Pumping Station Flow Measurement - Rapid Deployment, Cost Reduction and No Disruption

Thames Water have installed a Pulsar Flow Pulse non-invasive flow monitor at a pumping station in Henley on Thames, benefitting from the unit’s rapid deployment and making a substantial saving compared with the likely installation cost of the Magflow alternative.

Equipment used:

  • Flow Pulse Sensor

  • Flow Monitor Controller

In this two-pump station, Thames Water were interested in monitoring pump station performance along with checking the individual condition and efficiency of each pump. While much can be inferred from derived flow calculations, direct flow monitoring is much more informative about pump station operation. The usual way to achieve that would be by installing a magflow type meter. In this case, that would have required groundwork, including the building of a separate chamber adjacent to the existing pumping station to house extra pipework and the magflow meter. Given the position of the station, by a busy A Road, that work would probably have required traffic control to be put in place.

Instead, a Flow Pulse unit from Pulsar was used. Completely non-invasive, Flow Pulse installation is by means of a simple band and a silicon pad to make a close contact with the pipe, and the unit can be positioned close to pipe bends or flanges. Flow Pulse works by ‘firing’ an ultrasound pulse from a high-output ceramic crystal through the pipe wall, and analysing the flow using a novel signal analysis technique called Refracted Spread Spectrum Analysis (RSSA), which is able to consolidate the real flow information from the mass of signals coming from the particles, bubbles, turbulence, vortices and eddies within the flowing liquid.

Cost saving was of course important but, by using Flow Pulse, Thames Water were also able to avoid extensive groundwork and did not affect station flow, so there was no disruption to local traffic or neighbouring properties, and no need to tanker sewage away. The Flow Pulse was installed with Pulsar’s optional Flow Monitor controller to power the unit and to provide a local display of flow rate.