While the thermal mass flow meter is not approved as a custody transfer meter, there are some non-custody transfer applications where the meter can benefit natural gas distribution companies.
Natural Gas Distribution
Custody transfer or fiscal metering refers to the point in which raw material, like natural gas, moves from one owner to another. At that point, there is a custody transfer meter. There are some non-custody applications within the natural gas distribution system where thermal mass flow meters excel and offer significant benefits.
Real-time Natural Gas Usage to Prevent Bottlenecks
One of the benefits of using a thermal mass flow meter is that the custody transfer meter does not communicate the actual usage at various distribution points in the many feeder lines. With natural gas flow meters well-positioned, gas distribution companies can better ascertain consumption requirements to help avoid pipeline bottlenecks by measuring real-time usage throughout the year.
Natural Gas Monitoring
While the custody transfer meter provides total flow, many natural gas distributors use differential pressure flow meters (averaging Pitot tube) upstream of the custody transfer meter to provide the flow rate for a line going to multiple industrial customers. Unfortunately, the gas flow can vary considerably depending on the time of the year, and differential pressure flow meters have poor accuracy at low flow conditions. For this reason, thermal mass flow meters can provide a more accurate natural gas flow measurement at low flow rates.
Thermal Mass Flow Meter Application Sheets
For more information on how thermal mass flow meters can better serve your natural gas non-custody transfer flow application visit “Natural Gas Distribution (Non-Custody Transfer Applications),” or download our application brief.