Process flow metering

///Process flow metering
Process flow metering2018-11-06T14:46:14+00:00

FibreWrap™ – process flow metering enabled by Silixa’s iDAS™ technology

Non-intrusive digital flow sensing throughout mining plants

Silixa’s non-intrusive FibreWrap process flow metering technology provides flow distribution monitoring throughout an entire plant or mine simply by using a single length of fibre optic cable installed on process pipes. IoT -enabled technology to provide Advanced Process Control (APC).

This flow metering system, comprising individual zones of wrapped fibre on process pipes, measures the speed of turbulent eddies. It can be installed on-the-fly, without disrupting process flow or requiring costly calibration. The system is compatible with liquid, gas, slurry, froth and reagent flows.

Applications

  • Mining and mine water
  • Water treatment
  • Process control
  • Flotation mass pull

Benefits

  • Easy to retrofit, low opex
  • Low capex sensing instrumentation
  • No utility requirements at sensing zones
  • Enable increased process efficiency and reduced energy usage

Product specifications

Zones
20
Flow types Single phase, slurry, froth, reagents, tailings
Temperature range 0°C – 60°C
Typical accuracy Better than 5%
Integration OPC (customisable)
Pipe material Steel, HDPE, PVC, FRP
Pipe size 2″ – 100″
 * customised variants available
FibreWrap™ - process metering

Case study: Multizone flow metering at Anglo American’s eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant (EWRP)

Reference: Finfer, D., P. Newman, N. Rein, M. Amir. Pervasive metering of minewater flows and process water using distributed acoustic sensor technology, SAIMM “Water 2017”, Johannesburg, 10-11 July 2017.

Challenge

To demonstrate metering of water and slurry flows at several measurement zones along a single fibre within an operating minewater treatment plant.

Solution

Using a single optical fibre circuit, a multizone process metering system was installed on several processes on pipes ranging in size from 165 mm to 300mm. Metered flows include reverse osmosis manifold water, clarifier underflow slurry, and minewater slurry feed. Flow data was updated once per minute, and compiled data was transmitted automatically via email from South Africa to the London office every 24 hr. Data compilations were provided to the site over the duration of the 6 week pilot.

Results

Flow rates were monitored successfully in each zone. Flow measurement output from the reverse osmosis process provided process insight along a manifold which would have been burdensome to instrument with conventional means. Over the course of a month period when both iDAS and reference sensors were functioning, the accumulated flow rates for the calibrated minewater and slurry flow rate zones were accurate to 1.5% and 0.5% respectively.

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Case study: Flotation Process Metering

Challenge

Non-intrusive, direct measurement of water, slurry, air, and concentrate flows in a flotation circuit.

Solution

An installation at the AMPLATS Mogalakwena North Concentrator was executed whereby a single, continuous length of optical sensing fibre was used to meter a variety of flotation flows including water, slurry, air, and concentrate flows.

Results

It was demonstrated that the system can measure gas, liquid, slurry, and, critically, concentrate flows; and that data could be delivered on a real-time basis to the site SCADA system.

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Case study: Process water metering at Mogalakwena Platinum Mine

Challenge

Continuous metering of many process water flows at Anglo American’s Mogalakwena mine, the largest surface platinum mine in the world.

Solution

Anglo American’s FutureSmartTM program enabled a permanent installation for a non-intrusive, multi-zone, optical process flow metering system. This installation uses a single, extended fibre optic circuit of several miles in length to enable continuous online metering of mine water flows at several measurement zones throughout a region comparable in size to Lower Manhattan.

Results

The sensing system was installed in early December 2016, and has been in continuous use since commissioning. The continuous acquisition of flow data from a non-invasive metering network at Mogalakwena represents a critical step towards the development of an automatic water balance system at a tier one mine.

Impact

Anglo American was awarded awarded the prize for “Innovation in Sustainability” by Mines and Technology (London, 2017) for this technology application.

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