Expenditure reduction in the measurement of cationic or acidic conductivity


The online analysis of CACE (conductivity after cation exchange or also acidic or cationic conductivity) is the most necessary parameter to monitor and control the quality of the water-steam cycle of any thermal power plant and process steam in industrial plants.

Typical points of conductivity measurement in water-steam cycles by IAPWS (International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam) include; condensate, feed water, boiler water, steam and replacement water.

The usual practice has been the use of cation exchangers based on resin for the analysis of CACE, which, however, are consumed depending on the water sample, the pH of the sample and the design of the resin column. Therefore, frequent and regular human manipulation is required. This goes against the philosophy of online analytics, which aims to operate in the most autonomous way possible.

Depending on the configuration and layout of the plant, for example in a combined cycle power plant (CTCC) with 2 blocks configured in 2-2-1 (2 gas turbines feeding 2 boilers type HRSG, which supply a turbine of common steam) about a total of 24 CACE analyzers are needed, without considering auxiliary equipment.

Theory and practice

In combined cycles, with AVT (All Volatile Treatment) treatment with a pH of about 9.7 and sample flow rate of 8 liters per hour, the typical 1 liter resin per analyzer is consumed in about 8 weeks. However, this is a theoretical value. The practice shows that for the start-up or change of load of the plants, the impurities in the cycle cause a faster resin consumption, so that 4-6 weeks seems to be a more realistic consumption rate. Nuclear power plants operating at a higher pH have a higher resin consumption and the need for replacement or regeneration is even more frequent.



In the previous example, annual savings of more than $ 37,000 were achieved. The renewal of existing analyzers by a CACE analyzer is quickly amortized.







Conductivity before and after cation exchange with an EDI module for automatic and continuous resin regeneration.
Save operating costs and measure more safely to obtain reliable data constantly.
Automatic calculation and visualization of the concentration of the alkalizing agent and the pH (VGB 450L directive).

Continuous monitoring of:

• Specific conductivity
• Acid Conductivity
• pH value or alkalizing agent

No expensive resin columns are required:
No resin exchange.
It does not need maintenance.
Without chemical products.

Use of a calorimeter to measure the calorific value in torches

In the industrial field, a good design of torches is vital to allow the maximum destruction of “residual gases”. Good design guarantees minimal harmful emissions to the atmosphere. In turn, efficient design and operation will reduce the operating costs.

Residual gases, sent to the torch for destruction, may come from different points of the process. Therefore, monitoring of its calorific power is vital. To ensure maximum efficiency in combustion. In addition it will allow to determine if this gas can be used like fuel by itself, or if it will require enrichment with an auxiliary fuel.

The micro-combustion calorimeters provide a direct measurement of the calorific Power. The sample gas, pre-mixed with a combustible gas, is burned in the equipment. This causes a variation of temperature, which is proportional to the calorific Power. In this way the analyzer provides a direct measure of the calorific Power.

Our analyzer CalorVal, of the American company Control Instruments, belongs to this category of analyzers. Robust and reliable, its design and manufacture have been tested in numerous facilities. This analyzer is capable of supporting the rigorous environmental conditions required in this type of application. It is therefore the optimum solution for the control of the calorific Power in torches.

Simple installation, quick response

The CalorVal is a lightweight and compact analyzer. Suitable for direct field mounting, next to the measuring point. It does not need mounting in a case of analyzers. So it is possible to dispense with long heated lines for sample transport, sample pumps and conditioning systems. The response time is reduced (less than 4 seconds), allowing a fast adjustment of the auxiliary fuel flow of the torch when necessary.


Minimum maintenance

Its particular design, with a camcorder and a fully heated sampling system, avoids the possible condensation of less volatile water vapor and hydrocarbons. Otherwise these could be lost, caused inaccuracies in the measure. In addition the presence of condensates could lead to maintenance problems. This feature, coupled with its simple but efficient Venturi suction sampling system, without pump or mobile parts, reduces the maintenance of the equipment to the minimum possible.

Direct measurement, with universal response

The own technology of Control Instruments applied to the CalorVal, allows to measure the calorific power of a wide variety of gases. Although the equipment has been calibrated for a particular gas, it provides an excellent cross calibration for many other gases, with minimal measurement errors when varying the composition of the sample.

The CalorVal provides a uniform response for a wide range of combustible gases and vapors. Including heavy hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and hydrogen, as well as many other compounds commonly present in waste gases.

