Power & Utilities


SmartMeasurement™ has a number successful flow measurement applications in the power generation industries. Our ALSONIC-DSP family of non-intrusive ultrasonic flowmeters has been used for flow rate measurement of  non-conductive plant feed water while the portable ALSONIC-DSPPL ultrasonic flowmeters have been used for maintenance spot checking applications. SmartMeasurement™’s ALMAGWP electromagnetic flow meters are used in cooling water, heat exchangers and plant water intake systems. The ATMF series thermal mass flow meters are used to measure combustion air to boilers, stack gas monitoring for pollution control requirements, and natural gas and biogas measurement in plant wastewater applications. The ALVT vortex flow meter family is used to measure steam and vapors throughout the power plants. SmartMeasurement™ provides a one-stop shop for all flow metering requirements in the utility power generation industries.

Pulverized coal-fired boilers

The measurement and control of mill air flow in coal-fired boilers for optimum performance of pulverize is measured with the SmartMeasurement™ ATMF air mass flow meters. The no moving parts design prevents highly corrosive fly ash from clogging or fouling the flow meter. Measurement of air flow is important in controlling mill slugging, feeder runback and coal spillage. Coal fired boiler’s efficiency can be maximized by measuring and controlling steam flow with the SmartMeasurement™ ALVT vortex flow meters, boiler exhaust (flue gases) with either the ALVT vortex flow meters or ATMF gas mass flow meters. To minimizing emissions and maximizing fuel response to the furnace, the ATMF gas mass flow meters with its wide turn-down and high temperature sensors. 

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF air mass flow meters, with its no moving parts and wide turn-downs are used for combustion air system as well as fuel gas to boilers.
•    The SmartMeasurement™ ALVT vortex flow meters are an ideal choice to measuring and control steam boilers in the power industries.

Biogas from Landfills in cogeneration power plants

Solid wastes from households, commercial and industrial activities enter a landfill, where methanogen bacteria decompose the organic material. The by-product of the bacterial decomposition is biogas composing from anywhere between 30-50% carbon dioxide and the remainder methane gas.  In order to collect this gas, a series of pipes are embedded within the landfill and is compressed and mixed with natural gas as fuel for power generation.  Landfill gas is very humid, at low pressure (20-40 mBarg) and about 40-60°C (100°F). Measuring the biogas as it leaves the landfill is difficult because it is dirty and having very low pressures. Low pressure makes differential pressure (DP) devices like orifice plates unsuitable since they require a fairly large differential pressure to operate.  Moreover high moisture and particulate content can clog up devices like annubars and orifice plates and gum up turbine meters and similar instruments that have moving parts. The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF thermal mass flow metes, with no moving parts to clog with dirty, particulate laden gas and a self-cleaning purge option for dirty flow environments, the ATMF thermal mass flow metes maintains accuracy and lowers maintenance costs. The ATMF thermal mass flow metes sensors automatically corrects for changes in gas temperature and pressure, eliminating the need for separate temperature and pressure transducers.

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF biogas mass flow meters, with its no moving parts and wide turn-downs, low pressure drops are ideal for cogeneration power plants.  Further blending with natural gas necessitates the use of ATMF mass flow meters for blending optimization.
•    The SmartMeasurement™ ALVT vortex flow meters are an ideal choice to measuring and control steam boilers in the cogeneration power industries.

Geothermal Power plant

Geothermal resources have been used as source for cooking and heating. Today, geothermal power plants are producing over 8,200 megawatts of electricity that supplies over 60 million people in 21 countries. In a typical steam field, the geothermal reservoir rock consists of fractured greywacke and greenstone heated to a temperature of 460-480°F (237-250°C). The fractures are filled with superheated steam at pressures that, depending on location, can vary from 100 to 240 psig (7-16.5 Barg). This superheated steam is collected at the wellheads and sent to an electrical generating station that consists of a heat exchanger and a turbine and generator set. Steam is typically delivered to the turbine at 70 psia and 300°F to 350°F, at a flow rate of approximately 890,000 lb. /hr.  (400,000Kg/hr.) at maximum capacity.  Because of high temperatures and varying pressures, measuring steam flow is with a volumetric flow meter is not accurate. More over volumetric flow meters are particularly sensitive to the formation of scaling and plugging. The best known solution to measure steam flow in this application is the SmartMeasurement™'s ALVT-Mass vortex flow meters with integral temperature and pressure compensation. The ALVT-Mass vortex flow meter improves accuracy and reliability with lower installed costs because there is no need to also install pressure and temperature devices as required with volumetric flow meters. Moreover the relatively small surface area of the ALVT-Mass vortex flow meters insertion style in big pipes eliminates the large pressure drop associated other flow meters. The ALVT-Mass vortex flow meter sensors small surface area also equalizes quickly with the surrounding steam temperature, thereby eliminating scaling due to temperature differentials.

