Case Study: Thermal Mass Flowmeter Serves Oil & Gas Emissions Testing in On Shore and Offshore Applications

Monitoring VOC Emissions

Quantum Industrial LLC, an oil & gas consultancy in Texas has used the FOX Model FT3 Thermal Mass Flowmeter in oil and gas emissions testing applications on shore and offshore.

In using the FT3 meter, Quantum has found it to provide several key advantages when measuring gas emissions:

  1. Calibration can be validated before emissions measurement begins;
  2. The calibration validation certificate can be preinted and submitted in the report to the client;
  3. The remote probe and 100-foot connector cable allow measurement from a safe upwind position when hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is present in crude oil stock tank emissions;
  4. The USB cable allows convenient data logging and meter setup via a laptop computer; and
  5. The controller housing is rugged and weather proof.

Quantum has used FOX flowmeters for over several years in the oil and gas industry. FOX's first model, the FOX 10A, was used to obtain the emission measurements in the seminal report on gas emissions from oil stock tanks ("VOC Emission from Oil and Condensate Storage Tanks"; Handler, Nunn et al., April 2009).

The Fox FT3 is a quantum leap forward, as the ability to confirm proper instrument calibration in the field is a major improvement available through the FOX CAL-V™ and Zero CAL-CHECK® diagnostic functions. Calibration validation is simple and requires four-to-five minutes for the meter to cycle through the tests. A Calibration Validation Certificate can be produced from FT3 View™ software.

The infrared sensor buttons under the glass face of the controller are an improvement over the push buttons in earlier FOX models. The setup initial conditions for measurement can be entered at either the controller or through a laptop PC into which the FT3 View™ software has been loaded. The laptop PC can be connected by the USB port in the controller. Setup entry normally consists of the diameter of the pipe holding the FT3 probe, the sampling rate from once-per-second, and units of gas flow that are normally SCFM. However, almost any unit of measurement can be displayed.

The Fox FT3 is calibrated in the factory to the gas specified by the buyer. Quantum measures primarily methane, ethane and other hydrocarbon gases, carbon dioxide, and air with the FT3 calibrated on 100% methane. Laboratory gas analysis provides the mole percentages of each component gas. When the measured gas is 96% methane or more, no correction factor is required. When the methane mole percent is lower, the accurate correction factor is computed from the Heat Transfer Coefficients and the laboratory gas analysis.

Jim Nunn, CEO, Quantum Industrial LLC, jimnunn@aol.com

Link to Article:
2013 Flow Control Magazine: Thermal Mass Flometer Serves Oil & Gas Emissions Testing in On Shore and Offshore Applications

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