Fluid Components International (FCI) has expanded and improved its compact thermal mass flowmeter line with a new, advanced electronics design that features the addition of certified HART, Version 7, digital bus communication. The new model ST51A thermal mass flowmeter from FCI provides users with an economical yet rugged solution for measuring air or gas flows in demanding industrial applications, including biogas. HART communication offers the benefits of a regular interface, plus the ability to make field configuration changes if needed, using a standard HART 475 communicator.

“Biogas production is typically a low-pressure and low-flow process,” says Steve Cox, FCI’s western regional sales manager. “A flowmeter that is used in that process needs to operate over a wide flow range and include low-flow sensitivity.”

The ST51A has a wide 100-1 turndown ratio, and has no moving parts. It carries global agency approvals for Div.1/Zone 1 Ex installations, IP67 dust/water ingress protection and rugged, all-metal enclosures.

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“Biogas can be very nasty on flowmeters, so it’s important that the meter you use be durable,” says Cox. “The ST51A works well in damp, dirty environments, so it’s a good fit for biogas flow measurement and other moist gas applications.”

The transmitter and electronics can be integrally mounted with the flow element or remote mounted up to 100 feet away. Users have a choice of 24-volts DC or 85 to 265 Vac power. The transmitter enclosure is available in either epoxy-coated aluminum or stainless steel, and can be ordered with either NPT or metric threaded cable ports. According to Cox, the ST51A is an updated version of the company’s stalwart ST50 flowmeter, which was introduced in 2006.

“The biggest difference in the new model is the HART interface,” says Cox. “But the ST51A also operates at higher temperatures.”

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The ST51A is calibrated to the user’s actual process conditions in one of FCI’s 19 flow stands using NIST and ISO/IEC 17025 traceable equipment, and is fully temperature compensated. For applications with limited straight-run, it can be supplied with and calibrated specifically for use with Vortab flow conditioners to maintain optimal accuracy. The ST51A also carries a SIL rating, being independently evaluated by Exida and found to meet SIL 1 compliance.

“This is a unit that is configurable, but is designed to be plug-and-play,” says Cox. “And, in many applications, you can install it and forget about it.”  800/854-1993; www.fluidcomponents.com


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