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Sierra’s Biggest Stories of 2017


Dec 15, 2017
Julie Graff
Written By:
Julie Graff

Another year has come and gone, and it certainly was a big one for Sierra! Let’s look back at the news and top content that we shared with you in 2017. New at Sierra in 2017 Last year was a big year of innovation for Sierra. Here are the developments we were particularly proud of: The Big-3™ […]

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How Does a Flow Meter Work?


Oct 09, 2017
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

A flow meter works by measuring the amount of a gas, liquid or steam that passes through or around the flow meter sensors. While flow meter sensors work in many different ways, the end goal is the same: Deliver the most accurate and repeatable flow measurements for the specific application, whether for general research, process […]

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Now Measure All Flow Energy In Your Facility — One Solution — Three Metering Technologies


Jul 01, 2017
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

Facilities managers at large facilities often have the challenging task of managing all the flow energy in their facility with the mandate from upper management to save money on energy costs. To accomplish this goal, it’s critical to get accurate flow measurement data of the flow energy in your facility such as: natural gas, compressed air, steam, chilled […]

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Overcoming Natural Gas Sampling Challenges in Oil & Gas Applications


Mar 03, 2017
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

It is a fact that in order to comply with various government rules and regulations, oil and gas companies have to continually take natural gas samples to prove the gas composition and amount of gas flowing in their oil fields. The challenge comes in trying to actually take an adequate gas sample representative of the […]

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Sierra’s Biggest Stories from 2016


Jan 09, 2017
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

2017 is here and this year will bring many new exciting developments at Sierra, but before launching completely into the new year, let’s take a look back at our top stories of 2016. New at Sierra in 2016 We’re always looking for new ways to communicate and interact with our customers and industry. Find out about three […]

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Flare Gas Measurement Innovation: Retain Flow Metering Accuracy Even if Gas Composition Changes


Dec 12, 2016
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

It’s a fact oil wells almost always produce natural gas along with the petroleum. Nine times out of ten, the excess gas (typically hydrocarbons) is flared off or simply vented as-is during upset conditions in the process. The environmental impacts of “flaring” this excess gas into our atmosphere has resulted in government regulations like 40 CFR […]

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Direct Mass Flow or Volumetric: The Thermal Flow Meter Technology Advantage!


Nov 18, 2016
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

In today’s world where everyone is watching the bottom line, you need high performance, cost-effective instrumentation—and capillary thermal mass flow meters and controllers have been proven to meet this criteria in a wide range of process applications. Thermal mass flow technology is an industry standard for mass flow control of gases because it measures flow directly, […]

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Reducing Costs of Steam Flow Measurement


Aug 19, 2016
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

Traditionally, steam flow has been measured with a differential pressure device. This is typically an orifice plate. However, such devices are inherently volumetric flow measurements. As we have discussed in previous blog posts, changes in pressure and temperature will change the mass flow rate of steam. Even a “small” change of 10% in steam pressure […]

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How to Achieve Precise Air-Fuel Ratio Control in Burner Control Applications


Aug 12, 2016
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering
Written By:
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering

Mass flow control is all around us. One common application for industrial mass flow control is air-fuel ratio control of burners in industrial heating processes for manufacturing and other industries. For burner control in manufacturing, precise mass flow control of the air-fuel ratio to the burner keeps melt temperatures constant which produces quality products including […]

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Tuning Your Boiler for EPA Boiler MACT Compliance


May 12, 2016
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

The EPA’s Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) regulations are heating up. Boiler MACT is an EPA rule to limit hazardous air pollutants (HAP) from commercial and industrial boilers and process heaters. Originally published in 2011 as a mandate driven by the Clean Air Act,  the rules are Area Source Boiler MACT 40 CFR 63, subpart JJJJJJ for smaller […]

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Providing Precision Flow Control Solutions for Critical Biomolecular Research


Apr 29, 2016
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

When scientists at the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Biomolecular Sciences (CBS) in the United Kingdom needed instrumentation to control the flow of gases in their research, they turned to Litre Meter, a UK distributor for Sierra Instruments, and the SmartTrak 100 series mass flow meters and controllers. The working relationship between Litre Meter and the […]

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Video Series Highlights One-Minute Flow Measurement Tips


Mar 30, 2016
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

At Sierra, we get very excited about flow measurement and control as you can imagine, and sometimes we want to spread the information we have quickly without a whole lot of fuss. That’s the spirit behind our video series called “Minute Flow Tips.”  In just a minute or so, we discuss a specific flow application […]

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For Vortex Flow Meters, Accuracy Matters in Steam Energy Flow Measurement


Mar 13, 2016
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

The heat is on. Most facilities managers are in the hot seat to account for all of the flow energy, going in and out of their facility which is no easy task. This mandate is no different for steam flow measurement. Vortex flow meters continue to be the industry standard for accurate steam flow measurement. […]

