Application notes

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Accurate Pressure Transmitters Mean Trouble-Free Gas Pipelines

Accurate Pressure Transmitters Mean Trouble-Free Gas Pipelines

Uses of Pressure Transmitters for Gas Transport

Natural Gas Compression in the U.S.

Pressure transmitters play an important role in transporting natural gas through the thousands of natural gas pipelines that extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts as well as from Canada to Mexico. Every 40 to 100 miles along these lines are natural gas compressor stations, which work to constantly maintain the 200 to 1500 psi required to reliably and efficiently move gas from production to consumers.

To accomplish the delivery, engines, turbines, or motors are used to power these compressors. Turbine and engine-driven compressors use a small amount of natural gas to fuel the combustion cycles needed to re-pressurize natural gas for transportation. Motor-driven compressors do the same thing but with electricity. For safety and efficiency, all three types of compressors require constant measurement of PSI before, during, and after compression.

If a pressure transmitter is working improperly—or fails altogether—natural gas movement will slow down or stop completely. A best-case scenario would be delayed or missed deliveries to end users. More critically, a clog or rupture could occur in a pipeline, requiring immediate attention. In the worst case, an explosion or other accident could occur.

Where Pressure Transmitters Are Used

Pressure transmitters are used in natural gas compression in the following ways:

  • Compressor control
  • Compressor station intake lines
  • Compressor station output lines
  • Intake and output flow-rate monitoring
  • Intake, output, and injector systems (for engine- and turbine-driven compressors)
  • Three-phase filter monitoring

Monitoring natural gas compression requires the use of a pressure transmitter certified for Class I Division I and/or Class I Division II hazardous area use. Transmitters should also offer good vibration resistance and ingress protection. WIKA E-10 and E-11 explosion proof pressure transmitters are designed to handle all such applications.

Accurate Pressure Transmitters Mean Trouble-Free Gas Pipelines