2004 ISA Exhibit and Conference
Application of Sonar-Based, Clamp-On Flow Meter in Oil Sands Processing
Data is presented demonstrating the applicability of sonar-based, clamp-on flow measurement to several, long- standing flow measurement challenges within the oilsands industry, including hydrotransport, coarse tailings, and bitumen froth flow lines.
Sonar-based flow measurement technology was developed and field proven in the oil and gas production industry over the last five years and provides robust, accurate volumetric flow rate measurement for a broad range of process fluids, slurries, pipes sizes and flow conditions. Sonar-based flow metering technology utilizes an array of sensors to listen to, and interpret, unsteady pressure fields within process flow lines. The methodology is implemented using strain-based sensors which clamp-on to existing process piping. Sonar-based flow monitoring systems determine volumetric flow rate by measuring the speed at which self-generated, coherent flow structures convect past the sensor array. Using similar sonar-based array processing techniques as those used for volumetric flow, sonar-based flow meters can also determine entrained air (or any other gas) levels by measuring the speed at which sound propagates within the process flow lines. The speed of sound in the process flow lines provides an accurate and robust, clamp-on method for determining entrained air levels in aerated liquids. Data is presented showing entrained air levels on a 16-inch diameter froth line exiting a steam-driven deaerator.