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How to Reduce Methane Emissions with Thermal Mass Flow Meters


Feb 11, 2016
Glen, Account & Market Manager
Written By:
Glen, Account & Market Manager

The flare gas discussion is heating up again. According to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. oil production is at an all-time high, and so are the harmful methane emissions from leaks, flaring and venting. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has proposed to update 30-year-old regulations in order to reduce the excess release of natural […]

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Sierra Website: Wide Selection, 1-Day Lead Times, Flow Meter Configurator


Dec 16, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Find it in 2-Clicks When designing our new website, the mantra of our software engineers, designers, and marketing team was “put the customer first” and allow any type of customer to research, specify, or configure any flow meter in just two clicks. Check out www.sierrainstruments.com With over 15 user tests, multiple interviews and a deep dive into our […]

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It Has Apps! Our New Vortex Flow Meter Empowers You


Dec 10, 2015
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

Sierra’s next generation InnovaMass “iSeries” features a new hyper-fast microprocessor, robust software apps, and an automated state-of-the-art manufacturing and flow calibration facility to assure the highest level of quality and delivery. It Has Apps! The InnovaMass iSeries features flow management apps driven by our new Raptor II OS that will empower your process and save you time and money. ValidCal […]

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Watch Video: Sierra’s NEW Website Simplifies Finding the Right Flow Meter


Nov 20, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Let’s face it, finding the right flow meter for your application can often be a daunting task. Which product best suits my application? Which flow meter version will give me the best price vs. value to meet my needs? How can I get my meter quickly? Who can help specify flow meters for my facility? These […]

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Sierra Thermal Mass Flow Meters in Space, the Final Frontier


Oct 23, 2015
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Sierra FlatTrak 780S. Its mission: to assist NASA in exploring strange new worlds and to boldly go where no flow meter has gone before. On the surface, thermal mass flow meters may sound more technical, rather than interesting. However, they’re used in a wide variety […]

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Perfect Beer Foam with Modern Flow Meters


Oct 23, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

We talk a lot about the use of flow meters in flare gas, waste water and sub-metering applications, but Sierra’s innovative flow meters are utilized by a wide variety of industries. You’ll find our flow measurement and control devices orbiting the earth, assisting with the creation of oceanic atmospheres in research facilities and even improving […]

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Thermal Mass Flow Meters Offer Oil & Gas Companies Lowest Cost of Ownership


Aug 28, 2015
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that oil prices have hit a rock bottom $40 a barrel, the lowest since 2009. How does this affect the oil companies? Well, the consumer gets the benefit of the low pump price which does loosen discretionary spending, but the oil & gas companies are hurting-spending less money on capital investment […]

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Get Our New Full Line Flow Meter Product Catalog / Selection Guide


Jun 30, 2015
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Find the Right Meter for Your Application—Instantly Let’s face it, specifying the best flow instrumentation for your application can be a daunting task. That’s why we created a new Full Line Flow Product Catalog with all Sierra’s products, key specifications, and application benefits in one, easy-to-use brochure. Quickly specify the right flow meter for your […]

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Everything You Need to Know About Sub-Metering Natural Gas


Jun 29, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

We’ve written quite a bit about the benefits of using thermal flow meters to sub-meter natural gas in large facilities. So much so, that we’ve decided to create one post that can be your go-to resource for finding information on the topic. Here you’ll find links to easily digestible content like infographics and SlideShare presentations, […]

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Why Dry Sensor Design Is Key for Stability, Accuracy and In-Situ Validation


Mar 01, 2015
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Designing a stable sensor that will last over the lifetime of your thermal mass flow meter is the holy grail in thermal mass flow meter design.  The truth is that most flow meter manufacturers use a “wet” sensor design, filled with epoxies and cements.  As conditions in your application change, the sensor is heated and cooled over time, expanding […]

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Sierra’s Top 10 Posts from 2014: What a Year for Flow Meters!


Jan 17, 2015
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

2104 was quite a year! Thanks to all our loyal customers for giving us inspiration for this year’s “Let’s Talk Flow” blog topics. Our vision is to write about topics that matter to you and make a difference in your job in handling flow metering application challenges.  Over our 40 years in business, we have learned a lot […]

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Precision in Formula 1 Testing


Nov 22, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Not many of our flow meter customers know we have been active in the automotive test industry since the early 1990s. Like Sierra’s Flowmeter Division, our Automotive Test Division is passionate about precision measurement and control. There is a lot of flow measurement needed in automotive testing, but Sierra’s capabilities in this area spread well […]

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Take Charge of Your Facility’s Water Usage…


Oct 27, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Water is a precious resource! Now, more than ever, businesses and facilities must take charge of their water usage to help with water conservation and lower water bills. Water conservation begins with knowing exactly how much water you are using in your process or facility. When you know how much water you are using, you can adjust […]

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Ultra-High Pressure 5000 psig (345 barg) Gas Mass Flow Control…No Easy Task!


