Posts Tagged ‘flow’

Profibus health check delivers faster communications for Imperial College London’s carbon capture plant

June 1, 2015

A Profibus health check carried out by ABB has enabled Imperial College London to improve the performance of its instrumentation and control system used as part of its carbon capture pilot plant teaching facility. Carried out by ABB’s Measurement and Analytics Service team, the health check highlighted various potential improvements that could be made to the plant’s Profibus network, which have resulted in the data transfer rate being trebled.

Opened in 2012, the carbon capture pilot plant is part of Imperial College’s £8.9 million ChemEngSpace Project and is used for undergraduate teaching, with over 300 chemical engineering students having access each year.

The plant uses an extensive selection of the same ABB proven products and systems that are used in a broad range of industrial applications worldwide. It’s designed so that students acquire hands-on experience of ABB’s integrated systems and products in an operational cutting-edge industrial application. ABB equipment used on the plant includes flow, pressure, temperature and level instruments, pH analysers, positioners, a gas analyser, low voltage drives and motors, low voltage products and a System 800xA distributed control system.

All of the data from the plant is relayed to the control system through several different communication protocols including Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus and Wireless.

Together, this equipment enables students to gain valuable practical experience of plant operation that will help prepare them for a career in chemical or process engineering.

As part of its 10 year support agreement with Imperial College London, ABB was keen to carry out a health check on the Profibus communications system to help assess its performance. A Profibus analyser was connected to the network to capture a variety of performance-related information, including the data transfer rate, signal strength and any interference or noise. The analyser scans for approximately 30 minutes to an hour and records the communications data to give an indication of efficiency.

The results were revealing. Originally under the impression that the optimum speed for performance was 500kb/second, ABB Service Engineer Paul Bick actually found that in the case of the carbon capture plant, the best speed was 1500kb/second. Increasing the speed to this new limit immediately produced a significant improvement in response time from the instruments. Imperial College were using the slower speed out of caution, but the Profibus health check helped to establish that a higher data transfer rate was achievable.

Paul Bick also took the time to check the network installation, “On a Profibus network, a minimum of one metre of cable length should be used between each instrument. It was discovered that the drives had less than one metre. This didn’t conform to the Profibus guidelines. We therefore recommended that it was extended. Now it works better – without the length there can be issues with reflections, data corruptions and interferences.”

Overall, the Profibus communications network performed well before the health check. But through this procedure a few improvements were made which helped optimise performance, and enabled the students at Imperial to understand what kind of maintenance is required in a real world plant setting, and the significant difference it can make.

Dr Colin Hale, Senior Teaching Fellow at the college says, “A great thing about the plant is that it can be used not only to teach our students about carbon capture, but also about wider issues connected with plant control and instrumentation, including best practice. The improvements produced by the health check are a great example of the valuable contribution that maintenance can make to a system’s performance.”

The Profibus health check is part of a broader range of health check and life cycle services offered by ABB to help users to get the most from their installed instruments and analysers. For more information, email abb.service@gb.abb.com or call 03339 997 996, ref. ‘Health checks’.

Enviropower maintains constant power output with ABB gas analyzers

February 25, 2015

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We are delighted to reveal that our highly reliable gas analyzers, which haven’t suffered a single time loss failure in five years, have enabled a waste to energy plant in West Sussex to achieve its target of 85% percent operating time.

The plant, owned and operated by Enviropower in Lancing, has a 5MWe capacity, burning around
60,000 tonnes a year of biomass fuel derived from construction and demolition waste.

Built in 2008, the plant uses an ABB ACF-NT multi-gas analyzer on each of its two combustion lines. Used to measure all the gas emissions from the plant, their data is sent to an emission reporting system, allowing Enviropower to prove that it is meeting the requirements of the Environment Agency.

Working with its construction company for the project, Enviropower turned to ABB as the analyzer vendor because of the high reliability of our products and our unrivalled ability to integrate complete solutions.

Because the plant’s operation is permit based, it has to meet certain criteria. One of these is the use of equipment that complies with the requirements of the Environment Agency’s MCERTS standards. Its permit specifies a minimum oxygen content of 11%, which will shortly reduce to six percent. As such, it was essential that the analyzers had the flexibility to adapt to changing regulations. What’s more, it was vital that the analyzers were highly reliable and that servicing was kept to a minimum.

The ABB ACF-NT emission and process monitoring analyser ticked all the boxes. Offering continuous, quantitative and selective measurement of numerous gasses, including HCl, HF, H2O, CO, CO2, SO2, NOX, NH3, N2O, O2, TOC and NMHC (non-methane hydrocarbons), the analyser achieves high stability, accuracy and reliability through proven FTIR technology. It also offers integration and display of signals from other instruments, including data on dust, mercury, flow, pressure and temperature.

