The key to energy management begins with flow measurement. There are many variables in large buildings, cities and complexes that can complicate the measurement. 

As energy costs rise, energy efficiency becomes increasingly important. This has been recognized in both public and private sectors. Energy efficiency affects all aspects of our lives and no more so than in the building environment. Forty percent of energy consumption and carbon emissions in Europe and the United States comes from the way our buildings are lit, cooled and heated. Even comparatively small changes in energy performance and the way we use each building will have a significant effect in reducing total energy consumption.

Ultrasonic solutions for steam flow measurement can provide advantages over traditional technologies, such as:

  • The ability to measure steam during the off-season, during lower consumption usage
  • A wider range of coverage for flow rates
  • Reduces steam generation costs due to no pressure drop

Improve your bottom line with flow solutions from Panametrics

Steam and natural gas flow measurement

Steam and natural gas flow measurement

When you have district heating, measuring the amount of steam consumption at various points in the distribution is beneficial. Billing, efficiency studies, control, and energy rebates are all reasons utility directors have an interest in measuring steam. 

Ultrasonic technology provides significant advantages over traditional technologies.  A single ultrasonic flow meter can cover a wide range of flows, giving additional savings. Because of their limited turndown ratios, conventional meters are used in multiple runs to cover all steam flow rates during high and low demand periods.

• Ultrasonic steam and gas flow meters with wide range, high resolution and zero pressure drop or energy loss

• Vortex flow meters for cost-effective and reliable mass flow measurement

Liquid flow measurement

Liquid flow measurement

Ultrasonic portable or fixed clamp-ons for ease of use and simple installation on outside of the pipe.

There is a wide range of flow metering technologies and the selection of the correct solution to meet individual challenges requires research and comparison.

Ultrasonic flow metering has become one of the fastest growing technologies for district energy applications. Unlike older mechanical technologies such as turbine and positive displacement that are subject to mechanical issues, ultrasonic advantages include: Ultrasonic clamp-on flow meters share all the advantages of ultrasonic flow metering, and are installed on the outside of the pipe without cutting into the pipe or shutting down the process. Used for fixed installations and as portables to measure flow at multiple locations.

Energy flow measurement

Energy flow measurement

Energy efficiency is important and so monitoring it is key to any energy efficiency strategy—both to identify inefficient energy usage and to ensure that discrete zones within building complexes are accurately billed for their energy consumption. In building complexes such as university campuses and government facilities, energy monitoring relies very much on the measurement of the flow of the heating or cooling media and the conversion of this data into energy units.

• Wetted transducer installations with high accuracy and no pressure drop

• Portable meters to spot check existing pipes for system efficiency and to troubleshoot other flow meters and valves

Ultrasonic flow meters for water and steam

The path to energy efficiency in buildings includes many steps. It is important that buildings are designed to conserve energy, in terms of the materials used and the insulation provided, to preserve the energy supplied to the building.

It is important that the lights within a building are used intelligently to maximize the use of natural daylight and to ensure that they are switched on only when required. It is important that any plant and machinery used in heating, cooling and air conditioning operate effectively and are serviced regularly to optimize efficiency.

There are many types of flow meters, both for water and for steam. This can make the correct selection of a flow technology a difficult task, as each offers different benefits and disadvantages. Let's review some meters commonly used for district energy flow measurement.

Orifice plate flow meters
Simple, rugged, reliable and inexpensive and have no moving parts.
Turbine flow meters
Mechanical devices, measuring flow from the action of the flow on a movable component. Most widely used are turbine meters, where the linear velocity of the fluid stream rotates a primary impeller element.
Magnetic flow meters
For measuring water flow, but cannot measure compressible fluids. typical accuracy of +/- 0.3% of reading and they do not create a pressure drop.
Vortex flow meters
Offer a cost-effective, accurate and reliable measurement for volumetric and mass flow of water and steam. They do not need re-calibration and can offer a volumetric flow rate repeatability of +/-0.1% of rate and a mass flow rate repeatability of +/-0.2% of rate.
Ultrasonic flow meters
Ultrasonic flow meters have been used for liquid flow measurement for more than 40 years. Ultrasonic flow meters have no moving parts to wear out. They do not obstruct the flow so do not create a pressure drop. They offer a wide turndown or rangeability and have high accuracy, according to their specific design.
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