Sep 22, 2014
Max Waterstone, Engineer
Written By:
Max Waterstone, Engineer

Overall, Sierra wants better accuracy and control of high pressure gas mass flows across industry in general, leading to better efficiency, and vastly reducing gas losses to save time and money for our customers.  But, how is it possible to accurately measure and control gas mass flow rates at pressures up to 5000 psig (345 barg)? This is […]

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The Secret to Slashing Your Facility’s Natural Gas Bills


Aug 26, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Psst. We’ve got a secret. One that could save you money. How much, you ask? Thousands. That’s right. You could be saving thousands on your facility’s natural gas bill. Traditional diaphragm flow meters used for natural gas measurement can’t account for changes in gas composition, resulting in a utility bill that can be less than […]

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4 Keys to Great Portable Ultrasonic Flow Metering


Aug 18, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

The liquid measurement market is an extremely large market with many varied measurement requirements. To get the best bang for your buck, a portable ultrasonic flow meter is a practical solution. With a portable ultrasonic flow meter, you can use one liquid flow meter in several locations throughout your flow process. There are many portable […]

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How to Install Vortex Steam Flow Meters!


Jul 27, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

A few weeks back  Glen Coblentz, Vice President of North American sales, spent three days in New York City. Unfortunately, he was not able to enjoy the sites of NYC. Instead, he was working 45-feet underground in 120 F degree heat in New York City’s steam tunnels.  For over five hours, Glen worked with Sierra Representative, North East Technical, commissioning […]

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45-feet Under Ground in the Steam Tunnels of New York City


Jun 19, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Glen Coblentz, VP of Sales for  North America, lives a really interesting life!  Now you can find out more about it because we’re taking our social media to the streets! Or, maybe we should say, to the steam tunnels, oil and gas wells, research laboratories and many other locations that use Sierra’s mass flow meters and controllers every day. Take […]

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Best Practices for Mass Flow Controller Manufacturing


May 29, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

In Part 1 of our mass flow controller best practices series, Best Practices for Mass Flow Controller Selection and Installation,  Sierra’s Chief Engineer John Smitherman compiled a comprehensive list of best practices for the selection, installation and operation of mass flow meters and controllers. With so many flow measurement products and technologies on the market, […]

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How to Save Time & Money by Calibrating Flow Meters Onsite


May 01, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

If you have hundreds of mass flow controllers and meters or just a few in your lab, facility, or manufacturing process, how do you keep up with the demands of annual recalibration? Most flow meters and controllers need to be recalibrated yearly to meet stringent ISO quality standards. This requires technicians to remove the mass flow meters from the […]

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Best Practices for Mass Flow Controller Selection & Installation


Apr 07, 2014
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

As scientists, facilities managers and manufacturing engineers, specifying equipment is a part of our daily work life. What product do I need? What’s the best price for the value? How do I install the product once I get it? The more information about best practice principles, the easier the job is of specifying and buying […]

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NEW Video Animation: How Do Thermal Mass Flowmeters Work?


Mar 24, 2014
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

As if your were actor Dennis Quaid in the popular 1987 movie Innerspace, journey inside the pipe to learn the operational principle of thermal mass flow technology and see, from a molecules perspective, why thermal flow meters have become extremely popular due to high accuracy, no moving parts, negligible pressure drop, sensitive direct mass flow measurement with high […]

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Part 3: Accurately Measuring Flare Gas — Managing Gas Mix Changes, Retaining Accuracy, Reducing Cost of Ownership


Mar 17, 2014
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

In my last post, I compared the pros and cons of the various flow meters available for measurement of flare gas. Ultimately, all but one has limitations that will impede your ability to accurately measure excess burn off from the hydraulic fracturing process. In this week’s post, I’ll share a new generation thermal mass flow […]

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Part 2: Accurately Measuring Flare Gas — Innovations Promise More Economical Choices


Mar 03, 2014
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

In my last post on flare gas flow measurement, I shared how the rise in hydraulic fracturing has led to more stringent state and national mandates to regulate the measurement of waste and excess gases that are produced as a result of this process. If you’re affiliated with an oil or gas company, you know […]

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Part 1: Accurately Measuring Flare Gas — Challenges, Solutions, and Opportunities


Feb 25, 2014
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

If your company is involved with hydraulic fracturing to increase oil and gas production, you’re familiar with the fact that state and national regulations are becoming increasingly stringent. In particular, flare gas now requires the installation of mass flow measurement instruments to measure waste and excess gases burned off as a result of the hydraulic […]

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Chemical Engineering Magazine Article By Sierra’s Founder


Feb 10, 2014
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Sierra’s Founder, Dr. John G. Olin, looks at the Principles of Operation, Installation, Calibration and Best Applications for Thermal Mass Flow Meters… Read the full article in Chemical Engineering Magazine.

