June saw the start of three ground-breaking projects under this year’s European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR). Two of the projects relate to the roll-out of greener vehicle fuel options. The third project is designed to achieve measurement harmonisation between multiphase flow metrology testing facilities.
“We are very proud to be involved in this wide-ranging collaborative research,” says Brian Millington, NEL’s Managing Director. “The projects show the applicability of our research expertise and facilities to innovative energy solutions, they also highlight the central role we play within the wider European flow metrology community.”
“The multiphase flow metrology project, encompasses an extended inter-comparison testing programme that involves collaboration with 17 partners, including multiphase test labs, meter vendors and research partners,” says R&D Co-ordinator, Dr David Crawford. “It has been set up to address the acknowledged lack of standardised facilities (and procedures) for testing multiphase flow meters. It will drive improvements and enhance confidence in multiphase flow measurement, which is a fundamental enabling metrology for subsea oil and gas production.”
The first of the two EMPIR fuel projects (titled Metrology for Hydrogen Vehicles) addresses the fact that, although a large amount of hydrogen fuel infrastructure is currently in development across Europe, the industry sector cannot yet meet certain measurement requirements due to a lack of available methods and standards.
“There are currently no traceable methods to measure flow or fuel quality at the point of delivery,” says Principal Consultant, Dr Norman Glen. “It is therefore not possible to accurately calculate the amount of hydrogen dispensed. As a result, the customer cannot be charged correctly when buying hydrogen from a fuel station.”
One of the key aims of the research is to develop the necessary methodologies, standards and calibration facilities to allow hydrogen refuelling stations to accurately calibrate their hydrogen flow meters.
The other fuel project is designed to support the large scale roll-out of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied biogas (LBG) as transport fuels.
“There are high levels of uncertainty linked to the flow measurement of these fuels” says Dr. Kenbar Asaad, who is leading NEL’s team on the project. “Using technologies such as ultrasonic and coriolis meters we hope to be able to drive down uncertainties to levels comparable with those found for the measurement of conventional fuels.”