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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Completed Research

CP461  District and commercial meters - the next generation Metering
Project Appreciation and Objectives

District (or DMA) meters are a critical source of data in the management of leakage and the water distribution network. Large non-household revenue meters (40mm+) typically account for over two thirds of a water company's non-household income. The drive towards further leakage reduction and smart networks requiring improved data quality have stimulated developments in metering with new battery powered solid state meters (electromagnetic and ultrasonic) challenging the traditional turbine types. These new meters claim to offer greater stability and a much flatter response curve than mechanical meters, particularly important when studying night flow trends over a long period. However, the mechanical meter manufacturers are fighting back with new designs which claim to offer an extended measurement range and superior low flow performance compared to older models, which would benefit night flows and revenue.

Such meters represent a significant investment for water companies in purchase and installation costs. Replacement is also expensive and hence a long service life is desirable. So how does a water company decide which of these options will give the required performance and reliability in these demanding applications? This project will test the claims about these new meters and explore their performance through a rigorous test programme. Meters will be tested for accuracy and repeatability, particularly at low flows and under non-ideal conditions, wear and performance deterioration. The objectives will be to understand what level of performance might be expected in service, what will be the impact on leakage and revenues, what will be the impact on sizing meters and what are the maintenance needs, hence costs of operation.

Benefits to Clients

  • Independent and objective data for planning future investments in DMA and large revenue meters;
  • Increased confidence in DMA flow data for leakage calculations and ALC targeting;
  • Reliable charging for commercial customers.

Work Programme

  1. Agree meters to be included.
  2. Define detailed test programme.
  3. Obtain samples of meters.
  4. Undertake comprehensive test programme to explore performance aspects including accuracy, low flow performance and reliability.
  5. Translate test results into the potential impact on leakage calculations and revenue.

Project Output

  • Comprehensive technical report with all test results and discussion of the implications for leakage and revenue.

Related WRc Work

  • CP360 Performance of non-household meters.
  • Evaluation of meter types and technologies for small area monitors.
  • Validation of DMA meter replacement programme.
WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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