May 2015

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Going with the Flow

The integration of the EF10 Ultrasonic Flow Meter to Atlantic Station’s automation system provided instant and efficient flow measurement.

Tianlai Shy
Vice President Sales and Business Development,
Spire Metering Technology

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Atlantic Station is located in the heart of midtown Atlanta, GA. It opened in 2005.  The overall surface area is about 138 acres (558,000 mē).   The property includes buildings, commercial stores, restaurants, movie theatres, and more.  Atlantic Station was designed with energy efficiency in mind.  Many of the buildings are LEED certified.  Additionally, the project was developed to help mitigate urban sprawl and reduce air pollution.

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The Goal: 
Atlantic Station is required to monitor the energy throughout all of its facilities. The property management needed to accurately bill each facility owner/renter on a monthly basis for their actual energy usage.  Another goal was to gather data on total usage.  The building managers required data to be used in an automated interface to allow constant monitoring and easy data acquisition.  Therefore, the devices had to be able to be connected to a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC).  In order to achieve these goals, the management at Atlantic Station needed to overcome the challenge of finding a measurement system to meet their rigorous requirements:

The Solution: 
Atlantic Station’s management consulted Spire Metering Technology for a measurement solution.  Spire provided the EF10 Ultrasonic Clamp-On Flow Meter. They deployed about 45 ultrasonic flow meters for this project.  The EF10 provides an accuracy rate of 1% of reading for the flow rate. Automated Facility Systems, Inc. added a pair of temperature sensors, RTD-type, PT1000, on the supply and return pipes.  This allowed the EF10 ultrasonic meters to use the universal energy formula to calculate energy:

BTU/hour = flow rate in GPM X ∆T (Tsupply – Treturn) X 500 X Sh x Sg


Ts= supply temperature
Tr= return temperature
Sh= specific heat
Sg= specific gravity

A pair of transducers was installed on each appropriate pipe without having to change and/or interfere with the existing lines. Wet-calibration was done in factory, so the unit was plug-and-play.  The setup and service were easily accomplished, thus the installation cost was very low.

LA Fitness' Flow Meter

The EF10 meters were able to collect measurements to help many of the buildings maintain their LEED certification.  The EF10 provides highly accurate and reliable flow measurements due to its sophisticated and advanced signal processing algorithm. The flow measurements are made utilizing the transit-time principle.  The ultrasonic, transit-time technology offers several benefits to the project:

Reliable Controls The flow meter system can be connected to a BMS (Building Management System) or PLC. This can be accomplished using variety of outputs, such as a 4-20mA, which was used in this case, or RS485, BACnet, wireless along with many more options. The analogue output is driven by an automated interface. The system is based on a distributed control system architecture, which features data acquisition and remote-equipment monitoring. The user is able to access the meters’ readings anywhere, at any time.

The integration of the EF10 Ultrasonic Flow Meter to Atlantic Station’s automation system provided instant and efficient flow measurement. The property management was able to access any flow meter reading immediately, even using a smartphone! The managers could track the facility’s overall energy usage and were able to accurately bill their clients.  All without any changes to the existing infrastructure.


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