IPP&T Magazine Online

Environmental monitoring and pollution control systems

November 12, 2021   Don Horne

FCI's Model ST80 insertion flow meter with signature yellow FCI enclosure and laser-etch marked probe

Engineers responsible for methane-fuelled electric power co-generation systems, oil/gas production and storage, and pollution control, will find the ST80 Series Thermal Mass Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) is the solution to measuring methane (CH4) and providing emissions data to meet emerging government environmental regulations and reporting requirements.

As a greenhouse gas, methane remains in the atmosphere for approximately 9 to 15 years according to various U.S. and global government sources. CH4 is over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 100-year period and is emitted from a variety of natural and human-influenced sources.

Sources of methane emissions include: natural gas and petroleum systems, landfills, wastewater treatment plants, agricultural activities, coal mining and other industrial stationary and mobile combustion processes. Methane gas is the primary component of natural gas, and is also an important energy source in the U.S and around the world. In the US, government regulators are now looking at ways to reduce methane emissions.

Thermal mass flow meters using Adaptive Sensor Technology (AST) such as the ST80 Series, with their robust, open and cleanable, no-moving parts sensor design provide an ideal methane gas application solution in demanding industrial processes. Furthermore, their international approvals for Div.1/Zone 1 ensure safe installation in hazardous gas processing areas.

The ST80 Series Flow Meter features FCI’s Adaptive Sensor Technology, which is an innovative, patented hybrid sensor drive.  This measuring technique combines, for the first time, both of the industry’s highly proven constant power (CP) and constant temperature (CT) thermal dispersion sensing technologies in the same instrument.

Complementing this new measurement drive technique are a choice of four different precision flow sensor element designs to ensure best installed performance, including FCI’s new wet gas solution. The Wet Gas MASSter sensor developed for the ST80 Series optimizes the sensor head design and installation to prevent condensation droplets, entrained moisture or rain from contacting the thermowells, which ensures steady, reliable measurement.

The ST80 Series Flow Meters are suitable for pipe diameters from 1 to 99 inches (25 to 2500 mm) and air/gas temperatures up to 850°F (454°C).   They  feature accuracy of ±1 per cent of reading, ±0.5 per cent of full scale and repeatability of ±0.5 per cent of reading with flow rates as low as 0.25 up to 1000 SFPS (0.07 to 305 NMPS) and 100:1 turndown.

This meter’s outputs and user interface choices are extensive to interface with virtually any control system and/or set-up or configuration devices. Standard outputs include dual, NAMUR NE43 compliant 4-20 mA analog outputs, HART (version 7), Modbus 485 and a USB port. Foundation Fieldbus or PROFIBUS PA or DP can be optionally added. The optional backlit LCD display provides digital and bar graph readouts of the flow rate and temperature, totalized flow, alarms, diagnostics feedback and even a user defined label/tag field.

The ST80 Series transmitter enclosure is NEMA 4X/IP67 rated, selectable for NPT or metric conduit port threading and is available in both aluminum and stainless steel and may be remotely located up to 1000 feet (305 m) apart from the flow element.  The instrument also carries an independent, third-party evaluated SIL compliance.


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