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Automation Technologies 1/2016

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Automation Technologies 1/2016

Monitoring compressed

Monitoring compressed air consumption – reduces energy costs Compressed air is one of the most expensive energy forms and a significant cost factor in manufacturing operations. Despite this, compressed air consumption is an unknown variable in many companies. About E+E Elektronik CONTROL AND DRIVE TECHNOLOGY E+E Elektronik GmbH is a specialist for humidity sensors, CO 2 sensors, moisture in oil, dewpoint, air velocity, flow and temperature sensors. Based in Engerwitzdorf, Austria the company operates a nationally accredited calibration lab and is appointed to maintain the ‘National standard for humidity and air flow speed’ in Austria. It has a presence in majority of the worlds leading markets with its subsidiaries in countries like Germany, France, Italy, USA, China and Korea. Many of the companies are still unaware that compressed air accounts for up to 20 % of their overall energy costs. Some other companies try to reduce the costs of compressed air by investing in new energy-efficient compressors. However, a relevant cost reduction can only be achieved by considering the entire compressed air network, from generation to machine-tool. With a (theoretical) maximum compressor efficiency of 50 %, the overall efficiency of a compressed air network in practice seldom exceeds 5 %. An important cause of the low efficiency is leakage in the network. A comprehensive analysis of the entire compressed air network is necessary for increasing its overall efficiency. How high is the real compressed air demand? What is the compressors load? What is the leak rate in the network? Accurate monitoring of the compressed air network is required for answering these questions, identify potential savings and ultimately reduce compressed air costs. Accurate compressed air monitoring Accurate metering as well as leak detection in compressed air networks is possible with flowmeters. Thermal flowmeters from the Austrian sensor manufacturer E+E Elektronik GmbH can measure precisely even the smallest mass flow or standard volumetric flow of compressed air. Various models can be employed throughout entire compressed air network, from the compressor to the smallest of the machines. Author: Martin Raab, Product Manager, E+E Elektronik G.m.b.H Austria AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 1/2016

Measurement principle with many benefits Martin Raab, Product Manager at E+E Elektronik GmbH explains the advantages of the ‘E+E’ flowmeters: “Our thermal flowmeters are based on the hot-film anemometer principle. The main benefit of this measuring principle is the absence of moving parts. This makes the sensor wear-free and highly insensitive to mechanical influences such as shocks and vibrations, which leads to low maintenance and long service life. Furthermore, the mass flow or the volumetric flow measured with a hot-film anemometer is independent of pressure and temperature. The flowmeter can therefore be used at various pressures and temperatures without need for compensation”. The core of the thermal flowmeter is a high quality hot-film sensor element developed and manufactured in-house by ‘E+E Elektronik’. High measurement accuracy, low sensitivity to pollution and excellent long-term stability of the sensor elements leads to outstanding performance of these flowmeters. Various flowmeter models are available depending on the pipe diameter and operating pressure. 01 The inline flowmeter is installed using a high-precision measurement valve with only a short-term interruption to the flow Inline flowmeter up to DN80 The EE771 and EE772 series inline flowmeters are ideal for small to medium pipe diameters from DN15 to DN80 and an operating pressure up to 16 or 40 bar. The flowmeters are mounted either using a high-precision measurement valve or a measurement station. The measurement valve allows for simple installation and removal of the sensor with only a short-term interruption to the flow. With a measurement station the installation and removal of the sensor is possible without any interruption of the flow. This is a benefit that comes to bear in the maintenance and calibration of the sensor. The measurement station can also accommodate an additional dewpoint or pressure sensor, which simplifies considerably the monitoring of the compressed air quality. 02 The measurement station can be used to combine flow (1) and dewpoint measurements (2) easily. Sensor installation and removal is possible without interruption to the flow Immersion flowmeters up to DN700 The EE776 immersion flowmeter is dedicated for pipe diameters DN50 to DN700 and an operating pressure of up to 16 bar. The tapping sleeve allows for drilling into the compressed air pipeline under pressure and for the mounting of EE776 without interrupting the flow and without welding work. A patented non-return protection device ensures that the immersion probe can be moved for installation in only one direction and does not move back, even if released. The immersion depth and alignment of the sensor can also be set easily thanks to the non-return protection and the immersion depth scale engraved onto the probe. With two measurement ranges (0.2 to 100 or 0.2 to 200 Nm/s) and three different probe lengths with maximum immersion depth of 165, 315 or 465 mm, EE776 can be employed into a wide choice of different measurement tasks. 03 The non-return protection of the immersion flowmeter ensures safe installation under pressure Various mounting options, easy to use Flowmeters from E+E Elektronik feature a modular design and consist of an intelligent sensing probe and an evaluation unit. The enclosure with the evaluation electronics is either permanently mounted onto the measurement probe or remote with up to 10 m cable. The latter option is very useful when the evaluation unit includes the optional display: the enclosure can be mounted for optimal display visibility. Depending on the application, the E+E flowmeters can be configured with analogue current or voltage outputs, switching output or pulse output for consumption measuring. Additionally they feature an optional Modbus RTU or M-BUS (Meter-Bus) interface. The user can set application specific parameters (e.g. configure the outputs, set the pipe diameter, read out the consumption meter, etc.) with the configuration software included in the scope of supply. In addition to compressed air monitoring and metering, the E+E flowmeters can also be used with various non-corrosive and nonexplosive gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, CO 2 , helium or argon. Photographs: E+E Elektronik GmbH AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 1/2016


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