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Micronics Clamp-On Ultrasonic water meters provide flow measurement for Heat Metering at University of Manchester


The University of Manchester's Energy Management and Building Services team have installed 15 Micronics Heat Meters, utilising Micronics UL2000 Clamp-On, Ultrasonic flow meters as part of their ongoing energy management programme.

The university's heating requirement including LTHW and MTHW is supplied from shared Energy Centres and distributed via a steel pipe network, ranging in size from 200 to 300mm. To comply with current legislation and implement the university's best practice energy management program, the campus is monitored and managed by Energy Cost Centres with Display Energy Certificates required for all areas >1000m2 and the University has to account for 90% of the energy flow from the Energy Centres.

Implementing the installation of Heat Meters in an existing distribution network of 200 to 300mm pipe-work would be a major task using in-line meters, which led Chris Cunningham, Assistant Mechanical and Energy Engineer and the team to specify Clamp-On, Ultrasonic flow measurement. Chris says “After considering the various options Clamp-On, ultrasonic flow measurement was clearly the most cost-effective and least disruptive solution for measuring flow in our distribution network. In-line meters would have been more expensive and very disruptive requiring system drain-down and cutting pipe work”.

The meters provide ½ hour consumption data, which is supplied for analysis via the University's data-concentrators and campus Ethernet network, providing energy consumption data for 24hr Laboratories, Conference and Teaching blocks.

Micronics were selected as the supplier due to the University's previous experience using the Micronics Portaflo, portable ultrasonic, Clamp-on flow meter. And a combination of Micronics profile in the market, long-term experience with Ultrasonic Clamp-On technology plus competitive pricing and product performance i.e. best value! Chris has been pleased with the performance of the Micronics products and says the pre and post order service support has also been good, however, he feels the requirement for annual calibration and the associated costs is an area, which requires further consideration. The project has been a success and there are future plans to use the same technology on the University's Chilled Water circuits.

The project has demonstrated how Clamp-On – Ultrasonic technology can be successfully implemented as a cost-effective, minimal disruption solution to provide heat energy measurement and the potential for replication on similar campus sites is significant.

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