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ ALVT-Mass vortex flow meter comes with both insertion and inline configuration is an idea choice to directly measure mass flow of steam in both very small to very large pipes.  
•    The SmartMeasurement™ ALVT-Mass vortex flow meter is steam mass flow meter with integrated temperature and pressure transducers.  The all in one system is far superior to volumetric flow meter which requires other separate devices to measure mass flow. 

Solar thermal energy (STE) plants

STEs are become more economical, the use of STEs to generate power is ever increasing. Solar thermal electric energy generation concentrates the light from the sun to create heat, and that heat is used to run a heat engine, which turns a generator to make electricity. Various methods exist to concentrate the solar radiation, including parabolic troughs, power towers with mirrors that track the sun, parabolic dishes, and Fresnel reflectors. A fluid (also called heat transfer fluid) like synthetic oil, molten salt and pressurized steam passes through the receiver and becomes very hot. The fluid containing the heat is transported to a boiler to produce steam which can then be used in the process or to generate electricity.   

The solar collector comprised of a huge array of concave mirrors. These mirrors track the position of the sun throughout the day, focusing the sun’s energy on a black tube that runs along the focus of the array. This black tube is surrounded by a second glass tube vacuum chamber that protects it from the air, allowing it to absorb solar energy more effectively. As super-heated water passes through the black tube, the solar energy heats it up to 450°F (232°C). Hot water is measured by the high temperature ALVT vortex flow meters, while steam and condensate flow can be measured by the ALVT-Mass vortex flow meter in the system. The water then runs through a boiler system that uses its heat to generate steam. The steam can used to generate electricity or in certain manufacturing process, it is also used to transfer heat to other process like oils or other fluids. Cooled water flows back through the tube to the solar concentrator field will be measured by the ALMAGWP electromagnetic flow meters and the process is repeated.

The SmartMeasurement™ family of flow technologies can be a one stop-shop in all the flow measurement requirements in a Solar Thermal Energy plants, regardless if the process is used to generate electricity or used as a heat-transfer fluid to heat other process fluids.

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ family of flow technologies can be a one stop-shop in all the flow measurement requirements in a Solar Thermal Energy plants.
•    ALVT-Mass vortex flow meter are used for mass flow measurement of steam, hot liquids and superheated water as the heat transfer fluid out of the solar collectors.  
•    The SmartMeasurement™ ALMAGWP electromagnetic flow meters are used to measure cooled water flowing back to the solar collectors.

Steam production using waste methane gas from manure digesters

The usage of small electrical power plants using waste gas is increasing the developed world.  Manure is collected from farms and placed in a biogas digester. Biogas digester efficiency can be increased by measuring the manure going into the digester with the ALMAGWP electromagnetic flow meters, while the production of biogas can be measured by the ATMF biogas mass flow meters. Moreover digester systems use air to increase the decomposition of manure into biogas. The air is measured by the ATMF air mass flow meters. 

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF biogas mass flow meters, with its no moving parts and wide turn-downs, low pressure drops are ideal for waste gas power plants. Further digester systems use air to increase the decomposition of manure into biogas and therefore the ATMF air mass flow meters are an ideal choice.
•    Manure going into the digester is measured with the ALMAGWP electromagnetic flow meters,

Hydrogen flow monitoring

Hydrogen is a commonly used cooling agent in power plant turbine generators. Leaking hydrogen gas can pose a safety concern in the power plant. The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF gas mass flow meters detect increase in usage; thereby alerting operators of leaks. In addition to monitoring for hydrogen leaks, plants need to measure the flow rate for custody transfer billing verification from the gas supplier to the utility. Also, multiple plants typically draw from a common hydrogen supply by using the SmartMeasurement™ ATMF gas mass flow meters inline unit. The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF gas mass flow meters measure the flow at each location, so each plant can be monitored for their appropriate share of hydrogen usage.

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF hydrogen gas mass flow meters are used to measure the hydrogen gas in turbine generation cooling system.

Boiler Control System

Combustion air is brought through forced draft fans and/or induced drag fans to preheaters which heat the air to an optimum temperature before it enters the boiler. The air ducts are divided into primary air and secondary air ratios as fuel load requires. The ratio of the mass flow of fuel to the mass flow of air is crucial to the combustion efficiency of the boiler. Optimum efficiency of the preheater is monitored by knowing the mass flow of air before and after the preheater. The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF air mass flow meters are the instrument of choice to use both in primary and secondary air ducts in order to optimize the air to fuel ration of a boiler.