Why it totally pays to pick electromagnetic

December 16, 2014

The arrival of AMP6 signals a change in many areas for both water companies and the supply chain.

As well as the potential end of the AMP cycle’s ‘boom and bust’ behaviour, another major change is underway, with Ofwat encouraging companies to move away from capital expenditure on new plant and infrastructure and instead focus on total life costs and getting more out of their existing assets.

Called TOTEX, this shift in emphasis will see a move towards companies focusing more on joined-up investment and on improving the performance of installed infrastructure rather than building new plant.

The approach includes a particular focus on the role of data in helping companies to maintain their networks more effectively and identify potential problems before they occur.

Of course, data is only as good as the device used to gather it. If the accuracy of the device itself is lacking, then the resulting data will be of questionable value when it comes to setting strategies to improve performance.
When it comes to the devices for measuring and monitoring flow around water distribution networks, various flowmetering options have traditionally been available to water companies, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Orifice plates may present an inexpensive solution, but their accuracy relies on the opening having been machined to the right size. Although they may offer reasonable accuracy at first, wearing of the orifice edges caused by particles within the flow can steadily erode measurement performance. This technology works by creating a pressure drop across the plate of which a minimum of 40% is non-recoverable. These losses inevitably lead to increased pumping costs.

Frequently specified where purchase cost is an issue, mechanical meters can quickly prove to be false economy. Wear and tear on their moving parts can reduce accuracy within weeks of installation, resulting in over or under registration of flows.

A higher costing option, the ultrasonic flowmeter, uses ultrasonic beams to assess the velocity of the fluid, which can then be used to derive a flow measurement. Although they offer the benefits of a clamp-on device, these meters can be severely affected by changes in speed, and are difficult to set up, especially where high accuracy is required.

In comparison, electromagnetic flowmeters offer a number of advantages that can quickly add up to savings that outweigh their higher initial purchase price. Firstly, there are no moving parts which need routine maintenance. Their buriable design also means the overall cost of the system is reduced as there is no need to build chambers or install ancillary equipment such as isolating valves.

Then there’s the matter of accuracy. Electromagnetic flowmeters offer typical accuracies of ±0.5% of rate throughout their operational life, as well as superb reliability from being unaffected by the wear and tear that can affect other meter types.

Recent technological developments extend their benefits even further. ABB’s AquaMaster 3, for example, includes GSM-SMS radio technology, enabling up-to-date information to be remotely collected from anywhere around the world and eliminating the costs associated with manual collection. Their ability to draw energy from either solar or wind also opens up a raft of new installation location possibilities.

When each method for leakage prevention is compared to the other, it soon becomes clear that the electromagnetic flowmeter is the best choice.

Not only that, but as listed technologies within the Government’s Water Technology List, ABB’s WaterMaster and AquaMaster flowmeters are eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowances which allow for offset of 100% of cost against corporation tax, not just on the cost of the purchase but also any costs relating to installation.

Taken together, these factors present a compelling case for using electromagnetic meters in a TOTEX-focused strategy.

For more about why it pays to pick electromagnetic flowmeters, email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122 ref ‘Water Technology List’.

ABB extends CoriolisMaster family with new compact flowmeters

October 20, 2014

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We are delighted to reveal that we have expanded our CoriolisMaster flowmeter family with the addition of two new compact models with RS485 Modbus communications.

Aimed at OEM machine builders, the FCB and hygienic FCH 130 and 150 series coriolis mass flow meters are ideal for filling applications across a range of industries.

With their integral mount design and zero upstream or downstream piping requirements, the meters are ideal for use in confined locations, requiring just a fraction of the space required by volumetric methods.

A major feature of the FCB and FCH 130 and 150 meters is their low pressure drop. Featuring a revised inner tube design, the meters offer up to a 90 percent lower pressure drop than other devices, helping to save up to 25 percent on pump energy costs. By offering a wide measurement span, just one meter can be used in applications where two meters might previously have been needed, reducing the need for spares and cutting the costs involved in installation.

The inclusion of RS485Modbus enables the FCB and FCH 130 and 150 to be directly integrated with a range of third party control, supervision and recording devices.

Two digital outputs offer a choice of pulse, frequency or binary output, which can be used together or individually to handle separate functions, such as opening or closing valves or setting and resetting totalisers. Operating at 115k Baud, the outputs offer a fast response, making them suitable for small dosing applications and filling applications requiring high precision.

Cost of ownership is reduced by on-board diagnostics, which provide a continuous online check of the sensor and transmitter. Any faults are automatically recorded and time stamped, together with details about the fault itself and the time it lasted. All error messages are displayed in clear text, enabling any problems to be quickly identified and resolved.

A trending analysis function also enables the performance of the meters to be monitored over time.
By highlighting when the meter is exceeding its calibration range, this function can help to minimise the time and disruption associated with maintenance by ensuring that the meter is only removed when necessary.

