Coriolis meters have attained popularity worldwide in various liquid applications in the past two decades. New designs have remarkably improved lower pressure drop and low flow sensitivity and are immune to noise factors which enable their successful use in the fluid applications. With more than 20,000 units running on gas around the world, various groups such as API, AGA, Dutch NMi and German PTB are all involved in writing standards for this gas flow technology.
Coriolis is one of the rapid growing technologies and growth in gas phase applications is approximately four times faster as compared to liquid applications. Older designs are known to have some well justified limitations for use on gas. Generally, a high pressure drop is required to obtain a high accuracy flow reading and large meters did not work properly due to sensitivity towards noise and effects of process pressure. Since the market is rapidly growing, manufacturers are mostly focused on liquid applications.
New designs and advancements in technology since early 1990’s have transformed this, allowing an accurate gas flow measurement for even low pressure gases. Sensitivity has been dramatically improved and pressure drop has been lowered. Overall, it can be argued that coriolis technology solves large number of problems and offers more value for gases than for liquid measurements. This is because gases are compressible. With advancements in technologies parameters such as temperature, gas composition and process pressure are accurately measured and provides adequate flow conditioning for profile sensitive technologies.
Since Coriolis meters measures the flowing mass of gas and accuracy is independent of composition and profile, the meter is highly accurate under a wider range of operating conditions and is less costly to install and maintain.
Coriolis meters are cost competitive with other metering technologies on an installed cost basis, in which installed cost includes: instrument purchase price, flow conditioning and straight runs, and temperature and pressure compensation.
Coriolis meter is composed majorly of two main components such as a sensor and a transmitter. Coriolis meters infer the gas mass flow rate by sensing the Coriolis force on a vibrating tube. Sensing coils are installed at the entrance and exit sections of the tube that move in proportion with the sinusoidal vibration. At the time of flow process, the vibrating tubes and gas flow join together owing to the Coriolis force, thereby generating a phase shift between the vibrating sensing coils. The phase shift is directly proportional to the mass flow rate.
Coriolis meters are majorly used for process control and a large number of worldwide approvals exist for fiscal transfer of liquids, which includes authoritative bodies such as USA NIST C.O.C., Dutch NMi, German PTB and USA API.
Rapid industrialization and increasing demand of energy are some of the major drivers of the coriolis meters market. However, high cost required for the maintenance of the meters can hamper the growth of the market. Ample opportunities are there for the coriolis meters market as it is easier to retrofit into existing applications than load cell systems.
Some of the key companies in the business of coriolis meters are FMC technologies, AW-Lake Company, Emerson Electric Co., Liquid Controls, Honeywell, Hoffer Flow Controls, Inc. and Burkert Fluid Control Systems among others.
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