Flow Measurement & Control


Flow measurement in cooling circuits

August 2014 Flow Measurement & Control

The FFU ultrasonic flowmeter from SICK proves a superior alternative to mechanical flow measurement in cooling circuits. In process engineering cooling circuits, coolant is lost due to evaporation or tool changing. When these are refilled with water, chemicals have to be added proportionally in order for the coolant to remain chemically and biologically stable and to avoid causing any damage to the pipes and installations.

Optimum proportioning of chemical additives

In open cooling circuits, the cooling agent is trickled down a cooling tower and cooled in this way. In the process the water evaporates, while hardening constituents and salts increasingly concentrate in the remaining water. These must be stabilised by adding chemicals in order to prevent deposits and to build up corrosion protection. Upon reaching a predetermined level of conductivity, part of the cooling medium is elutriated and replaced with fresh water, to which chemicals are again added proportionally. In closed cooling circuits, water loss occurs almost exclusively due to tool changes. In this scenario, evaporation does not take place, which means that an anti-corrosion agent only needs to be added to the cooling water. Whether the system is an open or closed circuit, the process of adding proportionally frequently involves excess consumption of additives. The result is overdosing, which does not achieve any of the desired stabilising or protecting effects.

Compact measurement technology without corrosion risks

In installations developed for automatic proportioning of anti-corrosion additives and hardness stabilisers, the FFU ultrasonic flowmeter from SICK enables non-contact determination of flow volume – doing so independently of the medium transported. Two sensors mounted opposite each other alternately send and receive ultrasonic signals. In case of a still medium, both sensors receive the emitted ultrasonic signals in phase. A flowing medium will result in phase shifting that is proportional to the flow velocity.

“Due to its non-contact functional principle, the FFU is, without any mechanical component touching the medium, corrosion-free and resistant against scale and salt deposits. Therefore, it is suited for all water qualities and represents to us the appropriate sensor solution,” says Rainer Kosub from Dülk & Kosub. “Because of its compact design and versatile installation options, the FFU is suited in the best possible way for use in our systems.”

Direct benefits to the company and the environment

The FFU ultrasonic flowmeter from SICK ensures that the amount of cooling liquid supplied to the installation is a precisely known quantity. In this way, the metering pump can establish the proper cooling water to chemicals ratio, avoiding overdosage. The savings in additives not only lower the plant operator’s overheads but they also reduce the burden on the environment.

For more information contact Eugene Lawrence, SICK Automation, +27 (0)11 472 3733, eugene.lawrence@sickautomation.co.za, www.sickautomation.co.za



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