Global issues reflected in metrology
Important global issues, such as environment and climate change, also drive development in metrology. Mr Oswin Kerkhof of the Research and Development department at VSL explains how new developments require new innovation.
Mr Kerkhof explains that LNG could be a viable solution to have a cleaner environment: “Other technologies still need considerable development. We see a trend that ships and trucks are switching to LNG as a fuel. It is even predicted that 20% of the diesel market in Europe will be replaced by LNG. The technology already exists. One important issue still needs to be resolved for a successful roll out of LNG as fuel: traceable measurements.. VSL is developing calibration facilities for LNG flow meters and a calibration standard for LNG composition.” Mr Kerkhof will give a lecture on this topic during the conference.
According to Mr Kerkhof, Milestones in Metrology plays an important part in the communication between all parties involved in metrology. “As a global player we see that there are still too many differences between countries. Harmonization is the only way to achieve a good trade between countries.”
He continues: “Many of our customers (manufacturers) for flow meters and related measurement instruments have to deal with many legal agencies all over the world. VSL translates customer needs into solutions and our customers, in turn, can use this information for their own customers when it is related to legal metrology. For example, the calibration/verification facilities of these manufacturers need to be accepted by local government agencies.”
Input for R&D
VSL was present at all conferences and was co-hosting the Milestones in Metrology conference for oil and gas during the opening of EuroLoop in the Netherlands in 2010. VSL will also attend this time and will be giving three presentations. Mr Kerkhof explains that “our main objective is to present VSL’s capabilities. VSL develops many new exciting calibration facilities for the oil and gas industry, but is also active in many other areas of metrology. Meeting other attendees is also very important and we take their input into account when developing our R&D programme. Moreover, other events are mostly scientifically oriented as Milestones focuses more on legal metrology. In our opinion we need both.”
Mr Kerkhof thinks it is a regrettable that bio-fuels are not covered more in the programme: “New fuels will hit the market within the next few years. Can legal metrology keep up with the rapid introduction of requirements on new fuels into legislation? For example the density equations used in flow computers need to be updated constantly, but can only be done after approval. We need to shorten time frames to adapt new developments in legal metrology! Besides legal metrology, we need a more businesslike approach in the field of metrology.”
Start the discussion
If you would like to contact Mr Kerkhof even before the conference, please go to the LinkedIn group Milestones in Metrology where you can send messages to him and other experts (both as a discussion topic in the group or private).
VSL is the National Metrology Institute of the Netherlands, appointed by the Dutch government to maintain and develop the national measurement standards. VSL ensures that measurement results of companies, laboratories, and organizations are directly traceable to international standards. VSL makes an important contribution towards the reliability, quality, and innovation of products and processes, both in business and society at large.
VSL helps industries to have more transparent transactions in the energy market. Energy costs increase enormously and for that reason the accuracy of measurements needs to improve. Measurement uncertainty calculations are vital for companies if they want to understand why there is a difference in the energy they purchase and sell. VSL calculates and writes reports so that buyers and sellers better understand why they lose money as a result of incorrect measurements and measurement uncertainties.