Flow Conditioners Increasing Accuracy by Reducing Swirl & Velocity Distortions
Vortab flow conditioners are capable of creating a swirl-free, symmetrical, and repeatable velocity flow of fluids in just a few pipe diameters to protect the overall process equipment as well as instruments and keep them running efficiently.
In today’s crowded process plants, less than ideal straight pipe runs often result in swirling fluid flows and asymmetrical velocity profile distortions that affect the efficient, continuous operation of equipment, such as gas compressors, valves and pumps, and the accuracy of sensitive instruments, such as flow meters, until controlled or if not entirely eliminated with the family of Vortab flow conditioners from The Vortab Company.
The efficiency of natural gas compressors, for example, can be easily reduced by such disturbed flow conditions, which also potentially increases maintenance and the total cost of operating gas pipelines. Gas with swirling or asymmetric velocity flow profiles can result as gas is routed through compressor stations on long, complex pipelines and into storage facilities due to shortages of real estate, crowded equipment conditions, the use of pipe elbows or valves and variable pipeline demand.
There are several types of critical equipment, including gas compressors, pumps, valves and flow instrumentation, which require relatively long lengths of pipe straight-run for high efficiency operation. It can take up to 40 pipe diameters of unobstructed straight pipe run to eliminate both swirl and velocity profile distortions. Vortab flow and process conditioners isolate such flow disturbances and create a swirl-free, symmetrical, and repeatable velocity flow profile in just a few pipe diameters to keep equipment running efficiently, states the company.
The firm’s product line of inline and insertion type flow conditioners nearly eliminates the upstream straight pipe run requirements for many types of equipment and instruments. They condition the flow stream into a regular flow regime to mimic adequate pipe straight run, adds the company.
In addition to conditioning the flow stream, the use of a flow conditioner eliminates the pipe cost and technician labor for the purchase of additional lengths of pipe straight run and the labor for its installation. Many times, however, sufficient plant real estate is simply not available to accommodate the required pipe straight-run and then flow conditioning is the best option.
Vortab flow conditioners feature tab-type flow conditioning technology, which has been laboratory proven. To validate their unique flow conditioning design, they have been tested with swirl and velocity profile distortion generators in state-of-the-art gas and liquid calibration facilities.
In long lengths of straight pipe, swirl reduction and velocity profile correction occur naturally due to diffusion and turbulent mixing. With their anti-swirl and inclined vortex generating profile correction tabs projecting from the inside pipe surface, Vortab flow conditioners generate vortices that accelerate these natural pipe effects to create a uniform, non-swirling, symmetrical flow profile in a much shorter section of pipe, mentions the firm.
With their simple, flexible designs, the Vortab Elbow, the Vortab Insertion Panel (VIP) and the Vortab Insertion Sleeve, Short Run, Meter Run and Field Kit configurations provide a cost-effective solution to crowded installations for gas compressors, pumps, valves, flow meters and other critical process equipment. These rugged flow conditioners provide the most effective flow disturbance isolation, lowest pressure drop and are least affected by fouling of any of the flow conditioners available, opines the company.
The firm’s flow conditioners can be made from carbon steel, 316L stainless steel or Hastelloy C-276. A variety of process connections are also available – Ansi flanges, male NPT threads, butt welded preps or retaining wafers. Custom configurations are also available from the factory.