MTC ElectroCeramics introduced its piezoelectric ceramic components and ultrasonic sensors for flow measurement of utilities, including gas, heat and water. Ultrasonic flow measurement devices can be a key component of “smart meters” designed to display hour-by-hour real time information about energy usage and pricing, facilitating residential and commercial energy conservation efforts.
Smart meters are being promoted by a $3.4 billion Smart Grid Investment Grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It will be matched by industry, for a total investment worth more than $8 billion. More than 40 million smart meters are expected to be deployed in American homes as part of this initiative.
MTC ElectroCeramics’ piezoceramic components for measuring flow, distance and level have excellent acoustic sensitivity and mechanical strengths to withstand high pressures. Their tightly controlled resonant frequencies are key to achieving consistently good sensitivity levels. MTC ElectroCeramics offers a range of electrode materials and geometries to help customers with efficient high volume manufacturing.
MTC ElectroCeramics also uses its piezoceramic materials to design and manufacture ultrasonic sensors for metering both gas and liquid flow measurement, taking into consideration customer-specific requirements for sensor housing that operates reliably under high pressure and a wide range of temperatures. The sensors are supplied in custom designed housings complete with acoustic matching layers that enhance sensitivity and also provide the required protection from the environment. MTC ElectroCeramics’ in-house sensor test facilities ensure the best possible design solutions for specific customer needs.
Ultrasonic flowmeters are a solid state technology with no moving parts, making them more reliable than conventional mechanical meters. They suffer no pressure loss, offer nearly maintenance-free operation and are more accurate than many competing systems. In addition, they are more adaptable to the type of useful electronic display of energy use envisioned by champions of smart meters.
MTC ElectroCeramics has been supplying piezoelectric ceramic components and ultrasonic sensors to major utilities conducting ultrasonic measurement of hot and cold water, heat and natural gas flows for nearly twenty years. The use of ultrasonics for metering has been widely adopted, with more than 3 million meters installed annually in the European market.