The BladeMeter is a major advance in valve technology.
With the BladeMeter it’s now possible to automatically deliver precise quantities of water at both high and low flow rates in pipelines using only natural pressure (gravity) and solar energy.
The BladeMeter precisely controls and measures flow onto farms, even with low and fluctuating pipeline supply pressure.
For high-flow gravity irrigation
Flow measurement accuracy has been certified in Australia under NMI M 10 for the 600mm BladeMeter model
20 transducers across 5 planes send and receive ultrasonic pulses to determine flow rate
Solar-charged battery system with 80, 120, 160 watt solar panel options
Can be controlled remotely using SCADA or over cellular networks using SCADAConnect™
Features and Benefits
The BladeMeter controls and measures flow at the outlet end of natural pressure pipe and modulates to maintain a constant flow rate even when the supply pressure is fluctuating. With remote control built-in, it can be remotely operated or pre-set to turn on and off automatically to deliver a constant and accurately measured flow rate and volume, day or night.
Its compact, all-in-one design ensures rapid installation, reliable operation and easy maintenance. Using only renewable energy, the BladeMeter has an extremely low cost of operation. Its unique actuation mechanism and large diameter reduces head loss, helps to prevent weed fouling and is easy to visually inspect, service and clean.
And by using Sonaray™ flow measurement technology it measures accurately at high and very low flow rates, so it has the flexibility to deliver water at rates suited to any crop type and irrigation method.
The BladeMeter is ideal for farm service points
- Connected to hydrostatic (gravity) pressure pipes
- Connected to open channel supply networks
- That need to pass a wide range of flow rates
- Requiring remote operation and accurate metering
- That need to be fully accessible for easy maintenance
- Large 600mm diameter for high flow gravity irrigation
- Fully submersible
- Wide flow measurement range from 1 to 50 ML/day
- Sonaray flow measurement accuracy of ±2.5%**
- Solar powered
- SCADA-ready communication system
The BladeMeter’s built-in software provides the following control possibilities:
|Control objective||Valve action|
|Local||Position||Opens to a desired position and stays there|
|Flow||Maintains a desired flow rate|
|Network*||Demand||Incorporates knowledge of pipe network dynamics and overall demand to maintain desired flow rates through multiple outlets|
* Network operation is only available when used in a pipe network with other BladeMeters as part of a Rubicon Low Energy Pipeline solution.
When used with Rubicon’s Low Energy Pipeline solution, the BladeMeter is able to manage large flows in situations where pressure and elevation head (hydraulic grade line) is frequently below 10m.
Local control pedestal
Each BladeMeter installation includes a robust pedestal that provides power and control to the valve and is a secure, weatherproof housing for electronic components and batteries.
The pedestal also serves as a local user interface. A keypad and LCD display are located under the lockable lid, allowing farmers to monitor, or operators to control and troubleshoot on-site.
Unique low head loss design
Traditional butterfly valves use a circular disc in the flow path to control flow though the conduit. This creates substantial flow disturbance, resulting in head loss, particularly at lower flow rates when the valve is only open by a small amount. Many valves are inherently unstable at lower opening angles, which limits their ability to precisely control flows. The disc also forms an obstruction upon which debris can easily become wedged.
The BladeMeter’s unique dual-plate design provides excellent hydraulic performance, minimising flow disturbance and maximising flow capacity. The control plates sit downstream of the flow path and their contoured surfaces promote a smooth and symmetrical flow profile, making it ideal for gravity applications where it is essential to minimise head loss.
Additionally the dual plate design minimises the opportunity for weeds and other debris to accumulate and clog the meter.
Traditional valve (plan view)
Traditional valve designs, such as butterfly valves cause swirling eddies resulting in friction losses and create an obstruction for weeds and other debris to catch on
BladeMeter™ (plan view)
The BladeMeter’s control plates have been designed to minimise head loss by maintaining a uniform flow profile
BladeMeter flow measurement accuracy
The BladeMeter’s Sonaray technology enables it to measure to within ±2.5% at flow rates ranging from 1 to 50 ML/day.
600mm BladeMeter prototype relative to ABB Magmaster at Rubicon hydraulics laboratory
**Accuracy of 600mm BladeMeter verified by Rubicon Hydraulics Laboratory, February 2014
The BladeMeter uses core technologies which are common across TCC™ products:
Sonaray™ flow measurement
The BladeMeter employs Rubicon’s Sonaray cross-path ultrasonic flow measurement technology. Four transducers on a horizontal plane send and receive ultrasonic pulses to determine velocity by measuring the transit time taken for the pulses to travel between transducers.
Cross-path measurement means that the control valve can be located directly downstream from the measurement area without affecting accuracy. It also eliminates the need for flow profile calibrations that are required for single-point, single-path and doppler flow meters.
The BladeMeter also has a downward facing transducer to verify that the pipe is completely full, eliminating flow measurement error caused by partially full conduits.
Cross-path measurement (plan view)
Four transducers implement cross-path transit time measurement to sample the velocity field
Pipe-not-full sensor (side view)
A downward-facing transducer transmits a signal which reflects off the bottom of the meter pipe. Any air in the top of the pipe prevents transmission and reception of the signal triggering an alarm.
Valve control technology
The BladeMeter’s drive mechanism is a nut and shaft system that uses opposing threads machined into a high grade stainless-steel shaft to provide positive drive for valve opening and closing. Together with integrated digital valve position sensing, the BladeMeter precisely modulates to deliver a required flow rate, even with fluctuating supply pressure.
The control plates are driven by a long-life brushless motor and gearbox located within a fully submersible IP68 rated housing and an integrated water detection sensor provides peace of mind against water ingress.
Rubicon’s SolarDrive® technology – a purpose built integrated circuit board – manages valve positioning, solar power regulation, battery charge, fusing and the pedestal keypad interface.
Submersible motor housing