The University of Manchester’s energy management and building services team have installed 15 Micronics heat meters and are utilising its UL2000 clamp-on, ultrasonic flow meters as part of their ongoing energy management programme.

The University of Manchester’s heating requirement including LTHW and MTHW is supplied from shared energy centres and distributed via a steel pipe network, ranging in size from 200 to 300mm. To comply with current legislation and to implement the university’s best practice energy management program, the campus is monitored and managed by energy cost centres with Display Energy Certificates required for all areas above 1,000m2 and the university has to account for 90% of the energy flow from the energy centres.

A cost effective option

Installing heat meters in an existing distribution network of 200 to 300mm pipework would be a major task using in-line meters. This led Chris Cunningham, assistant mechanical and energy engineer, and the team to specify clamp-on, ultrasonic flow measurement. He said, “After considering the various options, clamp-on, ultrasonic flow measurement was clearly the most cost effective and least disruptive solution for measuring flow in our distribution network. In-line meters would have been more expensive and very disruptive, requiring system drain-down and cutting pipework.”

The meters provide consumption data, which is supplied for analysis via the university’s data-concentrators and campus Ethernet network, providing energy consumption data for 24 hour laboratories, conference and teaching blocks.

Micronics were selected due to the university’s previous experience using the Micronics Portaflo, portable ultrasonic, clamp-on flow meter. Cunningham also feels that the requirement for annual calibration and the associated costs is an area that requires further consideration, and there are future plans to use the same technology on the university’s chilled water circuits.