Dynasonics wireless flow meters save water

February 3, 2010 - “Intelligent Design Enables Conservation,” by Gerald W. Knudsen, General Manager of AgriTech Consulting, describes an application where open ditch irrigation was replaced by a closed pipe system and precise flow control via wireless communications.

The system was employed by the Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company (MVIC) in Cortez, Colorado, U.S., to save water in the arid region. As much as 60% of the water that enters an open ditch irrigation canal is wasted via evaporation, seepage and losses at the end of the canal. By replacing five miles of open irrigation ditches with closed polyethylene pipe and flow control, MVIC is saving 1,000 acre-feet of water per year.

Each branch turnout from the main header to a farm has a Dynasonics ultrasonic flow meter and two butterfly valves. The meter measures the amount of water passing through the turnout. The first butterfly valve is controlled by the MVIC and is used to set flows according to the number of shares of water allocated to that particular farmer. The second butterfly valve can be used by an owner to shut off or reduce water volume.

Flow control and measurement is implemented via a wireless supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. The SCADA system consists of a telemetry receiver and master control center in the main office connected to field equipment via a wireless data link.

Each flow meter is either solar or battery powered, providing substantial savings by eliminating power wiring. This green feature not only saved on installation, but will also provide ongoing savings in the form of lower energy use. The key component of each branch turnout is the flow meter.

The closed pipe network project has been so successful that the US Bureau of Reclamation is providing $2.1 million in stimulus grants to the MVIC for construction of a second similar 7-mile pipeline project.

Download the application story from http://www.dynasonics.com/news/IrrigationCaseStudy.pdf

Dynasonics manufactures a complete line of ultrasonic flow measurement equipment, including portable, fixed position and multi-channel transit time and Doppler flow meters. These meters are ideal for full pipe, liquid flow applications; they are non-invasive and provide a high degree of accuracy (better than +/- 1% in many cases). Suited for a wide range of pipe materials, in pipe diameters from 1/4” (6.35 mm) to over 120” (3,048 mm), these meters are designed for long service life and low maintenance cost. Additional Dynasonics products include insertion magnetic and heat flow meters.

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