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Ammonia Gas Flow Measurement Challenges & Solutions


Jan 20, 2014
Jim Oswald, Technical Support Manager
Written By:
Jim Oswald, Technical Support Manager

Measuring and controlling ammonia can be tricky. One mistake during the transition from gas to liquid and your instrumentation is ruined. In the video below, Glen Coblentz, Vice President of North American Sales, gives some tips for successful mass flow measurement and control of ammonia. It could mean the difference between success and a costly mistake! […]

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SmartTrak MFC Highlighed on NOVA TV Program


Jan 13, 2014
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

It’s alive! No, I’m not talking about Dr. Frankenstein’s monster. But you’d be surprised by what researchers have discovered in the area of therapeutic hypothermia, or using hydrogen sulfide to slow the body’s demand for oxygen. A recent episode of NOVA, “Making Stuff Colder,” highlights research being conducted by Mark Roth, a biochemist for the […]

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Insertion Flow Meter Straight Run Requirements


Dec 02, 2013
Jim Oswald, Technical Support Manager
Written By:
Jim Oswald, Technical Support Manager

You have specified the correct industrial Thermal insertion mass flow meter and received your brand new meter. Now what? Where do you install the meter for optimal performance? This is where technical expertise comes in, along with a mixture of science and tribal knowledge.  In fact, Sierra has talked for years about a flowmeter being only as good as how it was […]

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Voice of the Customer: Flow Meter Solution for Air Pollutant Measurement


Nov 15, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

We’re always looking for solutions here at Sierra-ones that always give customers precise, accurate data. It’s what drove Dr. John G. Olin to found Sierra in 1973, with a goal of providing the marketplace with accurate flow meter measurement. It’s what drives our engineering team to continue to advance flow meter design. It’s also what […]

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Part 2: Challenges with Submetering Natural Gas


Nov 11, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

I previously shared a post on how mid-to-large size facilities can save money by taking the initiative to submeter natural gas usage. The traditional diaphragm meters used by utility companies rely on fixed compensation variables that can lead to inaccuracies and overcharging. While this can affect residential customers, it comes as no surprise that it […]

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Innovation Winner-Precision Gas-Ratio Control Applications


Nov 04, 2013
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

Thanks Flow Control Magazine for recognizing Sierra’s QuadraTherm 640i/780i four-sensor thermal mass meter as this year’s Innovation Award winner. We are honored. The recently published case study in Flow Control magazine this month, explores how the QuadraTherm 780i provides a fiberglass manufacturing company with precise gas-ratio control to increase production capacity and gas consumption efficiency. […]

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Part 1: Challenges with Submetering Natural Gas


Oct 28, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In an article for Gases & Instrumentation magazine, I explored energy management as it relates to the natural gas industry. Natural gas exists in abundance in this country, with production expected to increase 44 percent by 2040. With such unprecedented growth in production of this natural resource, utility companies must focus on providing the most accurate gas […]

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How to Measure Air Flow Rate–Not As Easy As it Appears


Oct 04, 2013
Morgan Zealear, Engineer
Written By:
Morgan Zealear, Engineer

If we look at what is considered low flow measurement of air mass flow rate,  those applications ranging from 0 to 10 sccm up to 0 to 1000 slpm ranges, there is a right way and a wrong way to measure. It’s an inherent problem many of our customers face before they find the right […]

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Break from the Shackles-Mid-to-Large Size Facilities Verify Utility Company Billing


Sep 20, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

As we have all been hearing in the news, natural gas is becoming a very valuable and abundant natural resource. Almost all of this increase is due to the projected growth in shale gas production which will grow to 16.7 trillion cubic feet in 2040. Now comes the big question: how are utility companies going […]

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Part 3: Biogas Flow Meter Measurement-The Solution


Sep 16, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In recent weeks, I’ve shared some exciting advancements in the biogas industry in regards to renewable energy management. From harnessing biogas energy from landfills to the digester gas produced at wastewater treatment plants, one thing is paramount: Adjusting for changing gas composition is critical to obtaining accurate flow meter measurement for optimal biogas energy collection.  […]

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Part 2: Biogas Mass Flow Measurement–The Challenge


Sep 05, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my previous posts, I shared the focus on the growing need for renewable energy sources in the United States, with biogas becoming a hot commodity. Common sources include harnessing biogas from landfills, as well as digester gas produced at wastewater treatment plants.  One of the major flow measurement challenges in biogas applications is the fact […]