If you need to resolve any questions or queries you may have about the gas analyzer, simply fill out the form on our website and one of our experts will contact you as soon as possible.

The automatic sludge mantle level detector

The automatic sludge mantle level detector is an optical measuring system, without moving parts, robust and reliable.



Optimize energy consumption.
Automation of sludge pumping. Instead of pumping at fixed times, pump when really necessary.

Optimize water removal to reduce expensive additional processing (belt presses, digesters, centrifuges, etc.)
Automatically maximize the density of the sludge layer, avoiding pumping large volumes of sludge by pumping water unnecessarily.

Maintain the preferred mud depth.
Automating control of the sludge layer. Overflow and process problems are avoided with this interface level analyzer.

Reduce pump wear. Pump only when necessary.

Maximize operator time and energy.
It installs quickly and easily, without the need to calibrate. Simplify the operation with a durable level measuring instrument.

Reduce the cost of chemical dosing in the DAF or CAF flotation system
Optimize the adjustment of the flocculant precipitate (floc) process and the coagulant dose control.


In municipal water treatment plants (ETAP) and municipal and industrial wastewater (WWTP).

  • Primary and secondary clarifiers
  • Inclined plate clarifiers / separators (Lamellars)
  • Dissolved air flotation tanks (DAF) or cavitation air (CAF)
  • Tank Decantation / Control Decantation.
  • Extraction of minerals such as iron, zinc, copper …
  • Industrial process + clarification of wastewater as in the paper, chemical industry …
  • Batch sequential reactor (SBR)
  • Settling tanks


The LED light beam automatically adjusts its intensity to detect sludge coverage and supernatant interface levels in primary or secondary sludge, or in light flocs

  • The detection of the mud level interface is not distorted by the curved walls of the tanks with lamellae
  • Advanced Self Diagnosis
  • Ultra high intensity infrared rays
  • Automatic beam intensity control
  • Linear 4-20 mA output with mud interface level depth
  • Relays of set point for the depth of the high and low sludge layer

Ask us any questions about the operation of this analyzer and our team of experts in water analytics will advise you technically. Send your email from the contact section.

Analizador in situ IQ² Vulcan (TDLS)

The LaserGas IQ² analyzer, from the Norwegian firm NEO Monitors, is the first TDLAS multiparameter laser analyzer on the market . It is able to analyze up to 4 gases (CO, O2, CH4 and H2O) and temperature with the same equipment.

In this way we could control the combustion (O2 and CO) using the same equipment and simultaneously have an alarm for burner failure (increase in CH4) and / or pipe breakage in boilers (increase in H2O)

The instrument is based on the absorption of infrared radiation by gas molecules (TDLAS). An absorption line in the IR band is selected in which only the gas to be measured has absorption, thus eliminating possible interference due to other compounds present in the sample.

Its new configuration with transmitter and receiver integrated in the same housing facilitates the assembly of the equipment. It is available in addition to configuration with insertion probe (Vulcan), in version for measurement through conduit (X-stack) and “open path” (Open Path)

Minimum / maximum measuring ranges:

CO: 0-100 ppm up to 10,000 ppm * m with limit detection / accuracy = 3 ppm
O2: 0-2% up to 25% with limit detection / accuracy = 0.05% vol
CH4: 0-1% up to 5% with limit detection / accuracy = 0.01% vol

  • Optical path length: 1 m
  • Maximum gas temperature: 850ºC
  • High sensitivity and precision
  • Without interference with other gases contained in the sample
  • Quick response time


  • Combustion analysis.
  • Boilers
  • Process ovens
  • Electrostatic precipitators
  • Recovery of residual gas VCM (vinyl chloride monomer)
  • Gas reformer

If you need to answer any questions or queries you may have about the gas analyzer, just send us an e-mail from the contact section and one of our experts will contact you as soon as possible.

New representative of Matelco for Spain and Portugal

Detector nivel manto de lodos

Matelco expands its products, with the range of mud level detectors from the Canadian company Markland Specialty Engineering Ltd. (https://www.sludgecontrols.com ).

The importance of good control of the mud mantle level will allow us to pump the sludge when it is really necessary. Avoiding overflows, and excess of water.

We are delighted to be able to incorporate your products into our catalog. Thus be able to provide new solutions to the automatic or manual control of the mud mantle.

For more information contact MATELCO, S.A tel. , or by email form from the contact section.

Turbidity measurement for corrosion products in the water-steam cycle

Turbidity measurement as trend monitor for particulate corrosion products

Corrosion product monitoring is essential to determine the effectiveness of the cycle chemistry treatment program.