As well as checking the calibration, this software can also be used to configure the meter for batch filling processes. Extra performance can be achieved with the FCB and FCH150 versions, which include integrated FillMass and Densimass concentration functions. Suited to filling processes lasting three seconds or longer, the FillMass function ensures accurate filling. The valve is triggered by a digital output and is closed once the preset filling quantity is achieved. The filling quantity is given via a totaliser which can be easily configured and controlled by the device’s Modbus interface.

The Densimass concentration function allows the transmitter to calculate the concentration of a mixture based on the measured density and temperature using a set of pre-set concentration matrices.

In addition, users can also enter two of their own defined matrices containing up to 100 values.
Both the FCH 130 and 150 are EHEDG and FDA certified enabling them to be used in food and beverage and pharmaceutical applications.

For more information, email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122 ref. ‘CoriolisMaster FCB/FCH’.

ABB to highlight offering for offshore applications at Instrumentation Scotland & Offshore Systems

July 22, 2014

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We are delighted to reveal that both ABB Limited (stand 308) and Instrumentation Alliance partner, JWF Process Solutions Ltd, will be demonstrating an extensive range of products at the Instrumentation Scotland & Offshore Systems exhibition, including its latest flow, analytical and temperature measurement technologies.

Specific products on display will include the ABB CoriolisMaster range of flowmeters, including the compact FCB330 and 350 models. Requiring zero upstream and downstream pipe lengths, they are highly suited to installations with limited space, opening up a range of new measurement possibilities. Their low pressure drop and wide measurement span also makes them a cost effective alternative compared to similar devices from other manufacturers.

Also on show will be ABB’s standalone, self-powered temperature transmitter with WirelessHART™. When fitted onto a steam or process pipe, the transmitter can use the latent heat to provide the power needed for operation. A built-in thermoelectric generator (TEG) harvests electrical energy from thermal energy by using the voltage difference between the ambient and the pipe temperature to power the device.

Coupled with the benefits of WirelessHART, the transmitter offers a cost effective and maintenance-free alternative to wired or battery-powered devices, making them ideal for applications where it may be costly or impractical to run cabling.

The energy harvesting temperature transmitter will be accompanied by other examples of ABB’s temperature solutions, including multi-points and surface-mount assemblies for hazardous applications. These will include ABB’s new TSP411 sensors and TSW400 thermowells, specifically designed to simplify the selection of temperature equipment for oil and gas applications.

Also making an appearance on stand will be a variety of products from ABB’s Totalflow family, including the NGC8206 natural gas chromatograph and the PGC1000 field-mounted process gas chromatograph. Compact and simple to operate and featuring a field mounted design, the NGC8206 and PGC1000 both enable remote analysis of natural or process gas composition in applications which were previously either too costly or too impractical for conventional gas chromatographs.

These will be joined by a wide array of other products from ABB’s measurement products portfolio, including a range of pH and conductivity sensors and analysers, the WedgeMaster DP flowmeter and EDP300 digital valve positioner, plus ABB’s new high pressure ProcessMaster.

ABB will also be running a workshop entitled ‘Technical constraints in high pressure measurement in HPHT wells’, on Thursday 4th September (11.15am – 12.15pm). Hosted by our very own pressure products specialist, Trevor Dunger, the workshop will explore the technical considerations of measuring pressures up to 1000 Bar(g) in High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) wells and will look at some of the measurement technologies available for such applications.

New accreditation for UK ABB Measurement Products factory provides added reassurance for oil and gas customers

October 18, 2013
ABB Measurement Products underlines safety credentials with new oil and gas accreditation

ABB Measurement Products underlines safety credentials with new oil and gas accreditation

We are thrilled to announce that our Measurement Products business has achieved ISO 29001 accreditation for its Workington factory, underlining its position as a world leader in the supply of Flow, Temperature and Level equipment to the Oil and Gas industry, and its commitment to safety and the environment.

Introduced in 2010, ISO 29001 provides a single quality document for the approval of the quality systems of organisations providing design, development, production, installation or service for use in petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industry applications.

Our focus on the oil and gas industry, together with our determination to strive for the highest standards in the design and manufacture of instrumentation, were key factors in the decision to achieve ISO 29001 accreditation – becoming one of the first companies to do so. Already our Centre of Excellence for measurement in the oil and gas industry, the Workington site specialises in the design and manufacture of flow, temperature and level instrumentation for use in the oil and gas industry, as well as other industries.

Oil and gas is an extremely demanding market, with safety, accuracy and reliability at the top of its agenda for instrumentation. Workington’s unsurpassed capability not only enables ABB to meet all these needs, but demonstrates that our oil and gas customers can have absolute confidence in our products.

For more information, email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122 ref. ‘oil and gas instruments’.