Water flowmeters for enhanced leakage detection

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Water shortages are the number one threat to global populations today. In just forty years, the world’s population has doubled, reaching an estimated 7.7 billion people in 2018.

Water shortages are the number one threat to global populations today. In just forty years, the world’s population has doubled, reaching an estimated 7.7 billion people in 2018. This has put tremendous strain on our resources, including water. Demand for fresh water has roughly quadrupled due to population growth, and with the incremental change expected to continue into the coming decades, the world’s water has become more precious than ever. By 2030, the world’s population will require 50% more fresh water – a stark reality that can only be achieved by creating a more sustainable environment today.

Improving our water distribution networks and reducing water wastage due to leaks requires smarter water flowmeters capable of acquiring and communicating richer data than is typically acquired. Pressure and flow are commonly acquired by water flowmeters to provide qualitative diagnostics and process monitoring. These measurements were once sufficient but with a growing mandate for water sustainability, it is increasingly important to enhance the capabilities of water flowmeters to detect even background leakage.

Water flowmeters and leak detection

It is often difficult for water utilities to have an accurate understanding of real losses in water distribution networks. Often, leaks are very difficult to detect as plant operators and utility personnel cannot see them. This is particularly true background leaks that persistently but slowly release water from pipes over time. Conventional water flowmeters may be unable to detect such losses from a system, which can result in surprisingly high losses of both water and revenue. Water losses in the region of just a few liters an hour could result in losses of thousands of liters if not resolved in a timely manner. It translates to revenue losses in the region of tens of thousands of dollars.

Enhancing the leak detection of any water distribution system requires experience in the design and construction of water flowmeters with leak detection in mind.  Research and development is a vital source of ABBs technology leadership. In 1988, ABB invented the world’s first battery-powered electromagnetic flowmeter for district metered areas (DMA).

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ABB exceeds in the field of water monitoring and leak detection, with our industry-leading AquaMaster4 water flowmeter. This unique electromagnetic flowmeter boasts an accuracy of up to ±0.2% of reading ±0.5 mm/s, whichever is greater. It is sensitive enough to reliably detect even a toilet flushing during the night.  The 0D (zero diameter) upstream and downstream reduced bore sensor is virtually insensitive to hydraulic disturbances as it conditions the upstream fluid flow profile within the sensor’s central measuring zone, giving superior performance; especially during the night when the flow rate is low. The AquaMaster4’s in-built Data Logger runs at high speed, logging at a fast rate giving the user total flexibility to download (typically 15 minutes) logged data; then investigate, in precise detail, flow and pressure activity during a period of interest at even higher time resolution.

The ultra-low detection levels of the AquaMaster have helped save billions of liters of water worldwide since 2001.

Smart water flowmeters for enhanced system performance

Innovative water flowmeters equipped with smart instrument technology can improve the performance of even the most remote water networks. Thousands of miles of pipes supply the UK with millions of gallons of water daily, a volume that is constantly measured by thousands of distinct measurement instruments. The broad extent of this data collection is necessary to reduce the impact of pervasive leaks over time or severe localized incidents such as pipes bursts. Pressure, flow, and temperature are continuously monitored while diagnostics are constantly run to maintain and optimize process parameters.

Water flowmeters from ABB

In the last 25 years, ABB has introduced several world firsts in the field of utility flow measurement, including the world’s first battery-powered electromagnetic flowmeter that established new standards for performance and accuracy for water flowmeters. We have continued to innovate ever since and are committed to supporting a future of sustainable water worldwide. If you would like to learn more, read our previous blog post: Advanced flow meters for sustainable water.

Or, simply contact us using the form below to learn more about our advanced water flowmeters, or our leakage detection capabilities.

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