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power and energy

The power and energy industry relies on advanced measurement and calibration to ensure efficiency, safety, and reliability. Metrology equipment and services provide the extreme precision needed for optimal performance. Here are the key applications of metrology in the power and energy sector.

Quality Control During Manufacturing

 Strict quality control during manufacturing is crucial for power and energy components. Advanced metrology systems conduct detailed inspections of parts and materials. This verifies that turbine blades, generators, solar panels, batteries, and other components meet your required specifications. Metrology detects microscopic defects that could lead to catastrophic failures down the line.

     Power and energy manufacturers use coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) for dimensional inspection. CMMs use touch probes to take precise measurements of the parts you manufacture. The measurements are compared to the original CAD model to identify any deviations. Visual inspection systems are also common. These allow you to use high-resolution cameras to capture minute defects on surfaces.
     Metrology ensures that materials have the proper microstructure and mechanical properties. Scanning electron microscopes examine metals and alloys at the nanoscale. Spectroscopy techniques characterize the molecular structure. And hardness testers measure material strength and ductility.

Maintenance and Repair

Power plants and facilities require regular maintenance to sustain performance. Maintenance teams use metrology for repair work and preventive maintenance. Portable CMMs and laser trackers provide precise measurements of large components like your turbines and generators. This identifies wear, damage, and misalignment issues. Metrology provides the precision needed for such repairs. Vibration sensors also detect abnormal vibrations signaling potential problems.

    Oil and gas pipelines rely on inline inspection tools known as “pigs.” These instruments use nondestructive testing as they travel through the pipe. Ultrasonic and radiographic testing find flaws and damage in pipe walls. Metrology sensors characterize the pipe shape. This helps you detect deformations needing repair.

Improving Design and Engineering

Metrology fuels innovation in your power and energy equipment design. Detailed 3D scans of components create precise digital twins. Engineers perform simulations and analysis on these models to improve performance. Reverse engineering using metrology probes extracts design data from existing parts. This enables you to redesign components for greater efficiency and longevity.

    For example, gas turbine makers use metrology to study airflow and combustion dynamics. This leads to optimized blade shapes and fuel injection patterns. Metrology also aids in lightweighting parts to improve efficiency. And simulations on metrology-based models help predict fatigue life of materials.

Research and Development

Metrology is indispensable for R&D in the energy industry. For renewable energy research, metrology tools characterize performance of new materials. This includes testing efficiency of solar cells, battery charge/discharge analysis, and material fatigue studies. Metrology also evaluates longevity of new coatings and lubricants for your turbines and equipment.

    In addition, metrology aids in developing new energy sources like advanced nuclear, geothermal, etc. This provides more examples of metrology’s impact on emerging technologies.
    In oil and gas, metrology sensors monitor pipeline integrity. This provides data to develop smarter corrosion and leak detection methods. And enhanced reservoir modeling using metrology data improves drilling efficiency and oil recovery. Government and corporate labs also rely on precision metrology for energy research.

Metrology Standards and Regulations

Given its crucial role, metrology for power must meet strict accuracy standards. National metrology institutes like NIST provide traceability to the SI system. Accreditation bodies ensure commercial labs follow international standards like ISO/IEC 17025. And industry groups publish consensus standards for specific equipment calibration.

    Power and energy components undergo rigorous government regulations. For example, nuclear plant parts adhere to strict NRC quality standards. And electricity meters must follow NIST accuracy guidelines. Proper calibration reduces revenue loss from inaccurate utility meters. Metrology demonstrates regulatory compliance. Independent testing labs use metrology to provide unbiased measurements for your certification needs.

Calibration Services for Utilities

Electric utilities require periodic calibration of field instruments and lab equipment to maintain measurement accuracy. On-site calibration vans minimize downtime. And utilities send lab instruments to accredited firms on a schedule.

    All transmission system sensors and monitoring devices need regular calibration. This includes phasor measurement units, fault recorders, revenue meters, and more. Gas utilities similarly calibrate flow meters and analyzers regulating distribution. Calibration management software tracks instruments and schedules recalibrations.

Advanced Metrology is Essential for Power and Energy

Advanced metrology delivers the precision, reliability, and traceability you need in power and energy. It ensures quality, safety, and optimal performance across the sector. 

    Metrology provides the technical foundation for innovation and efficiency gains in your equipment and fuels. So whether for manufacturing, R&D, or field use, metrology is a necessity for power and energy companies today. Investing in the latest metrology tools and calibration services fuels success in this important industry.

Contact Great Lakes Metrology today to get started. 


What are some examples of metrology equipment used in power?

    Common tools include CMMs, laser trackers, laser scanners, microscopes, material testers, calibration instruments, inline sensors, and field measurement devices.

What standards apply to metrology in energy?

    Key standards are ISO/IEC 17025, ANSI Z540, NERC, and regulations from NIST, NRC. Traceability to national metrology institutes is essential.

How often should power plant equipment be calibrated?

    Calibration intervals vary by equipment type and criticality. Sensors and instruments are often calibrated annually. Lab equipment may be calibrated every 6-24 months. Mission-critical tools like revenue meters require more frequent calibration for uptime.

