Thermal-Mass Modules for Smart Gas Meters
Sensirion gas meter modules are based on the thermal-mass measurement principle, which is the most versatile flow measurement technology. It is used in a wide range of challenging high-volume applications in the automotive, medical and industrial sectors. Sensirion’s success is due to the tried-and-tested CMOSens® technology, which combines the flow sensor and analysis electronics on a single semiconductor chip: this technology provides excellent sensing performance and robustness at ultra-low power consumption and attractive costs. Sensirion’s gas meter modules are perfectly suited to both residential and industrial applications (covering G1.6 to G25 flow ranges).
Proven by over 6 million meters in the field, billions of hours of reliable metering and independent laboratory tests after 10 years of field installation
Natural Gas and H2-Ready
Ready for the future and any gas mixtures, including natural gas types H, L, and E, H2 blends, pure H2 and biomethane
Cut Battery Costs
Thanks to ultra-low power consumption of <130 mAh / year
Compact Meter and Lower Logistics Costs
Thanks to a highly compact size and no moving parts. The meter size is independent of the H2 content
No Need for a Volume Converter
Sensors’ output volume flow is referred to as standard temperature and pressure (standard m3/h)
Equip your meter with leak detection functionality, thanks to ultra-low flow sensitivity and the sensor’s absolute pressure output
Lower Certification Costs
Save 30% of your meter certification costs thanks to sensor evaluation certification according to EN 14236 and OIML R 137 (EN 17526 pending)
A Clear H2 Ratio in the Gas
The module can determine the H2 ratio in the gas mixture. This information can be used for grid monitoring purposes, shared with environmentally conscious consumers and used for connected appliances
Zero Service Costs
No meter re-calibration needed thanks to zero offset and zero sensor drift. No moving parts mean no wear and tear
Tamper-Proof and Smart
Enable smart features like tampering detection, self-diagnostics and grid analytics
Competitive on Costs
Thanks to a streamlined design, high-volume production and a high level of integration on a semiconductor chip
Trend towards Energy Metering
Thermal-mass technology provides foundation for the future implementation of energy content monitoring of natural gas. Already today, the sensors can estimate gas calorific value
Thermal-mass Measurement Principle
At the heart of every Sensirion gas meter module is a MEMS-based calorimetric micro sensor, which measures the flow of natural gas using the thermal measurement principle. The sensor element is located on a membrane and consists of a micro-heater and upstream and downstream temperature sensors. The gas flow over the membrane causes a heat transfer to the temperature sensor positioned downstream, and as a result of the temperature difference creates a precisely measurable signal. The sensor element is integrated with the signal conditioning electronics, including memory for calibration data, on a single CMOSens® chip.
Thermal-Mass Gas Metering: Proven over Years
Thermal-mass technology is a proven way of measuring gas and liquid flow. Sensirion pioneered the use of thermal-mass technology in gas metering in the early 2000s.
Two recent studies have now also confirmed this technology’s long-term reliability for applications in harsh environments. The studies investigated thermal-mass gas meters following operation in the field for over 10 years. They concluded that all meters operated well within the accuracy limits prescribed during service and that most meters still met the requirements placed on brand-new gas meters.
Hydrogen-Ready with Sensirion
Climate neutrality, sustainability and the reduction of CO2 emissions are the global trends that are driving the decarbonization of the energy sector. A promising strategy, which is backed by European Union among other supporters, this is designed to gradually replace fossil fuels with renewable gases like green hydrogen and biomethane.
The use of hydrogen for energy storage and distribution purposes requires the key components of the existing gas infrastructure to be adapted. This infrastructure includes gas meters, which must be able to measure natural gas, hydrogen blends and eventually pure hydrogen. It is highly desirable to futureproof a meter and make it ready for this transition today to prevent any need for meter replacement when pure hydrogen enters the pipes.
Gas meters incorporating thermal-mass gas meter modules are the ideal candidates for this task. Thanks to the unique measurement principle, the same thermal-mass sensor can measure natural gas, hydrogen blends and pure hydrogen (alongside biomethane). This is despite the three times higher hydrogen flow rates required compared to natural gas (e.g. G4 meters have Qmax of 6 m3/h for natural gas and 20 m3/h for hydrogen to compensate for hydrogen’s calorific value that is three times lower). It is a unique feature, which cannot be easily implemented with a diaphragm or other static metering technologies, which either have to be tripled in size or require additional complexity and cost for high hydrogen contents.
