Sunday, September 8, 2019

Did You Know Flow-Tech Offers On-site Service?


The Flow-Tech Field Service Department can install, calibrate, repair and replace your process control instrumentation and control valves. With a focus on detail and "doing it right," a Flow-Tech service technician will get the job done on time, and on budget.

Flow-Tech offers the following on-site services:
  • Certified Gas Detection Service and Calibration Contracts
  • Flow and BTU Surveys
  • On-Site Troubleshooting
  • Maintenance Service Contracts
  • Instrument Start-up & Calibration
  • Flow and Data Acquisition Rentals
Flow-Tech, Inc.
410-666-3200
flowtechonline.com

Monday, August 19, 2019

Chlorine Gas Flow Meter in Chlorinator System

FCI Model ST100L

Chlorinators are a frequently used system for water disinfection in municipal and industrial water treatment processes.

Problem

The chlorinator system’s flow measurement system was drifting which resulted in poor control over the amount of chlorine being used. The system was initially supplied with simple, site-gauge rotameters and later, for automation and control, differential pressure (dP)-type orifice plate flow meters were added. The dP meters were continuously drifting out of calibration and could not be relied upon to accurately signal the chlorine dispensing control system.




Flow Conditions

  • Pipe diameter: 1 ʺ [DN25]
  • Flow rate: 150 lb/day to 2,000 lb/day [68 kg/day to 907 kg/day] Temperature: 60 °F to 100 °F [16 °C to 38 °C]
  • Pressure: 0 psig to 10 psig [ 0 bar(g) to 0.7 bar(g)]
  • Media composition: Chlorine gas
  • Straight run: Limited, inadequate
  • Flow range encompasses transitional region

Solution

FCI Model ST100L constant power technology thermal flow meter was installed in the chlorine gas inlet line to the chlorinator panel. The flow body included built-in Vortab ® flow conditioner to overcome both lack of straight-run and transitional flow region to provide repeatable flow profile and accurate measurement. The ST100L sensor element and flow body, including Vortab flow conditioner, are fabricated of Hastelloy C-276 for protection and long service life in highly corrosive chlorine. Because chlorine gas is a safety issue for calibration labs and air equivalency calibrations for chlorine are inadequate, FCI provided on-site start-up assistance which included calibration adjustments based on the site’s rotameter measurements.

For more information in Maryland, Washington D.C. or Virginia, contact Flow-Tech, Inc. They can be reached by calling 410-666-3200 in Maryland, or 804-752-3450 in Virginia. You can also visit their web site at https://flowtechonline.com.

Reprinted with permission from Fluid Components, Inc.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Explosion Proof Transmitter for the Detection of Combustible Gases


The Dräger Polytron® 8700 IR is an advanced explosion proof transmitter for the detection of combustible gases in the lower explosion limit (LEL). It uses a high performance infrared Dräger PIR 7000 sensor, which will quickly detect most common hydrocarbon gases. Besides a 3 wire 4 to 20 mA analogue output with relays, it also offers Modbus and Fieldbus making it compatible with most control systems.

Benefits
  • With its stainless steel 316L enclosure and drift free optics, the Dräger PIR 7000 is built for the harshest industrial environments such as offshore installations.
  • The Dräger Polytron 8700 is equipped with digital interfaces allowing for quick and easy remote interrogation of the transmitter’s state.
  • The Dräger Polytron 8700 belongs to the Polytron 8000 series. All transmitters in this series have the
  • same design and user interface. 
  • Upon request, the Dräger Polytron 8700 can also be supplied with three integrated relays. 
  • Polytron 8700 features a Class I, Div. 1 rated explosion proof enclosure made from aluminium or stainless steel, making it suitable for a wide range of environmental conditions.
  • An available remote sensor condulet housing allows the PIR sensor to be installed up to 30 metres (100 feet) away from the Polytron transmitter.
  • The Polytron 8700 has a data logger, which records measuring and event data from the past years.
For more information about Dräger products, contact Flow-Tech, Inc. They can be reached by calling 410-666-3200 in Maryland, or 804-752-3450 in Virginia. You can also visit their web site at https://flowtechonline.com.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Energy Metering Through Flow Measurement in District Energy Systems

Energy Metering in District Energy

Modern power plants operate according to the environmentally friendly principle of combined heat and power (CHP), where electricity and heat are generated in a single process. Combined heat and power utilizes wasted heat from electric generation to increase the efficiency of power plants. In many cities the heat is transported in the form of hot water via pipelines to the respective districts. Implementation of CHP is often driven by reliability requirements for critical facilities such as hospitals, data centers, or research labs. Flow and thermal energy metering at these pipelines is crucial for fulfilling their safety functions in case of necessary line shut downs, as well as for network balancing and pump regulation.

