Process tomography is a method of measuring the internal flows within
process pipes and vessels. The technique is directly analogous to the use
of body scanners on the human body. Initial applications of tomographic
techniques have covered pipes, mixing vessels and other industrial
processes. The technology has spawned a large academic community since it
started in the late 1980's and there is now an established biannual
international congress attracting 100 or more attendees.
Multiphase flow systems are of major commercial importance, and process tomography
is one of the few technologies which has the potential to measure the flow
rates of the individual components at a realistic cost.. Tomoflow Ltd was
established in 2001 to develop commercial
tomographic multiphase flowmeters and has already launched its first
Tomoflow works closely with Process Tomography Ltd,
which has been supplying Electrical Capacitance
Tomography (ECT) imaging systems for use in research applications since
Tomoflow has developed a flow analysis system based on twin-plane ECT. ECT
gives concentration (holdup) images of the flow cross-section in
non-conducting two-phase flows. The flow velocities are measured by
correlating the transit of flow structures between two planes spaced axially
along the pipe. Integrating the product of concentration and velocity over
the area of the cross-section of the pipe yields the volumetric flow rate.
If the material densities are known, the mass flowrates can then be
The Tomoflow innovation allows the multiphase flow measurement problem to be
tackled with an elegant and powerful solution.
For two years, Tomoflow has been involved in a joint development exercise with a world leading multinational. The aim, successfully achieved, was to produce an industrialised, self contained, tomographic two phase flow meter. This new system represents the state of the art in electrical capacitance tomography with a custom computing element for the flow calculations yet it can be produced to a unit cost low enough to allow it to be included in standard factory installations.
The partnership is now seeking a third partner to exploit this
technology in the marketplace and in Q4 2008, we will be presenting
our technology to selected organisations.
The Tomoflow team
At Tomoflow, a unique team has used its complimentary skills to co-invent and develop this exciting technology.
Dr Andrew Hunt Managing Director, has held a variety of senior posts culminating in Director of Engineering Europe for Schlumberger Dowell before joining Tomoflow. He was visiting Professor at UMIST (now Manchester University) from 1994 to 2003 and is a Fellow of the Institute of Measurement and Control. He holds a large number of patents mainly covering multiphase flow.
Malcolm Byars Technical Director, is an experienced electronic engineer. Malcolm co-founded PTL and successfully developed the imaging technology used by Tomoflow creating an international market for ECT imaging systems. He has authored and presented papers at international conferences.
John Pendleton Engineering Director, is an innovative software engineer who has been involved with ECT technology since being an undergraduate. His experience ranges from working at the device level with embedded systems to developing and tuning complex algorithms. When not working on ECT systems, he has written code to manage nuclear processes and mass spectrometers.