Lukas Staub, Michael Rziha y Marco Lendi. VGB PowerTech 3|2019

Read the original full article here: Turbidity measurement as trend monitor for particulate corrosion products”

Conference on gas analysis and risks arising from leaks with the ADOS company, our new partner

ADOS: new analysis solutions, gas control and risks derived from leaks.

This week we had the pleasure of sharing with our new partner, the german company ADOS (https://www.ados.de) a very interesting day. It was focused on the analysis of gases and the risks derived from the leakage of potentially dangerous gases in the environment. A good gas control will allow us, early enough, to detect these gases and avoid unnecessary risks. We are delighted to be able to incorporate their products into our catalog. They provide new solutions that minimize the risks derived from the emission of gases. That also helps for protecting people and improving the environment.

For more information contact MATELCO, S.A tel. . You also can use our email form from the contact section.

Factors that impact the accuracy of mass flow meters saw by thermal dispersion; the flow profile and its conditioning PART III

We finish this series of articles on mass flow meters talking about the influence of flow conditioners.

Flow conditioners according to straight sections

The multiple disturbances prior to the equipment have a cumulative effect on the flow profile. If it is not possible to have enough straight sections it is advisable to use a flow conditioner.

The flow conditioners can provide a uniform flow profile at the sensor location. This flow profile is different from the flow profile that occurs when we have the optimal straight stretches for the application. It is essential to calibrate the flowmeter with the flow conditioner knowing the details of the location point. With this we refer to: type of gas, characteristics of the pipeline, straight ascending sections available, disturbances and depth.

Flow conditioners of the Sierra brand: If the straight sections are insufficient, the two types of flow conditioners provide a uniform flow profile.

Online flowmeter: For this type the flow conditioner is integrated into the body of the flow meter.

Conditioner for insertion meters: The assembly of two conditioning plates located between two flanges can be effective. The end user is the one who supplies the flanges for this installation

Conditioner for insertion meters

Internal flow conditioner for insertion style meter


Importance of flow conditioning

Table 1. This table demonstrates the importance of flow conditioning with the Recommended pipe diameters prior to the equipment.


Table 1 shows the length section required in the pipes for a mass flow meter with integrated flow conditioning, compared to an orifice plate.
In all cases, the flow conditioning significantly reduces the recommended distance (straight stretches) prior to the equipment, for a correct installation of the mass meter by thermal dispersion.


Considering Sierra mass flowmeters by thermal dispersion in any application, the location must first be determined with care. It should also be reasoned a posteriori that the most convenient location may not offer the most accurate results. It is important to provide the manufacturer of the thermal mass flow meter, the conditions of application of the end user. That means the data on the pipe, the mixture of gas or gases used, the pressure of the process, and the route as the alterations thereof. In that case the manufacturer will offers us the most appropriate flow meter. The result would be the correct and propitious calibration of the meter in the factory.

For more information contact MATELCO, S.A tel. . You also can use our email form from the contact section.

Factors that impact the accuracy of mass flow meters saw by thermal dispersion; the flow profile and its conditioning PART II

We continue with the second part of the series of articles about our Sierra mass flow meters.


Calibration in factory.

When measuring a gas with mass flow meters by thermal dispersion, it is important that the manufacturer knows the process conditions of the application that the end user requires for that meter. In this way, the manufacturer can calibrate the instrument according to the application. Without doing those previous steps, inaccuracies in the flow velocity may occur.

During the calibration, in the flow bank, by the manufacturer, a specific amount of gas flowing through the sensor is measured. This process is repeated several times throughout the operating range to determine the relationship between the mass flow rate and the signal for the gas and the sensor subjected to calibration.

Points to consider:

1.- Size of the pipeline

check the size of the pipe at the installation site, the thickness of the pipe and the maximum gas velocity. This information must be transmitted to the manufacturer for optimal calibration.

2.- Composition of the gas

It is essential to calibrate the meter with the gas that the end user will use since each gas has different thermal properties. In addition, any change in the composition of the gas will generate incorrect results. While some gases are pure, such as nitrogen or argon, others, such as biogas, consist of a mixture of gases. In the latter case, it is important to have both the Methane and CO2 content. This information must also be transmitted to the manufacturer for a proper calibration.

