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Natural Gas Flow Calibration Service



Aaron N. Johnson


This document describes NIST's high pressure natural gas flow calibration service (NGFCS). Flow calibrations are conducted offsite at the Colorado Experimental Engineering Station Incorporated (CEESI) in Garner, Iowa. A parallel array of nine turbine meter working standards (TMWS) are used to calibrate customer flowmeters over a flow range from 0.25 m3/s to 9 m3/s at nominal pressures of 7500 kPa and at ambient temperatures. Over this flow range the expanded uncertainty varies from 0.25 % to 0.27 % (increasing at lower flows). All flowmeter calibrations are traceable to NIST standards. In particular, each of the nine TMWS is traceable to the NIST's primary flow standards via a bootstrap process using critical flow venturis (CFVs), while auxiliary measurements (e.g., pressure, temperature, frequency, etc.) are traceable to the appropriate NIST standard. This document provides a detailed analysis of the bootstrap procedure used to establish NIST traceability and the uncertainty of this procedure. In addition, the document gives information about the flow measurement capabilities of the NGFCS (i.e., types of meters calibrated, calibration setup, calibration procedures, a sample calibration report, etc.).
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1081
Report Number


1) Critical Flow Venturi, 2) Natural Gas Flow Calibration Service, 3) Nozzle Array, 4) Turbine Meters, 5) Primary Flow Standard, 6) Natural Gas, 7) Custody Transfer, 8) Natural Gas Flow Measurement, 9) Traceability of Natural Gas Flow Measurements to NIST


Johnson, A. (2008), Natural Gas Flow Calibration Service, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created August 1, 2008, Updated November 10, 2018