Coping With Changing Flow Requirements At Existing Meter Stations

Author: James M. DoyleDownload File

In today’s competitive gas market, utility companies must meet aggressive market strategies or suffer the consequences. All industries have cash registers, and gas distribution is no exception. Our measuring stations are our cash register. The problem is, these stations were designed 10, 20, 30 or even 50 years ago, and are now performing tasks they were not designed for. Therefore, changes must be made.

Measurement personnel today must be trained and taught to cope with changing flow requirements. But, modifying a station to meet today’s aggressive market can be very expensive. Equipment, such as regulators and the primary element (the meter tube, the orifice plate holder, and the orifice plate), must meet A.G.A. 3 requirements. The secondary element (the recording device) can raise expenditures significantly. Sometimes modifications cannot be made to deliver the specified volume of product needed, and replacement of a complete station is even more expensive. Companies today must watch money closely, and work to reduce operating and maintenance costs.

To handle these situations effectively, technicians must be trained and taught to cope with changing flow requirements. Knowing your stations and their characteristics are an absolute. Technicians must become familiar with the kind of equipment their station has, and its proper use. The goal here is to detail the appropriate methods and equipment required to handle these tasks.