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Types of heat meters

This document is edited by Bo Frank


and based on inputs from the members
of the Euroheat & Power working group
TF Customer Installations
2007 10 27
file www.bofcon.se/doc/types_of_heatmeters.pdf

Types of heat meters .............................................................................................................. 2


Types of temperature sensors ................................................................................................ 2
Standardised mechanical properties to fit different pipe dimensions................................ 2
Electrical properties to fit different calculators ................................................................. 2
Types of flow sensors ............................................................................................................ 3
Flow sensors without electronic devices ........................................................................... 3
Flow sensors with electronic devices ................................................................................ 3
Design and metering principle........................................................................................... 4
Turbine flow sensors ..................................................................................................... 4
Woltman flow sensors................................................................................................... 4
Magnetic inductive flow sensor .................................................................................... 5
Swing-jet flow sensor.................................................................................................... 5
Ultrasonic flow sensor................................................................................................... 6
Types of calculators ............................................................................................................... 6
Calculator display.............................................................................................................. 7
Tariff / thresholds function................................................................................................ 7
Data logging function........................................................................................................ 8
Data communication function .......................................................................................... 9

Types of heat meters


There are combined, complete and hybrid meters
The combined heat meter has three separable sub-assemblies: the flow sensor, the calculator
and the temperature sensor pair or a combination of these.
The complete heat meter does not have separable sub-assemblies.
A hybrid heat meter is a heat meter, which for the purpose of pattern approval and verification can
be treated as a combined instrument. However, after verification, its sub-assemblies shall be
treated as inseparable. Complete meter and hybrid meter are often called compact meter.
The application of combined heat meters or hybrid heat meters is recommended at least for larger
substaions.

Types of temperature sensors


There are different types of temperature sensor pairs
Standardised mechanical properties to fit different pipe dimensions
Thread
Length mm
Head
Property Diameter
Type
mm
connection
DS
< 5,5
M10 x 1
39
No
DL
<7
GB
85 / 120 / 210
Yes / No
PL
G B 2) 85 / 120 / 210 2) Yes / No
6 1)
1) Sensor 5,86 to 5,93 mm; Pocket 6,00 to 6,08 mm
2) Valid for pocket

Uses
pockets
No
No
Yes

These standardized dimensions should be used to make it possible to replace a sensor pair
with a pair from another manufacturer. Other dimensions can also be used, but then you have to
check the type approval certificate to get information about the compatibility and replace ability.
Electrical properties to fit different calculators
Only platinum type of resistance thermometers can be used as a separate sub-assembly.
They are delivered as pairs for optimum accuracy.
Pt 100 or Pt 500 is standard for most of the calculators
2-wire or 4-wire connections could be used depending on the possibilities in the calculator
Pt 500 and / or 4-wire connection could be a better choice if you have long cables between the
sensors and the calculator or want a high accuracy at very low temperature differences.

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Types of flow sensors


There are different working principles of flow sensors such as turbine, ultrasonic and inductive
sensors. Most of them use today some form of electronic elements having different advantages
then the pure mechanical sensor.
According to the operating net parameters (temperature, pressure, water conditions, magnetite
deposits) a different type of sensor has to be recommended.
The following metrological classes apply to all heat meters:
The relative maximum permissible error of the flow sensor, expressed in %, for accuracy classes:
- Class 1: Ef = (1 +0.01 qp/q), but not more than 3.5 %,
- Class 2: Ef = (2 +0.02 qp/q), but not more than 5 %,
- Class 3: Ef = (3 +0.05 qp/q), but not more than 5 %,
- where the error Ef relates the indicated value to the true value of the relationship
between flow sensor output signal and the mass or the volume.
Class 1 is in most countries not commonly used in district heating substations.
The MID gives the instruction for
- measurement of residential use, it is allowed to take Class 3 meters.
- commercial and/or light industrial use, it is necessary to take at least a
Class 2 meter.
Flow sensors without electronic devices
To this group belong most of the traditional mechanical sensors such as turbine and Woltman
sensors. The flow signal is normally picked up by a reed switch where the lifetime can be limited
at low pulse values.
Flow sensors with electronic devices
To this group belong
some of the mechanical sensors that uses an electronic sensor to pick up the movement of
a rotating turbine or similar
the static sensors such as ultrasonic and others
A mechanical flow sensor using a direct sensing of the rotation turbine with a magnetic,
electronical or ultra-sound sensor provides a larger dynamic range and less influence of deposits
to the reliability.
The electronic part may be located in different areas depending on the specific design of each
manufacturer. Sensors with the electronics directly on the measuring pipe have the advantage
that the signal cables are very short and easy to protect against interference. The disadvantage of
this design is that the electronics are affected by the temperature of the liquid which can
sometimes be very high. This shortens the service life of the electronics.
In case the electronics is mounted at a distance from the measurement pipe the problem of signal
interference arises instead

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Design and metering principle


Turbine flow sensors
Turbine flow sensors can be used as volumetric parts for district heating, billing and allocation
applications. Turbine flow meters are also used for domestic hot water metering.
Turbine sensors consist of a body in which a turbine is in motion with an axis perpendicular to the
water flow.

Single jet flow sensors

Multe jet flow sensors

For district heating applications extra-dry meters are used. The measuring element through which
the water passes is hermetically sealed from the other parts of the meter to protect it against
corrosion and deposits. The transmission between the measuring part and the dry part of the flow
meter is commonly achieved by a magnetic coupling.
Woltman flow sensors
The Woltman meter contains a turbine whose axis is in line with the flow direction. The shaft or
shaft bearings are located by end supports inside suspended upstream and downstream
aerodynamic structures called diffusers, stators or simply cones. The flow thus passes through an
annular region occupied by the rotor blades. The blades, which are usually flat but may be slightly
twisted, are inclined at an angle to the incident flow velocity and hence experience a torque which
drives the rotor. When the water flows, the turbine rotates and the number of rotations is
transmitted via gears to a counter.
For district heating applications only extra-dry versions for hot water with magnet coupling and as
vertical Woltman technology meter are used.

