When one of Scotland’s busiest airport needed a reliable flow measurement they asked Katronic to provide the instruments. The airport operator was faced with the considerable problem of having a one hundred year old 18 inch water pipe running directly under the runway feeding water to several local towns. Given the location and age of the installation there was concern about the impact of the day to day airport operations on the pipeline, and the possible implications if a failure were to occur.

With up to 8 mega litres of water flowing under the runway each day it was crucial that the operator was able to monitor, measure and act upon any changes to the flow to avoid major incidents. Their first act was to contact Syrinix, a leader in intelligent pipeline solutions to provide a Pipeminder system to provide live data on what was happening in the system. In order to have the complete view of the situation there was a need for flow measurement and Syrinix chose to work with Processplus Ltd to provide and support a package of instrumentation including two Katronic KF100 ultrasonic flowmeters.

Initially engineers from Processplus used a KATflow 200 portable ultrasonic flowmeter at two locations to survey the piping and gain provisional flow data. They did this preparatory work in order to prove that that technology was suitable for the proposed measurement, and to get an initial baseline reading of the expected flow rates. The compact and practical KATflow 200 was ideal for measuring in the confined conditions under the runway. It was also a testament to the performance of the flowmeter that it was able to produce good measurements in spite of the age and condition of the pipeline.

Once Procesplus had completed the survey, they installed two KATflow 100 clamp-on flowmeters at the key locations. The engineer then connected the Katronic meters to the Syrinix Pipeminder with the outputs provided in order for the data to be analysed. This device is programmed to alarm should there be an unexpected or sudden change in the flow rates seen by the Katronic instruments. The Pipeminder is also connected to pressure caps on fire hydrants either side of the airport and will alarm should there be a rapid pressure loss. The information from these combined instruments will allow the user to monitor changes in the pipe condition. Crucially the system will give an advanced warning of any potential pipe burst and provide the customer with peace of mind for the years to come.