Daily accounting of natural gas usage is a priority for a variety of industrial facilities with multiple processes and/or buildings that need to track usage across these processes or buildings. Fuel gas flow meters are used in these cases to analyze demand, improve operating efficiency, reduce waste, and adjust for peak usage.
In the past, flow meter types such as orifice plates, venturis, vortex and turbine meters were used to measure natural gas consumption. However, these volumetric devices offer limited rangeability and require pressure and temperature transmitters to compensate for density changes.
Today, the thermal mass flow meter has become the preferred device for many energy accounting applications. The thermal flow meter measures gas mass flow directly, with no need for additional hardware and without pressure or temperature compensation. It also provides better rangeability and a lower pressure drop than volumetric flow meters.
For example, one manufacturer replaced an older fuel measurement system that consisted of turbine meters with ancillary pressure and temperature transducers with a new system made up of only thermal flow meters. Not only did they reduce the time and expense associated with servicing the turbine meters, they also found that the thermal flow meters’ wide turndown provided a more accurate measurement at low and varied flows, ensuring accurate cost allocation and improved combustion control capability; and no additional equipment was needed to monitor pressure and temperature.
In addition to energy accounting, thermal flow meters help plant managers provide accurate usage reports for environmental compliance, and compare measured usage to billing reports from gas providers.
University campuses and industrial parks use totalizing flow meters to allocate fuel costs to various buildings and/or tenants. Natural gas check meters are often used to document usage, negotiate rates and resolve billing disputes. Fox flow meters may be used to monitor and bill for fuel consumption on skid-mounted generators and compressors. Sub-metering by department or process helps manufacturers assess inefficiencies, assign costs and implement conservation measures.
In addition to the primary benefits of direct measurement of mass flow rate, low-flow sensitivity, and fast response, the thermal flow meter’s no-moving parts design also helps reduce maintenance costs.
Typical applications include:
- University campuses and industrial parks use totalizing flow meters to allocate fuel costs to various buildings and/or tenants.
- Natural gas check meters are often used to document usage, negotiate rates and resolve billing disputes.
- Fox flow meters may be used to monitor and bill for fuel consumption on skid-mounted generators and compressors.
- Sub-metering by department or process helps manufacturers assess inefficiencies, assign costs and implement conservation measures.
Check out the Fox Products available to help with the energy accounting process.
Read more about Oil & Gas applications.
Fox Thermal Instruments strives to design and manufacture the most innovative and reliable thermal mass flow meter products to our customers. All Fox meters measure mass flow rate and are available in insertion and inline models. Fox models FT1, FT2A and FT3 are mass flow meters and temperature transmitters providing isolated 4-20mA and pulse output for flow rate, and a 4-20mA pulse output for process gas temperature or a second flow rate output.
Fox flow meters are often calibrated to measure air flow. Please review the product features for Models FT1, FT2A and FT3 for further information about our thermal mass flow meter products. If you’re not sure which meter is right for your application, use our Help Me Choose app to find the ideal meter or Contact Us today!