Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Metering Research Facility

High-Technology Natural Gas Flow Measurement Services

The Metering Research Facility (MRF) is a world-class, high-accuracy, high-technology flow measurement facility for meter development, meter calibration, and meter testing – simulating actual field operational conditions. The MRF facility provides the highest accuracy, controllability, and rangeability in the industry.

The MRF is owned and operated by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). As the only facility of its type in North America, the MRF has two separate flow test systems for achieving the highest accuracy, controllability, and rangeability:

  • High-Pressure Loop (HPL) for large diameter pipe (2–16 inches, 150–1,100 psig) high pressure/volume metering applications
  • Low-Pressure Loop (LPL) for smaller diameter pipe (1–10 inches, 30–175 psig) lower pressure/volume metering applications

The HPL and LPL are closed-loop recirculating flow loops. Processed natural gas is used for the majority of tests. Other fluids, such as nitrogen and carbon dioxide, are also available. Both systems are located at the same site and operated from a single control center. Flow meter calibrations performed at the MRF are traceable to the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Metering Research Facility Services

  • Flow meter design and development
  • Flow meter testing and calibration traceable to NIST
  • Calibration accuracy within 0.20–0.25% (total uncertainty)
  • Flow meter station design, consultation, layout, and optimization
  • Uncertainty analysis and statistical modeling
  • On-site expert assistance with meter diagnostics, evaluation, and troubleshooting
  • Gas sampling expertise
  • Gas properties and thermodynamics expertise
  • Company specific flow measurement research
  • Industry consortium funded research
  • Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) funded research
  • Industry staff training

Working with the MRF

The Metering Research Facility works with:

  • Flow meter and valve manufacturers
  • Flow computer manufacturers
  • Natural gas production and gathering companies
  • Natural gas transmission pipeline companies
  • Local natural gas distribution companies
  • Electric power industry (flow meter manufacturers and power plant operators)
  • Aerospace companies
  • Gas industry consortia

For more information about the metering research facility, please contact Adam Hawley at +1 210 522 3427.