When one of Scotland’s busiest airport needed a reliable flow measurement Katronic were tasked with providing the solution. The airport operator was faced with the considerable problem of having a one hundred year old 18 inch water pipe running directly under the runway feeding water to several local towns.
According to the available information the pipe was originally installed in 1910 and there were serious concerns about its physical integrity over a century later. With up to 8 mega litres of water flowing under the runway each day it was crucial that the operator was able to monitor, measure and act upon any changes to the flow to avoid major incidents. A pipe rupture would not only have caused inconvenience to householders, it would have potentially closed the runway and consequently the airport.
Initially the customer contacted a company called Syrinix, a recognised market leader in intelligent pipeline and leakage solutions. They in turn recommended the use of one of their Pipeminder systems to constantly monitor the pipe condition and give an early warning of any potential issues. Syrinix selected the local company Processplus in order to support them with a package of process instrumentation needed to link raw data to the Pipeminder.
Processplus are very experienced in the area of flow measurement instrumentation and are a trusted supplier to the Scottish water sector. They contacted Katronic to supply two KATflow 100 clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters as the source of the flow input into the system. These meters were selected as the non-invasive nature of the technology was ideal for retrofitting onto a pipe of this age.
Before settling on a final solution to the issue engineers from Processplus used a KATflow 200 portable flowmeter to conduct a site survey and ensure that the proposed measurements were viable. The portable meter was installed at two locations with positive results enabling them to obtain provisional flow data and to identify points for permanent sensor mounting. This preparatory work was also useful as it set an initial baseline flow reading to act as a starting point for the eventual fixed installation flowmeters. The compact KATflow 200 was perfect for measuring in the confined conditions under the runway where space was at a premium.
Once Processplus had completed the survey, they installed two KATflow 100 clamp-on flowmeters at the key locations. Katronic then assisted Processplus with the configuration of the process outputs and the connection of the meters to the Syrinix Pipeminder. This device is programmed to alarm should there be an unexpected or sudden change in the flow rates seen by the Katronic meters. The Pipeminder is also connected to pressure caps on fire hydrants either side of the airport and will alarm in case of a rapid pressure loss. The information from these combined instruments will allow the user to monitor changes in the pipe condition. Crucially the system will give an advanced warning of any potential pipe burst and provide the customer with peace of mind for the years to come.Click here for more informationClick here for related articles onlineFind manufacturers of flowmeters in our Equipment Guide