Home / Process / Intelligent four-tube technology for precise measurement of high flows 
Four-tube technology increases measurement accuracy for loading, unloading, and transporting hydrocarbons in the oil and gas industry, and optimises the flowmeter line for additional applications

Intelligent four-tube technology for precise measurement of high flows 

Globally, over 90 million barrels of crude oil, natural gas, and refined hydrocarbons are produced, transported, stored, and sold to end users every day. With enormous transactions like these, any instrument inaccuracy, even the most infinitesimal, can result in significant shortfalls for the supplier or buyer. 

Promass Q, a high-tech Coriolis flowmeter line from Endress+Hauser, alleviates concerns of inaccuracies with its four-tube technology, while measuring with minimal pressure loss over a wide range of flow rates.

Promass Q recently welcomed new additions to its lineup. It is available for larger pipes than ever before—up to 10-in (DN 250)—for measuring flow rates up to 18,900bph (2,400t/h). And the new four-tube technology opens the door to additional applications in the oil and gas industry. These include high-precision metering for custody transfer, fiscal metering, master metering as a reference device for on-site verification, and more.

In addition to mass and volumetric flow, Promass Q also records process density and temperature. This enables the incorporation of fluctuating process and ambient conditions into flow measurement, with appropriate compensation, helping achieve tight error bands of ±0.05% for mass flow and ±0.2 kg/m³ for density.

Four-tube technology 

Four-tube technology pushes the boundary for Coriolis flowmeters. Compared with meters with two measuring tubes, four tubes reliably measure 25% greater flow rates, enabling faster transactions in the oil and gas business. This can save operators money by reducing standstill times while loading and unloading oil tankers, and by reducing port charges.

Additionally, four-tube technology reduces pressure loss while pumping and measuring because of the increased cross-sectional flow area relative to line size. This provides further cost savings because operators can use smaller pumps, which consume less energy relative to overall volumetric output.

The lower pressure loss also alleviates harmful cavitation effects and gas break out, for example, in exceptionally light hydrocarbons, such as liquefied petroleum gases, natural gas liquids, condensates and other cryogenic fluids.

Robust and compact 

Promass Q flowmeters are available in stainless steel and IP66/67-rated materials, ensuring robust and long-term operation, even in harsh conditions, such as offshore areas with high humidity and salt spray. Promass Q is rated for process temperatures ranging from –321°F (–196°C) to 401°F (205°C), with the low-end making Promass Q meters an suitable choice for measuring cryogenic fluids.

With SIL ratings in compliance with IEC 61508, Promass Q is also suitable for safety-related applications. And its numerous hazardous area approvals—e.g., ATEX, IECEx, and CSA—further expand its list of potential applications. The Promass Q’s compact design is unparalleled relative to its flow measurement capacity, enabling installation in confined spaces, such as on stationary or mobile skids for custody transfer.

Numerous test measurements have proven Endress+Hauser Coriolis flow measurement technology to be the best for measuring viscous hydrocarbons, like heavy oils and bitumen, in addition to fluids with entrained gas. This is particularly applicable to Promass Q meters. Testing highlights include: 

· Best measuring accuracy of ±0.05% o.r., tested and confirmed in various external, accredited oil and gas calibration facilities

· Outstanding density measuring accuracy of ±0.2kg/m³ (±0.0002g/cm³), certified by H&D Fitzgerald/UK

· Best turndown and zero-point stability in the industry 

· Excellent measuring performance for liquids with microbubbles thanks to patented Multi-Frequency Technology

· Lowest pressure loss compared to conventional devices on the market with the same line size 

· Exceptional repeatability of ±0.025% across the entire measuring range 

· Highest immunity to fluctuating process and ambient conditions, such as pressure, temperature, and vibration.

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