An intelligent flow meter is used for the measurement of flow; liquid or gas, in various commercial applications. The measurement of fluid flow is performed utilizing varied technologies, one of them includes ultrasonic technology.
The growing automation has led to the installation of smart flow meters in different building automation flow measurement and energy measurement projects. In HVAC, there is a requirement for an extensive metering program for the management and conservation of HVAC resources in a building. Intelligent or smart flow meters provide superior accuracy and complies with the standard calibration procedures. The ultrasonic meters have been utilized for the effective measurement and control of hot and cold water for the optimization of the building cooling systems. Operational costs have also been reduced, in addition to contributing to energy consumption. With advancements in technology, ultrasonic technology has found immense use in flow measurement, it is mainly attributed to improvements in ultrasonic transducers that have led to making them cheaper, small, and widely available. Also, the presence of advanced integrated analog circuits has allowed the real-time capturing and processing of ultrasonic transducer waveforms in order to get an accurate TOF (Time Of Flight) information. TOF is a round-trip time assessment of an ultrasonic wave that is emitted from a sensor to an object of interest. It is then reflected back from the targeted object to the sensor. This is the principle behind the measurement of flow rates via an ultrasonic sensor resulting in deriving consumption data for billing consumers.
Apart from being accurate and small in size, these meters do not contain any moving parts, hence, this makes an irresistible choice for the manufacturers to replace the mechanical-type flow meters, further contributing to propelling the market growth. However, for the manufacturers, it is important to understand the pipe design and transducer positioning in order to gain from the benefits offered by these intelligent/smart flow meters for the effective measurement of flow rate. Furthermore, in industrial markets, the semiconductor chips are playing a huge role in transforming mechanical equipment into an electromechanical or a fully-electronic instrument. Each market is divided into different applications and it is expected by the silicon manufacturers to spend time in product designing according to the specific industrial application.
The growing energy sector along with the increasing demand for energy and power has led to the modernization of the energy grid for making it more efficient, robust, and secure. This has further created a high demand for the increasing use of electronics and has opened up huge opportunities for innovation, functionality enhancement, and reduction of cost and size. Additionally, with the ongoing energy consumption drive, there is a call for the integration of the conventional grid with the distribution grid for the formation of the connected grid. Thus, intelligent meters that form an important part of the energy and power sector is further propagating the market demand. According to the EIA, U.S. Energy Information Administration, it is estimated that the energy consumption in the buildings sector, including residential and commercial construction, is poised to surge by 65% between 2018 and 2050. This is accounted to rise from around 91 quadrillion to achieve 139 quadrillion Btu. The factors attributed to rising energy demand include growing urbanization, growing income, and increased access to electricity.
Source: EIA Gov, Energy Consumption in Buildings Sector, in Quadrillion Btu
It has been further predicted by the organization that there is a rapid growth of electricity generation through renewables that include solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. These are projected to be the fastest-growing energy source from 2018 to 2050, exceeding the utilization of petroleum and other liquids for energy generation. The global renewable energy consumption is estimated to soar by 3.1% every year between the time period, 2018-2050, further contributing to propelling the intelligent flow meters market growth. On the other hand, the consumption of petroleum and other liquids is projected to increase by 0.6% annually, coal consumption is estimated to grow by 0.4%, and natural gas consumption is projected to increase by 1.1%.
The worldwide consumption of natural gas is estimated to increase by over 40% from 2018 to 2050, the total consumption is predicted to attain around 200 quadrillion Btu by the end of 2050. Furthermore, apart from the utilization of natural gas for electricity generation, the consumption has increased in the industrial sector as well. It is mostly utilized for chemical and primary metals manufacturing, oil and natural gas extraction is required for fulfilling most of the increasing industrial demand. The global consumption of liquid fuels is estimated to increase by over 20% from 2018 to 2050 and the total consumption is projected to attain over 240 quadrillion Btu by the end of 2050. The demand from the OECD countries are projected to remain stable, in the non-OECD countries, it is estimated to surge by 45% during the same projected period. Hence, with the rising consumption of energy sources, the market growth is projected to strengthen at present and in the upcoming years.
Amid the COVID pandemic scenario, it was noticed that the demand for electricity fell rapidly with lockdown measures in various industries. It, however, recovered at a steady pace with relaxations but is still lower in comparison to the pre-lockdown estimates. However, it has been noticed that even though electricity demand dropped due to the reductions in industrial operations, this was offset by the high demand from the residential sector.
The intelligent flow meters market growth is predicted to be impacted with the shutting-down of manufacturing sites of many industries due to workforce shortages and preventive measures taken in order to stop the further spreading of viral particles, however, with recovery, it is predicted to again gain pace following the new normal conditions.
Furthermore, intelligent flow meters are used in the food and beverage industry for flow measurement in breweries, for the measurement of starch concentration, flow measurement in soft drinks and juice processes, and measuring flow in bakeries and fermentation processes. In steel mills, intelligent flow meters are used for monitoring oil spray on the top and bottom of a continuous feed steel sheet in order to assure quality and oil coating optimization. Hence, with the growing steel industry, the market is projected to grow at a significant pace. According to the World Steel Association, the global steel demand is predicted to rise by 3.9% to attain 1,775.0 Mt, further increasing by 1.7% and reach 1,805.7 Mt from 2019 to 2020.
Source: World Steel Association, Global Steel Demand, in Mt
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Vibha Saklani is a Market Research Analyst at KSI, working on the estimates and global reports on multiple industries spanning from IoT to food and beverages, with a special knack for healthcare, medical devices, and related markets. With the addition of her formal education in Biotechnology and having a research background, she is able to shed more light on the detailed analysis of the story. To read more articles by her, and for more information regarding multiple global markets, visit www.knowledge-sourcing.com.