Measuring the calorific value of mixed gaseous fuels can be difficult. These complex mixtures of combustible and non-combustible gases and vapors can vary in concentration or composition over time due to changing conditions. Perhaps it is the rate of change or a wide range of water vapor at different process temperatures. Maybe the combustibles vary widely in composition under different process conditions. It's also possible that the heating value itself varies over a wide range, very lean at some times and very rich at others. Either way these conditions present measuring challenges.

Here are 6 things to consider when designing a system for continuous monitoring of the calorific value of mixed gaseous fuels:

  1. Heating prevents errors from condensation of water vapor. The sample stays intact during measurement.
  2. Heating allows combustible gases with low vapor pressure (high boiling points) to be measured without losses in the sampling system. False low readings are avoided.
  3. The aspirated system does not increase pressure above the process conditions, preventing condensation of water vapor or combustible gas that would otherwise condense. The sample is not affected.
  4. Combustion calorimeter has good response factors, especially useful for unknown mixtures, practically “anything that burns.”
  5. The use of hydrogen fuel stabilizes the flame and widens the measurement range, including zero. The flame is always ready to measure.
  6. Its speed provides a continuous measurement that is useful when process conditions can change quickly. Speed can be as important as accuracy. Often, speed is crucial.

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