Showing posts with label Fluid Components. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fluid Components. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

How To Select a Gas Flow Meter for Your Application

Gas Flow Meter

Here is some very good, basic advice, courtesy of FCI (Fluid Components International) on selecting a gas flow meter.

Match your application to the appropriate measurement technology. Accurate flow measurement starts with selecting the best flow meter technology for your application. Every application has a set of requirements that narrows the choice of technologies. For example, thermal dispersion might work best in a dirty process gas, like biogas, because this technology provides no-moving-parts reliability, direct mass flow measurement, and wide range ability. However, positive displacement might be the best technology choice for the custody transfer of natural gas.

An Instrument Specification Sheet is a good place to find information that will help select the most appropriate flow meter technology for an application. This sheet identifies the application's process temperature and pressure, gas composition, piping configuration, accuracy requirements, and more.

Now forward your application information to vendors that offer the most appropriate flow meter technology. Be sure to include as much information about the application as possible and highlight your realistic performance expectations. Do not request 0.5 percent accuracy if the application needs only 5 percent accuracy. Ask these vendors to evaluate your application and provide a product recommendation. Use the information you receive to revise your specification (if necessary), finalize your preferred vendor list, and prepare your request-for-quote.

FCI flowmeters
Contact Flow-Tech for any flow meter application you may have. Our support engineers are ready to help.

In Maryland - 410-666-3200
In Virginia - 804-752-3450

Monday, November 27, 2017

Small Line Size Flow Measurement without Moving Parts

ST75 Series

Excellent for Gas Sub-Metering, Boiler Fuel-To-Air Mixing, Chemical Injection & Much More

Plant and process engineers who need accurate flow detection or measurement of air, gases, or liquids in smaller pipe sizes will find several diverse flow instrument solutions available from Fluid Components International (FCI).  Using advanced, ultra-reliable thermal dispersion flow measurement technology with no-moving parts, FCI’s ST75 Series and ST100L Air/Gas Flow Meters and FLT93L Flow Switch provide ideal solutions for use in 0.25 to 2 inch (DN6 to DN50) pipe or tubing. They excel where low flows, wide-turndowns, dirty fluids, HazEx or harsh installations are among the applications factors.

These flow instruments offer many advantages for service in a wide range of applications: plant, building or lab gas sub-metering, small inlet air/gas feed lines for boilers, gas relief valve monitoring, chemical injection, compressed air systems, CO-Gen or CHP gas fuel measurement and control, sampling systems, and more.  Many small process line applications are difficult to measure reliably with high repeatability due to variations in temperature and pressure, and have wide flow rates.  FCI’s thermal flow meters and switches are unaffected by, or have on-board compensation for, temperature and pressure changes and, in addition to superior detection of low flow rates, provide 100:1 turndown as a standard feature.  FCI’s highly reliable, small line air/gas flow meters and aid/gas/liquid flow switches combine state-of-art electronics technology with application fluid-matched flow sensors and laboratory calibration in rugged packages designed for the most demanding plant operating environments. 
FLT93L Flow Switch
FLT93L Flow Switch

Thermal flow sensor technology developed by FCI relies on the relationship between flow rate and the cooling effect.  With no moving parts and minimal invasiveness, these meters and switches provide a highly repeatable, accurate, low cost, easy-to-install solution and there’s virtually no maintenance required over a long life.  FCI’s ST75 Series Air/Gas Flow Meters are ideal for lines sizes from 0.25 (6mm) to 2 inches (51mm).  Gas or air measurement accuracy is available up to 1% of reading, ±0.5% full scale. The ST75 Meters feature a wide 100:1 turndown and will measure from 0.01 to 559 SCFM [0,01 to 950 NCMH] depending on pipe size.

