Major University Meets Energy Upgrade Challenge

The University of Akron has a reputation for being environmentally active in their use of energy resources.  They noticed that their two largest consumers of energy on campus were their hot and chilled water systems. Their hot water system, in particular, had always been a metering challenge due to the high temperatures (up to 400 °F) and pressure (up to 400 psi). Since the hot water is supplied from an external party, the university wanted to have its own check metering systems in place to verify that the billing was accurate.

The responsible engineers decided against intrusive metering for numerous reasons. Intrusive meters would be expensive to install, the supply would have to be shut down to calibrate the system, and the meters would not last long in the extreme conditions of their environment. Fortunately, Akron finally found a meter that could accommodate all of their concerns: the FLEXIM Ultrasonic Clamp-on meter. FLEXIM offers non-intrusive meters that clamp-on to the outside of the pipe, eliminating expensive and complicated installs. In addition, FLEXIM offers a solution for measuring in extremely high temperature conditions, known as the WaveInjector. It permits the transducer to be mounted at a safe distance from the pipe while still maintaining accurate readings. This solution enables a set of standard transducers to operate accurately at temperatures ranging from -310 °F up to 1100 °F.

The accuracy and reliability of the FLEXIM meter in these extreme conditions was able to show the university that they were indeed not being billed correctly. These results, along with the high precision, virtually unlimited turndown ratio, and high accuracy at very low flows inspired Akron to use FLEXIM in all of their metering projects moving forward. Today, the same meter they installed almost 10 years ago, still operates with the same high accuracy at the same extremely high temperatures and pressures.

Akron University continued to add more meters to their buildings for hot, chilled and domestic water flow measurement. They were particularly drawn to the FLEXIM meters because they are maintenance free with no calibration needed and offer excellent low flow measurement capabilities. Additionally, the meters communicate directly with their building management system, enabling full monitoring transparency.

Advantages

  • Non-invasive flow and  thermal energy measurement in extreme conditions
  • No process interruption for installation
  • Very high accuracy even in challenging conditions – especially at very low flow rates
  • Virtually maintenance-free, no need for (re) calibration, very long life time
  • Direct communication with building management systems for full monitoring transparency

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