www.us.endress.comPressure Management Valve Limits Water Pipeline Problems

Cla-Val’s 98 Series Advanced Pressure Management Valve provides some important advantages to water companies. In order to fully understand these advantages, it is important to first comprehend two basic principles of water distribution system pressure:
1. In most systems, pipeline pressure is controlled using valves that maintain pressure levels equal to that which is required when demand is at its highest.
2. During off-peak periods, such as late at night and when consumers are at work and school, demand falls off, leaving pipelines over-pressurized and vulnerable to an increased level of leakage and pipe breaks.

The Cla-Val 98 Series valve employs a unique design principle that provides two-stage hydraulic pressure management. First, a stem valve in the valve’s pilot system automatically senses flow demand changes in the pipeline. The accompanying hydraulic pilot control then works in conjunction with the stem valve to adjust pressure based on the sensed demand, lowering downstream pressure when demand falls and increasing it as demand climbs. This is done automatically, without the need for outside intervention (i.e., manual adjustment by maintenance personnel); orifice plates; electronic communication (SCADA); or battery power of any sort.

Once Cla-Val’s 98 Series valves are installed in a pipeline, water companies can expect to see a significant decrease in the incidence of pipe breaks. In fact, recent studies by recognized industry experts have proven that simply reducing pressures during low demand conditions makes a tremendous difference in break rates. This is particularly true in aging pipelines, which are by nature, more vulnerable to breaks. In some cases, pipe break frequency was reduced by over 50 percent, and leakage was reduced by as much or more than the percentage of pressure reduction.

In addition to lowering the frequency of pipe breaks and leakage, the 98 Series valve also provides the following benefits:
• Reduced consumption
• Lower pumping costs
• Reduced energy usage
• 100 percent hydraulic operation
• An existing, installed Cla-Val Pressure Reducing Valve can be retrofitted with the 98 Series pressure management pilot system without removal from the pipeline

In a time that has seen some of the most profound drought conditions in recorded history, coupled with an aging water infrastructure in the United States, the Cla-Val 98 Series Advanced Hydraulic Pressure Management Valve is a simple and reliable way to prevent water loss.


Sealing Surface Stands Up to Harsh Tar Sands Application

EagleBurgmann recently worked with an oil company to solve a problematic application involving the company’s steam-injected horizontal crude wells in the Canadian tar sands. The problem included the inherent physical properties of the multi-phase crude slurry, consisting of hot water, oil, gasses and sand, where the gasses would produce a phase shift (vaporization) across the sealing faces. In addition to the entrained gasses, the slurry contained very abrasive particles, which eroded the silicon carbide sealing faces. This vaporization caused a dry-running condition by eliminating the lubricating properties of the liquid slurry in the sealing face gap, resulting in an unacceptable increase in leakage and eventually leading to failure of the seal faces due to excessive dry running.

The existing solution to this application consisted of an EagleBurgmann seal with a carbon vs. silicon-carbide face combination. This solution resulted in an average of two weeks run time before the constant phase shift of the slurry would cause unacceptable leakage, finally resulting in total seal failure via the seal faces by destroying the carbon face beyond repair.

Realizing the existing sealing arrangement was unacceptable, EagleBurgmann proposed a new solution, installing a DiamondFaces seal on the production pump. This new solution included a special multi-spring pusher seal with silicon carbide vs. silicon carbide faces and included the new DiamondFaces technology on the sealing surfaces.

The DiamondFaces extended the service life to 85 weeks, and the seal is still going strong. Leakage is below the expected quantity, and the abrasive sand is having almost no effect on the DiamondFaces coating. The savings from the extended service life has paid for the cost of the DiamondFaces at least fivefold. Because of the performance of the EagleBurgmann DiamondFaces coating, the customer installed them on the remainder of the on-site multiphase applications.


Paper Mill Improves Utilities Efficiency with Wireless Flowmeters

Emerson Process Management’s Rosemount Division worked with a paper mill in the New England area that was challenged to better manage its utilities usage to help offset rising fuel costs. In order to fully understand its utilities usage, the customer needed flow measurement of steam, condensate, water and compressed air systems. This information is used to determine trends, including usage rates in different areas of the mill and the return of condensate from each area. Historically, these additional measurement points have been too expensive to justify funding. However, with the advent of wireless flowmeters and the rising cost of energy, this project was greenlighted for funding.

