In this post I am highlighting the McCrometer Mc Mag 3000 flow meter for pipelines. I don’t have a lot of detail here, so I will update this a couple of times before mid-February.
Most of the flow measurement devices I have talked about in this blog are for use in ditches, and include weirs, orifices, and flumes. These devices are the standard lower-cost devices that are relatively easy to install. All of these devices require a separate, specially installed data collector to record stage (water surface elevation) so flow can be computed from the data.
What if your flow already runs through a level length of pipe? You have many, many options from manufacturers. There are propellor, magnetic, and acoustic meters, with integrated data collectors, that bolt up or strap on. Most magnetic and acoustic meters require external power, but some run on batteries, and an increasing number have battery options. Within a few hours any full pipeline that is straight and level, and has 10 to 20 pipe diameters of straight pipe upstream of the meter, and 10 pipe diameters downstream of the meter, can have one of these devices installed and operating.
Note the “level and full” restriction – there are meters that can handle sloped and/or partly full pipelines, but they are more expensive. Usually it is less expensive to insert (or add to the end) a section of level pipeline that will always be full.
What do these cost? I have not asked about every possible pipe diameter, but I think the cost range for 4″ to 12″ pipes is around $1,400 to $3,000, before tax, shipping, and installation costs. That’s a reasonable price for a quick-to-install device that measure up to about 5 cfs in a 12″ pipe. McCrometer even has a “how-to” video on their website, for the physical part of the installation.
What if you have a larger pipeline? The SonTek-IQ may be a better solution – the pipe version of this flow meter and data logger can handle pipes as small as 18 inches in diameter, up to 16 feet (!). This is an acoustic Doppler meter, rather than magnetic sensing with the McMag 3000. There is an open channel version of the IQ, too, which installs in the bottom of a canal.
For larger or more irregular channels, Sontek-SL, which is a side-looking acoustic Doppler. the SonTek acoustic equipment is a costlier solution for small-diameter pipes – the cost range for the SonTek equipment is $8,200 to $9,200. For a larger pipe, canal, or natural channel up to 66 feet wide, this is a very cost-effective solution. We’ll talk more about the SonTek equipment in later posts.
Thank God for all the rain and snow! As of today, California is still having record rainfall and a near-record snowpack, through February 2. Have a good night, all.