Ultrasonic flowmeter helps achieve ‘metering intelligence’ for pipeline monitoring

Paul Boughton

Honeywell has released its newest ultrasonic flowmeter designed to help natural gas producers improve efficiency by more accurately tracking the movement of gas through pipelines. The USM GT400 Ultrasonic Flowmeter helps to reduce the amount of effort needed to maintain pipeline metering, which is especially critical today, given the skills shortage many oil and gas companies are facing as veteran engineers retire.

The USM GT400 measures the volume of natural gas at every stage of its movement, storage and usage, which is important because the volume of gas transported via pipelines to consumers is metered for billing purposes.

“As the natural gas industry continues expanding, companies have a tighter margin of error when it comes to lowering operating and capital costs, improving uptime and reducing risks,” said Tony Tielen, vice president of Honeywell Process Solutions’ Engineered Field Solutions division. “Accuracy is the key to staying within those margins, and the USM GT400 uses a blend of multi-path measuring technology, field-proven electronics, sophisticated diagnostics and a user-friendly interface to achieve true metering intelligence.”

Compliant with CEESmaRT technology – a secure, cloud-based solution for condition-based monitoring – the new system provides stability during flow perturbations thanks to its direct-path technology with six measuring paths on three levels. The paths are arrayed in an ‘X’ pattern in horizontal planes. This orientation enables measurement of swirl, cross-flow and asymmetry, as well as transparent path velocity weighting per the Gauss-Chebyshev profile model for compressible fluids.

The USM’s electronics are used to handle path-specific measurements while optimising internal diagnostics. It includes speed of sound (SoS) and flow velocity calculations, signal processing and data storage capabilities, and can interface to flow computers, gas chromatographs and SCADA systems. The meter’s transducer – which operates at standard frequencies of 120 or 200 kHz, and alternate frequencies are available for noisy environments – consists of piezoelectric crystals encapsulated in titanium housing for resistance to dirt.

Regulator noise has marginal impact on the flowmeter’s measurements, thanks to Honeywell’s detection algorithm, coupled with the specialised transducer design. This combination extends signal amplitude for a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) versus traditional intrinsically safe transducers. 

Windows-based RMGViewUSM software allows manufacturers to monitor the health of the flowmeter, alerts users to upset conditions and provides diagnostics for alarming. It also allows direct access to the electronic measuring system via a PC to read out and change parameters, represent measured values and create test certificates and data sheets.

For further information, please visit www.honeywellprocess.com.