The meter’s electronics are housed in a rugged, IP67 rated enclosure with dual conduit ports in either NPT or M20 threading. The instrument comes standard with dual 4-20 mA outputs and a 500 Hz pulse output. The models ST75A and ST75AV include HART as well as NAMUR compliant 4-20 mA outputs and a SIL compliance rating and 2 year warranty.  Global agency approvals for Div.1/Zone 1 HazEx installations include FM, FMc, ATEX, IECEx, EAC and more. 

The best-in-class ST100L Air/Gas Flow Meter is a next generation instrument that combines feature- and function- rich electronics with advanced flow sensors. It is designed in a spool piece configuration in 1-, 1.5- or 2-inch tubing, schedule 40 and schedule 80 piping.  It measures air/gas flows from 0.0062 to 1850 SCFM [0.01 to 3,140 Nm3/h] with superior accuracy to ± 0.75% reading, ± 0.5% full scale; and repeatability of ± 0.5% reading. 

ST100L Air/Gas Flow Meters
ST100L Air/Gas Flow Meters
Whether the plant’s output needs are traditional 4-20 mA analog, frequency/pulse or advanced digital bus communications such as HART, Foundation Fieldbus, PROFIBUS, or Modbus, the ST100L is available with any of them.  Its digital bus communications also are certified and registered devices with HART and Foundation Fieldbus.  Global approvals include:  FM, FMc, ATEX, CE, CSA, IECEx, EAC, NEPSI and Inmetro.  It SIL compliant and is an all-welded design to ensure no leakage when used with volatile gases like hydrogen. 

For applications lacking enough straight-run, both ST75 Series and ST100L can be supplied with Vortab flow conditioning built-in to the spool-piece flow body. Its wide selection of available process connections include male and female threaded and flanges are standard.   The FLT93L Flow Switch is a dual function, dual trip point/alarm point precision switch.  It is field settable for trip point on flow rates and temperature, and as any high or low value of either flow or temperature.  The FLT93L’s setpoint range is: 0.015 to 50 cc/sec [0.0009 to 3 fps] for water-based liquids; 0.033 to 110 cc/sec [0.002 to 6.6 fps] for hydrocarbon-based liquids; and 0.6 to 20,000 cc/sec [0.036 to 1198 fps] for air and gases.

Trip point accuracy is ± 0.5% reading or ± 0.04 fps [± 0.012 mps] (whichever is higher) in liquids and ± 0.5% reading or ± 2 fps [± 0.06 mps] (whichever is higher in air or gases.   The FLT93 has been designed for use and longest service life in the most rugged, harsh operating environments. It is available in both aluminum and stainless steel IP67 rated housings, carries HazEx agency approvals for FM, FMc, ATEX, IECEx, EAC, Inmetro, NEPSI, meets CRN and European PED and is SIL 2 compliant. It is available in numerous wetted materials and process connection options, and has universal DC/AC power supply. 

For more information on Fluid Components, Inc. products in Maryland and Virginia, contact Flow-Tech at 410-666-3200 or visit

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fluid Components Series FS10 Quick Setup Mode Demonstration

FS10 Series Flow Switch and Monitor
FS10 Series Flow Switch and Monitor
The FS10 Series Flow Switch and Monitor is manufactured by Fluid Components, Inc.

The FS10A is a universal flow switch and monitor specifically designed for gas and liquid process analyzer sampling systems. The FS10A is a fast responding, highly repeatable sensor which installs easily into a standard tube tee fitting or new SP76 (NeSSI) modular manifold.

The FS10i is a universal flow switch and flow monitor designed for simple insertion into ½” (13mm) or larger diameter pipes and square ducts. The unit is suitable for either liquid or air/gas applications. It is fast responding and highly repeatable to both increasing and decreasing flow rate changes.

The video below explains the procedure for accessing and setting the quick setup modes.

