2007 ISA Calgary • Application of Passive Sonar Technology to Industrial Processes

Application of Passive Sonar Technology to Long Standing Measurement Challenges in Industrial Processes

John Viega, Mark Fernald
Abstract / Introduction: 

This paper will describe CiDRA's patented clamp-on, passive sonar array-based flow meter technology which performs two fundamental and independent measurements – flow rate and entrained air. Firstly, the meter provides the volumetric flow rate of the mixture by measuring the speed at which naturally occurring turbulent structures convect with the flow past an axial array of sensors wrapped around existing process pipe. Secondly, the meter utilizes similar sonar-based processing techniques and the naturally occurring acoustical propagation in the process pipe to measure sound speed and hence the entrained air levels in slurries and fluids. This unique ability enables robust, reliable flow measurements in a wide variety of flows – high solids content slurries, heavy oils, bitumen flows and liquids/slurries with entrained air content.

Also to be presented in this paper is the adoption and application of CiDRA’s SONARtracTM product technology in a variety of oil sands, oil & gas, and minerals processing applications, helping to address the needs of measurement integrity, reliability and value delivery to the customer. In addition, case studies will be presented describing how the clamp-on sonar-based technology can be leveraged and applied to help characterize and deliver new insight into fluid mechanics of slurries and fluids in these industries, leveraging the two fundamental measurements of the clamp-on, passive sonar-based technology into new product extensions such as velocity profiling, gas hold-up for column flotation and secondary-phase measurement for density-based meters in the presence of air/gas.

Reference number: 
Asset type: 
Technical Paper