After considering many different flow measurement technologies, the customer installed 60 Rosemount 3051S Wireless Flowmeters throughout its utility systems. Each of these flowmeters consists of a 3051S Wireless Differential Pressure Transmitter and a Rosemount Annubar primary element.

The wireless flowmeters are transmitting data via a Smart Wireless Field Network that has been seamlessly and easily integrated into the mill’s existing host system. Smart Wireless solutions utilize self-organizing technology that delivers data reliability of greater than 99 percent. Typical point-to-point solutions deliver reliability in the 40 percent to 85 percent range. Another key feature to wireless is that the devices are self-powered through the use of a Power Module. The Power Module is a self-contained device that delivers reliable power to the transmitters. The Power Module is Intrinsically Safe, meaning future battery changes will be accomplished in place. If the battery were not Intrinsically Safe, the user would be faced with the hazard and expense of removing the device from a hazardous-rated area to perform routine maintenance.

The Rosemount Wireless Flowmeters enabled a cost-effective means of adding measurement points to the mill’s utility systems. The wireless flowmeters eliminated wiring costs for each of the 60 flowmeters, providing a substantial cost savings. They also arrived factory-configured, leak-checked, and ready for installation, which delivered significantly reduced installation, configuration and commissioning costs.
Overall, project costs were cut by more than 60 percent when compared to wired alternatives. The additional insight delivered by the flow measurements has enabled the mill to better understand its energy usage. This information, which was previously inaccessible, has provided valuable knowledge, resulting in more effective utility management at the mill.


Coriolis Meter Meets Critical Requirements of Life Sciences Application

Endress+Hauser’s Promass P Coliolis flowmeter was designed to satisfy requirements in the life sciences market segment. Intensive field trials in typical life science industry locations were a critical part of the development process. Some of the driving factors to a successful field trial focused on the unique futures of the Promass P, as well as core operational principles of the Coriolis mass flow measurement.

One of the original user locations was a health and beauty aid manufacturer that needed conformity to regulatory requirements and a highly accurate mass flow measurement. The Promass P Coriolis meter offered all the desired features, including an ASME-BPE 2007 Certificate of Compliance to relevant scope. The Promass P offered material selection to ASME BPE 1.4435/316L with an electro-polish surface roughness Ra max=0.38 µm and inspection certificates EN 10204 3.1 and material test reports for material, surface roughness and delta ferrite.

From a process perspective it was also critical that the meter be hygienic via fully welded wetted parts and fully drainable even when installed in a horizontal orientation (2 percent gradient min.). Reducing the overall pressure drop through the flowmeter was also a concern. By incorporating a single-tube design, a flow splitter was no longer necessary, as is typical with conventional dual-tube Coriolis flow instruments. Hence, pressure loss was reduced.

From a product-quality perspective, the customer also required each Promass P meter to have ISO/IEC 17025 (SCS/A2LA/CNAS) traceable, accredited flow calibration to ensure that constituents of the final product were properly metered before blending.

The objective was to measure a pseudo-plastic fluid with a viscosity in the tens of thousands centipoise (static condition) and a density of approximately 1.5 times water. The second fluid was considered Newtonian with a viscosity in the hundreds of centipoise and a density similar to water. The test and production applications typically operated at ambient temperature ranging from 60 F to 80 F.

The testing consisted of a number of discrete steps in order to minimize as many external variables as possible. The first mass flow tests were performed on each constituent separately against a certified weight scale. Once the mass flow of both fluids was verified, additional testing was carried out by flowing both constituents simultaneously into a blender and verifying the resulting mass against a certified scale.

During testing, both Promass P meters performed to design specifications with lower pressure drop than a conventional dual tube meter. The Promass P was also easy to drain and clean.


Digital Flow Switch Provides Added Monitoring Capability

Kurz Instruments’ Olympic Gold Flow Switch, introduced in the summer of 2008, is already generating significant interest in the flow control industry. Here are two examples of how this flow switch technology is employed in the field to improve flow measurement.

Oil Refinery
With increasing demands for clean energy, a major oil refinery located in Benicia, Calif., has placed added importance on visually monitoring its process flows. The refinery’s existing analog-style flow switches are difficult to calibrate, contain no visual indication of flow, and result in frequent sensor burnout due to fixed heater wattage applications.