For more information on any Fluid Components, Inc. (FCI) flow meter in Maryland and Virginia, call 410-666-3200 or visit

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Solving Critical Process Applications for the Water and Wastewater Industry

Thermal Dispersion and Coriolis technology
From the early 1960s, Fluid Components International recognized the need for flow and level instrumentation which met specific customer requirements and demands for the Water and Wastewater Industry. By utilizing Thermal Dispersion and Coriolis technology exclusively in all FCI flow, level, interface, temperature switches and mass flow meters, our products solve typical Water and Wastewater Industry application challenges with standard product features such as:
  • No moving parts
  • All welded materials of construction 
  • Direct mass flow measurement
  • No pressure drop
  • Explosion-proof design
  • Wide flow range
  • Low flow capability
The document below outlines where and how Thermal Dispersion and Coriolis technology are used throughout water treatment facilities around the USA.

For more information on any water treatment process application, contact Flow-Tech at 410-666-3200 in Maryland, or 804-752-3450 in Virginia, or visit

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Flow Meter Enhances Chlorination System Performance for Municipal Water Department

Flow Meter Chlorination System
Flow Meter Installed on Chlorination System
By Steve Cox, Senior Technical Staff,  Fluid Components International (FCI). Reprinted with permission.

The water municipality at a mid-size city in the Western region of the U.S. serving a population of about 180,000 people needed to address a chlorine disinfection system problem at one of its water treatment plants. The city’s engineers take great pride in providing their community with a safe source of drinking water and gave this issue the highest priority.

In order to provide a reliable, safe source of clean drinking water, all municipal system operators rely on a disinfection system to kill germs. There are several different methods of disinfection treatment, such as chlorine (Cl2), UV, and ozone. Chlorine remains a popular disinfectant around the world. Where chlorine is in use, accurate measurement of the gas is essential for successful disinfection and for safety purposes.


Water treatment plant chlorine tanks
Figure 1: Water treatment plant
chlorine tanks
At one of the city’s water treatment plants, the chlorinator system’s flow measurement lacked suitable turndown capability (measuring range) and was not repeatable at lower flow rates and monthly totalized chlorine usage were not consistent (Figure 1). This poor control over the amount of chlorine being dispensed resulted in either excessive, wasteful chlorine use, or potentially hazardous and expensive re-treatment. Adding too much chlorine affects water taste (swimming pool), wastes expensive chlorine gas and adds the cost of extra residual chlorine removal. With too little chlorine added, the disinfection treatment process is incomplete, and the water requires costly additional alternative treatment or re-treatment.

The city’s system had been initially designed with simple site-gauge rotameters. Later, for automated control purposes, differential pressure (dP) type orifice plate  ow meters were added into the system. The city’s engineers soon discovered the orifice plate dP meters could not be relied upon to measure accurately under  ow conditions where little pressure differential was available, and the limited  ow range could not support the changing dose rates with changes in water demand.

ST100L Flow Meter
Figure 2: Installed ST100L
Flow Meter with Vortab
Flow Conditioner
The treatment plant needed a better gas flow meter solution that would be appropriate for service in a 1-inch diameter pipe at a flow rate of 150 lb/day to 2,000 lb/day [68 kg/day to 907 kg/day]. The operating temperature was 60°F to 100°F [16°C to 38°C] at a pressure of 0 psig to 10 psig [0 bar(g) to 0.7 bar(g)]. The flow meter would be used to measure chlorine and no other gases and would be installed in a location where inadequate straight-pipe run was present and added to the accuracy challenge for any velocity based instrument. The flow velocities also resulted in measurement required in the transitional zone where the gas flow profile was transitioning from laminar to turbulent. Mass flow provided an additional advantage of allowing a simple, direct means of reconciling monthly throughput compared against the change in weight of the chlorine gas containers that were installed on load cell technology scales.


Thermal dispersion
Figure 3: Thermal dispersion
constant power principle
of operation
After consulting with the application engineering team at Fluid Components International (FCI), the engineers at the water department selected the Model ST100L thermal dispersion gas mass flow meter with built-in Vortab® flow conditioner (Figure 2). The Model ST100L is an in-line, spool piece flow meter that combines best-in-class transmitter/electronics and superior sensor design to provide a truly state-of-the-art gas flow meter for industrial process and plant applications in line sizes up to 2 inches [50 mm].

