• Ultrasonic Flowmeter Ideal Tool for Pump Condition Monitoring

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Ultrasonic Flowmeter Ideal Tool for Pump Condition Monitoring

Jan 01 2009

In the past the idea of repairing a pump before it needed fixing was standard practice. More recently however, the demands made upon an engineer’s time have meant that in many cases equipment breaks down before anyone has the chance to do anything about a problem. A pump which is suffering from wear or damage will continue to push fluid down a pipeline, but it will be doing this in a far less efficient manner than it should. This increases the risk of serious or irreparable damage to the appliance and also causes an increase in the energy usage.

Traditionally the only way to ensure that a pump was working correctly was to manually dismantle and visually check it. The drawbacks of this are that if the pump was fine then the engineer has spent time and money on unnecessary work. Furthermore, there is a good chance that components such as seals will have been damaged during the dismantling process, and will need replacing as a result.   A number of technologies now exist to provide more information to engineers on pump performance externally of the pump, however the most useful of these are clamp-on flowmeters. When looking at pump efficiency accurate flow data is a key factor. Testing of the pumps immediately after installation sets a benchmark for future monitoring work and can be used to verify the standard pump curves supplied by the manufacturer. As the ultrasonic flowmeters do not interfere with the pipeline, single or multiple pump discharge measurements can be taken without disruption of the process.   Katronic Technologies (UK) have been involved in the area of pump performance metering for a number if years. Their accurate clamp-on meters are the key to checking pump performance, providing a logged accurate measurement of flow. Furthermore, the experience of Katronic engineers in this area is invaluable, and ranges from water and effluent pumps, to fire pumps and large cooling water pumps.

Failing to generate the correct flows through the pumps not only places greater loading on the boilers or chiller units but can also cause them to malfunction. In the case of industrial boilers, low flow rates can be a directly contributing factor to overheating or hot spots, which can damage the system.

For applications where the requirement to measure the pump output is only temporary, the Katronic portable flowmeter provides a truly flexible solution. One of the greatest advantages is that the meter will display and log flow rates, total flow and flow velocity information – essential for properly evaluating pump performance. The large datalogging capacity of the Katronic instrumentation means that the flowmeter can simultaneously log flow and velocity information without the requirement of a costly external datalogger. All the measured information can then be neatly presented through the Katronic KATdata+ dedicated software, or by using a standard Windows-based spreadsheet.

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