temperature measurement uncertainty is composed of uncertainty in the calibration and long term
reproducibility in the field. Calibration uncertainty is assumed to include the portable field device and
reference equipment in its chain of traceability. The estimate of field uncertainty includes the effect of
ambient conditions, equipment age and data acquisition.

2 2 2
uT*f = uT*CAL + uT*FIELD

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2
uT*CAL = 0.03% , as estimated by the test equipment vendor

2
uT*FIELD = 0.17% , as estimated by the field equipment vendor

2
uT*f = 0.03 2 + 0.17 2

uT*f = 0.17%

1.3.4 Uncertainty in the Determination of Compressibility

For this example, uncertainty in the estimation of compressibility is primarily a function of uncertainty
in AGA Report #8 (Detail Method) for a given pressure, temperature and gas composition regime. For
simplicity, the uncertainty of gas composition analysis is assumed here to be zero, as is the method of
determining Zb. A more comprehensive analysis of measurement uncertainty would assess the
contributory variances of calibration standards and chromatography.

u Z* f = 0.1% , estimated for the given combination of gas pressure, temperature and composition

1.4 Combined Uncertainty (percent)

Our revised expression for combined uncertainty is:

u * (Qb ) = u Q* f + u *Pf + uT*f + u Z* f


2 2 2 2 2

u * (Qb ) = 0.29 2 + 0.12 + 0.17 2 + 0.12


2

u * (Qb ) = 0.13
2

u * (Qb ) = 0.36%

1.5 Expanded Uncertainty

The expanded uncertainty, coverage factor k=2, approximate confidence level 95%, is:

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*
u 95 (Qb ) = ku * (Qb )

*
u 95 (Qb ) = 2 *0.36%

*
u 95 (Qb ) = 0.72%

If the measured flow is Q mcf/h, the result of the measurement is presented as:

Q mcf/h +/-0.72% (expanded uncertainty, coverage factor k=2, approximate confidence level 95
percent).

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