Clamp on Heat meters – the Solution to a Greener Climate?

As pressures grow to transition to a low carbon and digitalised world, so too must our technology adapt to accommodate this rapid conversion. We are making progress, but there is much more to be done in order to truly fulfil a Net Zero climate. Our cars, our travel, our buildings and our homes, must all now play key parts in enabling this more sustainable and carbon neutral environment.

The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations came into force December 2014, with the vital aim of driving energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions from heating. This is achieved through installing clamp on heat meters, and basing the customer’s bills on their consumption, thereby decreasing the use of energy and reduce consumer bills. In 2021 the UK Government assigned £320m of funding to expand our heat networks market. There is a call for change, and we are proud to offer our innovation as a contribution.

Why are Heat Networks important?

Heat networks are a system of insulated pipes that transport heat from a source to more than one end user, creating a shared heating system (rather than individual boilers) which provides a more energy efficient alternative. These are a way of enabling local infrastructure to thrive, whilst recovering waste heat from heavy carbon industries like power stations. Heat networks can significantly reduce carbon emissions from heat, be fitted to new or existing buildings, and can offer the consumer stable prices and low carbon heat. Building level meters enable the heat suppliers to monitor and identify areas where heat loss and inefficiencies are occurring. This allows the supplier/building management to have total data analysis from a remote location and improve their energy management and pipework efficiency.

Portasonic pipework applications
Portascanner Airtight applications

How much of a difference do they make to carbon emissions?

These systems are able to capture huge amounts of waste heat, and convert this into energy for communities. Presently heat networks account for 2% of the overall UK heat demand, but research shows that 14-20% can be met by 2030 and 43% by 2050. The Association for Decentralised Energy estimates that heat networks save approximately 3,065GWh of gas imports every year. They reduce carbon emissions in buildings by approximately 0.7-1 million tonnes of C02 each year.

What can Coltraco Ultrasonics contribute to this solution?

Regulations state that meters must accurately measure, record and display the consumption of heating, cooling or hot water by each final customer. There is a now a demand, more than ever, for real time diagnostics of your flow rates and energy consumption.

We offer a non invasive, fixed ultrasonic clamp-on heat meter that provides you with live measurements of flow rates and energy consumption of your heat and chilled water network, 24/7 365 days a year (Permaflow®). By incorporating a PT100 thermometer input integration, heat quantity measurements can be monitored alongside volumetric flow rates with units displayed in kWh and BTU for example.

Key Benefits of the Clamp on Permaflow® for the Heat Metering Industry

  • CLAMP-ON HEAT METER, FIXED & NON-INVASIVE: This constant monitoring system is a fixed, clamp on, wall-mounted non-invasive ultrasonic transit-time flowmeter designed to measure flow rates of clean liquids in pipes accurate to +/- 0.5% without requiring any invasive installation.
  • HEAT-METERING CAPABILITIES: With its PT100 thermometer it is able to help comply with regulations by recording heated or chilled water flow rates, supply and return temperatures and calculate the thermal energy involved in heating and cooling the fluid to give an idea of energy consumption (e.g in kWh or BTU units etc.)
  • UNIQUE INTERFACE: The Permaflow® has a unique Human Machine Interface (HMI) driven menu that emphasises intuitiveness and user-friendliness. It measures and monitors volumetric flow rate, mass flow rate, energy (heat quantity) flow rate all from one instrument
  • BUILT-IN OSCILLOSCOPE: It has a built-in signal oscilloscope for sensor positioning and diagnostics to achieve maximum accuracy with the measurement while providing visibility of the potential issues with the installation for troubleshooting purposes.

Enabling Efficient Thermal heating in our offices and homes

Moving on to the broader spectrum of energy efficiency, we can now also offer a unique air leakage quantifier (Portascanner® AIRTIGHT 520), giving you the chance to comply with new building regulation standards, that require air tightness testing. Today, it has never been more pertinent to test for airtightness, in order to facilitate proper ventilation.

Until the outbreak of this global pandemic there was plenty of frustration around the slow pace of technology adoption within the built environment, struggling to meet minimum building performance standards. Human Resources and Facilities Management Teams are tasked with keeping buildings and spaces efficient, sustainable, healthy and well maintained, and this list keeps growing as they are expected to deliver more. More can include addressing the effects of Climate Change by making a building more energy efficient. More after this pandemic will include a critical appraisal of indoor air quality.

What are the benefits of the Portascanner® AIRTIGHT 520 ?

Most buildings are tested for airtightness, air permeability, and air leaks with outdated and intrusive technology, making tests difficult, time consuming and expensive. This 7” handheld touchscreen instrument is the only solution with all 4 capabilities in 1: to detect a leak, quantify the leak site, calculate the air flow rate and generate an air permeability value for the entire room.

For the first time, with minimal training, the user can fulfil their maintenance programme with efficient recording and substantial evidence. You can then take accurate remedial action where necessary, and have full confidence in both the airtightness of your room, and the effectiveness of your ventilation in circulating clean air.

70% of the world’s population spends an estimated 90% of its time indoors, and the World Health Organisation estimates that in 2020 there were more than 6 million premature deaths due to air pollution much of it attributed to poor IAQ. Digitalisation has the power to evolve buildings from being fixed passive structures into highly interactive and richly informative systems. Homes and offices are becoming more autonomous, so that the mechanical components inside of the spaces created can ensure that occupants are safer, healthier and more comfortable. Leading bodies and governments are pushing for a Net Zero climate, so decision makers in this market must now adopt the new more intuitive technology in order to achieve this.

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