Thermal mass flow meters excel in energy conservation applications involving natural gas flow measurement and monitoring, including building management systems, combustion control, and submetering natural gas.

Natural Gas Submetering

Natural Gas Application Guide

With a goal for energy conservation, as well as societal and regulatory pressure to reduce emissions, it is crucial to monitor natural gas mass flow rate and consumption at individual zones. Monitoring helps in assessing process efficiencies, identifying unusual consumption points, promoting conservation, and providing a means for cost allocation to various operating areas. In addition, submetering helps diagnose the aging process of equipment and identifies possible leaks in fuel-feed lines. Common applications for natural gas submetering can be found in a variety of industries, including Textile, Glass Manufacturing, Automotive, Aluminum & Steel, and Food & Beverage.

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Natural Gas Flow Measurement
Thermal flow meters excel in natural gas flow monitoring and measurement applications: building management systems, combustion control, and submetering.

Combustion Control

One of the most important methods to reduce energy consumption in a manufacturing environment is to optimize the combustion control of industrial boilers, steam generators, furnaces, ovens, smelters, and process heaters. By monitoring the air and fuel rates to burners, optimal air-to-fuel ratios are achieved. This results in significant reductions in energy costs of natural gas (or propane) and also improves process efficiency, as well as product quality and yields. As part of an overall strategy, many local and state-wide jurisdictions have environmental regulations that require flow meters, on all medium and large size heating units, to reduce plant-wide emissions. Common applications for combustion control monitoring are found in a variety of industries, including Textile, Glass Manufacturing, Automotive, Aluminum & Steel, Food & Beverage, Pulp & Paper, Power, Chemical, and Refining.

Building Management Systems

Thermal mass flow meters are frequently used in building management systems for climate control. Insertion style thermal mass flow meters for larger natural gas lines and in-line thermal flow meters for smaller gas lines monitor and control inlet flow to boilers, furnaces, and heaters. In addition, thermal flow meters monitor the air mass flow supply distributed throughout the building. Building management systems can be found in apartment buildings, high rises, governmental facilities, large industrial manufacturing environments, campuses, shopping centers, and other facilities. The building management system continually maintains a comfortable indoor temperature, while at the same time minimizing the energy required to do so.

Natural Gas Flow from the Main into Plant

With concern for energy consumption, monitoring the instantaneous natural gas mass flow rate coming into the plant is critical because it provides information about the plant’s natural gas demand. The conventional billing meter only reports consumption over a fixed period of time (i.e., monthly). Whereas, a thermal mass flow meter monitors flow rate, as well as consumption; thus, it provides real-time feedback about plant upset conditions, peak demand, inefficiencies, and wasted energy.

Thermal Mass Flow Meters

Sage Prime provides both easy-to-install insertion thermal mass flow meters as well as in-line thermal flow meters with built-in flow conditioners that measure and report the mass flow rate of natural gas. This type of direct mass flow meter does not require separate temperature or pressure transmitters, has no moving parts, is highly accurate and repeatable, and has negligible pressure drop.

The Sage Thermal Mass Meters have extraordinary rangeability, of at least 100 to 1, with resolution as much as 1000 to 1. The meters have bright graphical displays of flow rate, totalized flow, and gas temperature as well as continuous diagnostics, 4 -20 mA output of flow rate, pulsed outputs of consumption, with fully Modbus compliant RS485 RTU communications. Sage also offers a remote-style flow meter, with up to 1000 feet of lead-length compensated cable.

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