Fuel Metering!

I’m reminded again about the importance of instrumentation.

Fuel metering – especially billing meters – are expected to be infallable. But I’ve just seen another case where the revenue class meter is not reading correctly. And this is not the first time this year this problem has come up.

It’s important to have backup metering for your fuel bill in order to know that your bill is accurate – and to help alert you to when any of your meters on site may need attention.

Often it’s the plant’s gas turbine meters that are required to be calibrated every year for emissions reporting… but the billing meter only gets looked at if someone asks. So, I recommend you keep tabs on those billing meters and if something looks strange – ask!

And, on a performance note – if your fuel flow metering is off, your reported heat rate will also be off. For some of you this is just an accounting problem, but for others, this may impact your dispatchability in the future.

I am available to help with fuel flow calculations, and have add-ins to support flow calculations and fuel properties within Excel. If you have any questions – please ask me, I’m here to help!

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3 thoughts on “Fuel Metering!

  1. sivarou

    Dear Tina,

    Need a favour from you as I am about to begin a project at my work place. It is all about capturing data to calculate heat rate for an Open Cycle 110 MW Gas Turbine & 300 MW Steam Turbine where both use natural gas as combustion fuel. At the moment there is no instrumentation, flow meter or whatsoever intalled at the site. Thus, it is a project that must begin from scratch. Could you please advice me on how to go about it? Thanks.

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  2. Tina Post author

    Hi Sivarou,
    It sounds like you have quite a project on your hands.

    I normally get involved with projects after they already have the metering installed, so I’ll have to recommend you talk with some meter suppliers. They should have some knowledgeable engineers that can help you specify and price out some options.

    They’ll also have lots of questions for you:

    1. What is the size and type of the piping where you need to meter the flow?

    2. Is there sufficient straight run for a meter? You need fully developed flow for accurate metering, so a lot of straight pipe and/or flow conditioners with the meter.

    3. Will you want to meter the gas turbine separately from the Boiler/STG? (I would recommend you do.)

    When selecting a meter, ASME PTC-19.5 “Flow Measurement” also provides a lot of details that you may find useful.
    [available at http://catalog.asme.org

    For fuel metering, you really need to have Flow, Pressure, Temperature and Composition (which requires periodic gas samples or an online gas chromatograph) in order to accurately determine the mass flow and heating value – to get the total heat input to your systems.

    There is a lot to consider. If you want to talk in more detail, you can contact me direct from http://www.t2e3.com/contact.php

    Good luck with your project!

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  3. sivarou

    Dear Tina,
    Your reply is definitely an excellent input to begin my research/project. Will contact you soon, for more inputs when needed.

    Truly apprciate your help and guidance :D

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