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Best practice and accuracy for desalination plants

SIDEM, now a subsidiary of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, has relied on the solutions and expertise of KROHNE for over 20 years. It now needs to update its equipment to measure the flow rate of sea water into its desalination plant, and chooses KROHNE for the job.

SIDEM must be able to measure the water volumes produced with the units in their desalination plants with a high degree of accuracy. In fact, the amount of potable water provided on a daily basis is huge. For example, the 27 units in the Marafiq plant in Saudi Arabia desalinate 800,000 m³ water per day.

It is thus easy to understand that any error in measurement, no matter how small, inevitably leads to considerable financial losses for the plant operator, making it a top priority that the volume of water be measured with extreme accuracy.

SIDEM’s most recent enquiry involves measuring the flow rate of sea water into the desalination plants in Ras Laffan in Qatar: it is a formidable enquiry, involving the measurement of pipelines with a 3000 mm diameter and a measuring accuracy of less than or equal to 0.3 per cent of the measured value.

In order to guarantee this measuring performance on a permanent basis, two flowmeters with 3000 mm diameter must be installed in series. The difference between the two measurements may never exceed 0.2 per cent. This often requires the calibration of two electromagnetic flowmeters in series.

KROHNE was the only one up to this challenge, thanks to its calibration facility, which is the world’s most precise.

The KROHNE ALTOMETER production plant in the Netherlands features 12 calibration rigs for calibrating measuring devices with diameters ranging from 2.5 mm to 3000 mm and allowing for outputs of up to 30 000 m³/h.

To ensure compliance with international standards, these rigs have received RvA certification (equivalent to the German DKD or French Cofrac) and guarantee a measuring accuracy of 99.987 per cent.

On 29 October 2008, SIDEM placed an extraordinary order with KROHNE, the scope of which is unprecedented in the water industry. This order has great symbolic significance, recognising KROHNE for the quality of its calibrating services as well as for its more than 50 years of experience and expertise.

Established in 1921, KROHNE is a family-owned business employing 2,510 people around the world with representatives on all continents. The company headquarters are based in Duisburg, Germany. KROHNE develops and manufactures measurement technology.

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