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Wireless Doppler Flow Meter for Slurry Pipelines

Learn about the critical importance of having a wireless doppler flow meter installed on your slurry pipeline and how it can completely optimize your dredging and slurry pumping applications.
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Wireless Doppler Flow Meters

Learn about the critical importance of having a wireless doppler flow meter installed on your slurry pipeline and how it can completely optimize your dredging and slurry pumping applications.

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How the Doppler Slurry Flow Meter Works

Dan Wahlgren, Chief Engineer at Eddy Pump with over 20 years of dredging experience, explains how the Doppler Slurry Flow Meter operates and how it can completely optimize your next dredging project.
Doppler slurry flow meters measure flow from outside a rigid pipeline with a clamp-on sensor by continuously transmitting high-frequency sound (640MHz) that travels through the pipe wall and into the flowing material. Sound is then reflected back to the sensor from solids or bubbles in the fluid. If the fluid is in motion, the echoes return at an altered frequency proportional to flow velocity and continuously measures this frequency shift to calculate the flow rate.

For best performance, Doppler sensors should be mounted away from turbulence causing components like pipe bends and tees, and away from flow speed control mechanisms like controlling valves and booster pumps. Typical accuracy is about 2% of full scale.

Doppler slurry flow meters measure flow from outside a rigid pipeline with a clamp-on sensor by continuously transmitting high-frequency sound (640MHz) that travels through the pipe wall and into the flowing material. Sound is then reflected back to the sensor from solids or bubbles in the fluid. If the fluid is in motion, the echoes return at an altered frequency proportional to flow velocity and continuously measures this frequency shift to calculate the flow rate.

For best performance, Doppler sensors should be mounted away from turbulence causing components like pipe bends and tees, and away from flow speed control mechanisms like controlling valves and booster pumps. Typical accuracy is about 2% of full scale.

Maintains Optimal Flow Rate for Dredging Projects, Mining, Oil & Gas, Oil Sands, Wastewater, Sand & Gravel, Fly Ash, and Coal Ash.

The Doppler technique only works on difficult to pump liquids that contain solids or bubbles to reflect its signal. Slurries, sludge, wastewater, abrasive sand & rocks, viscous, and corrosive chemicals are considered “difficult” liquids that may cause damage to regular internal flow meters. Due to the Doppler sensor being mounted on the outside of the pipe, there is no risk of pressure drop, damage to sensors, and no obstruction to the flow within the pipeline. This ensures accurate readings to maintain your critical line velocity.

What’s Included?

The Doppler flow meter includes a clamp-on ultrasonic sensor, a connecting cable, and an electronics enclosure that can be mounted at a convenient location nearby (within 500 ft or 152 m). The sensors are safe for mounting in hazardous-rated locations.

To set the device up, all you need to do is input your pipeline ID (inner diameter) and once you know the optimal flow rate for the material to be pumped, you’re now ready to begin pumping.

The Best Non-Clog and High Solids Dredge Pumps on the Market. Since 1984.

As you can see from the image above, the Doppler flow meter mounts on the outside of the rigid pipeline (not the discharge hose). This prevents the risk of pressure drop, damage to sensors, and allows zero obstruction to the flow within the pipeline.

Flow meter data screen showing real-time flow rates. This unit can also be connected wirelessly to the flow meter to pass data to multiple locations simultaneously.

The Importance of Maintaining Critical Flow Velocity

Critical line velocity is the speed a fluid or material must move through a set length of pipeline to prevent solids from settling inside the pipeline, which over time can lead to clogs and other operational and maintenance problems. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to know the critical line velocity of the material to be pumped, as it can vary depending on the material.

Pipe friction loss occurs any time a fluid or slurry is moving from point A to point B through a pipeline. As the fluid comes into contact with the walls of the pipeline, friction occurs, which can slow down the flow of the material as it moves through the pipeline. As you can imagine, the more friction that is inflicted upon the fluid, the more power is needed to effectively move it through the pipeline. Maintaining the correct flow rate will prevent sedimentation buildup which could lead to pipeline clogging or other costly maintenance issues. Therefore, it is critical to maintaining enough critical line velocity to keep the material in suspension to prevent major problems down the road.

When designing a pipeline for a particular type of slurry, it is important to predict the friction loss and give the pump enough power at the beginning of the pipe to ensure the required flow rate will be achieved at the discharge end of the pipeline. The internal roughness of the pipeline can also affect friction loss, as the rougher the pipeline is, the more friction the slurry will generate, contributing to slurry pipe friction loss. Take this into account when you are evaluating the correct flow velocity needed for your pipeline before starting a project.

Doppler Flow Meter Benefits

  • Full Wireless Capability to Send the Data Directly to the Operator
  • Includes the Option to Send GPM Data to a Second Location
  • Shows Flow Rates in Real-Time on a Mountable Display
  • Allows for Safest & Most Efficient Production Rates
  • Prevent Pipeline Clogs by Ensuring Correct Pipeline Velocity
  • Offers Peace of Mind to Dredge Operators
  • Unit Quickly Pays For Itself with Increased Efficiency and Less Downtime.

Data wirelessly being sent in real-time to a display mounted in the cab of an excavator using an Excavator Dredge Pump Attachment. This gives the dredge operator everything they need to ensure correct flow and production rates.

Why a Slurry Flow Meter is Critical For Dredging & Solids Pumping

Without a flow meter installed to give the dredge operator an idea of what kind of production they are achieving, problems can quickly arise. If they run the pump too slow, the critical line velocity may not be reached, therefore leading to material settling in the pipeline which inevitably leads to costly pipeline clogs that halts production and could take numerous days for cleanout. If the pump is run too fast, you will be sucking up way more water than material, decreasing your overall production rates. A flow meter will allow any operator to find the “sweet spot” of optimal production rates.
wireless flowmeter dredging eddy pump on dolly

Wireless Mobile Flowmeter

This version is used for remote job sites and shoots accurate flow readings to the control unit in the excavator OR control center. Measure and achieve optimal production rates on the fly while having the convenience to move from one location to the other with ease.

We are one of the few companies who manufactures both our pumps and dredging equipment to ensure optimal support. All equipment Powered by EDDY Pump.

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Interested in how a Slurry Flow Meter can both save money and optimize production on your dredging projects?
Call us today at 619-258-7020