Litre Meter Press Release

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15 -11-2010

Fuel Cells Quality Controlled With New Sierra Smart Trak Meters from Litre Meter

Custom flow meter manufacturer and distributor Litre Meter has supplied Sierra Smart-Trak volume flow meters to clean power systems company Intelligent Energy for use in its quality control operations.
From its headquarters in Loughborough, Intelligent Energy develops clean power systems based on hydrogen fuel cell technology platforms for OEMs in the aerospace, power generation, oil and gas and transportation power markets.
Intelligent Energy developed the world?s first purpose-built fuel cell motorbike, the ENV, and supplied the fuel cell system to Boeing for the first manned fuel cell powered flights in Spain in 2008. The company is now partnered with the Suzuki Motor Corporation and has formed a joint venture company with Scottish & Southern Energy plc to develop fuel cells for the UK and Ireland residential and commercial combined heat and power (CHP) market.
Engineers at Intelligent Energy selected Smart-Trak digital mass flow meters to measure the flow of gases during fuel cell development.
Dr Jon Moore of Intelligent Energy said: ?The meters are used for a quality control operation that we carry out on certain of our fuel cells. Basically, the way that fuel cells work is that they are fed with slightly pressurised hydrogen and air ? reacting within the cells to give electricity plus water. We use the meters as part of a leak test procedure for  our fuel cells after their assembly.?
Litre Meter has supplied a range of Smart-Trak? M100 instruments designed to measure flow ranges from 0-10 standard cubic centimetres per minute (sccm) up to 0-500 sccm. The meters are highly stable and deliver a measurement accuracy of +/- 1 per cent full scale. Larger sizes are available to 1000 slpm (standard litres per minute). 
Smart-Trak incorporates Sierra?s state-of-the-art Dial-A-GasŪ. Its internal microprocessor is pre-programmed with ten gases that are commonly used in biotech, pharmaceutical, analytical and research applications ? others gases can be substituted to customise the flowmeter for applications. This technology allows the instrument to be used for multiple applications, creating great flexibility as well as helping to reduce spares inventory.
Smart-Trak mass flow controllers are also constructed in 316 stainless steel. The instruments feature a fast-response control valve, primary standard calibration and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) traceability. They also have a pilot module which replaces expensive control and readout electronics, available mounted to the face of the instrument or in a convenient hand-held version. It enables a range of control functions including gas type, setpoint value and source, engineering units, output signal and valve state ? open, closed or automatic.
These control functions are also available from a PC via RS-232. Source code for RS-232 communication is provided but it has optional multi-drop RS-485/MODBUS RTU capability using Sierra?s Compod?.
The Compod? enables simple gas processes like gas mixing and blending, batch control, leak testing and process monitoring at a fraction of the cost of complex programmed logic controllers (PLCs). A Compod?, coupled with Sierra?s Smart-TrakŪ mass flow meters and controllers, simplifies basic flow control installations and permits networking of multiple instruments using open source MODBUS RTU protocol. Two digital outputs and one analogue input can be configured by the end user for a wide variety of process controls. Unlike dedicated PLCs, a Compod? is a small device that mounts locally to the face of the Smart-Trak MFC.
Litre Meter, a leading manufacturer and supplier of custom flow meters, is the UK distributor for the Sierra Instruments range of flow meters. As with Litre Meter?s own range of custom flow meters, Sierra Instruments? range is designed to operate in some of the harshest conditions on the planet.