Custody transfer measurement of natural gas

16. June 2016

FLOWSIC600-XT: The perfect match

FLOWSIC600-XT – the new gas flow meter from SICK seamlessly preserves its predecessor’s positive image as an outstanding precision measurement device for demanding industrial environments. The FLOWSIC600-XT stands out from the crowd following its customer-oriented makeover. The product family concept is made up of various designs, making it easier to find the right device. As a result, you always have the right XT for the task at hand.



These days, lower oil prices no longer cover costs, meaning that an increasing number of companies in the oil and natural gas industry are now finding themselves in hot water. An issue even closer to our hearts is the fact that these companies also pass these pressures onto manufacturers of measurement technology. And we are not just talking about prices anymore. The pressure is now on improving the quality of devices and guaranteeing high precise measurements. Gas flow meters for custody transfer measurements are also affected by this problem, with the users themselves leaving no room for compromise in this situation. Measurement technology has to guarantee long-term stability with even lower measurement uncertainty, as well as being simply reliable. After all, measurements that are incorrect by just a tenth of a percent can quickly add up over longer periods, leading to huge losses in quantity calculations. In light of this, demand for user-friendly gas flow meters is rising, along with the need for simple calibration, commissioning, diagnostics, and speedy service should worse come to worst. Time is always money.


The latest development

The FLOWSIC600-XT has the answer to this trend in gas flow measurements. SICK’s new gas flow meter is available in four variants, either as individual or system solutions, and can conquer complicated tasks that call for precision custody transfer FLOWSIC600-XT_forte_250x167measurements of natural gas. In doing so, the FLOWSIC600-XT builds on the popular strengths of its predecessor, continuing to be robust, reliable, and precise. Users enjoy the positive factors that come from using ultrasound to measure the flow of natural gases. This technology can record accurate measurements while remaining largely unaffected by the properties of natural gas, making it particularly well suited to custody transfer measurements. Despite pressure fluctuations, vibrations, and dirt particles in the gas flow, the FLOWSIC600 gas flow meters stand out from other methods time and again thanks to their transit-time difference technique in the direct path layout. There are no mechanical parts that can be worn down and no contamination to affect the quality of the signal, as is the case in ultrasound measurements using the reflection method.   Using cutting-edge ultrasonic sensor technology and more efficient electronics, SICK has managed to provide users with even more benefits. The additional XT gene in the FLOWSIC600-XT combines the unique user-friendly design with stripped-back simplicity. This takes the FLOWSIC600-XT up to the next level and creates an even more convenient and safer environment for measurements.   The compact installation requirements make installing the FLOWSIC600-XT Forte even easier while reducing installation costs at the same time. As a result, it is ideal for use in areas such as offshore platforms or in compact measurement stations.


From better to the best

Background noise is a real problem for accurate ultrasonic measurements. Expansions in pipelines, valves, plant vibrations, or pressure regulators often cause critical levels of noise for the ultrasonic measurement process. Though we humans would never hear the difference, they can have a huge impact on ultrasonic sensors. These noises can affect the way signals are received, particularly in the high frequency range between 85 and 200 kHz. This in turn can affect the signal quality, leading to uncertain measurements. With new ultrasonic sensors and optimized electronics, SICK has managed to improve the system’s resistance to disruptive noises in the application. Noises no longer have a negative impact on measurements. Does the pressure or temperature of the gas change in the application? The built-in pressure and temperature sensor measures this and supports the automated calculation of minimal geometric changes to the meter in a bid to improve the accuracy of the measurement result. Thanks to the new i-diagnostics™ function, the FLOWSIC600-XT can monitor itself. If changes to the plant status are detected, for example as a result of contamination, moisture in the gas, or disruptive noises, the FLOWSIC reports them straight away and the solution wizard in the new, intuitive FLOWgate™ operating software provides speedy assistance. And the best thing? Thanks to the PowerIn Technology™, the FLOWSIC600-XT continues measuring even in the event of mains voltage failure. The amount of power required by the entire electronics system is reduced and the built-in backup battery supplies the power instead, lasting as long as three weeks. Now, there is no need to fall back on other measurement techniques in the event of a mains voltage failure.

Put to the test

SICK has equipped a gas storage application with meters to show the world that the FLOWSIC600-XT meets the high standards set by its predecessor. The FLOWSIC600- XT Uebergabestation_FLOWSIC600_FLOWSIC600XT_250x167was installed in series with the FLOWSIC600 for testing, which turned out to be very successful: both devices achieved outstanding synchronization. Photo 1: Pressure regulation station with the FLOWSIC600-XT Quatro and FLOWSIC600 at terranets bw.   Erdgasspeichermessung_FLOWSIC600XT_FLOWSIC600_250x167To demonstrate the improved resistance to disruptive noises, SICK installed the FLOWSIC600-XT Quatro with two redundant measurement systems using various ultrasonic sensor frequencies directly in front of a pressure regulating valve in a plant. This type of plant is typically used for transporting natural gas and controlling natural gas distribution systems in cities. This application demonstrated just how good the quality and electronic optimization really are. Photo 2: Gas storage with the FLOWSIC600-XT and FLOWSIC600.




Product information: FLOWSIC600-XT ultrasonic gas flow meter

Product range: Gas flow meters

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