Strapping on the Gloves for Winter
Orifice measurement specialists throughout the industry are "strapping on the gloves" as they prepare for winter's battle with one of the most predictable sources of measurement error — meter freeze
. While meter freeze can occur with ambient temperatures as high as 70° F, this problem makes our Top-Ten List of the most common sources of measurement error nearly every year, even though it occurs mainly in the winter months. Based on Coastal Flow's 2010 measurement audit results, meter freeze was the 4th leading cause of measurement error following liquids in the meter, analytical data, and, topping the list, orifice sizing.
Effective communications between field and office personnel are vital in making acceptable flow estimates when meter freeze occurs since there may be other sources of measurement data such as check meters. When meter freeze is detected and no other measurement data is available, providing the measurement department with as much information as possible is essential to avoid costly mistakes and prior period adjustments. Useful information may include a field estimate of the flow rate during the freeze, documenting the period during which meter freeze occurred, verifying the amount of flow time during the freeze period, and noting operational changes, if any, in flow rate.
There are several ways to minimize meter freeze, but this is a very difficult problem to completely eliminate. Since colder temperatures have already begun, even with winter's official start still weeks away, we strongly recommend that you put meter freeze on your list of things to consider…and should a problem exist, consult a measurement expert to help resolve your issues. And for those new to the industry or measurement, please click here
to view common examples of meter freeze for both electronic gas measurement and analog chart recorders.
Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. ~ Abraham Lincoln