Natural gas prices may be the highest in 13 years this winter. Here are four ways thermal mass flow meters can reduce industrial natural gas consumption.

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Natural Gas Prices Impact Everyone

natural gas pricesNatural gas prices have doubled in a year, and according to a recent article on CNBC, the cost can double again and be the highest in 13 years if we have a cold winter.

The increasing cost substantially impacts those using natural gas for heat, electricity generation, and large companies that use it in its production process or climate control. In any case, the rising natural gas cost can be devastating to any business’s bottom line and trigger rising prices for consumers.

Industrial Users Seek Ways to Identify Gas Leaks and inefficiencies

Consequently, many large industrial users are scrambling to identify sources of gas leaks, process inefficiencies, and detect inaccurate billing meters. This is particularly true for automobile, glass, aluminum & steel, food & beverage industries, and other industrial users relying on gas for their processes, climate control, and energy management systems.

Industrial plants and companies can offset the rising cost of natural gas and its impact on other products and services when using thermal mass flow meters in specific areas of an industrial process or climate control.

Four Ways to Reduce Natural Gas with Flow Meters

industrial thermal mass flow meter
The Sage Paramount offers a simple calibration verification routine to reassure the user that the meter is performing accurately without removing it from the installation.

1. Identify gas leaks and process inefficiencies

In industrial users’ gas lines, the thermal mass flow meter is sensitive to the slightest changes in flow and can detect if a pipe is leaking or has process inefficiencies.

2. Submetering for cost allocation or identifying unusual usage

Natural gas submetering monitors gas flow to each combustion source to identify excess usage or allocate internal costs for different operating areas. Thermal mass flow meters are ideal for providing instantaneous usages for locating extra use and total consumption areas for either cost allocation or efficiency evaluation. Read more.

The advantage of measuring real-time flow is that it can pick up unusual spikes in gas usage, perhaps indicating a shipping bay door was inadvertently left open on a cold day. The meter would report the jump in gas usage in this case, and the company can take corrective action.

3. Determine combustion efficiency of a combustion source

Natural gas is fuel for combustion sources, such as boilers, furnaces, process heaters, kilns, and burners for industrial gas. Thermal mass flow meters measure air and natural gas flow rates to a combustion source to provide optimum combustion. When too little air is present, unburnt natural gas discharges as carbon monoxide. Whereas, when there is too much oxygen, there is an excessive discharge of heat, therefore, reducing combustion efficiency. Finding the ideal air-to-fuel ratio saves natural gas and provides efficient gas usage at a combustion source. Read more.

4. Check billing meter for accuracy

Another strategy is to use a thermal mass flow meter in series with the billing meter provided by the gas supplier, which may have errors as large as 3-5%, potentially costing thousands of dollars in one billing period. Most billing meters usually only measure totalized flow. The advantage of measuring real-time flow is that it can pick up unusual spikes in gas usage, and the company can promptly do something about it.

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Sage Thermal Mass Flow Meters

The Sage Paramount inline-style meter has built-in flow conditioning and monitors instantaneous flow rate. The insertion probe easily installs in existing piping, where other flow meters may require expensive piping modifications. Also, the thermal mass flow meter provides mass flow measurement without pressure and temperature correction.

If you would like to discuss how our thermal mass flow meters can reduce your natural gas consumption in your industrial process or energy management system, message us here or call (831) 242-2030.

 

References

Natural gas prices are rising and could be the most …. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/09/natural-gas-prices-are-rising-and-could-be-the-most-expensive-in-13-years-this-winter.html

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