Pressure regulator: Pneumatic controller saves natural gas

Economizing when natural gas has to substitute for compressed air.


Some of the areas where pneumatic controllers still thrive are natural gas pipelines. Often these are in remote locations where power is not routinely available, so the compressed gas is used in place of compressed air. This works, but given the growing cost of natural gas combined with its greenhouse gas characteristics, this is a much less attractive choice. The new C1 pneumatic controller from Fisher ( Emerson Process Management )

Fisher has calculated that replacing an older high-consumption device with a C1 can save from 1,000-5,000 cubic meters of methane per year, typically worth $350 to $1,400, so the new unit can pay back the cost of replacement in less than one year.

The design features a new patented proportional band adjustment assembly to replace the three-way valve. The company says this provides even more reliable control and increased safety even in applications handling sour process fluids.

In operation, the C1 compares sensed process pressure to an operator adjusted set point, and sends a pneumatic signal to the adjacent control element that maintains the set point value. Units are available with various control approaches: proportional only, proportional plus reset, differential gap, and transmitter.

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, ,
Process Instrumentation & Sensors Monthly

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