IN development for a year by Nivus, the company’s pipe sensor came to market in 2008 primarily targeted at challenging the mag meter market.
First introduced to the German market and then the UK market two years later, it received official MCERTS status in 2012, and the company presents it as the ideal solution for the validation and/or replacement of mag meters in the UK.
The life cycle costs for mag meter installation and maintenance are high, and in dialogue with customers Nivus identified the potential for a more cost effective and removable flow measurement device for full and partially-full pipes that could match the accuracy and applications of a mag meter.
The stainless steel outer casing and compact design is said to be far easier for handling, particularly in confined spaces, and is suitable for diameters ranging from 80mm.
The sensor is situated at the very tip which is the only part to sit in the flow, thus minimising any ragging or debris failures, according to Nivus.
It also gives it the added advantage of being self-cleaning. The sensor can be installed with any pipe material and -dependant on application – can be placed at almost any circumference point for a full and accurate reading.
Ultrasonic measurement delivers accuracy
The Pipe Sensor uses the NIVUS-patented cross-correlation technology, an innovative ultrasonic flow measurement technique. It requires no calibration and can deliver flow velocity and/or level accuracy whether mounted on a boat system (for open channel monitoring, for example) or used as as a pipe insertion meter.
Keeping costs low
Nivus also allows the Pipe Sensor to connect to the lower priced NFP transmitter, for smaller applications, to keep solution costs low. Ease of installation is where the product scores particularly highly.
With comparative installation costs being typically 75% cheaper, according to Nivus, the company says the sensor is literally saving the water industry thousands. A Nivus pipe sensor can be fitted in hours, rather than the days of site disruption associated with mag meters, with no interruption to the flow.
Comparing unit prices of the sensor vs the mag meter (at 300DN for example), Nivus says that pound for pound the sensor is a little higher than a mag meter at this size yet but the significant costs saved on its quick and easy installation mean it is always the more cost effective solution overall, and also becomes the far cheaper alternative for both material and labour on larger applications.
Getting into small spaces
The sensor comes in standard length sizes of 20/30/40cm, and when access space is confined extendable rods can also be fitted for sensor insertion/removal using a guide tube.
Nivus also made maintenance simple and designed a unique extraction tool for the easy insertion and removal of the sensor for pipes under pressure, so the process does not need to be interrupted.
Not least, says Nivus, comparable studies show that using Pipe Sensors over the more traditional mag meters can reduce the associated carbon footprint by as much as 80%.
Images – Top, Only the tip of the Nivus pipe sensor sits in the flow. Above right, Flow meter installation.