Energy

ANALYTICAL SOLUTIONS FOR Energy Applications

From untreated gas analysis to custody transfer, Process Insights provides reliable measurement solutions for flow, energy content, fuel contaminants and gas stream assay with innovative technologies.  As a market leader in self-calibrating moisture measurement solutions for natural gas, we also offer optical solutions for flow measurement, BTU analysis and trace impurities.  

Gas analysis solutions are essential for many energy applications, particularly those that involve the combustion of fossil fuels or biomass. Gas analysis allows for the measurement and characterization of the gases produced during combustion, which is important for understanding the combustion process and optimizing the performance of energy systems.

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  • SF6 ANALYSIS

    SF6 gas analysis refers to the process of measuring and analyzing the composition and properties of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas. SF6 is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic, and non-flammable gas that is widely used as an insulating material in electrical equipment, such as switchgear, transformers, and circuit breakers.

    SF6 gas analysis is important for several reasons. First, SF6 is a potent greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential that is thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide. As a result, the release of SF6 into the atmosphere can contribute significantly to climate change. Accurate measurement and analysis of SF6 gas can help to identify leaks and reduce emissions, thereby mitigating the environmental impact of SF6 use.

    By using chilled mirror analyzers, SF6 analysis can accurately and reliably measure the moisture content of SF6 gas. This is important for ensuring the proper functioning of high voltage electrical equipment and preventing equipment failure or damage. Chilled mirror analyzers are highly sensitive and precise, allowing for accurate measurement even at low moisture levels. In addition, they are a non-destructive method of analysis, which means that the SF6 gas can be reused or recycled after analysis.

    Our MBW™ MODEL 973-SF6 chilled mirror analyzer is an advanced SF6 gas analyzer for the measurement of humidity, SF6 purity and SO2 concentration in SF6 gas insulated switchgears (GIS) and other high voltage equipment.  The 973-SF6 gas analyzer is designed to measure several parameters of SF6 gas, including humidity, SF6 purity, and SO2 concentration. The analyzer uses a variety of measurement techniques to provide accurate and reliable results for each parameter.

    • Humidity Measurement: Uses a capacitive polymer sensor to measure the humidity of the SF6 gas. This sensor provides a high level of accuracy and stability, even in harsh environmental conditions. The sensor is temperature compensated to ensure accurate measurements over a wide range of temperatures.
    • SF6 Purity Measurement: Uses an infra-red absorption detector to measure the purity of SF6gas. The detector is calibrated using a known SF6 gas mixture to ensure accurate and repeatable measurements. The purity measurement is reported as a percentage of the total SF6 gas volume.
    • SO2 Concentration Measurement: Uses an electrochemical sensor to measure the concentration of SO2 in the SF6 gas. The sensor provides a linear response over a wide range of SO2 concentrations, with high sensitivity and low cross-sensitivity to other gases. The SO2 measurement is reported as a ppmv (parts per million by volume) value.
  • HYDROGEN PRODUCTION

    Hydrogen production is important for several reasons:

    • Clean energy: Hydrogen is a clean and renewable source of energy that can be produced from a variety of sources, including water, biomass, and renewable electricity. When used as a fuel, hydrogen produces only water as a byproduct, making it an attractive alternative to fossil fuels that produce harmful emissions.
    • Energy storage: Hydrogen can be used as a means of storing energy from intermittent renewable sources, such as wind and solar power. By producing hydrogen when renewable energy is abundant and storing it for use when needed, the energy system can become more reliable and sustainable.
    • Fuel cells: Hydrogen can be used in fuel cells to generate electricity for a variety of applications, including transportation, power generation, and industrial processes. Fuel cells are highly efficient and produce no emissions, making them an attractive alternative to traditional combustion engines.
    • Decarbonization: Hydrogen has the potential to help decarbonize a variety of sectors, including transportation, industry, and buildings. By replacing fossil fuels with hydrogen, emissions can be significantly reduced, helping to mitigate climate change.