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Biogas Flow Meter Measurement: The Flooded Market


Jul 31, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my recently published article in Biomass Products & Technology , Precise Biogas Flow Measurement: Overcoming the Challenges of Changing Gas Composition, I highlight the nationwide search for alternative energy sources.  In the article, I note that this search has led to increased interest in sources of biogas energy specifically. Many flow meter companies have jumped into […]

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Biogas Energy Production: Why Accurate Flow Measurement Is Critical


Jul 25, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

The buzz around biogas continues to grow and with good reason. Efforts to find renewable sources of energy are in full swing, and harnessing energy from landfill gas or digester gas into biogas is a promising solution to the problem of high oil prices. In the July 2013 issue of Biomass Products & Technology, Sierra’s […]

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New Video: Best Practices for Leak Testing Inlet & Outlet Fittings for Your MFC


Apr 05, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Have questions about your mass flow controller or flow meter? We’ve got answers. We’re excited to unveil a brand new series of “how-to” videos answering your most frequently asked questions about mass flow controllers and flow meters on Sierra Instruments’ YouTube Channel and in our video section on our website. It is industry best practice to always leak […]

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Part 2: Cold Weather and Mass Air Flow Meter Accuracy (Stem Conduction)


Mar 01, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Part 2: Cold Weather and Mass Air Flow Meter Accuracy-Effects of Stem Conduction In Part One, we looked at the effects of cold weather on mass air flow meters like Sierra’s Steel-Mass® Model 640S and our new QuadraTherm™ Model 640i. As discussed, cold weather typically doesn’t cause any physical damage to the flow meter, but it […]

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Cold Weather and Your Mass Flow Sensor


Feb 22, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Baby It’s Cold Outside Sierra is a global company, so we sell our mass air flow sensors into some pretty extreme cold weather environments.   Indeed, we are seeing more and more applications in the far North, where immersible thermal flow meters like Sierra’s Steel-Mass® Model 640S and our new QuadraTherm™ Model 640i are used in […]

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Flare Gas Metering Solutions


Feb 04, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Waste gases must be flared in numerous industries ranging from oil refineries, well drilling operations (like shale gas fracking) to waste water treatment plants and landfills. Due to government regulations, flares are subject to stringent regulations requiring accurate measurement. Requirements to monitor the flow rate and consumption of flare gas involves measurement at points within a […]

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Fit for the King: Flow Meters & CO2 at Budweiser


Jan 11, 2013
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

When the King of Beers calls, we listen. As the #1 imported beer in China, Budweiser needed better control of its carbon dioxide (CO2) gas mass flow measurement at its Fujian Province plant. After trying several other, non-direct mass flow measurement technologies, engineers chose Sierra’s immersible SteelMass® 640S thermal mass flow meter. The reason behind their choice was that […]

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RFQ’s of the Past – Pick interesting RFQ’s we have done and write about them


Dec 30, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Cash Flow! Reduce Operations & Maintenance Costs for Improved Profits.


Dec 20, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

It all starts with measurement, then you can manage costs efficiently.  Only use as much natural gas, water and steam as your process needs and improve inefficient sub-processes.  Fluid flow is expensive; precision measurement improves the bottom line profit of your business.  Here are a few examples of flowmeters commonly used in industry to reduce operations […]

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QuadraTherm Flowmeter Puts New Spin on Fiberglass [Case Study]


Dec 04, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

What a waste! That’s what I thought when I learned how much material is rejected and how much gas is consumed during the fiberglass insulation manufacturing process. The biggest losses occur during the melting, spinning and subsequent cooling of silica, a key ingredient in fiberglass. For those who work in this industry, it’s a never-ending […]

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How Biogas Generators Work with Air Flow Meters


Aug 28, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

For several years, Sierra has been working with the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility near Monterey, Calif., to improve the rate of biogas cogeneration. Santa Cruz produces energy – enough to power 3,000 homes – by blending digester gas (a by-product of its sewage decontamination) with natural gas. This type of biomass helps create electricity using […]

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Flowmeter Reliability and Service Win with Wastewater Biogas Plant


Aug 23, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

The old maxim – waste not, want not – has taken on a whole new meaning in places like the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility, located near Monterey Bay in Northern California. At the plant, digester gas, a by-product of sewage decontamination, is captured and mixed with natural gas to form a type of biomass, one […]

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Precise PVD with Mass Flow Meters


Aug 03, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Developers and manufacturers of solar photovoltaic installations have seen a dramatic increase in business in recent years. If you’re part of this industry, you know that solar energy now generates power in more than 100 countries and continues to be the fastest growing type of electricity generation in the world. Due to the growing demand, manufacturing […]

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Accurate Fuel Flow Meters from Sierra-CP