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF air mass flow meters, are the instrument of choice to use both in primary and secondary air ducts in order to optimize the air to fuel ration of a boiler.

Boiler feed water system

Feed water used in steam boilers of fuel burning power stations is highly purified to avoid corrosion. Due to its high purification level, it becomes an electrical insulator eliminating the possibility of measuring flow with electromagnetic meters. The most optimum solution to measure feed water is, the Alsonic family of ultrasonic flow meters, the clamp-on meters can measure the flow of liquids regardless of their electric conductivity. Moreover an expensive plant shut down is not required to install SmartMeasurement™ Alsonic ultrasonic flow meters. The flexibility of our portable and fixed-installation flow meters enables it to be used at many different parts of a power station, for many different liquids and on pipes of almost every common material and diameters from 10 mm to over 3,000 mm (0.4” > 118”). Other applications such as Feed water, cooling water and condensate flow metering, pump, valve and inline flow meter performance verification, leakage and blockage detection, metering of fly ash disposal lines, and heavy fuel oil metering.

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ Alsonic family of ultrasonic flow meters, the clamp-on meters are used to measure boiler feed water. Electromagnetic flow meters cannot measure feed water due to its limited electrical conductivity.
•    The SmartMeasurement™ Alsonic family of ultrasonic flow meters are also successfully used in cooling water and condensate flow metering, pump, valve and inline flow meter performance verification, leakage and blockage detection, metering of fly ash disposal lines, and heavy fuel oil metering.

Flue Gas Recirculation

The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF air mass flow meters are used to optimize the operation of a boiler which incorporates flue gas recirculation. Flue gas is recirculated to maintain optimum furnace temperature and lower soot emissions. Gas recirculation flow measurements are needed to calculate the optimum recirculation flow needed to maintain the correct furnace-exit temperature. The flue gas is recirculated from the economizer outlet to the furnace through tempering ports located above the top level of burners.

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF air mass flow meters are used to optimize the operation of a boiler which incorporates flue gas recirculation

Flue Gas Balancing

Combustion exhaust gas (flue gas), which contains by-products harmful to the environment must be cleaned before release to the atmosphere. When fly ash-laden flue gas flows from one or more boilers to multiple scrubber modules, a serious problem arises in balancing the flow to the modules so that each operates at its maximum efficiency. Poor scrubber performance not only increases the mass flow of pollutant to the atmosphere, but also clogs mist eliminators or re-heaters and causes corrosive damage to downstream components. Often times Pitot tubes, annubars or Venturi meters are used to monitor the mass flow which must have a pressure, temperature sensors as well as a flow computer. Build-up in these meters will alter the pressure drop as much as changes in flow. Since these devises are DP type instruments, power plant personnel has no reliable way of knowing how much flue gas is flowing in each scrubber module because changes in pressure are used to infer flow rates in these devices. The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF air mass flow meters outfitted with a shield to guard against build-up, will provide consistent and reliable mass flow data.

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF air mass flow meters outfitted with a shield to guard against build-up, will provide consistent and reliable mass flow data.

Stack Gas Control

Stack gas controls are extremely important to measure the amount a plant exhausts to the atmosphere. Since the SmartMeasurement™ ATMF air mass flow meters are direct mass flow instrument, pollution control officials will be able to determine the mass flow of the exhaust, instead of inferring mass flow by using other techniques.

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF biogas mass flow meters, with its no moving parts and wide turn-downs, low pressure drops are ideal for cogeneration power plants.  Further blending with natural gas necessitates the use of ATMF mass flow meters for blending optimization.
•    The SmartMeasurement™ ALVT vortex flow meters are an ideal choice to measuring and control steam boilers in the cogeneration power industries.

Fuel Flows

Gas fuel, usually natural gas is distributed to boiler burners where it is burned through a gas ring. The gas ring enables the gas to mix with incoming combustion air for more efficient burn. The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF air mass flow meters for gases and air can be monitored to determine combustion efficiency. Accurate flow measurement of combustion fuel and air has always played a major role in the overall performance and efficiency of a boiler. Since the oil embargoes of the 1970s, and more recently the increased government emission regulations, the need for accurate flow measurement has never been more pronounced. These forces drive the need to monitor flow and make judicious choices in the type of measurement used. While traditional technologies such as DP and turbines have performed dutifully in the past, because of the number of advantages offered, customers are now using the SmartMeasurement™ ATMF mass flow meters whenever mass gas flow is required.

