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Published on : Feb 01, 2016

The measurement of the flow of liquids and gases has been of importance since antiquity. As early as 5,000 B.C., the inhabitants of the Euphrates and Tigris River needed water flow measuring abilities for the fair division of water that flowed through the aqueducts of these regions; ancient navigators needed knowledge about the velocity and direction of air flow essential for navigation purposes. 

How do Flow Meters Work?

Today, flow meters have a large number of applications. From their conventional applications, these devices are used for water management, energy management, petrochemicals, and agriculture among others. The functionality of these devices also varies from device to device as required by the application. Whilst the basic function of flow meters is to measure the flow and quantity of liquid and gas moving in a pipe; gas flaring, interwell locations, environment regulation, and quality control are some of the specialty functions of these devices. 

Due to the specialty functions of these devices for petrochemicals and refining, replacement of obsolete flow meters with new smart ones is trending in this space. This is mainly for improved reliability and accuracy in measurement in comparison to what is provided with the older type devices.

Solar-powered Flow Meters Sustainable in the Long-run

In a recent development in the utilization of flow meters in oilfields, these devices are utilizable keeping up with environment protection norms. Located in the remote site of Williston Basin in North Dakota, the Legacy Reserves oilfield was required to upgrade its capabilities for reporting waste gas. This had to be accomplished without power utility service at the location. With substantial investigation of the oilfield and meticulous planning, solar power flow meters were installed as the most formidable solution to the problem.

Variation in volume at the wells, inability to use differential technologies, and convincing authorities to use existing gas lines instead of installing multiple new lines are the restraints that were faced before these devices were installed. The study of the oilfield location drew the conclusion that each of the 14 wells would need two gas/air flowmeters to support the crude oil separation process. In the Legacy Reserves oilfield, the 14 wells are located on a single well pad that are connected to a 3-phase treater tank for crude oil separation.