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Woltman flow sensor


Magnetic inductive flow sensor
The magnetic inductive sensor (Magmeter) is based on Faradays law, i.e. that a movement of a
conductor through a magnetic field induces a voltage which is proportional to the speed of the
conductor. In a flow sensor, the liquid is the conductor, and a certain conductivity is required in
the medium. The voltage is captured by two electrodes, amplified, and then used to calculate the
flow.
The inductive sensor is a very fast responding sensor and can in fact measure instantaneous
flows if the measurement is done continuously
The voltage (electromotive force, EMF) from the measuring pipe is very small and so an amplifier
is required.

Inductive flow sensor


Swing-jet flow sensor
The swing-jet-sensor has two sub channels in which the liquid will come into oscillation at a
frequency proportional to the flow in the main channel. This oscillation is then sensed with or
without help of mechanical moving parts and converted into appropriate signals for the calculator.

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Ultrasonic flow sensor


The working principle of the ultrasonic sensor is based on the fact that a sound wave is affected
in different ways if the wave moves upstream or downstream in the flow. This can be used to
measure the speed of the water flowing through the pipe. The ultrasound is generated and
detected by piezo-electric crystals which function both as transmitters and receivers.
Several different measurement principles are involved, such as Doppler frequency sensors,
frequency difference sensors and different types of transit time sensors.
In one variant the transmitter and the receiver crystals are located at each end of the
measurement tube, and a totally turbulent flow is generated at the inlet section of the sensor,
therefore flow disturbances in the pipe section in front of the meter do not influence the quality of
the measurement for this variant. Some types of sensors are influenced by the propagation speed
of the sound in the liquid, which is depending on the temperature and quality of the liquid. The
temperature dependency can be compensated by a temperature sensor

Measuring principle of ultrasonic flow sensor

Types of calculators
The most common type of calculator is a wall mounted unit with a display that indicates the
consumed energy and some additional information as a tool to supervise the substation. There
are however special models that are mounted together with the flow sensor as part of a hybrid
meter.
The calculator is either powered by mains, external low voltage or a build in battery.
WARNING:

Please observe the life time of the battery in relation to the possible need for short intervals
between the measurements to follow rapid load changes.

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Calculator display

Typical display view

and

test view showing all possibilities

Typical basic information in the display


Accumulated energy
Accumulated volume
Momentary temperatures
Momentary flow
Momentary power
Only the energy and may be volume are the minimum data required according to MID and EN
1434. The rest is supplementary info not included in the legal rules of MID or EN 1434.
Typical additional information in the display, that normally needs additional pressing of a display
button to give access to the info
Pulse value
Operation time
Fault time
Date and / or time of last reset
Owerflow time
Power supply alarm
Baud rate for data exchange
Peak value of power with time and date
Peak flow rate with time and date
Peak flow temperature with time and date
Peak return temperature with time and date
Average power during peak flow
Average flow during peak power
Tariff / thresholds function
Some calculators have as an option one or more independent thresholds. This function is also
known as Tariff. This means that a district heating company can set a threshold type, unit and
value, associated with a billing contract and, independently, a second threshold, unit and value,
associated with another billing contract or for example to limit flow or power
Each threshold can be of the following types:
Power
Flow
Temperature difference
Inlet temperature
Outlet temperature

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For each threshold: when the instantaneous value of the selected type is higher then the
threshold value, typical the following data are calculated and stored (one for each threshold):
Energy over threshold index
Volume over threshold index
Time over threshold
The tariff data can be computed in different ways according to threshold type. The main
accumulated energy and volume registers are however not altered or recalculated at any time.
Below you have an example:

If the threshold is POWER:


The integrated power is the difference between the read power value and the threshold power
value.
If the threshold is FLOW:
The integrated power is the difference between the read power value when instantaneous flow is
above the threshold value and the threshold power value.
Data logging function
The data-logging function is an option that stores data in an extended memory.
All recorded data can normally not be displayed, but can be read, reset or programmed through
the optical interface or through the other communication interfaces.
The data logger can consist of 13 or more monthly registers and / or a number of registers with
selectable period time mostly selectable from 5 minutes up to several days.
The values that are stored in the data logger part differ for different brands of calculators but
normally most of the above mentioned display information will be stored in the data logger.
Error detections and meter surveillance:
Most meters save error information in the data logger such as:
flow error
flow temperature probe interrupted
return temperature probe interrupted
at ultrasonic meters also the power of US signal
other error

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Data communication function


In the data communication option you have normally access to
All values from the display at the time of reading
All values stored in the data logger
Additional values such as operation time and date and time of last reset
Frequencies of reading
Most battery operated calculators can accept that you read the basic information once a month
without any reduction of the stated battery lifetime. For extended use of data communication with
battery operated calculators you have to get information about the influence on the battery life
time.
Meter interfaces and protocols:
The optical interface is used for local data readout. A hand held unit, equipped with an optical
readout head, is temporarily connected to one heat meter and the data is read out, one heat
meter at a time.
The current loop interface is used for local data readout from one meter
The M-bus is used for data readout from one meter or a number of meters connected to the bus
line.
The local bus is an alternative to the M-bus. It is restricted to small installations and optimized for
battery-driven masters.
The wireless interface is used for data readout from one or a number of meters in a mobile or
fixed wireless network.
The GPRS communication is a special wireless communication using the GSM telephone
network
The LonWorks is a special version of bus system that can use several media for communication

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