New ultrasound technology promises repeatable flow measurement

14 November 2012

Pulsar Process Measurement has launched Flow Pulse, a compact pipe flow monitor that promises good repeatability, accuracy and simple installation with no down time.

Flow Pulse is suited to use for monitoring flow rate in fluid distribution systems, for pump efficiency checks, in process plant or sewage pumping stations. It is said to offer a step forward in flow measurement and ease of installation. There is no need to break into a pipe, or to get any engineering involved, simply clamp a small sensor to the outside of a pipe using a screwdriver and immediately get repeatable flow measurement.

Flow Pulse (patent pending) uses a spread spectrum analysis technique, not used before in flow monitoring, introducing a new digital signal processing approach for good repeatability.

Ultrasound is fired through the pipe wall at 90° to the flow via a tangentially mounted high-output ceramic, then refracted at angles across the axis of the flow and subsequently reflected from bubbles, particles and vortices in all directions and at a wide range of frequencies. The wide, refracted, ultrasonic beam maximises the ultrasound energy that could be captured from flowing particles. These multiple reflections are received back into the unit via a second crystal.

The mass of data generated is analysed using Flow Pulse’s Refracted Spread Spectrum Analysis (RSSA) digital signal processing platform to derive flow information. RSSA analyses and integrates the received signals over a wide frequency range, then slices them for real-time analysis and flow rate calculation.

Flow Pulse operates in a flow range from as little as 0.3m/sec through to 4m/sec, with a minimum particle size of 100µ and concentration of 200ppm or above (the equivalent of hard water).

Pipe material can be rigid plastic, stainless steel, mild steel or cast iron. Corrugated pipe is not an issue and even light corrosion will give a good result. Flow Pulse provides repeatability and accuracy of around ±5%.

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