    Impurity monitoring ensures the production of high-quality hydrogen. Hydrogen is often used in critical applications, such as fuel cells, chemical processes, and industrial operations. Impurities in hydrogen can have detrimental effects on the performance and reliability of these applications. By monitoring impurities, producers can maintain the desired purity levels and ensure that the hydrogen meets the required quality standards.

    Impurities in hydrogen production processes can adversely affect process efficiency and equipment performance. For example, impurities like sulfur compounds can poison catalysts used in hydrogen production, leading to reduced conversion rates and lower hydrogen yields. Monitoring impurities allows operators to detect and identify these substances, enabling timely corrective actions to maintain optimal process efficiency.

     Certain impurities in hydrogen can pose safety risks. For instance, high concentrations of impurities such as carbon monoxide (CO) or hydrogen sulfide (H2S) can be flammable or toxic. Monitoring impurities helps ensure that the hydrogen produced is safe for storage, transportation, and usage, reducing the risk of accidents or hazardous incidents.

    Our TIGER OPTICS™ Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) gas analyzers can be used in hydrogen production to measure the concentration of hydrogen in the process gas stream. Hydrogen production typically involves the use of reforming or electrolysis technologies to extract hydrogen from hydrocarbons or water, respectively. During these processes, it is important to monitor the concentration of hydrogen in the process gas stream to ensure optimal production and efficiency.

  • FUEL CELL HYDROGEN

    Global efforts to reduce the impact of harmful emissions on the environment have increasingly focused on lowering carbon emissions. The key to meeting this challenge lies in replacing fossil fuels with alternative, renewable fuel sources, particularly to power vehicles.  Hydrogen fuel cells offer a uniquely flexible solution in this market and can be used for a wide range of applications, powering systems from laptop computers to utility power stations. The move to a hydrogen economy is widely regarded as the next step in the global transition towards a zero-carbon energy sector.  

    Fuel cells are highly sensitive to impurities, and even small amounts of contaminants can significantly impact their performance. Impurities in fuel cell hydrogen can degrade the catalysts, hinder the electrochemical reactions, and reduce the efficiency of the fuel cell system. Monitoring impurities ensures that the hydrogen used in fuel cells meets the required purity levels, allowing for optimal performance and power generation.

    Impurities can lead to accelerated degradation and reduced lifespan of fuel cell components. For example, contaminants like sulfur compounds can poison the catalysts, leading to catalyst deactivation and decreased durability. Monitoring impurities helps identify potential sources of degradation and enables the implementation of appropriate purification measures to protect the fuel cell system and extend its operating life.

    Impurities can have financial implications in fuel cell applications. Contaminants can cause increased maintenance costs, frequent replacements of components, and reduced overall system efficiency. By monitoring impurities and maintaining high purity levels, fuel cell operators can minimize operational costs, improve system reliability, and optimize the return on investment.

    Our TIGER OPTICS™ CRDS (Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy) gas analyzers can be used in fuel cell hydrogen production to measure the purity and impurities of the hydrogen gas stream.  These analyzers can detect impurities at trace levels, even down to parts-per-billion (ppb) or parts-per-trillion (ppt) concentrations. With their high selectivity and low detection limits, our CRDS gas analyzers can identify and quantify impurities that may impact fuel cell performance and durability. By continuously monitoring impurities, fuel cell operators can ensure that hydrogen fuel meets the required purity standards, optimize fuel cell operation, extend component lifespan, and enhance overall system efficiency and reliability.

    Our EXTREL™ Quadrupole Mass Spectrometers can also be used in fuel cell hydrogen production to measure the purity and impurities of the hydrogen gas stream. These mass spectrometers offer exceptional sensitivity and precision in detecting and quantifying various impurities, including trace gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). By analyzing the mass-to-charge ratio of ions, our Quadrupole Mass Spectrometers can identify impurities at extremely low concentrations, providing real-time monitoring and analysis. This enables fuel cell operators to ensure that the hydrogen gas stream meets stringent purity requirements, identify and address potential sources of contamination, optimize purification processes, and maintain high-quality hydrogen for efficient and reliable fuel cell operation.

