Reliable, Cost-Effective Saturated Steam Measurement

You might think because I work for Emerson, that I know all the developments going on. Far from it… I try to create this illusion by subscribing to the personalized RSS search over at MyEmerson News, in addition to my RSS subscriptions to the growing number of bloggers in our world of process automation.

The news blurb said:

Vortex technology has traditionally been preferred for measuring flow in saturated steam applications, but users also want a compensated mass flow output. Emerson’s new Rosemount MultiVariable Vortex Flowmeter combines the benefits of proven Rosemount vortex technology with a temperature-compensated mass flow output directly from the meter. Besides reducing process variability, the new flowmeter lowers total installed cost of temperature-compensated measurement points by 25%.

I caught up with Marketing Product Manager Eric Schmidt to explain why this is good for saturated steam applications. Saturated steam is used in many manufacturing processes in the refining, chemicals, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and district heating industries.

Eric described how a temperature compensated mass flow of a vortex meter for saturated steam typically required external sensors and a flow computer to do the calculations. This new multivariable flowmeter includes everything necessary to do the calculations within the flowmeter and send it back to the automation system via HART digital communications, pulse output, or conventional analog 4-20mA signals.

By eliminating these separate components the cost of installation and ongoing maintenance is reduced. Eric calculates the installation cost savings by what is eliminated from externally compensated saturated steam measurements. These include the thermowell, temperature sensor, temperature transmitter, wiring, commissioning, and either separate flow computer or calculations in the automation system.

On the maintenance front, the technology team did something unique by designing a non-wetted temperature sensor in the flowmeter which can be replaced without shutting the process down–always a good thing for plants seeking maximum manufacturing efficiency.

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