Jul 31, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In addition to our Flow Measurement & Control Division, Sierra has a thriving Automotive Test Division called Sierra-CP that designs and manufactures a complete range of solutions for automotive test applications including engine, vehicle, powertrain, transmission, emissions, analytical and component testing. In engine and vehicle testing, extremely accurate fuel flow measurement is often a critical factor.  Our FuelTrak […]

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SmartTrak® 140 Ultra-Low ΔP Mass Flow Controllers


Jul 12, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Get Incredible 4.5 psid (310 mBard) at Flows up to 500 slpm. When you need precision gas mass flow control of expensive process gases, where minimal pressure drop is a key consideration for cost savings and efficiency, the SmartTrak® 140 flow meter controls up to 500 slpm with an ultra-low ΔP of 4.5 psid (310 […]

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Out in the Cold: Mass Vortex Flowmeter Conquers Cryogenic Fluid


Jun 13, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Cryogenic fluids are key in a variety of industries with very low temperature applications, including medical, large-scale frozen food processing and electric power transmission. However, these fluids must be handled – and measured – with great care, which can be a challenge if you’re using a traditional turbine meter or other tools to assess various fluid […]

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Stop Getting Steamed (Part 2): Easy Vortex Flowmeter Retrofit


Jun 05, 2012
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

In my last post, I outlined problems you may be facing if you need to measure superheated steam accurately, and I promised to share a success story about our Innova-Mass multivariable vortex flow meter. A district energy provider for a Midwest city had hot air problems. Their old shunt meters were wearing out and leading […]

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Economic OEM Mass Flow Controller for PVD Applications


Jun 01, 2012
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Written By:
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer

Those of you who work in the solar energy and semiconductor industry will be familiar with physical vapor deposition (PVD) or sputtering that is commonly used for creating films of material on a substrate in the solar energy and semiconductor industry. In the PVD process, a negatively charged electrode is slowly disintegrated by molecular bombardment. […]

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Ultrasonic Flow Meter Reduces Water Company’s Drain [Case Study]


May 23, 2012
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

The Carmel Riviera Mutual Water Company believed it was losing big. Historical estimates indicated that more than 30% of this small, independent water company’s production was going down the drain through leaks, waste, evaporation and other types of loss. The company budgeted almost $60,000 per year in initiatives to reduce these leaks, including labor and materials […]

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Stop Getting Steamed (part 1): Vortex Flow Meters Make Cents


May 08, 2012
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

If you’re a provider of superheated steam – commonly used to heat water and buildings in large cities in the northeastern United States – then you may be watching your revenue go up in smoke. As you know, steam is not free. Normally, it’s produced at a central facility and piped to customers. Like all other forms […]

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Flow Meter Do’s and Don’ts with Ammonia


Apr 25, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

At the recent Pittcon 2012 Tradeshow, we had many engineers and researchers stop by our booth wanting to measure and control ammonia. We’ve got a perfect product for the application, but there are a couple of precautions that you have to take. Some of the customers who have stopped by have run into the problem of ammonia […]

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Part 2: For Steam Flow, Mass Vortex Flow Meters Are Ideal!


Apr 18, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my last post, I discussed the problem of density errors creeping into steam flow measurements. When steam is superheated, you can determine density by the steam tables. But, as the vapor cools in a pipe, things aren’t so simple. I said the answer to the conundrum is actually “blowing in the wind” – that a […]

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Customize Your Flow Meters


Apr 04, 2012
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering
Written By:
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering

Did you know Sierra has a special team called OEM & Custom Solutions Group?  This team of engineers and technicians is dedicated to meeting the need for custom products. By utilizing nearly 40 years of  flow meter design experience, we modify any existing product to meet original equipment manufacturer (OEM), private label or general customer special […]

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Pittcon Trends: All Things Science


Apr 02, 2012
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager
Written By:
Maryadine Washington, Mar-Com Manager

I never imagined walking through the vast halls at the annual Pittcon trade show that scientists had so many gadgets for making their experiments and data come to life – from rocking test tubes to sophisticated gas and ion chromatography devices. One common passion is evident through all this disparate equipment: scientists love their experiments […]

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Choosing a Flow Meter as Tough as Corrosive Gas


Mar 23, 2012
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

One of the interesting trends we have seen in the Bio/Pharm and general scientific research markets is the many people who want to measure and control corrosive gases. This has always been a tough application, but there are a few ways that we can help you be successful. The ideal flowmeter is the SideTrak 840, built […]

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Riding the Waves of Climate Change, Part 3: Only Durable, Reliable Flowmeters Survive


Mar 21, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

This month I’ve been blogging about field researcher David Mucciarone, a Stanford University science and engineering associate. He’s part of a team that’s changing the way research about global warming is done, moving from discrete sampling to continuous, real-time monitoring. A key component of that shift is the flow meter in his chromatography-based flow-through sampling […]