  • NATURAL GAS

    Natural gas production requires fast gas monitoring analysis because the composition of the natural gas stream can vary significantly depending on the location and type of production method used. In addition, natural gas is typically produced in large quantities and transported through pipelines, which can make it challenging to monitor and control the gas composition.

    Our EXTREL™ MAX300-RTG™ 2.0 industrial mass spectrometer is a highly advanced gas analyzer that offers several benefits for natural gas production. One of the main benefits is its ability to provide fast and accurate measurement of multiple gas components in real-time. This allows for continuous monitoring of the natural gas stream, ensuring that it meets the required quality and purity standards.  It is a highly advanced gas analyzer that offers several benefits for natural gas production. One of the main benefits is its ability to provide fast and accurate measurement of multiple gas components in real-time. This allows for continuous monitoring of the natural gas stream, ensuring that it meets the required quality and purity standards.  

    With its advanced capabilities, the MAX300-RTG 2.0 industrial mass spectrometer enables real-time monitoring and analysis of the composition and quality of natural gas. Its high sensitivity and selectivity allow for the detection and quantification of impurities, such as hydrocarbons, moisture, sulfur compounds, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), even at trace levels. This analyzer offers fast response times, enabling quick identification of process upsets or contamination events. It helps optimize natural gas production by ensuring compliance with industry standards, identifying potential sources of impurities, enabling process optimization, enhancing safety, and reducing operational costs. The MAX300-RTG 2.0 industrial mass spectrometer provides valuable insights and control over the natural gas production process, facilitating efficient and reliable operations in the industry.

  • RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS (RNG)

    Renewable Natural Gas production can use BTU calorimeters to measure the energy content of the gas produced. RNG is produced by capturing and processing biogas from organic waste sources, such as landfills, wastewater treatment plants, and agricultural waste. The resulting gas is purified and conditioned to meet pipeline specifications before being injected into the natural gas grid or used as a transportation fuel.  Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) production relies on BTU Wobbe calorimeters to accurately measure the energy content of the gas produced. BTU Wobbe calorimeters are specifically designed to measure the heating value of gaseous fuels, including RNG. These calorimeters analyze the composition of the gas sample and determine its energy content in terms of British Thermal Units (BTUs) or Wobbe Index. By measuring the energy content, RNG producers can ensure that the gas meets the required specifications for use in various applications, including heating, electricity generation, or injection into natural gas pipelines. Accurate energy measurement provided by BTU Wobbe calorimeters enables RNG producers to optimize production processes, ensure consistent quality, comply with regulatory standards, and facilitate fair pricing in the renewable energy market.

    BTU calorimeters measure the heating value of the Renewable Natural Gas, which is important for several reasons. First, it is necessary to know the energy content of the gas in order to determine its value and ensure that it meets pipeline specifications. Second, accurate measurement of the heating value is important for billing and accounting purposes. Finally, BTU measurement can help to optimize the production process and ensure that the Renewable Natural Gasis produced efficiently and effectively.

    Our COSA XENTAUR™ BTU 9800CXiinjection-style zero hydrocarbon emissions calorimeters are used in a variety of energy production applications, such as in power plants, where they are used to measure the heat energy released by coal, oil, or natural gas during combustion. They are also used in the production of biofuels, where they are used to measure the heat energy released by biomass during combustion. Our BTU calorimeters are essential for ensuring efficient energy production, reducing costs, and meeting regulatory standards. By accurately measuring the heat energy released by fuels, energy producers can optimize their processes to maximize efficiency and minimize waste.

    The COSA XENTAUR BTU 9610CXc™ continuous calorimeter is a versatile instrument used in various energy production applications. This advanced calorimeter is designed to measure the heating value or energy content of different fuel gases, including natural gas, syngas, biogas, and other alternative fuels. It operates in real-time, providing continuous and accurate measurements of the BTU value of the gas stream. The BTU 9610CX calorimeter is widely utilized in energy production processes such as power generation, industrial combustion, and emissions monitoring. Its precise and reliable measurements allow operators to optimize fuel-to-air ratios, ensure efficient combustion, monitor process performance, and comply with environmental regulations. The instrument’s ability to continuously analyze the calorific value of fuel gases makes it an essential tool for maintaining operational efficiency, minimizing energy waste, and achieving reliable and sustainable energy production.

