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Article #10:  Miscellaneous Flow Finder Topics

October 9, 2006
The Perfect Candidate
When asked to set up a field trial for Flow Finders, one of the first things we do is evaluate routes to determine the best one for the installations. If PressureMAP is being used in the area, this task is fairly easy. What we do typically is pull up the System Quality Indexes (SQIs) by route for the wire center that has the worst SQI. A route with an index less than 60 (90 is the standard) is a perfect candidate for the installation of Flow Finders.

What we'll often see on the worst route is that the flow rate at the pipe alarm panel is much higher than the listed Optimum Air Usage (OAU). For example, you might see 50 Standard Cubic Feet per Hour (SCFH) at the panel with an OAU of 10 SCFH. This type of flow discrepancy will drop your SQI every time.

What Good Is It?
What good is a pegged flow transducer? Not much good at all, especially when the flow transducer at the pipe panel is "maxed out." With a pegged flow transducer, there's no way to tell if you're chasing a flow of 50 SCFH, for example, or 80 SCFH. Without knowing the true flow rate, it is impossible to determine the size of the problem and identify what you're chasing. The same is true for pegged flow transducers at air pipe manifolds.

One of the major advantages of using System Studies' Flow Finders and Flow Gauge is that the Flow Gauge has a "times two" button. This feature enables accurate flow readings to be taken at any Flow Finder location, even if the flow rate exceeds the flow range of the device. For example, by using the "time two" button, a 0-47.5 SCFH Flow Finder can accurately measure flow rates up to 95 SCFH.

What's the Problem Here?
Whenever you find a big difference between a Flow Finder reading and a flow transducer reading, there may be a simple explanation and fix. The first thing to do is check to see that the flow range entered into the monitoring system for the flow transducer is correct. For example, a 0-19 SCFH flow transducer inputted as a 0-9.5 SCFH will only indicate half of the actual air flow.

Want More Information?
If you'd like to find more about using Flow Finders to leak locate and purify air pipes in your system, there are some interesting and informative articles online here at AirTalk.com. Simply click on the Home button located on the bottom of this page, then the Documentation link, then Newsletter Articles. Many of the articles there address one or more uses for Flow Finders. If you're interested in viewing the various ranges of Flow Finders available and their respective System Studies Part Numbers, go to our Purchasing Guide (also located in the Reference section).