Work has begun on an important piece of new research funded under the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). The research aims to develop traceable methodology and standards for the in-situ verification of multiphase flow meters.
“The project has been launched and we have started on the first major step of the research,” says Project Manager, David Crawford. “We are developing a new in-situ technique for establishing relevant fluid properties like density, mass absorption coefficients and viscosity without the need for physical samples. This is vital, as multiphase flow meter performance is highly dependent upon knowledge of fluid properties.”
The ISCF-funded research addresses a major challenge affecting many industries. This is the fact that real-world conditions can affect the performance of flow sensors, causing significant errors. This problem is particularly challenging for oil and gas companies that have to measure complex multiphase fluid mixtures in remote and inaccessible environments.
“The challenge for flow measurement is to take the process of calibration and verification from the laboratory and move it to the ‘in-situ’ location,” says David. “, we are aiming to develop an approach to the verification of flow meter performance that accounts for real-world influences and allows users to have ongoing confidence in the measurements they receive. The applications of this research will be many and varied, from upstream oil and gas production and reactor control in nuclear power, to food and beverage production control.”
The research will include the development of methods and protocols to translate performance under laboratory conditions to industry operating conditions. It will also involve developing, testing and validating new state-of-the-art sensor technologies to determine the quality of measurements both in-situ and in real time.
NEL is in discussions with Heriot-Watt and Strathclyde Universities, CENSIS and Schlumberger Cambridge about this research.
The in-situ flow measurement research project is one of two ISCF-funded projects currently running at NEL. The other is focusing on the measurement of hydrogen gas when it is used as a vehicle fuel. The ISCF is a strategic element of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. The fund is being delivered by Innovate UK and the Research Councils.
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NEL also holds the UK National Standards for flow measurement and has an international reputation in key engineering areas such as flow measurement, computational fluid dynamics, environmental and thermal engineering.