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Riding the Waves of Climate Change, Part 2: Flowmeter Precision is Essential


Mar 05, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Recently, I wrote about how Stanford researcher David Mucciarone is helping redefine the way climate-change research is conducted  Riding Waves of Climate Change, Part 1. In making a break from traditional discrete sampling, which provides only a tiny snapshot of water conditions, Mucciarone has created his own chromatography-based, flow-through device that can sample a variety […]

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Riding the Waves of Climate Change, Part 1: Flowmeters Help Change the Way Research is Done


Feb 28, 2012
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Back in December, I shared how the Sierra Smart-Trak flowmeter traveled to Antarctica in 2006 with Stanford University researcher David Mucciarone. As a critical component of his data collection efforts, the flow meter helped him measure the breakdown of inorganic carbon during the Antarctic summer bloom. This important R&D work directly correlated with studies on global […]

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Wireless Flow Metering: More Than Just No Wires


Feb 10, 2012
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering
Written By:
Kam Bansal, Dir. of Engineering

In my last post, I described having your meters connected to a wired network, and the “remote” console wirelessly communicating with said meters. This time, I want to expand on this with introducing wireless meters into the mix. So, you now have 6 meters communicating on a wired network; and their data is being introspected by […]

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Natural Gas Measurement: 3 Reasons Thermal Mass Flow Meters Are Ideal


Feb 08, 2012
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

When it comes to metering natural gas, you’ve got several flow meter options.  However, thermal mass flow meters offer three distinct advantages over more traditional flow meters: No moving parts. As you can probably guess, moving parts can cause problems over time due to wear, lubrication and coating sensitivity. For example, turbine meters offer excellent […]

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A Thermal Mass Flow Meter in Outer Space


Jan 30, 2012
Matthew Olin, President & CEO
Written By:
Matthew Olin, President & CEO

North America’s #1 selling thermal mass flow meter offering (Flow Research, Yoder), our heavy-industrial thermal mass flow meters are designed for the most demanding industrial gas mass or air flow measurement applications. Early developments in the evolution of mass flow meters in the 1950’s were largely driven by the need for highly accurate gas mass flow […]

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How to Achieve Vapor Mass Flow Control with a Thermal Mass Flow Controller


Jan 09, 2012
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Written By:
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer

I often get asked to describe the most challenging flow meter applications that Sierra has successfully handled. One that comes to mind is how we used a capillary thermal mass flow controller (designed to measure gas) to accurately control a liquid used in the semiconductor industry at extremely low pressure differentials of about 10 Torr. […]

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Breaking the Ice: Antarctica Researcher Meets Sierra’s ‘Smart’ Mass Flow Meter


Dec 13, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Working here along California’s Central Coast in Monterey, I don’t often get to experience a White Christmas or snowball fights or even the excitement of schussing down the slopes (unless I travel 4 hours to Lake Tahoe, Northern California). So, it’s really tough for me to imagine the frigid, barren conditions of the coldest place […]

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Measure Natural Gas Energy Accurately with Thermal Flowmeters


Dec 07, 2011
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

It is well known that thermal mass flow meters are effected by gas composition.  Because thermal mass flow meters are effected by gas composition, many customers are concerned about how composition changes effect overall system accuracy. Through many years of experience with gas mixtures, we have seen that in many cases, a thermal mass flow […]

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Suspended Animation: Perfect Gas Flow Measurement Required!


Nov 28, 2011
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

Over the years I’ve worked at Sierra Instruments, I’ve had the opportunity to chat with many R&D professionals, including several who focus on medical research – a field that’s becoming more complex and sensitive all the time. Medical researchers who need to control the gas flow rate during experiments continue to demand higher and higher […]

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Are You a Mango? Three Big Advantages of Buying Flow Meters Online


Nov 21, 2011
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

If you’ve ever been up late at night – perhaps even on a weekend – trying to figure out how to get a gas mass or ultrasonic flow meter STAT, you’re a mango. A Frank Mango, to be precise. CEO & founder of Petroleum Habitats, an R&D start-up, Frank Mango needed a mass flowmeter, and […]

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Trends in Flow Meter Electronics


Nov 17, 2011
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Written By:
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer

I often get asked, what are the trends in Flow Instrumentation Electronics? The answer is that some of the trends are going towards having multi-parameter outputs, more feature richness, and more and more digital communication options available while still being able to perform the basic functions. This is accomplished by making more modular and configurable […]

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Three Easy Steps to Leak Testing with a Gas Mass Flow Meter


Nov 15, 2011
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Written By:
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer

Leak detection can be easy, but in the “good old days” (which some of us may still be living in today), leaks were time consuming to find and fix. Let’s compare how to find a leak the hard way, and then I’ll show you how easy it can be to automate the process with a mass flow meter. Fixing a […]

