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Pulsar’s Flow Pulse saves Dwr Cymru Welsh Water £1.5m and wins national award

At the Institute of Water President's Dinner, held on 6 June, Pulsar Process Measurement's non-invasive flow monitor, Flow Pulse, won the prestigious National Innovation Award.

Developed in co-operation with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW)'s Innovation Team, Flow Pulse is aiding Compliance and Asset Management throughout the region by monitoring flow rates within critical Sewage Pumping Stations (SPS) under both normal and storm conditions, showing savings when compared with Magflow meter installation costs.

Measurement of flow within SPS provides vital information for both management and regulators. Total throughput can be monitored, but more importantly flow can be compared with other data from the SPS control system to determine the relative performance of the pumps so, for example, maintenance can be planned and efficiencies maximised. Pumped volumes also warn of upstream or downstream emergencies such as a blocked or burst main. In addition, important information can be provided to regulators such as the EA, for example to confirm that pumps were performing during extreme storm conditions.

DCWW identified the requirement for around 250 monitoring points across their network of SPS. 250 Magflow meters would have been prohibitively expensive to implement, taking into consideration the cost of the instruments, the tankering and logistics during the process interruption involved and the direct cost of installation.

The DCWW Innovation Team approached Pulsar Process Measurement for a solution. Pulsar had been developing Flow Pulse, a new concept that uses advanced digital Refracted Spread Spectrum Analysis (RSSA) within a clamp-on, non-invasive flow monitor. DCWW saw the potential of the technology and worked closely with Pulsar's R&D team to provide trial sites along with detailed feedback and support that allowed Pulsar to complete product development quickly and effectively.

Pulsar's Flow Pulse has a minimal installation cost, only requiring a screwdriver to mount, and there is no interruption to the process. DCWW estimate that they will see a resulting saving compared to Magflow meters of £1.5 million (€1.8 million) over the full project, an average of £6,000 per installation.

Commenting at the awards ceremony, Alistair Mackinnon, Pulsar's director of sales and marketing, said, 'We are investing a lot of money into research and development to help innovation in the water industry, and this award is incredibly prestigious. R&D is the lifeblood of Pulsar and innovation is in our DNA. We rely on partnerships with the water industry, and feedback from them has helped develop many of our products, as we can see from tonight.'