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF biogas mass flow meters, with its no moving parts and wide turn-downs, low pressure drops are ideal for cogeneration power plants. Further blending with natural gas necessitates the use of ATMF mass flow meters for blending optimization.
•    The SmartMeasurement™ ALVT vortex flow meters are an ideal choice to measuring and control steam boilers in the cogeneration power industries.

Cooling water system

Power Generation systems usually invest several hundred million dollars in retrofit equipment to minimize the amount of cooling water drawn from the water source generally an ocean or a lake. These are generally closed-loop system which retrofits the piping already in place. To further optimize their cooling systems, the engineering team identifies the need for liquid flow meter at multiple locations to measure the flow of water as it passed through the system. Accurate liquid flow measurement is necessary not only for operational purposes to support the cooling towers but also to determine the system influence on the bay’s marine life.

The SmartMeasurement™ family of ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters provides an ideal solution for service in small to large-scale liquid measurement applications such as cooling tower water systems at electric power generation plants. They are the industry’s most economical electromagnetic flow meters. Moreover, it is not uncommon for electric power generation plants to have complex pipe configurations that may require bi-directional flow measurement. The SmartMeasurement™ ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters are available with bi-directional flow measurement. Bidirectional flow meters display positive and negative totalized flow or the option of displaying a net totalized flow measurement.

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ family of ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters provides an ideal solution for service in small to large-scale liquid measurement applications such as cooling tower water systems at electric power generation plants.

Flue gas treatment plants

In flue gas treatment operations such as power plants, liquid flow meters are used to measure the amount of circulation water. This water washes combustion (exhaust) gas and flows through the heat exchangers taking the heat from the exhaust gas. The exhaust gas is measured by The SmartMeasurement™ ATMF gas mass flow meters.

This heat is then used for district heating. Combustion gas comes from the plant’s boiler which converts steam into district heating and also drives its electric power generators. The washing of the exhaust gas eliminates many of the pollutants that would otherwise contaminate the air. The heat recovery from the gas will increase the efficiency of any power plant. In power plants, accurately measuring the flow of liquids is always a top priority for operational efficiency. Precise flow measurement is essential to control costs and maintain profitable plant operations. Engineers generally specify one of two solutions in this type of energy plant liquid flow application: ALMAGWP electromagnetic flow meters or orifice flow measurement.

Depending on piping, ease of installation requirements, SmartMeasurement™ family flow technologies gives instrument engineers many choices depending on their unique circumstances. When spacing is tight, SmartMeasurement™ family clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters are used, if flow conditioning is required, the SmartMeasurement™ ACONE is specified. Instrument engineers are delighted to find a flow meter manufacturer company such as SmartMeasurement™ that can give them choices of many flow technologies which can satisfy their technical and/or economic constraints. 

Advantages:

•    SmartMeasurement™ family flow technologies gives instrument engineers many measurement choices unique to their individual application circumstances.  
•    SmartMeasurement™ ACONE differential flow meters condition the flow with only 1-2 diameters there by negating having long straight runs to condition the flow.

Portable liquid flow measurement for maintenance and inspection 

Often times regular spot measurements with portable flowmeters are required as part of maintenance and inspection work. In power plant, measurement points can be difficult to access and pipes cannot be opened and flows not interrupted. Therefore, a non-invasive and non-intrusive flow measurement is used as a spot check flow measurement, where a permanent flow meter is not required. 

In such cases the SmartMeasurement™ ALSONIC-DSPPL, portable ultrasonic flowmeters becomes the instrument of choice. The ALSONIC-DSPPL is the only portable ultrasonic flowmeter that can measure up to 30% bubbles and solids. Unlike other portable ultrasonic flow technologies the SmartMeasurement™ ALSONIC-DSPPL, portable ultrasonic flowmeters can measure any liquid be it fuel flow, wastewater or water flow. 

SmartMeasurement™ ALSONIC-DSPPL clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters can be used on various types, functions and sizes such as Inline flow meter performance verification, Inspection of fire extinguisher systems, Pump and valve testing and inspection, Leakage and blockage detection, etc.

Advantages:

•    SmartMeasurement™ ALSONIC-DSPPL clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters can be used on various types, functions and sizes such as Inline flow meter performance verification, Inspection of fire extinguisher systems, Pump and valve testing and inspection, Leakage and blockage detection, etc.

See all flow meter applications