Natural Gas Turbine Flow Meter

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Installing a Natural Gas Turbine Flow Meter

Installing a flow meter for your industrial process is bit difficult. If you’re planning to leverage with this choice, then natural gas turbine flow meter would be great option.

However, it is a complex task, just as you attach it to a pipeline. While installing, there are a bunch of mistakes that people make, and that automatically could risk your whole setup.

In this blog, you’ll look at the common mistakes to avoid while installing natural gas turbine flow meter. So, read on and learn more about what to avoid to ensure the environment’s safety.

  • Not Considering the Installation Environment

The flow meter should be installed in an area with ventilation far from heat and ignition. Moreover, the meter should be someplace easily accessible for maintenance and repair purposes. But in the worst-case scenario, suppose the meter is installed in a danger zone, then you must use safety equipment such as explosion-proof gears to prevent any mishap.

To prevent any pressure or stress on the meter or the connection, the piping system linked to the meter should also be adequately supported. There shouldn’t be any material that might harm or obstruct the meter.

Finally, consider the installation environment’s ambient conditions, such as humidity and temperature. Extreme temperatures may impact the meter’s functioning, resulting in unreliable readings.

  • Improper Sizing

Improper flow meter size is another frequent error that can decrease efficiency or cause system failure. To match the gas flow meter rate, you must verify that the meter’s size is accurately measured.

Small meters will need to be able to measure flow rates accurately, which can result in measurement miscalculations. As an alternative, the large meter may result in pressure dips and turbulence in the gas flow, increasing energy demand and reducing system efficiency. 

The problem may be avoided by appropriately sizing the meter depending on the measured gas’s maximum and minimum flow rates. For this purpose, you need to calculate the required flow capacity of the meter based on the pressure and temperature conditions.

  • Incorrect Meter Orientation

The orientation of the flow meter is a crucial factor that affects its performance and accuracy. Installing the meter in the wrong orientation will not accurately measure the flow, which can cause errors.

Keeping that in mind, you need professional help to correctly install the meter in the correct orientation based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Horizontal orientation is the most common for the flow meters in which gas flows from left to right. It enables gas to pass through the meter smoothly with little turbulence or pressure loss.

However, you can do a vertical orientation if you have space restrictions or other issues. If you are mounting the flow meter vertically, ensuring the gas flow is upward through the meter is crucial. This is due to the possibility of air bubbles building up at the meter’s base due to downward movement.

  • Poor Installation Quality

If installation quality is poor, nothing can save you from a big disaster because it can lead to various problems, and if not corrected on time, it can cause a system failure. Therefore, make sure professionals properly install the meter.

Incorrect pipe sizing, improper alignment, and improper mounting are the common mistakes causing poor installation. For instance, the incorrect pipe size can cause turbulence and pressure drops in gas flow. Poor alignment may cause stress on the meter or the pipe connections. Finally, wrong mounting leads to vibrations or movement, which can be disastrous.

It would help if you had a qualified installer with immense experience in the field to install the meter properly. At the end of the installation, the installer should test and calibrate the meter to determine its working.

  • Not Considering Flow Profile

Flow profile is the shape and uniformity of the gas flow through the meter, and it can vary depending on factors like the pipe diameter, flow rate, and pipe fitting. Put all your effort into considering the correct flow profile while picking and installing a flow meter; otherwise, it will cause various problems.

For example, if the flow profile is not uniform, it can cause turbulence in the gas flow, while if it’s too uniform, it causes laminar flow. The gas flow meter results will be inaccurate and bogus in both cases.

To select a flow profile, a meter must be chosen that is appropriate for the application’s particular flow profile, and that is as uniform as feasible. It can lessen turbulence and guarantee a uniform flow profile using flow conditioners like pipe or flow straighteners.

  • Lack of Calibration and Maintenance

Maintenance and calibration are the most critical aspects that impact the dependability of the flow meters. The meter will generate erroneous readings without regular upkeep and calibration or stop working altogether. A failed meter might result in expensive downtime and lost income. 

It would be ideal to compare the meter’s readings to a recognized calibration standard to determine its accuracy. For accuracy, it should be performed periodically as the manufacturer has recommended.

Calibration of the meter helps you detect issues with the meter before an accident or a significant problem. The maintenance of the meter involves servicing and regular checking of the meter to evaluate that it operates reliably. Like any equipment, a meter’s lifespan may be increased by routine maintenance.

Regular failure to perform this might cause the meter to malfunction completely, which would be quite costly for your company. If you fail to do so regularly, it can lead to the total malfunction of the meter, which will be very expensive for your industry.

  • Not Considering Regulatory Compliance

Last but not least, regulatory compliance must be considered while installing the natural gas flow meter. If these regulations are not followed, then many other issues such as fines, penalties, and legal liabilities can happen.

Depending on the location and industry, various regulations and standards apply to installing and operating these meters. For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the emissions from natural gas-fired turbines in the USA.

Research and apply the relevant standards and regulations to comply with the regulatory requirements while installing the meter. It also includes obtaining essential permits or approvals and ensuring the meter is installed and operated by the regulations.

Failure to comply with regulatory requirements can lead to costly fines, legal action, and damage to your company’s reputation.

The Bottom Line

Installing a natural gas turbine flow meter is complex, and many common mistakes must be avoided. The most common mistakes are neglecting the installation environment, improper sizing, incorrect meter orientation, poor installation quality, not considering flow profile, and lack of calibration and maintenance.

Addressing each of these concerns is necessary for accurate measurement and optimal efficiency. Don’t forget to evaluate the flow profile, size the meter appropriately, mount it in a suitable orientation, guarantee adequate installation quality, and perform routine calibration and maintenance.

You can appropriately install your natural gas turbine flow meter and protect the environment’s safety by avoiding these typical blunders. It will also provide the additional perks for smoother and better working. 


What are the flow meter’s faults?

Common faults in flow meters include mechanical damage, clogging, electrical or electronic malfunctions, calibration drift, and incorrect installation.

What factors should be taken into account while choosing a flow meter?

Fluid properties, flow rate range, pressure, temperature range, accuracy requirement, installation conditions, and budget are factors to consider when selecting a flow meter.

What are the limitations of a turbine flow meter?

Turbine flow meters are sensitive to fluid viscosity and may be subject to wear and tear, which can cause accuracy to drift over time.

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