The refinery recently selected the Olympic Gold Flow Switch as a replacement technology, with the aim of leveraging the device’s advanced microprocessor-based electronics, continual LED readout and field-configurable capability for flow, level and interface applications. The plant will replace a majority of its flow switches used in high-pressure safety overflow lines and release valves. The installation is scheduled for fall of 2008.

Water Treatment Plant
When the Dublin San Ramon Services District (www.dsrsd.com) was looking for a clean power source to reduce facility emissions at its regional wastewater treatment facility located in Pleasanton, Calif., it decided on a direct fuel cell application. The district installed two direct fuel cell power plants to provide 600 kilowatts of ultra-clean power. Designed to use the biogas generated in the wastewater treatment process as its source fuel, the fuel cells also generate heat, which is recovered and used to pre-heat waste sludge, optimizing the anaerobic digestion process.

In a continuation of the upgrade of its facility, the district chose to use the Kurz Olympic Gold Flow Switch to monitor input of the digester gas as it is piped to the fuel cell facility.

Alliance Power (www.alliancepower.com), the largest developer of direct fuel cell power plants in the United States, was the company that installed the system for Dublin San Ramon. Bruce Pohlman, project manager for Alliance Power, said, “At the rate that technology devices progress, it is important to work with the most advanced instruments available at the time of procurement. That is why we selected the Kurz Olympic Flow Switch.”


Bubble Trap Meets Sensitive Pharma Requirements

L.J. Star’s Bubble Trap is designed to meet the needs of new pharmaceutical processing techniques, which use chromatography methods that increase sensitivity to unwanted gas or vapor entrained in process fluids. Standard bubble trap designs, being subject to contamination stemming from trapped bacteria, require significant downtime for maintenance and cleaning. Such contamination must be avoided because it could result in scrapping costly product. Bubble traps, therefore, are a troublesome hurdle for system providers.

This led Cotter Brothers Corporation (www.cotterbrothers.com), a skid provider of pharmaceutical processing equipment subsystems, to seek alternatives when faced with the particularly demanding specifications of its clients. The company contacted L.J. Star, offering to cooperate in the creation of a bubble trap that would be specifically suited to such applications. L.J. Star was selected based on its expertise in the design and application of visual flow indicators for sanitary process applications — products that must meet similar design standards.

The design process involved the L.J. Star product design team working in cooperation with Ted Zarubaiko at Cotter Brothers and in consultation with process engineers at a large biotech company (i.e., the prospective end-user of the new skid).

The new bubble trap embodies designs proven to be effective in other L.J. Star sanitary products. It is crevice-free and self-draining throughout, eliminating places where bacteria might collect. The standard surface finish is 15Ra with electropolish, hygienic sealing o-rings and shoulder bolts with no threads exposed. Draining is a significant aspect of the new design. The interior surfaces are contoured in such a way that all liquid will drain through the outlet, and the exterior is self-draining as well.

The interior surface finish is a critical element that eliminates even microscopic ridges that might serve as bacterial traps. Similarly, the precisely compressed o-ring leaves no open gap where bacteria might hide out of reach.

The L.J. Star Bubble Trap reduces the need for SIP/CIP cleaning and the associated downtime, because once it is in service it will stay clean. Routine washdowns between operations are simple and efficient because operators can disassemble, clean and reassemble the units quickly and easily. The new traps meet USP Class VI requirements and are FDA compliant. All components are fully traceable.


Primary Flow Device Optimizes MFC Calibration Process

Bios International’s Bios Definer 1020 primary flow calibrator was recently employed by a manufacturer of mass flow controls as a replacement technology for its existing bell provers for calibration of gas flows of up to 500 SLM. The manufacturer is integrating the Bios Definer 1020 into an automated calibration system that is designed to provide faster and easier gas flow calibrations.

The Definer 1020 features an accuracy of 0.25 percent and is significantly smaller than a typical bell prover. It also offers faster operating speed and easier operation than the bell prover. While a bell prover needs oil to operate — which can be messy and requires permanent mounting to a laboratory floor — the Bios Definer 1020 operates without fluids and can be simply placed on a bench top.

Like a bell prover, the Definer 1020 is a positive-displacement primary calibrator. However, the Definer 1020 uses a patented precision piston and glass cylinder assembly in place of the large bell and oil bath of the bell prover. High-accuracy pressure and temperature sensors provide standardization of the gas flow measurements. In addition to providing users with NVLAP-accredited uncertainties that meet, or exceed, those claimed for existing bell prover calibrators, the Definer 1020 provides direct digital display of either volumetric or standardized flowrates on a real-time fully automatic basis, thereby eliminating errors caused by inexperienced operators and dramatically improving the time required to calibrate flow devices.

