New Large Meter Accurately Measures Low Flows
In an industry where 60 percent of a utility’s revenue depends on large meters, the efficiency, accuracy and dependability of this equipment is paramount.
In an industry where 60 percent of a utility’s revenue depends on large meters, the efficiency, accuracy and dependability of this equipment is paramount. Large water meters host the highest volume of flow and are a community’s water anchor. Because of its high-flow volume, even a few percentage points of inaccuracy on a large meter can cost utilities thousands of dollars per month.
The new Omni family of large meters from Sensus features “Floating Ball Technology” that can measure both high and extremely low flow rates
Sensus Metering Systems is releasing Omni, a large commercial water meter that proved in testing to eliminate a utility’s need to write-off low water flow as immeasurable. The center of this new meter is a concept called “Floating Ball Technology,” or FBT.
FBT is a water measuring device that is virtually weightless in water and has no friction while it operates as the ball impeller floats. The result, according to testing data, is a large meter that measures at both high and extremely low flow rates. This expanded accuracy range allows recovery of more revenue than a traditional large water meter, giving a better return on investment. It also gives utilities the option to install an Omni meter in place of a compound meter.
“Our water meter customers will gain more revenue by installing a more accurate meter,” said Dave Herchko, V.P. Water Marketing, North America, for Sensus. “We also believe the Omni meter will save operating costs because it is a much simpler meter to maintain.”
By having only one moving part - the floating ball impeller - the meter is simple for customers to maintain. When service is needed, the measuring element will most likely be the only part that would need attention, if at all. The simplification of internal components allows utilities to change the measuring element in a matter of minutes.
The meter also includes an all-electronic register that provides the customer with two electronic outputs. This enables utilities to link the meter to an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) or Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system and a SCADA system at the same time. The register also contains a programmable display and a 31-day data logging function. All of the features are designed to optimize utility operations through advanced field support tools.
The meter can be installed in any orientation and performs in tight installations with pipe elbows and shut-off valves connected to the meter.
The Omni meter underwent years of research and development at the Sensus large water meter engineering facility in Hannover, Germany. Over this period Sensus put the meter through rigorous testing to determine how the technology would perform at low-flow levels not normally measured accurately by large water meter. Following internal testing, the meter was installed at various utilities in North America to verify the meter’s operating performance as compared to Sensus’ current large meter products and those of competitive meters.
“By installing meters in actual utility meter locations, we were able to see the Omni in action,” said Jack Jackson, Product Manager, Large Meter Technology in North America. “The meter performed better than our expectations, especially in tight meter installations with pipe elbows and shut-off valves connected to the meter where today’s large meters would not last.”
The new meters are designed for any variation of large metering applications, and can be installed in any orientation. The meters feature an epoxy-coated iron main case and measuring chamber upper plate, and durable composite internal parts. The meter also includes an integral strainer with a stainless steel strainer screen. All manufactured components are NSF compliant and 100% lead-free.
“We expect Omni and its Floating Ball Technology to revolutionize the way data is collected in large meters,” said Doug Neely, Executive Vice President of North America Water for Sensus. “This meter not only satisfies all large meter requirements, but it does so in a manner that reflects what the industry is in need of – a reliable meter with pinpoint accuracy that doesn’t wear.”