Fast-fit steam flow meter pinpoints energy savings at point of use


Spirax Sarco launches Target Fixed Area steam flow meter for smaller point-of-use applications

Spirax Sarco has launched its Target Fixed Area (TFA) steam flow meter for smaller, point-of-use applications to help operators accurately assess energy use, reduce consumption and optimise plant performance.

As a stand-alone unit, the TFA integrates a flow-sensing device, temperature sensor and flow computer into a single compact unit reducing installation requirements and consequently maximising plant uptime and increasing productivity.

The compact design of the TFA means it can be easily installed almost anywhere in a steam system, even in confined spaces or within the proximity of a pipe bend, valves or other components. It only needs six pipe diameters of straight pipe upstream and three downstream to ensure the desired flow profile into the meter. This overcomes a major challenge in point-of-use metering, where there are limited straight pipe runs, so reducing installation costs and overall capital outlay.

With a turndown of up to 10:1, the TFA flow meter is suitable for saturated steam systems and will accurately monitor steam flow even at low velocities, without having to make expensive changes to pipe size. This is important because saturated steam systems are best operated at velocities below 35 m/s. Once the steam flow exceeds 35 m/s, saturated steam can cause erosion and other damage within the pipeline.

The TFA resists erosion and needs little recalibration, due to its stainless steel target area with a large, smooth surface plated in hard chromium. Other types of meter, such as vortex and orifice plate, feature sharp internal edges that wear much more quickly in steam flows, impairing their accuracy and requiring frequent recalibration. The TFA is available in DN25, DN32, DN40 and DN50 sizes and is suitable for use in steam systems up to 32 bar g.

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The TFA works by measuring how much force the steam flow creates on the meter’s fixed area plate. The strain produced is measured and converted into a density-compensated mass flow rate that can be transmitted as a pulsed or 4-20 mA output. This can feed into an Energy Management System or displayed locally, enabling easy data collection for further interpretation by users.