The Definer 1020 features a serial RS-232 interface that allows control of the calibrations to be managed by a central computer. The mass flow controller manufacturer is taking advantage of this interface to automate the calibration process, saving time and money. The manufacturer also praised the measurement accuracy and repeatability of the Definer 1020.


Ultrasonic Flowmeter Verifies Ship Refueling for Singapore Navy

Sierra Instruments recently installed its Innova-Sonic Model 206 In-Line Ultrasonic Flowmeter on a critical component of the refueling system on a ship deployed overseas by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). Since the RSN deploys frequently to all parts of the world, the navy wanted to verify that the fuel it is being billed for is what is being piped aboard.

Before choosing the Sierra Model 206 In-Line Ultrasonic, the RSN took on a search to identify the best meter to check the fuel amounts it was receiving. Impressed with the high accuracy of Coriolis flowmeters, the RSN first looked at some meters in this category, but found the required line sizes (two to three inches) made this technology prohibitively expensive. The RSN then looked at positive-displacement meters, and while they were more economical than the Coriolis units, there was concern about potential fouling problems plugging up the sensor ports, as marine bunkering fuel can sometimes be very dirty.

Ultimately, the RSN chose Sierra”s Innova-Sonic In-Line Digital Correlation Transit-Time Ultrasonic Flowmeter because it provided economy, accuracy (+/- 0.5 percent of reading) and reliability (no sensing ports to plug). The Innova-Sonic Model 206’s PicoFly measurement technology was also an attractive feature. PicoFly represents an order-of-magnitude improvement in transit-time measurement technology, allowing sensitivity to changes in flow and low-flow detection.

For these reasons, the Innova-Sonic In-Line is becoming increasingly popular for maritime use, and is one of only a few flowmeters assessed by the American Bureau of Shipping for shipboard use. Indeed, for most of the same reasons described above, Sierra’s Innova-Sonic Model 205 Clamp-on Transit-Time Ultrasonic Flowmeter is being used by the United States Navy for both fuel oil and water measurement. It shares all of the same features as the in-line meter, but with the added benefit of clamp-on sensors that can be affixed to the outside of fuel and water lines with no intrusion into the piping.


Pump Diagnostic Sensor Provides Early Detection of Failure Conditions

ifm efector’s PIM Series pump diagnostic sensor is designed to provide early detection of common causes for pump damage, including cavitation, trapped air or gas, blockages and run-dry conditions.

Cavitation is the formation of voids in liquids due to pressure fluctuations. Quickly moving objects in water, such as rotary pump impellers and water turbines, are the most frequent cause for cavitation. For rotary pumps in particular, cavitation is caused when the local pressure drops in the axial clearance between the vanes of an impeller. Cavitation can also occur at other points of the pump where there is a local pressure drop, such as trailing edges of impeller vanes, housing tabs and split rings.

Outgassing is the release of gases from liquid or solid material. This can occur due to a pressure drop, temperature increase or tertiary processes such as bacterial transformation. Outgassing commonly occurs when heating liquids and decreasing the pressure and is determined by the solubility of the gases.

Run-dry conditions occur when the flow medium of a pump does not grease intermediate bearings, friction bearings or the axial face seal. If the pump fills with air or if the pump is not correctly de-aerated during setup, these components cannot be sufficiently cooled and lubricated. Due to the insufficient supply, friction and increased wear occurs, and the pump and its components are destroyed.

Ifm efector’s PIM Series pump diagnostic pressure sensor is designed to identify the causes of critical pump conditions and to alert a user so that corrective action can be taken. The sensor is designed to continuously monitor a pump’s system pressure and, at the same time, provide an independent diagnosis of the pump’s operating condition. The sensor measures the high-frequency pulsations of a properly operating pump and stores it as a reference. If changes occur in the system, the pulsations will change. The sensor immediately detects these changes.

If a critical pump condition occurs, the PIM Series pressure sensor will provide an alarm signal to a plc. Any disturbances around the pump, such as trapped air in the medium, clogged filters, deposits in pipes or improperly opened valves, are also monitored.

The PIM Series can be quickly set up using the sensor’s pushbutton “Teach” function and numeric display. The sensor’s display alternately provides the numeric system pressure and the operating state of the pump via a trend display.