  • POWER GENERATION

    The energy sector encompasses a diverse range of applications and technologies, each with unique measurement challenges.   Power generation from fossil fuels, such as coal and gas, presents the challenge of measuring a range of combustion by-products in a harsh environment, while power generation from nuclear requires safety-critical process control.

    Power generation from fossil fuels, such as coal and gas, poses the challenge of accurately measuring a variety of combustion parameters, and therefore relies on dependable gas monitoring solutions. The combustion process in power plants requires precise measurement and monitoring of parameters such as oxygen levels, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and other trace gases. Reliable gas monitoring solutions, including advanced gas analyzers and continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS), are vital in ensuring compliance with environmental regulations, optimizing combustion efficiency, and minimizing emissions. These monitoring solutions provide real-time data on gas composition, allowing power plant operators to make informed decisions, improve combustion control, reduce pollutant emissions, and enhance overall operational efficiency and environmental performance.

    Custody transfer is one of the most important applications for flow measurement. Whatever solution you select, it must deliver measurement accuracy and reliability to assure commercial and regulatory compliance. From biomass to energy, waste to energy, or pipeline to terminal, we understand what our power generation customers challenges are.   Our real-time gas analysis solutions enhance efficiency, safety, throughput, product quality, and provides environmental compliance.

    Our COSA XENTAUR™ BTU 9800CXi™ calorimeter is used in power generation to measure the heat content, or calorific value, of fuel. This information is critical for ensuring that the combustion process is optimized for efficiency and emissions control.  It works by burning a small sample of the fuel and measuring the heat released during the combustion process. This heat is transferred to a water bath, which is then measured to determine the heat content of the fuel sample.

  • FLUE GAS DESULFURIZATION

    Flue gas desulfurization is a set of technologies used to remove sulfur dioxide (SO2) from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants. The process of FGD was designed to absorb the sulfur dioxide in the flue gas before it is released. This is accomplished through either a wet or a dry process. There are many methods for removing sulfur dioxide from boiler and furnace exhaust gases. The steam generators in large power plants and the process furnaces in large refineries, petrochemical and chemical plants, and incinerators burn considerable amounts of fossil fuels.  The flue gas desulfurization system plays an important role in addressing the sulfur dioxide pollution in many industries.

    Monitoring flue gas desulfurization is crucial to effectively remove sulfur dioxide (SO2) from the exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants. SO2 is a harmful pollutant that contributes to acid rain, smog formation, and adverse health effects. flue gas desulfurization systems employ various methods, such as wet scrubbing or dry sorbent injection, to capture and remove SO2 before it is released into the atmosphere. Monitoring flue gas desulfurization performance ensures that the desired level of SO2 removal is achieved and maintained consistently. By monitoring parameters such as SO2 concentrations before and after flue gas desulfurization, temperature, pressure, pH, and reagent consumption, operators can assess the efficiency of the desulfurization process, troubleshoot any issues, and optimize the system’s operation. Accurate flue gas desulfurization monitoring helps power plants comply with emission regulations, minimize environmental impacts, protect human health, and ensure sustainable and responsible operation of fossil-fuel power plants.

    Our COSA XENTAUR™ BTU 9800CXi™ calorimeters can also be used to monitor the performance of the FGD process over time and to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements for SO2 emissions. By measuring the heat content of the flue gas before and after the FGD process, BTU calorimeters provide an important tool for optimizing the efficiency of power plants and other industrial processes while reducing their environmental impact.

  • NUCLEAR ENERGY

    Nuclear energy requires high performance gas monitoring solutions because the production and use of nuclear energy involves handling and processing of radioactive materials. It is essential to ensure that the gas used in nuclear plants, as well as the gases produced during nuclear operations, are of the required purity and do not contain any impurities that could adversely affect the performance of the reactor or be harmful to the environment or human health. Gas monitoring solutions need to be sensitive and reliable enough to detect trace impurities in the gas stream, as even small changes in the gas composition could have significant consequences. Real-time monitoring is also essential to ensure that any issues are detected and addressed promptly, preventing potential accidents or environmental contamination.

