Coriolis Flow Meter Research
Metering Research Facility

Image: Coriolis flow meter installed in the MRF low-pressure loop (LPL)

A Coriolis flow meter is tested with various upstream and downstream disturbances.

Goals and Topics of the Coriolis Flow Meter Research Program

In 2001, the Metering Research Facility (MRF) assisted the American Gas Association (AGA) Transmission Measurement Committee (Task Group No. 11) with the development of the first Coriolis gas flow meter standard for custody transfer applications. The AGA standard (published in 2002) provides guidelines for meter installation configuration, meter verification testing, and meter operation and maintenance.

The AGA Transmission Measurement Committee Coriolis Meter Task Group prepared a Technical Note that characterizes the state of the art of this technology and helps to define meter accuracy limits, the performance envelope, and operational sensitivities of Coriolis meters for natural gas applications. Baseline flow performance tests using commercially available Coriolis meters were conducted at the MRF to assist with the development of the new standard. Installation effects tests were also performed to determine the sensitivity of commercially available meters to flow field distortions caused by the upstream piping configuration. The AGA Coriolis Meters Technical Note was published in 2002 following the completion of the 2001 MRF research.

Benefit of Coriolis Flow Meter Research Program to Industry

Coriolis meters are gaining acceptance worldwide for natural gas flow rate measurement. In the near future, this metering technology may fill an existing need for an accurate high-pressure, low-volume gas flow meter. Possible advantages of Coriolis gas flow meters may include:

  • Capital savings because of relatively short installation length requirements
  • No flow conditioning requirements
  • Bi-directional flow capability
  • Less secondary instrumentation [compared to more traditional metering technologies (e.g., fewer pressure transmitters than an orifice meter)]
  • Broader flow rate range than other meter types
  • To a limited extent, Coriolis meters can operate in environments with modest amounts of liquid contaminants in the gas stream
  • Operational savings because of the on-board diagnostic capabilities of the meters
  • Reduced compressor fuel gas costs because of less pressure loss across the meters than with other meter types

In a recent report to the GTI Measurement Technical Committee, TransCanada Pipeline (TCP) estimated the benefits of deploying this technology for high-pressure custody transfer applications to be between $37,000 and 104,000 per meter per year. If the industry-wide deployment averaged 100 new meters per year, the annual cost benefit would be approximately $3.7 to $10.4 million.

Related Terminology

flow meter calibrations  •  gas meter  •  gas sampling  •  orifice meter  •  ultrasonic meter  •  natural gas  •  flow conditioner  •  turbine meter  •  flow meter  •  gas quality

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Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.