FCI’s model ST100L constant power technology thermal flow meter (Figure 3) was installed in the water system’s chlorine gas inlet line to the chlorinator panel. To ensure maximum corrosion resistance and longest service life in the highly corrosive chlorine gas environment, the ST100L’s entire sensor assembly, including flow elements, flow body and Vortab flow conditioner elements, are fabricated entirely of Hastelloy C-276.

FCI’s gas flow meters are typically calibrated in FCI’s NIST traceable flow laboratory using the actual gas to be measured and at the installation’s actual temperature and pressure conditions. However, chlorine gas presents safety concerns during the calibration process which renders that process unfeasible. It has also been thoroughly established that air equivalency calibrations for chlorine gas are inaccurate, unrepeatable and simply, inadequate. FCI solves this problem by combining a lab-based equivalency basic calibration with an on-site, in-situ calibration adjustment against the site’s rotameters, all performed by an FCI field service technician. This achieved the highly accurate and repeatable measurement needed by the client. The on-site calibration matching proved to be the best solution because the totalized flow readings from the FCI Model ST100L and the weigh scale comparison were now consistently aligned.

The in-line configuration ST100L meter measures air/gas  ow from 0.25 SFPS to 1000 SFPS (0,07 NMPS to 305 NMPS), with turndowns of 100:1 and with accuracy of ± 0.75 percent of reading, ± 0.5 percent of full scale. To match present and future DCS, PLC or SCADA needs, users can select from multiple output options including triple 4-20 mA analog, frequency/pulse, or certified digital bus communications of HART®, FoundationTM Fieldbus, PROFIBUS PA and Modbus RS485.

The ST100L flow meter also features a best-in- class graphical, multivariable, backlit LCD readout, which provides operators with a continuous display of all process measurements, alarm status and service diagnostics. Its four-button user keyboard is activated through the glass, which means the user never needs to remove lids or open up the unit at the installation site. The instrument also includes a USB port for PC interface and an ethernet port for service needs.

The ST100L meter is designed to ensure the longest service life in even the most rugged industrial applications and installations. The enclosure is NEMA4X/IP67 rated and features four separate conduit ports to isolate all wiring. Additional pedigrees include global agency approval for hazardous environments (ATEX, IECEx, FM, FMc, Inmetro, NEPSI and EAC/TR CU) and SIL compliance. The electronics/ transmitter is available for installation as either integral with the flow element or remotable (up to 1000 feet [300 meters]).

The integral Vortab flow conditioner ensured optimal installation performance by overcoming the limited piping straight run and the flow range occurring in the transitional flow region. Vortab uniquely eliminates both swirl and velocity profile distortions produced by process equipment obstructions and/or inadequate straight run of pipe and ducting, as well as temperature and media stratification that can be present at the low flow rates where FCI meters perform and with the lowest pressure drop of all flow conditioner alternatives.


ST100L Flow Meter with Vortab Flow Conditioner
ST100L Flow Meter with
Vortab Flow Conditioner
The ST100L  ow meters have been installed in the chlorine gas inlet lines and achieving consistent accurate and repeatable  ow measurement results. The site is achieving the desired disinfection results with proper chlorine dosing at significant cost savings due to reduced chlorine use, avoiding re-treatment and lessened residual chlorine removal processes.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

FCI (Fluid Components International) Thermal Dispersion Flow Instruments

FCI thermal dispersion flowmeters
FCI thermal dispersion flowmeters
FCI (Fluid Components) offers the widest selection of thermal dispersion technology instrumentation products. When rugged conditions combine with strict process control requirements, FCI’s thermal dispersion RTD sensing elements establish an unmatched record of superior product performance and reliability for the harshest environments.
Products include:

  • Flow Switches
  • Level Switches
  • Mass Flow Meters
  • Flow Conditioners

For more information on FCI in Maryland and Virginia visit or call 410-666-3200.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Take Care of Your Pumps and They’ll Take Care of You

Pump protection
Figure 1. Today’s demanding industry applications
require highly efficient pump operation.
Written by Jim DeLeeSr. Member Technical Staff, Fluid Components, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

If you'd like more information after reading this article, visit or call
410-666-3200 in Maryland or
804-752-3450 in Virginia.