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Precision Gas Flow Control is Key to R&D Instrumentation


Nov 11, 2011
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager
Written By:
Erica Giannini, Marketing Manager

If you’re a scientific researcher, few things are as important as your ability to accurately control experimental research variables. Data – more specifically, precise data – is king! When you need gas flow rate measurement and control instrumentation, the ability to derive statistically sound and repeatable data is the key driver. Over the past several […]

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Upgrades to Food Processing Boilers Worth Their Salt: a Steam Flowmeter Case Study


Nov 08, 2011
John, Chief Engineer
Written By:
John, Chief Engineer

When the operations staff at a large food processing plant wanted to reduce utility costs and better analyze boiler performance, they chose to retrofit their 35-year-old boilers with new electronic controls, as well as several of our Innova-Mass® Model 241 immersible multivariable mass vortex flow meters to accurately measure steam discharge. Previously run by old pneumatic […]

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Gas Mixing & Blending: A Focus on Dilution


Oct 21, 2011
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe
Written By:
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe

Dilution is a special application in the world of gas mixing.  Basically, you are diluting a concentration of gas in an already existing gas mixture. Let’s say you have a gas mixture of 10% Ar/90% N2 and you really need 5 Ar/95% N2 for your application. The solution is to add more N2 to the the mix, […]

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Gas Mixing & Blending: ‘Kwik Kalucations’ with K-Factors


Oct 18, 2011
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe
Written By:
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe

‘Kwik Kalucations’ with K-factors make gas mixing with a single gas mass flow meter simple. If you’re looking to improve flexibility and save money when it comes to gas mixing and blending applications, consider applying a “K-Factor.” A dimensionless numerical relation of a specific gas vs. air or nitrogen, a gas K-factor never changes. If K-factors will work in […]

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Transit-Time Ultrasonic Flow Meters Don’t Need to be Expensive


Sep 28, 2011
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer
Written By:
Mark Blackbourn, Engineer

When you think about clamp-on, transit-time ultrasonic flowmeters, the first thought that usually comes to mind is the value that stems from the convienence and accuracy for liquid flow measurment–no pipe cutting, very high accuracy and reliability, no hassles.  But, that value does come at a price, and it is worth it if you take into account […]

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Accuracy in Gas Mixing & Blending


Sep 13, 2011
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe
Written By:
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe

In my last post, I discussed the important question of Mass or Volume flow measurement.   Today, I will discuss accuracy and the need to size your mass flow controller properly to assure the highest quality gas mixing and blending. Mass flow controllers are devices that have an accuracy of % of full scale (%FS).  That means […]

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Ultrasonics, Water Flow Measurement: Part 2


Aug 25, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my last post, I discussed Sierra’s decision to enter the giant water flow measurement market due to our intimate and successful history in the waste water treatment industry measuring air flow with our thermal mass flow meters. At that time, almost a decade ago, we looked at ways to measure water flow and narrowed it […]

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Ultrasonics, Water Flow Measurement: Part 1


Aug 15, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Since Sierra is a leading supplier of immersible thermal mass flow meters, I find myself heavily involved in the waste water treatment industry, where Sierra’s model 640S Steel-Trak® is the instrument of choice for measuring the low pressure air fed to the flocculation tanks, where oxygen-loving (aerobic) bacteria happily munch on the wastes. Over time, […]

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Gas Mixing & Blending: Mass or Volume?


Jul 29, 2011
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe
Written By:
Paul de Waal, Managing Dir., Sierra Europe

Mass or Volume: Important question! In my first blog post on gas mixing and blending, we saw that combustion is an important gas mix application. Combustion or burning is a chemical process, a reaction between molecules. To quantify the gas used we should count these gas molecules and not the space between these gas molecules. […]

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Air May Be Free, But Compressed Air Isn’t! (Part 2 of 2)


Jul 17, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my last post early last month (June 9th), Mr. Carlisle of  Air Compressor Supply was looking for compressed air flow meters to measure compressed air.  As I explained to him,  our Steel-Trak®   Model 640S is ideal for compressed air applications.  The 640S immersible thermal mass flow meter delivers the 1.0% accuracy and highly repeatable direct mass […]

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Beautiful fluid dynamics images on an earthly scale!


Jun 29, 2011
Morgan Zealear, Engineer
Written By:
Morgan Zealear, Engineer

I am always struck by the often beautiful world of flow measurement. Even though we design and manufacture precision flow meters and controllers for nearly any gas, liquid or steam flow application, the images linked below explain why there are so many different measurement technology solutions (Vortex, Thermal, Ultrasonic, Magnetic, Coriolis…etc.) to handle the variety of fluid flow applications […]

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