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Title: Real World Applications Using Ultrasonic Meters Where Theyre Not Recommended
Author: Gordon Stobie, Klaus Zanker, Winsor Letton
Source: 2002 International Symposium on Fluid Flow Measurement
Year Published: 2002
Abstract: After almost a decade of research and development, in 1986 British Gas (BG) licensed Daniel Industries to manufacture gas ultrasonic meters according to their patented technology. The BG experience was that, for pipeline applications, these new meters offered many advantages over existing devices, such as higher turndown, no pressure drop, greater immunity to installation effects, and more. A new era in gas flow measurement was born. By 1990, however, measurement specialists whose realm of interest was farther upstream had begun to take notice of this new technology. Those whose responsibility was fiscal measurement on the production platforms of the North Sea were wondering if these advantages could be brought to bear in environments much closer to where the gas was produced, where space for metering skids was tight, the operating temperature was high, and the gas often contained entrained liquids. These measurement engineers faced daunting problems in measurement on a daily basis. Why does the measurement equipment take up half the space on the platform? Why are we measuring gas flows today that are 20% higher than they were yesterday? (Yes, yes, I know the test separator isnt working perfectly, but thats life offshore, isnt it?) Facing what seemed a never-ending series of issues, these engineers were keen to try new technology which might relieve some of these burdens. It was in this environment that Project UltraFlow was conceived. Project UltraFlow was simply the first attempt to push the application of gas ultrasonic meters beyond the place where experience and standards said they should be used. While their use was taking off in pipeline transmission applications, where documents such as AGA-9, ISO/TR 12765:1997(E), and BS-7965 suggested how the meters should be installed and used, there has never been a definitive work which could be used to describe how to proceed if the application were not so pristine. While this paper is no such definitive work, it will describe how these meters have been used in unconventional ways, and will suggest other ways they might be used to advantage in the future.

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