The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care” may have been coined by process and plant engineers tired of repairing or replacing pumps. Pumps are often the most under serviced pieces of equipment in process automation when it comes to maintenance and prevention best practices. Unfortunately, nothing moves without the humble pump and a process becomes inefficient when they don’t operate properly or completely shutdown. Many times the pump manufacturer is seen to be the problem, when in fact the process or the surrounding equipment configuration is the cause. 

Engineers and technicians looking to optimizing their process for productive operation can start with the pump, and protecting the pump against common hazards. Pump protection improves end- product or batch quality, reduces material costs, eliminates waste and lowers maintenance costs. Taking good care of your pump delivers a positive payback. Here are some simple strategies that can be employed—starting with an analysis of process media ow rates.

Protecting Your Process—24/7

Today’s highly competitive global market finds demanding process industries such as petrochemicals (Figure 1), food/ beverage, pharmaceutical, and water/waste treatment among others, transforming their plants into 24/7 lean operations. The result is that the pumps in most plants are running near capacity to keep up with material through-put objectives and demand. One of the most common hazards to efficient pump operation is irregular material flow, which can result in three negative conditions: (1) ow turbulence, (2) low flows, or (3) dry running conditions.

A key process protection step taken by facilities and plant engineers is controlling material flow to ensure that pumps operate efficiently. This results in moving stock or product with the least possible expenditure of energy and at the same time reducing maintenance requirements and extending the life of the pump. Failing to control material flow effectively can lead to some unwanted conditions, such as cavitation, pump bearing failure, or seal failure. The first problem — cavitation — can reduce through-put, or even cause quality problems. Losing a bearing or a seal can lead to pump shut-down, possibly process line shut-down and the unfavorable conditions could get worse the further you take this type of scenario.

Monitoring for Irregular Flows

The first step in protecting your process and pump starts with analyzing the flow. You want to analyze the flow to ensure the media is owing regularly at the pressure required by the pump with a minimum headloss. Any number of process conditions can cause irregular flow, such as turbulence, temperature changes, unwanted air ingestion, etc. The problems of irregular flows and turbulence, in particular, can be especially challenging to solve because eliminating the root causes are often difficult to impossible—so you need a workaround strategy.

The chief culprit when it comes to damaged pumps is the build-up of heat from low ow or dry running conditions, which occur when liquid ow dramatically slows down or stops owing altogether through the line or the pump. When the liquid isn’t there to provide cooling, the heat can destroy a pump’s bearings or seals. If repair is even possible, it is going to be a very expensive due to repair or replacement costs and down time.

Eliminating Irregular Flows

Pumps require a stable upstream ow profile in the pipeline before liquid enters the pump for proper and efficient operation. Irregular flows often result in cavitation, a condition where cavities form in the liquid at the point of pump suction. One often cited industry pump installation guideline suggests at least 10 diameters of unobstructed pipe be placed between the point of pump suction and the first elbow or other disturbance. Obstructions and/or corrosion in a pipe can change the velocity and flow profile of the media and affect its pressure as well.

In most cases, plant real estate limitations result in the placement of elbows, valves or other equipment that are too close to a pump, and these devices can create swirl and velocity profile distortion in the pipeline (as well as pressure changes). Such disturbances can result in excess noise and cavitation, resulting in reduced bearing and/or seal life.

A good solution to ensure an optimal flow profile for efficient operation is to install an inline or elbow ow conditioner upstream from your pump. Isolating the effects of velocity profile distortions, turbulence, swirl and other ow anomalies in your pipeline will result in a repeatable, symmetric, and swirl-free velocity profile with minimal pressure loss.