Energy Metering in District EnergyWhether you are running an entire facility, optimizing a central power plant or developing a plant for the next expansion of your campus, precise measurement of existing utilities is essential in making the choices necessary to operate your present scheme or designing for future needs. Accurate flow measurement starts with the selection of the correct technology for the implementation, the correct installation of the meter and controllers, with the return of the data to the building automation system (BAS) and energy management software (EMS).

Goals for an Efficient Energy Metering Scheme
  • Reduce energy costs
  • Measure energy use
  • Improve reliability of system
  • Improve space conditions
KEP Flow Computer
KEP Flow Computer
The flowmeter and flow computer are ideal for metering energy consumption in heated / chilled water and steam applications, and are often teamed together to provide an accurate system that provides mass flow information, corrects volume flow, and computes heat flow. This data is then provided to the BAS/EMS for further analysis.

A flow computer is a special purpose device which computes a corrected flow based on information derived from raw input signals and stored sensor and fluid properties information.

A number of flow metering devices are available, each having strengths and weaknesses in connection with specific applications. The types include:
Many of these flow sensors require linearization from the flow computer to improve accuracy. The flow computer is also used for data logging, communication, remote metering, alarming and control functions.

New standards require that measurement devices be installed to monitor the electrical energy use for total energy used for heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Working with experts who fully understand the accuracy, reliability, and affordability of the flow metering equipment is critical to a successful implementation.

For more information, contact Flow-Tech, Inc. by calling 410-666-3200 in Maryland or 804-752-3450 in Virginia. Or, stop by the website at https://flowtechonline.com.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

US Power Grids, Oil and Gas Industries, and Risk of Hacking

A report released in June, from the security firm Dragos, describes a worrisome development by a hacker group named, “Xenotime” and at least two dangerous oil and gas intrusions and ongoing reconnaissance on United States power grids.

Multiple ICS (Industrial Control Sectors) sectors now face the XENOTIME threat; this means individual verticals – such as oil and gas, manufacturing, or electric – cannot ignore threats to other ICS entities because they are not specifically targeted.


The Dragos researchers have termed this threat proliferation as the world’s most dangerous cyberthreat since an event in 2017 where Xenotime had caused a serious operational outage at a crucial site in the Middle East. 

The fact that concerns cybersecurity experts the most is that this hacking attack was a malware that chose to target the facility safety processes (SIS – safety instrumentation system).

For example, when temperatures in a reactor increase to an unsafe level, an SIS will automatically start a cooling process or immediately close a valve to prevent a safety accident. The SIS safety stems are both hardware and software that combine to protect facilities from life threatening accidents.

At this point, no one is sure who is behind Xenotime. Russia has been connected to one of the critical infrastructure attacks in the Ukraine.  That attack was viewed to be the first hacker related power grid outage.

This is a “Cause for Concern” post that was published by Dragos on June 14, 2019

“While none of the electric utility targeting events has resulted in a known, successful intrusion into victim organizations to date, the persistent attempts, and expansion in scope is cause for definite concern. XENOTIME has successfully compromised several oil and gas environments which demonstrates its ability to do so in other verticals. Specifically, XENOTIME remains one of only four threats (along with ELECTRUM, Sandworm, and the entities responsible for Stuxnet) to execute a deliberate disruptive or destructive attack.

XENOTIME is the only known entity to specifically target safety instrumented systems (SIS) for disruptive or destructive purposes. Electric utility environments are significantly different from oil and gas operations in several aspects, but electric operations still have safety and protection equipment that could be targeted with similar tradecraft. XENOTIME expressing consistent, direct interest in electric utility operations is a cause for deep concern given this adversary’s willingness to compromise process safety – and thus integrity – to fulfill its mission.

XENOTIME’s expansion to another industry vertical is emblematic of an increasingly hostile industrial threat landscape. Most observed XENOTIME activity focuses on initial information gathering and access operations necessary for follow-on ICS intrusion operations. As seen in long-running state-sponsored intrusions into US, UK, and other electric infrastructure, entities are increasingly interested in the fundamentals of ICS operations and displaying all the hallmarks associated with information and access acquisition necessary to conduct future attacks. While Dragos sees no evidence at this time indicating that XENOTIME (or any other activity group, such as ELECTRUM or ALLANITE) is capable of executing a prolonged disruptive or destructive event on electric utility operations, observed activity strongly signals adversary interest in meeting the prerequisites for doing so.”