Should power companies use in-house or third-party calibration services?

    A combination is ideal. External labs calibrate highly precise equipment. On-site vans handle field instruments efficiently. In-house labs calibrate general tools. This balances costs, uptime, and measurement assurance.

How can metrology improve efficiency and emissions for power generation?

    Precise metrology enables optimizing turbine and generator design, fuel injection, materials performance, and other efficiency and emissions factors. Metrology-based models, sensors, and testing capabilities allow continual efficiency improvements.

power and energy

L100 CMM Laser Scanner

The L100 is ideal for non-contact inspection of components where productivity is key, without having to compromise on accuracy. It offers exceptional precision and delivers high levels of detail.

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XC65Dx CMM Laser Scanner

The triple-laser XC65Dx cross scanner captures 3D features and surfaces in a single pass, greatly increasing scanning productivity.

Thanks to its patented, triple-laser configuration, the XC65Dx cross scanner captures comprehensive information about complex 3D geometric features and freeform surfaces in a single scan.

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The Mitutoyo CARBapex/CARBstrato Series 355-Car Body Measuring System CNC CMM are a cost-effective horizontal type, large CNC CMMs, and offer the world’s largest class measurement range with capacity up to 8 meters (26 feet) that makes it possible to measure car bodies. These CMMs are capable of interchanging contact and non-contact probes, millions of measurement points can be collected in a short time.

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FALCIO-Apex 2000G/3000G/4000G/4500G

The FALCIO-Apex series is a large gantry CNC CMM designed to measure large, heavy pieces with high-accuracy and high-drive speed.

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SmartScope Quest 800

SmartScope® Quest™ 800 is an extremely accurate floor model coordinate measurement system incorporating scanning probe, touch probe, micro-probes, and the patented TeleStar® Plus TTL laser for versatility and accuracy.

The Quest 800, with its extensive 790 x 815 x 300 mm XYZ measurement volume (and available 400 mm Z-travel), is designed to measure very large parts. A solid granite bridge platform rests on a sturdy steel support structure and the bridge design limits measured part motion to the Y axis, offering measurement stability.

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ShapeGrabber Ai820

Shapegrabber Ai820 is a floor model 3D scanner designed to serve a wide variety of parts in minutes with a high density of data points.

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Offline Programming for Vision

Take offline programming to the next level with CMM-Manager Optical for both Manual and DCC Vision Measurement Systems. Leverage the power of 3D CAD and eliminate interruptions on your production Vision Systems.

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CRYSTA-Apex V1200/1600/2000

The CRYSTA-Apex V1200/1600/2000 series are large sized (starting at 1.2M/47.24″), high-performance, high-accuracy CNC CMMs priced competitively while meeting and exceeding global standards. Vibration is minimized during high-speed, high-acceleration movement.

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PolyWorks ReportLoop

The digital interoperability solution that integrates inspection data in Excel for reporting and advanced analysis

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PolyWorks Reviewer

The free 3D dimensional investigation solution that brings 3D measurement results in the hands of your engineering and manufacturing teams

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Benchtop Multisensor Measurement System

SmartScope® Flash™ 302 is a unique high capacity benchtop multisensor measurement system and one of the most versatile benchtop systems OGP offers.

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Flash 200 | Compact Benchtop System

SmartScope® Flash™ 200 – the smallest member of the Flash family of systems – is a 3D multisensor dimensional measuring system that fits on a benchtop.

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Smart Scope Flash 670

SmartScope® Flash™ 670 is an extra-large capacity 3D multisensor measurement system with a large XYZ measuring range. It is a Floor model system with solid granite base and moving bridge, providing a highly rigid structure for accurate positioning and repeatability.

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SmartScope ZIP HR 250

SmartScope ZIP® HR 250 combines a wide field objective lens, digital zoom, and 5-megapixel monochrome digital camera, providing a distortion-free image at low zoom, with high resolution at high zoom.

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SmartScope ZIP 800

SmartScope ZIP® 800 is a floor model metrology system offering multisensor measurement of large parts, due to its large XYZ measurement volume. Measurement stability is built-in with ZIP 800, since its granite base and bridge provide a rigid, orthogonal base for accurate measurements. SmartScope ZIP 800 is also available with an optional 300 mm of Z-axis travel.

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SmartScope Quest 650

SmartScope® Quest™ 650 is the largest high-accuracy system. Its massive granite base and thermally stable Meehanite® bridge support high-performance linear motor drives.

SmartScope Quest 650 provides high throughput and high accuracy simultaneously. This system comes standard with TeleStar® telecentric 10:1 zoom optics for the highest level of optical performance. SmartScope Quest 650 provides high accuracy movement of large parts.

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SmartScope Quest 450

SmartScope® Quest™ 450 is an extremely accurate floor stand coordinate 3D multisensor measurement system. Both the 450 and 450 with extended Y-travel are designed to measure larger parts, or to accommodate fixtures of multiple parts or rotary indexers. A solid granite bridge design platform rests on a sturdy steel support structure. This yields high-speed stage translation without vibration, maximizing measurement throughput. The bridge design limits measured part motion to the Y axis.

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