    Our EXTREL™ Flange Mounted Quadrupole Mass Spectrometers can be used in nuclear power applications to analyze the gas composition of various processes, including nuclear fuel processing, reactor coolant systems, and nuclear waste management.  It can be used in nuclear power applications to analyze the gas composition of various processes, including nuclear fuel processing, reactor coolant systems, and nuclear waste management.

    Deuterium also known as “heavy hydrogen”, is used in a variety of applications, including industrial and university research comparisons between the hydrogen and deuterium in deposited film analysis, rapid thermal anneals for certain semiconductor devices, and optical fiber manufacturing to eliminate the water peak in the telecom E-band.  

    Another option, our TIGER OPTICS HALO™ 3 D2O/HDO analyzer offers unparalleled accuracy and reliability for your deuterium purity analysis. Compact and easy to use, this analyzer features our proven Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy technology to effortlessly detect single-digit ppb levels of D2O and HDO in your sample.  

  • BIOFUELS & RENEWABLES

    For decades, our solutions have been continuously monitoring biofuels, biogas or greenhouse gases like methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon monoxide.  Our elemental analyzers are proven analytical systems to quickly validate and deliver to ASTM standards. Biofuel manufacturers and production plants depend on our gas analysis solutions for bioethanol, biodiesel and other biofuels.

    Our ATOM INSTRUMENT™ elemental analyzers deliver ASTM standard compliance in biofuel manufacturing by providing accurate and reliable analysis of the elemental composition of biofuels. These analyzers use combustion technology to accurately determine the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur content of biofuels. This information is crucial in determining the energy content of the biofuels and in identifying any potential impurities or contaminants that could adversely affect their performance. Also they are designed and calibrated to ensure that they provide consistent and reliable results, ensuring that biofuels meet the necessary standards.  

    Our GUIDED WAVE™ NIR UV-VIS process and lab analyzer spectrometers are powerful tools that can be used for both inline and at-line measurements:

    Another option, the GUIDED WAVE ClearView™ db system provides fast gas analysis in biofuel manufacturing by offering real-time, in-line monitoring of the gas composition during biofuel production processes. The system uses mid-infrared spectroscopy to measure the concentrations of different gases, including carbon dioxide, oxygen, water vapor, and other trace gases.  It is designed to be installed directly into the biofuel production process, allowing for real-time monitoring of the gas stream. This provides biofuel manufacturers with immediate feedback on the quality of the biofuel being produced, allowing them to make adjustments to the process as needed to ensure that the biofuel meets the required quality and performance standards.

  • ETHANOL

    Ethanol (a biofuel) is produced in several ways from biomass or other organic sources. In an effort to better control production processes and improve efficiency, increased emphasis has been put on the importance of fast accurate, gas analysis for optimal fermentation control. The methodologies being implemented are similar to those used for years by pharmaceutical and chemical industries.  

    For laboratory research engineers who need to understand the process and perform analysis on Bench Scale Reactors, we offer our EXTREL™ MAX300-LG™ Laboratory Gas Analyzer.  This lab gas analyzer offers several benefits for ethanol production, including accurate and reliable measurement of gas composition, real-time monitoring, and easy integration with existing systems.  

    When the process moves to pilot plant and production facilities, engineers have the ability to apply our EXTREL MAX300-BIO™ Bioreactor Gas Analyzer. In the pilot plant and production facilities, the ethanol production process is typically carried out on a larger scale, making it more challenging to monitor and control gas composition.  The MAX300-BIO offers several benefits that make it ideal for use in pilot plant and production facilities. One of the key benefits is its ability to measure multiple gas species simultaneously, including carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, and other trace gases. This allows for accurate and reliable monitoring of gas composition, helping to ensure optimal fermentation conditions.

    Our GUIDED WAVE™ NIR UV-VIS process and lab analyzer spectrometers are powerful tools that can be used for both inline and at-line measurements:


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