To increase a pump’s life, start with a more stable operating environment. A conditioned ow stream enters the pump’s impeller in a uniform and equally distributed pattern, optimizing pump ef ciency and extending bearing life while at the same time decreasing noise and cavitation.

If there is no choice other than to deal with less than ideal piping configurations, an inline or elbow ow conditioner will eliminate all upstream straight run requirements for pumps, compressors, flow meters and other critical process equipment (Figure 2). Tab type ow conditioners, such as the Vortab® Flow Conditioner, have proved successful in these applications. Other flow conditioning technology choices, including tube bundles, honeycombs, and perforated plates, may also be considered depending upon the pressure drop limitations.

The inline or elbow ow conditioner’s profile conditioning tabs produce rapid cross-stream mixing, forcing higher velocity regions to mix with lower velocity regions. The shape of the resultant velocity profile is “ at” and repeatable regardless of the close-coupled upstream flow disturbances.

Incorporating anti-swirl mechanisms into the design of the flow conditioner eliminates the swirl condition typically seen exiting 90-degree elbows. The result is a ow stream that enters the pump in such a way that it maximizes the efficiency of its operation and reduces stress. In addition, the tapered design of the anti-swirl and profile conditioning tabs make them immune to fouling or clogging.

Pump Flow Monitoring

Avoiding the damage that is caused by a low ow or a dry running condition can be achieved by installing a point flow switch in the process loop. Dual relay flow switches will detect not only a low flow condition, but also alarm on a dry condition too. This capability allows the control system or operator to take corrective measures before the bearings of the pumps are overheated and fail.

Many types of point flow switches are available. For example, the FCI FlexSwitch® FLT Series, with its no moving parts design, offers a highly robust scheme for pump protection with its dual alarm capability (Figure 3). With Alarm 1, the switch will detect a low-flow situation anywhere between 0.01 and 3 feet per second (FPS) (.003 to.9 meters per second MPS). This low flow alarm can be regarded as a pre-warning signal for the control system or operator. Alarm 2 can be set at a no-flow condition. The system or operator can then decide to keep the pump running or to shut it down.

This dual-function flow switch indicates both flow and temperature, and/or level sensing in a single device. It can be specified in either insertion or in-line styles for large pipe or small line applications. This single switch monitors your direct variable of interest, flow, and temperature simultaneously with excellent accuracy and reliability.

When evaluating a flow switch for pump protection or any application, the first step is choosing the appropriate flow technology. There are multiple flow switch sensing technologies available, and the major ones now include:
  • Paddle
  • Piston
  • Thermal Mass
  • Pressure
  • Magnetic Reed
Each of these technologies has their advantages/ disadvantages, depending on the media and your application’s requirements. Some may be the only choice in certain media for your application. By looking at these factors, as well as your plant’s layout, environmental conditions, maintenance schedules, energy cost and ROI, you will quickly be able to narrow the field to one or two best choices.


Don’t fall into the trap of early pump replacement or repair by ignoring best installation and maintenance pump practices. Here are three preventive proactive steps to take to avoid early pump replacement:
  • When designing new plants or retro fitting old ones, be sure to consider pump requirements. Optimizing your process with your pumps in mind offers a wide range of benefits: higher capacity, improved quality, lower energy costs, reduced maintenance, and increased equipment (pump) life. 
  • Consider inserting a flow conditioner to eliminate turbulent ow problems. One of the most common pump problems is irregular flows caused by turbulence that frequently results when the minimum pipe straight runs required between the point of pump suction and elbows, valves or other equipment are either ignored or pushed to the limits. Inserting a flow conditioner frequently eliminates turbulent flow problems. 
  • Another key safeguard is to protect your pump from accidental low flow or dry running conditions, which can lead to bearing or seal loss requiring expense repairs. Inserting a dual alarm flow switch in your process loop not only protects the pump from damage, but will alert you to a potential problem and let you be proactive in evaluating the necessity of pump shut down.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Installation Recommendations for FCI Single-Point, Thermal Dispersion Flow Meters