And read our technical article. There we examine the metrological behavior of the thermal-mass measurement principle for gas meters operating with natural gas mixtures containing significant amounts of hydrogen.
Thermal-mass gas metering: Proven for years, certified for the future
In this webinar, our expert Konrad Domanski, Product Manager for gas flow systems, talks about the use of thermal-mass technology for gas metering. The highlighted topics include the upcoming European standard for thermal-mass gas metering, presentation of long-time (>10 year) field reliability studies of thermal-mass gas meters and the future of gas metering.
The presentation is followed by a round table discussion and Q&A session with four experts involved in different aspects of gas meters: Francesco Rampazzo (SIT), Jim Shields (Secure Meters), Henri Shouten (NMi) and Mark Hornung (Sensirion).
What you can learn from this webinar?
- Learn about the use of thermal-mass technology in gas metering
- Hear about the upcoming EN 17526 standard for thermal-mass gas meters
- Get a direct contact for personal discussions
Author: Konrad Domanski, Product Manager Gas Metering Solutions, Sensirion
Thermal-mass technology is a proven means for measuring the flow of gasses and liquids. The recent technological advances and miniaturization have enabled the use of the technology for high-volume, cost-sensitive applications such as natural gas metering. Two studies published in 2021 now also confirm the long-term reliability of this technology for applications in harsh environments. The studies investigated thermal-mass gas meters following operation in the field for up to over 10 years. They concluded that all meters were operating well within the accuracy limits prescribed during service and that the majority of meters still fulfilled the requirements for brand-new gas meters. Coupled with the release of a dedicated European standard in 2021 (EN 17526), thermal gas technology is therefore a cost-effective, proven and reliable solution for gas metering that is already powering millions of gas meters worldwide. Additionally, it offers extensive self- and network-diagnostic capabilities and is ready for a wide range of natural gas compositions including hydrogen blends and pure hydrogen.
Complete Design-In Solution
Save 30% of meter certification cost thanks to sensor evaluation certification according to EN 14236 and OIML R 137 (EN 17526 pending)
Electronic Reference Design
Use the Sensirion electronic board, including sample code, as a reference during implementation of the sensor-relevant firmware code for a microthermal gas meter.
Integrate Sensirion gas meter modules into gas meter products quickly and efficiently, thanks to the comprehensive documentation.
Perform a basic technology evaluation of Sensirion’s thermal-mass gas modules using the convenient evaluation kit, including readout software.
Benchtop Measurement Set-Up
Perform flow characterization of Sensirion gas meter modules with Sensirion’s compact R&D benchtop set-up for flow measurement.
Benefit from Sensirion’s network in the gas meter component industry.
Sensirion's Gas Meter Modules win Smart Energy Innovation Award
Sensirion has won the Smart Metering Innovation Award at the 8th European Smart Energy and Utility Summit 2017. The jury recognized Sensirion for revolutionizing and moving forward the industry of gas metering with its innovative gas meter modules, based on the thermal-mass technology. Read the complete press release.
Evaluation Certification according to EN 14236 and OIML R 137
Sensirion's gas meter modules have achieved an evaluation certfication in accordance with the harmonized standard EN 14236 and the normative document OIML R 137 for natural gas, types H, L, E, as well as natural gas blends with up to 23%. The evaluation certificate was issued by NMi, one of the leading notified bodies in Europe for type approval examination and certification of measuring instruments. This evaluation certificate makes it easier and faster for gas meter manufacturers to obtain MID approval for gas meters that use Sensirion thermal-mass gas meter modules as core metrological unit.
Gas Meter Modules SGM63xx for natural gas and hydrogen blends
SGM63xx gas meter modules are Sensirion’s latest sensors for smart gas metering applications. Available in G1.6-G25 sizes, they achieve MID accuracy with natural gas, hydrogen blends and biomethane. Thanks to the latest generation CMOSens® flow chip, they are characterized by ultra-low power consumption. Sensirion’s thermal-mass module directly output volume flow at base conditions.
Gas Meter Modules SGM64xx for the hydrogen future
SGM64xx are the next generation gas meter modules, ready for the hydrogen future. Each module achieves MID accuracy with natural gas, biomethane, hydrogen blends and pure hydrogen. The maximum flow range for hydrogen is over 3x higher than that for natural gas. This means, no meter replacement is needed when natural gas in the network is gradually replaced with hydrogen.
For more information contact us.