The SFC3000 Flow Computer is one component in a system that precisely measures the flow of liquids, steam, or gases. While the computer offers insight into the system’s effectiveness and efficiency, the meters gather the measurements, and the process controls allow for adjustment of the quantities, pressures, and more.
In March 2021, BP announced its plan to build the largest blue hydrogen plant in Teesside. The projection is that the plant will produce 1GW of electricity and capture and store 2 million tonnes of CO2. Such a plant is the perfect example of where a flow measurement system would be essential to delivering these ambitious goals, as hydrogen flow measurement can avoid wastage and promise cost efficiency.
Let’s explore flow measurement in more detail and demonstrate how different industries deploy this system.
What is flow measurement?
Flow measurement is a process of measuring gas, steam or fluids within a plant or industry. The flow is measured with one of many meters, with a choice of differential pressure, vortex, magnetic, ultrasonic, turbine and positive displacement meters. Controls can be used to respond to the meter’s data, which is received and processed by a flow computer.
An example of the use of flow measurement can be found in the local petrol station. A meter measures the flow of petrol into the car, which is displayed on a simple monitor. The petrol pump controls the release of more petrol into the car and at what speed. For a service station, the flow measurement devices are essential to calculating the amount the customer must pay for the fuel dispensed.
The components in detail
A flowmeter is an instrument used to measure nonlinear, mass flow rate or volumetric of a gas, liquid or steam that flows through a pipe. Choosing the suitable meter depends on the fluid and flow characteristics, the pressures and temperature ranges, the piping and installation area, and whether you value accuracy over repeatability.
The choice of flow meter for the chemical sector, which must pay special attention to its temperature-sensitive operations, is different distilleries where the accuracy of different ingredients’ flow rate is more important.
Receiving data from the meter is only helpful if you can respond appropriately to the measurements. There need to be manual and automated flow controls that keep performance within a predetermined range. Whether it is the primary gate valve, which allows for on/ off facilities, to others such as globe valves, pinch valves, diaphragm valves or needle drives.
Whether acting as a standalone computer or one built into a system, the flow computer implements algorithms based on the measurements received. It can be a supervisory system, which will automate responses to analysis. Some flow computers have an interface that quickly and effectively communicates data to skilled workers and assists them with analysis and decision making.
The importance of flow measurement
Flow measurement is an essential tool in eliminating inaccuracies and inefficiencies in a system. When the UK Government sets a 5GW target for blue hydrogen, BP will need the best flow measurement tools to maximise its contribution. It is also a matter of producing the best products in the safest settings. For an oil worker on a rig, the alarm set off by the combination of meter and computer could save his or her life.
Ex~i Flow’s SFC3000 Flow Computer continues to lead the way in the sector. Contact us today to learn more about our flow computers and how they can be deployed in your industry.