Thermal Dispersion Flow Meters
FCI Single-Point,
Thermal Dispersion Flow Meters
All flow meter technologies have recommended installation and engineering practices to ensure they meet their published specifications and for optimal performance, accuracy and repeatability. Flow meter users are frequently challenged with wide variations in their actual  eld conditions and installation constraints that are much different from the ideal conditions under which their  ow meter was calibrated. In fact, the most common installation constraint for most all  flow meter installations is inadequate straight-run.

Flow meter users expect their flow meter suppliers to provide engineering recommendations and solutions to overcome real world application conditions to obtain expected flow meter performance to specifications. This guide provides recommended engineering practices with diagrams and specifications for straight-run, installation orientation and depths, as well as use of flow conditioners as an engineering solution for FCI single-point, thermal dispersion flow meters.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Choose Insertion Mass Flowmeters for Wastewater Activated Sludge Process

Insertion Mass Flowmeters for Wastewater
Insertion Mass Flowmeters in Wastewater Treatment
In wastewater treatment facilities, a variety of biological and chemical processes are employed to remove organic pollutants from water to ensure its reusability. One very common process is referred to as “the activated sludge method”. This process biologically treats the wastewater through the use of natural micro-organisms combined with the wastewater in large aeration basins.

The activated sludge method requires the pumping of compressed air into the aeration basins where a diffuser system ensures the air is distributed evenly for optimum treatment. Tiny micro-organisms in the aeration basins decompose biologically degradable organics in the wastewater. These micro-organisms rely on the aeration system to provide air for survival, but also by controlling the proper amount of air, the micro-organisms can thrive and optimally consume the organics in the wastewater. After a period of time, a flocculate forms with the non-biodegradable solids settling to the bottom of the basin.

Large amounts of compressed air is used to ensure the activated sludge method treats the water effectively before it can be moved along to the next stages, namely the clarifying basins, filtering, disinfection and other treatment processes. A very important step in this process is the accurate control of air released into the aeration basins. This is essential because, as stated above, the air flow controls the growth of micro-organisms that treat the wastewater.
Insertion Mass Flow Meter
Insertion Mass Flow Meter
(courtesy of FCI)

Flowmeters are typically installed in the aeration system piping to measure the amount of air flow and the flowmeters’ analog or digital outputs run to the wastewater treatment plant’s control system.

A highly accurate and reliable flowmeter is critical because the one of the largest energy costs in a wastewater facility is the air compressor operation. Energy management and efficiency continue to drive plant maintenance, and the compressed air system is a prime system component where considerable savings can be found. A well designed air flow metering, controlling, and reporting system for the aeration process is an excellent way to achieve measurable efficiency gains and provide a significant reduction in energy costs.

When choosing a flow meter, here are the important criteria to consider:
  • Flow Sensor Technology
  • Range and Accuracy
  • Operating Environment
  • Ease of Installation
  • Maintenance and Life
An excellent choice for these applications are insertion mass flowmeters. They provide an accurate, easy to install, no moving parts mass flow meter solution commonly used for compressed air and nitrogen flow. Their proven thermal dispersion technology provides direct mass flow measurement that results in higher performance at a lower cost than orifice plates, DP, Vortex shedding and other thermal devices. When combined with microprocessor electronics and precision calibration, they achieve excellent accuracy, fast response and virtually maintenance free operation.

For more information, contact:

Flow-Tech, Inc.

