TMCnet Feature
August 11, 2021

Ultrasonic Flow Meter Benefits: Role of Ultrasonic Flow Meters in Industrial Energy Efficiency



Climate change is real! Believe it or not but the melting glaciers and abnormal weather conditions are not a fluke. One of the biggest reasons behind the fluctuation in balance is industrialization and the huge global energy consumption. However, these days industrial entities are more aware and put in conscious efforts into maintaining sustainable operations.



Effective energy management and monitoring energy consumption results in improved operational efficiency. The reduced energy consumption and wastage benefit not only the environment but also the economy.

Modern monitoring solutions like ultrasonic flow meters come in very handy here. They allow the MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) team to obtain the necessary information to ensure sustainability and reduce energy waste. Here’s how ultrasonic flow meters play a crucial role in industrial efficiency.

Spot the Problem Areas

MRO teams need to identify the problem areas where the most energy losses occur to achieve sustainability goals. This helps the department to figure out which areas have the scope for energy optimization. This can be achieved by closely monitoring the actual consumption of fuel and consumption rates of the particular equipment like the boiler.

Tools like ultrasonic flow meters allow factory operators and MRO departments to compare fuel flow to the combustion source against the steam and wastewater output. Maintenance operators can then utilize this data to incorporate operating efficiency measures. It goes without saying that the operating costs will automatically go down if fuel usage is reduced.

Pick the Right Metering System

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions has stated that about one-fifth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from industry, and it’s responsible for 29.3 percent of total emissions.

Whether you are an industry looking to optimize operations, maintain GHG standards, or meet stringent energy consumption requirements, you’ll need to pick accurate and advanced measurement technologies.

For example, industrial boilers are one of the most valuable and essential equipment at most refineries and plants. Boilers play a crucial part in producing energy, which allows other industrial processes to function properly. It’s common sense that the boiler utilizes most fuel, and it is imperative to keep the boiler working efficiently since they are quite a sizable investment.

To determine whether the boiler is operating efficiently, accurate boiler output measurement is necessary by measuring hot water and heating liquids. This can be achieved through a flow meter combined with an integrated RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector) temperature sensor probes to measure both supplies and return temperature and calculate the thermal energy in BTUs. The ultrasonic flow meters have been a popular choice of MRO personnel in recent years.

Why Are Ultrasonic Flow Meters Gaining Popularity?

Engineers, factory operators, and maintenance technicians prefer ultrasonic flow meters because they use a tested and non-intrusive measuring method. What this means is that there are no moving parts and no pipes need to be cut, which results in no pressure loss. These flow meters are simply applied using standard silicon to the piping and provide maintenance-free operation.

Particularly transit time ultrasonic flow meters are best for thermal energy monitoring. The clamp-on style meter transmits an ultrasonic signal in the direction of the fluid downstream and upstream. The sonic pulse travel time for both downstream and upstream is compared to determine the velocity of the flowing fluid. The velocity is then used to calculate the volumetric flow rate in the piping.

When paired with a precision RTD temperature sensor probe, the transit time ultrasonic flow meter is capable of measuring thermal energy. It’s a cost-effective method to measure the volumetric flow and energy readings. This data then helps in evaluating the efficiency of boiler or chiller equipment, among others. Subsequently, operators can calculate equipment efficiency as a baseline and monitor the performance continuously. Besides being cost-effective, the clamp-on transit ultrasonic flow meters are gaining popularity because they don’t require any pipe cutting for installation, no hot permit for field welding, and are maintenance-free. They still provide highly accurate flow metrics and BTU energy measurements.

Bottomline

To comply with the Greenhouse Gas Emissions guidelines and monitoring energy consumption in a plant is very crucial. It’s the key to improve operational efficiency and reduce wastage of resources. Solutions like ultrasonic flow meters are effective in monitoring the flow energy measurements and meeting sustainability goals without comprising the productive output. Moreover, these flow meters are miles ahead of the regular mechanical or digital meters.



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