3.- Wet gas

If there is moisture or particles in the gas, the installation must be modified correctly to prevent any condensate from reaching the sensor. The primary principle of mass flow meters by thermal dispersion involves the transfer of heat caused by the gas flow. The moisture condensed in the gas that comes into contact with the heated sensor rapidly increases the heat transfer, and the flow meter responds with a peak, giving an inaccurate measurement of the flow rate.

Following the next steps can help solve problems with wet gases when measured with Sierra mass flow meters by thermal dispersion:

  • a) Tilt the sensor 45 degrees into the pipe so that if condensations occur on the pipe wall, the gravity itself will move the condensation away from the sensor.
  • b) When a condensate separation tank is used, the condensate accumulates in the bottom separated from the gas. In this case, the gas flows through the container reducing the speed and where it makes a change of direction. Gravity causes condensates to fall while the gas rises and rises, eliminating moisture from the gas.
  • c) In some cases, a heated tape may be applied to the outer surface of the pipe to prevent condensation.

4.- Straight sections previous

Location of the meter installation is crucial. The disturbances adversely affect the flow profile of the gas flow. For more previous disturbances, a pipeline with more straight sections will be needed to achieve the required flow profile.

5.- Depth of insertion

The sensor of the mass flowmeter sensor should be in the center of the pipe because the higher flow velocity will be detected as far as possible from the walls of the pipe. There are at least two methods for inserting the probe in the center of the pipe.

The flowmeter sensor should be installed in the center of the pipe.

Contact us for more information at MATELCO, S.A tel., or send us a mail from the contact section.

Factors that impact the accuracy of mass flow meters saw by thermal dispersion; the flow profile and its conditioning PART I

The selection of the point where to install the flow meter based solely on the ease of installation is an error.

Considerations on the flow profile

This note reviews the flow profile, some considerations about the end-user application. Explore the use of flow conditioners to improve the accuracy of a thermal mass flow meter from the American firm Sierra. It is especially useful in areas where it is impossible to obtain an optimum flow profile.

The velocity profile is used to determine the flow rate of a fluid that flows inside a pipeline. If the optimum profile changes, the accuracy of a thermal mass flow meter decreases. One of the factors that affect the flow profile are the previous straight stretches. If there are not enough sections, a flow conditioner can be used. This allows obtaining a more uniform speed profile, improving the accuracy of the measurement.


Basic principles of the flow profile – Speed ​​profile

Fluids, like gas, flow at different speeds within a pipeline. As the gas enters a circular pipeline, the molecules in contact with the surface of the pipeline stop, creating a boundary layer. Gas flowing in the adjacent layers slows down due to friction, and the gas velocity in the middle section increases to maintain the mass flow through the pipe. Velocity distribution through the pipeline is the velocity profile. The flow profile becomes parabolic once the flow is “fully developed”. By knowing the velocity profile, it is possible to determine the velocity at any point within the pattern.

Speed ​​profile

Understanding the speed profile, it is possible to determine the speed at any point.


The pipe and the straight section upstream of the flow sensor

Each time a flow profile becomes distorted, the accuracy of the meter decreases. The main factors affecting the flow profile are the pipe and the straight section upstream of the flow sensor, with less impact on the subsequent straight sections. In an ideal application, the optimum flow profile occurs when we have a straight, smooth pipe and sufficient straight sections that precede the mass flow meter. In the real world, however, most pipelines do not have enough straight stretches, and flow alterations occur due to; the fittings / couplings, expanders, reducers, valves, T, heads, bends, filters, heat exchangers, regulators, flanges and elbows …

Often, the straight section that precedes the meter requires greater distances to offer the proper flow profile. For example, when an elbow is introduced in the same plane of a line, it will be required that the straight section of the upstream pipeline be at least 25 diameters. Even more straight sections are needed in other types of installations. Often, it is not feasible to obtain a straight section long enough to ensure a perfect flow profile. In these cases, the flow conditioner is an excellent option to consider.


 Elbow 90 Speed ​​profile

Elbow of 90 degrees in the velocity profile.


Installation of thermal mass flow meter

The location for installing a flow meter is very important and often overlooked. Select an installation site based solely on ease of installation, in most cases it turns out to be a failure. The final user must first consider the possible disturbances of the flow of the chosen location for the installation of the flowmeter, before giving it as final. For this reason, it is very important to consider the most effective location. In any case, once the location is selected, the disturbances must be taken into account so that the manufacturer can determine if a flow conditioner is required and, if so, the flow meter would be calibrated at the factory with the corresponding conditioner .

Mass flow meter examples (meter)

Contact us for more information at MATELCO, S.A tel., or send us a mail from the contact section.

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