Maryland Headquarters
10940 Beaver Dam Rd
Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Ph: 410-666-3200

Central VA Office
10993 Richardson Rd#13
Ashland, VA 23005
Ph: 804-752-3450

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Eliminate Shutdown and Cost When Pulling Flow Meters for Calibration Verification

FCI's VeriCal
FCI's VeriCal System Diagram
FCI's VeriCalTM In-Situ calibration verification system provides you the ability to perform periodic field validation and verification of your FCI flow meter's measuring performance without extracting the meter from the pipe or process. Calibration is complete in minutes without removing the meter from the pipe or process. In the past, flow meters had to endure the cost and hassle of being pulled from the process, then returned to the manufacturer or a calibration lab for testing. and then shipped back for re-installation.

The FCI ST100 is quickly becoming the industry benchmark in process and plant air/gas flow measurement. Designed for rugged industrial processes and plants, ST100 Flow Meters include service up to 850oF (454oC) and are available with both integral and remote (up to 1000 feet [300 meters]) electronics versions. The ST100 is agency approved for hazardous environments, including the entire instrument, the transmitter and the rugged, NEMA 4X/IP67 rated enclosure. Instrument approvals in addition to SIL-1 include ATEX, IECEx, FM and FMc.

Now, with the VeriCalTM In-Situ Calibration Verification System with the ST100 Series Thermal Mass Flow Meter, routine flow meter calibration doesn’t require pulling the meter, installing a spare and paying a lab fee. 

The video below demonstration illustrates the VeriCalTM procedure and ease of sensor installation. Validate performance on-site in minutes and comply with ISO and local regulations for periodic calibration verification with FCI's In-Situ Flow Meter Calibration Solution.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Choose Thermal Dispersion Flow and Level Technology for Your Next Application

thermal dispersion flow and level
Thermal Dispersion flow and level
switches (courtesy of FCI)
Thermal Dispersion flow and level switches are found in continuous operation in the most demanding and critical process and plant applications. This technology is the most preferred solution in oil and gas upstream and downstream applications; wastewater treatment; chemical operations; power plants, including nuclear power; food and beverage; refineries; mining; metals; manufacturing and more. Whether your application is for flow, level, flow + temperature or level + temperature, there is an thermal dispersion flow and level switches are available to meet your needs.

The reasons for their popularity are clear. They were developed from more than 40 years of flow and level switch engineering and application experience to deliver the most reliable, repeatable, rugged and longest life industrial grade switch products found anywhere.

Thermal Dispersion technology uses the principle of measuring the heat loss, or cooling effect, of a fluid flowing across a heated cylinder. A typical flow element configuration uses two RTDs, sheathed in thermowells, separated by a gap. Heat is applied internally to one RTD relative to the other, creating a differential temperature between the two. This differential temperature is greatest at no flow conditions and decreases as flow increases, cooling the heated RTD.

Changes in flow velocity or immersion of the flow element into a liquid directly affect the extent to which heat is dissipated and, in turn the magnitude of the temperature differential between the RTDs. This differential is electronically converted into an electrical signal that can be used to trip a relay in flow or interface switch applications.

Since the relationship between flow rate and cooling effect is directly related to mass in gas applications, Thermal Dispersion technology, combined with advanced signal linearizing circuitry, is used to provide a highly repeatable and accurate measurement of gas or air mass flow rates.

Advantages to Using Thermal Dispersion

  • Precise performance accuracy
  • No moving parts
  • All welded design
  • All 316L stainless steel, Hastelloy, or exotic materials
  • Designed for heavy industrial environments
  • High liquid flow rate sensitivity
  • High temperature service
  • All liquids and gases

Additionally, models are available with 316L stainless steel wetted parts that are electro-polished to 20 Ra, with a sanitary flange process connection meet the sanitary requirements of the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. The instrument’s "no moving parts" design makes it ideal for monitoring the flow of syrups, fillings and other viscous media and product slurries. This design is suitable for both clean-in-place and steam-in-place applications.

For more information about Thermal Dispersion flow and level products, contact:

Flow-Tech, Inc.
10940 Beaver Dam Rd
Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Ph: 410-666-3200

Central VA Office
10993 Richardson Rd#13
Ashland, VA 23005
Ph: 804-752-3450