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Biogas Flow Meter Measurement: The Flooded Market

Jul 31, 2013

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 the biogas measurement market as a booming growth market-or a flooded market (depending on how you look at it).  But not all technologies are successful at accurate biogas measurement.  Although appealing from a revenue perspective, it’s a tough application.

Why the focus on these sources of biogas energy?

In a word, versatility. The biogas produced by digester gas can be used for heating, electricity or to fuel internal combustion engines—the possibilities are endless! The same goes for biogas produced from landfill gas, but an issue arises with purity. As I note in the article, the heating value of landfill methane can be raised through a process of filtering or “scrubbing,” removing carbon dioxide and other impurities as seen in the image below. But accurate flow meter measurement is critical to the process of obtaining optimal heat value.  High flow meter accuracy is what the application demands, but this is not easy due to the challenges of biogas measurement.  Many thermal flow companies have entered this renewable energy market, but few have been able to solve the challenge of adjusting for changing gas composition. This is the achilles heal for most thermal companies. How can the meter automatically adjust for changing gas compositions? The answer is, it can’t. It needs to be sent back to the factory for recalibration.   Biogas Energy

In the coming weeks, I will dive deeper into the flow measurement challenges, problems and new advancements in thermal technology which offer a viable solution for precise biogas measurement.   In the meantime, read the article in Biomass Products & Technology ,  for my in-depth look at this increasingly popular application.

We want to know: How has your company harnessed the power of biogas energy? What flow measurement solutions have you used?

Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Sierra Instruments

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