Oklahoma Patent of the Month – August 2023

Big Elk Energy Systems, LLC is a leading turnkey manufacturer for the natural gas industry. With a reputation like this, innovation never stops. Because of the tremendous volume of gas being transferred between pipeline companies, small measurement errors can have very large financial effects. To mitigate these effects, Big Elk Energy has developed a portable verification system to verify a gas pipeline flow meter in the field.

Their system comprises a wheeled trailer adorned with a cluster of air springs on its top surface. Within it lies the heart of the innovation – a reference meter run boasting an ultrasonic gas flow meter calibrated to perfection. The piping geometry, including an inlet and an outlet, is intricately connected to the air springs, and that’s where the magic begins.

The adjustable inlet and outlet piping seamlessly link to the inlet and outlet ends of the reference meter section. They offer the flexibility to adjust horizontal length, vertical height, and rotational position relative to a horizontal plane. This adaptability ensures compatibility with varying field setups.

When in action, gas flows through an in-field gas flow meter run, simultaneously passing through the calibrated ultrasonic gas flow meter in the trailer’s reference meter run. A control valve allows verification of gas volume at different flow velocities, assuring unparalleled accuracy assessment under various conditions.

The impact is monumental. Calibration now becomes a swift, non-disruptive process. With this achieved efficiency, downtime is limited to the time required to complete a circuit between the meter run, portable verification system, and main pipeline.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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