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Clamp on and stay cool

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LNG Industry,

Carolina Stopkoski, FLEXIM AMERICAS Corporation, USA, and Jörg Sacher, FLEXIM GmbH, Germany, detail the challenges and advantages of non-invasive LNG flow measurement with clamp-on ultrasonic technology.

Safe and efficient operation of any kind of plant relies on process control. Process control relies on effective and accurate measurements. Beside temperature and pressure, flow is one of the most important process parameters which must be monitored. Among the various flow measurement techniques, clamp-on ultrasonic measurement has been an outsider technology for quite some time. But times have changed. Due to its practical benefits, external flow measurement with clamp-on ultrasonic transducers has now become a widely used standard measuring method across all industries.

Clamp-on ultrasonic flow measurement

Nowadays, clamp-on ultrasonic flow measurement is an ‘outsider technology’ – only in the literal sense – meaning the transducers are simply mounted onto the outside of the pipe. Although non-invasive ultrasonic technology is today extensively applied to simple measuring tasks such as flow measurement in drinking water networks or in HVAC applications, it is particularly the method of choice when it comes to measuring precious and hazardous media under the most challenging process conditions and in the harshest environments. Therefore, FLEXIM’s clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter systems, FLUXUS, can be found all over the entire value chain of the oil and gas industry, from the well to consumers, both in liquid and gas flow applications.

Measuring from the outside of the pipe means measuring from the safe side. Installation and commissioning of an ultrasonic flowmeter does not require opening of the pipe and therefore the availability of the plant is unaffected. Since the transducers do not come in direct contact with the medium, they are not subject to wear and tear. The external measurement works independently of pressure changes in the pipe and does not cause any pressure loss or risk of leakage. An additional advantage of the acoustic measurement lies in its extreme dynamic range, independent of the flow direction: ultrasonic flow measurement is inherently bidirectional.

It is no wonder that operators of LNG plants are looking at non-invasive clamp-on ultrasonic flow measurement solutions.

This is an abridged version of an article that was originally published in the October 2020 issue of LNG Industry. The full version can be read here.

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