What is a flow sensor and how does it work in a hot water pump?
The use of a flow sensor is common but quite hidden to our daily lives. One of such applications, that most of us will not fond of, are the measuring of water usage of your home.
Rather than filling buckets with water and calculate how many buckets you have used to bath,flow sensors are unique with its ability to measure the volume of water while it is running through it.
But, in this current era, pipes are not merely used to carry water over a long distance. Instead, we use pipes to transport anything that is not solid (which is liquid and gas, maybe plasma in the future?). And some of them are extremely long, 8,707km to be exact that lies from the West to East of China.
While a simple turbine within a pipe can measure your domestic water use, it is not so effective for accurate calculations or gas. Therefore, a wide range of flow sensors are invented for various use cases.
Other than a mechanical turbine, the three other major forms of flow meters include vortex meter, ultrasonic meter and magnetic meter. Because of the different methods in taking measurement, they have unique characteristics for different applications. The magnetic meter, for example, is best for extremely hot liquid and gas with its lack of physical connection required.
Obviously, the increased technological advancements in these flow meters add additional cost to a utility delivery system that most domestic will avoid.
But it does not mean flow meter is only useful as a water meter to collect your cash as it clicks. When used in an appropriate scenario, flow meter in domestic setting can save you some big money.
One of such are auto turning on and off a hot water pump.
As most of the landed house in Australia relies on a gravity-fed hot water system, sufficient hot water may not be supplied for the upper floors of multistory buildings.In such cases, a hot water booster pump is required to increase the pressure in the system to reach the higher floors.
The energy required to “push” hot water to higher levels is separated to the kinetic energy for water movement and the potential energy for the increased height when compared to the earth surface.
It would be unwise to keep a hot water booster pump on all the time even when no one is using hot water in the property. However, it would be a hassle to operate the pump every time before you need hot water.
A flow sensor is just perfect to start the hot water pump when hot water starts flowing and shutting it down when the supply is paused. Rather than constantly wasting electricity, a flow sensor is much helpful to reduce electricity use and for the conversation of energy and natural resources.
While most Australian home can take immense advantage from automatic start and stop by a flow sensor, a hot water circulation pump would be better for applications, like a warm rehabilitation pool, that require constant hot water supply.