Is this the next generation of mag meter?

ABLE Business Development & Marketing Manager, Dave Quelch
ABLE Business Development & Marketing Manager, Dave Quelch

ABLE Instruments & Controls believe their partner company McCrometer has invented the next generation of mag meter, with a unique and ground-breaking configuration.

Here, ABLE’s Business Development & Marketing Manager, Dave Quelch, explores the advantages of this new patented technology, and why he thinks it will revolutionise flow metering forever.

We are currently experiencing a greater need to do as much as we can to manage and prevent leaks within our potable water distribution systems, whilst minimising costs. A flow meter, as a tool for leakage monitoring, assists with leak detection processes by narrowing down or localizing the area in which a leak may exist. Electromagnetic flow meters have been a common tool used by towns & cities in traditional locations and applications.

What is the Next Generation Mag Meter?

FPI Probe

ABLE Instruments & Controls Ltd believe the FPI Mag meter represents the next generation of development of magnetic flow meter technology and employs a unique and ground-breaking configuration whereby the coils and electrodes are assembled in a tube that inserts into a pipe perpendicular to the full flow profile of the pipe. The advantages of this configuration are numerous in a wide variety of applications. ABLE considers the new FPI Mag to be unique in fit and form and attests that there is nothing comparable on the market ; in function the FPI Mag meter is just that – a mag meter.

Extensive testing at a third-party accredited flow laboratory has confirmed that the FPI Mag is comparable to a full-bore mag in terms of performance and specifications. The FPI Mag achieves this by measuring flow at various points within the pipe diameter. An accuracy rating of ± 0.5% from 1 ft/s to 32 ft/s (0.3 m/s to 10 m/s), and ±1% from 0.3 ft/s to 1 ft/s (0.1 m/s to 0.3 m/s) of reading bears testimony to this, but the differentiator is that FPI Mag can be installed under pressure!

The FPI Mag uses a multi-electrode sensor design that measures flow across the entire pipe diameter and exemplifies the robustness, rangeability, and accuracy rating of a full-bore mag meter while providing the ability to install and remove the meter under pressure by its hot tap installation method.

The manufacturer McCrometer has been able to demonstrate via several field installations for clients that the ability for a utility to install and remove the FPI Mag under pressure means significant cost savings and provides greater budget flexibility. Generally, figures have shown that If the FPI Mag is being installed for the first time, a cost saving of up to 45% can result from not needing to shut down the service processes during installation, as well as a reduction in manpower, materials, and equipment.

Of course, the reverse is true, the meter can be removed from a live process for cleaning and calibration if dictated by the customer’s asset management regulations.

A Solution for Leakage Monitoring

Using flow meters for monitoring and leak detection begins with understanding the ground or surface water quantity drawn from the intake source. By positioning a meter in multiple locations throughout the treatment or distribution system, the flow of water is measured as it passes through each of these processes. Analysis and tracking can be documented showing the percent of loss between each location as the water passes. A higher than expected percent of loss or a significant change in the percent of loss over time can indicate that there is a leak within the zone or district being monitored. Pump stations are another example of a good measuring location. Equipment such as a pump can need repair, including seal replacement, which may result in leaking equipment.

Severn Trent Water Case Study

One of ABLE’s valued customers, Severn Trent Water (STW) in Coventry, Warwickshire, uses the FPI Mag in various sites to track non-revenue water loss.

STW has reported that these installations have highlighted significant discrepancies downstream with older meters installed allowing them to pinpoint pressure zones with issues. Once an issue is identified the pipeline can be broken into subzones to facilitate simple investigation. The immediate benefit referenced by STW is a drop in production costs, but this also serves to support the utility’s commitment to water conservation and resource preservation.

The ability for STW to understand where the losses are occurring within the network has made a significant impact on their bottom line.

Stuart Dobson, Transformation Change Analyst for STW expressed the view that: “From the start of the process through to the installation of the large meters from Able has been seamless; communication with Technical Sales & Service has been vital to making the installation process easy and smooth. Furthermore, in our experience, fitting these meters under pressure allows minimal disruption to STW sites and water distribution.”

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