Results of the evaluation and preliminary validation of a primary LNG mass flow Standard

Mijndert van der Beek, Peter Lucas and Oswin Kerkhof,  “Results of the evaluation and preliminary validation of a primary LNG mass flow Standard”, Metrologia 51 539 doi:10.1088/0026-1394/51/5/539.

LNG custody transfer measurements at large terminals have been based on ship tank level gauging for more than 50 years. Flow meter application has mainly been limited to process control in spite of the promise of simplified operations, potentially smaller uncertainties and better control over the measurements for buyers. The reason for this has been the lack of LNG flow calibration standards as well as written standards. In the framework of the EMRP[1] “Metrology for LNG” project,  Van Swinden Laboratory (VSL) has developed a primary LNG mass flow standard. This standard is so far the only one in the world except for a liquid nitrogen flow standard at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The VSL standard is based on weighing and holds a Calibration and Measurement Capability (CMC) of 0.12% to 0.15%. This paper discusses the measurement principle, results of the uncertainty validation with LNG and the differences between water and LNG calibration results of four Coriolis mass flow meters. Most of the calibrated meters do not comply with their respective accuracy claims. Recommendations for further improvement of the measurement uncertainty will also be discussed.

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